Photos by Daniel Eggert
“Is it love that makes my heart go BOOM BOOM BOOM?” Nope, not this time (but props if you get the reference) — it’s the “sensational kawaii,” Harajuku stylings of 6%DOKIDOKI, available live in the states for a limited time only at San Francisco’s NEW PEOPLE building. The theme of Saturday’s Fan Night was… circus!
Perhaps there were jaded folks in the crowd who took this to mean “clown,” but honestly, I thought the “shop girl,” Yuuka, was pretty darned cute. Not everyone can pull off wearing two skirts (one under her armpits) to make a one-piece-like dress, but she did. Who can count the number of barrettes, bows, and bangles? (Surely these must be the three b’s of kawaii explosion happy fashion extreme.) She did say that the hair and socks should be symmetrical, but I don’t believe her — not based on what she was wearing, with one leg orange and white, the other blue, pink and yellow, and two off-center Sailor Moon-esque “meatball” buns on her head. The best thing about 6%DOKIDOKI really, is that there ARE no rules — they make the accessories and it’s up to you how you want to use or abuse them.
One of the other main points of 6%DOKIDOKI fashion, as explained by Sebastian Masuda — who would know, since he invented it in 1995 and started the first store out of a tiny Tokyo apartment, is the incorporation of everyday objects into your wardrobe. As an example, he pointed out the “Sensational Kawaii” necklace shaped like a manga word bubble as if the words are blurting straight out of someone’s throat in hot pink and lime, and the “arigatou” earring that jangles down from your piercing as a string of colorful hiragana to thank anyone you meet.
Yuuka experimented a bit on the crowd with some clips. Sparkly bows go well in your hair OR on a tie. “One ribbon is great the way it is, but two are sensational kawaii!” (Are you catching this theme?) One bigger foofier bow is good in your hair, but could also be used on the strap of a dress, providing even some extra covering, I noted, in case your neckline is off the deep end.
While Masuda’s inspirational tale of seeing the positive effects of cute Disney stationary on young earthquake victims in China gave a little more weight to his theory of fashion freedom, the most interesting thing I learned Saturday night was the meaning of the 6%. After all, you may be thinking, “6%? That sounds pretty wimpy — is that all the DOKIDOKI you can muster?” but in reality, it means that you should are aiming to be 6% MORE excited about your life than the rest of the world. That I can get behind, even if my hair is too short to really put it in.
The 6%DOKIDOKI crew has less than two weeks left on the second floor of NEW PEOPLE, but you’ll be able to catch them next year in France. We’ll have to wait and see if they’ll debut some of the mysterious new men’s line there…