Otakon 2011
Baby the Stars Shine Bright and Alice and the Pirates Fashion Show Q&A

by Lynzee Loveridge,
Japanese Lolita fashion line Baby, the Stars Shine Bright and spin-off line Alice and the Pirates presented a fashion show Saturday morning. BtSSB line features the popular sub genre of lolita clothing known as "sweet lolita". The designs feature soft colors of pink and blue or prints featuring hearts, cherries, and things of that nature. Alice and the Pirates is inspired by a cross between Alice in Wonderland and pirate-punk themes. Designer for BtSSB, Masumi Kano and designer for Alice and the Pirates, Mitsuba were available for Q&A after the show.

A short DVD presentation of a Japanese runway show for the lines was shown as staff cleared the stage for Kano and Mitsuba. Fans were able to ask questions for a brief period before the room had to be cleared for the Hetalia World Series Premiere and East Meets West Q&A.

Q: How long have each of you been designing, respectively?
Kano: I've been designing for Baby, the Stars Shine Bright for five years.
Mitsuba: This is my third year as a designer for Alice & and the Pirates. Prior to that I worked in a BtSSB shop for a year.

Q: Is there any particular design you worked on that was featured in the show today or where all the works designed by you?
K: All of the works were my design, and the last one featured in the show was a particular favorite.
M: All of the works were my designs as well as the fabrics and prints.

Q: Were you always interested in lolita fashion?
K: I was exposed to lolita fashion by my mother. Not lolita fashion particularly, but frilly clothes so I grew up wearing clothing like this.
M: Lolita fashion became popular when I was in junior high to high school age. I became aware of the style and have been a fan of it since then.

Q: Where do you look for inspiration for your clothes?
K: I draw a lot from entertainment I like, such as movies, TV shows, and music. Whenever I get a designer block, I go back to the entertainment I enjoy for inspiration.
M: I play piano, so when I want to be inspired I listen to classical music or will play piano.

Q: Are there any designs or fabrics that are close to your heart?
K:I'm well known in Japan and within the industry for designing clothes that will look attractive on dolls. A favorite design of mine is one from last year known as "Doll Romantica One Piece".
M: I've found it an honor to collaborate with people in the industry. Recently I've worked with designs for the anime Black Butler and The Mystic Archives of Dantalian. I've also gotten to work with the Versailles visual-kei band.

Q: Were you able to attend the Ultimate Lolita Fashion Show yesterday and what did you think of it?
K:I was impressed and surprised by the many prints and patterns that were represented.
M:I was also surprised to see so many brands represented and the level of individuality.

Q: What is your response to your worldwide fan base?
K: Five years ago there was not many fans of lolita fashion outside of Japan but it was about that time that BtSSB company expanded outside of Japan so some of us have been to Paris and to Germany. It is touching to see so many fans at the fashion show today.
M: This is my 2nd time in the United States. American fans are much more open with their feelings and fandom compared to Japanese fans and that is wonderful. Thank you very much.

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