Mini Couture: Interview with Anime Doll Designer Kev Yiu

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I call him “The father of Dolls” as Kev Yiu is the creator of beautiful custom Anime Dolls! They are so amazing that his Doll Label “Mini Couture” has spread all around the social Networks. But this is only one Passion of the very popular and successful Fashion Designer. Let me first give you an summary of how everything has started:

Kev Yiu is a Hong Kong designer who studied in England and graduated with triple distinctions in Fashion and Clothing. In 2006, he began his career in bags and garments and launched his own brand “Sovereign romance” in England as a foreign designer.

Having studied in England for years, Kev was very much inspired by the European fashion culture and firmly believes that fashion is much more than a business, but it’s also an art form which can be translated into a visible language to express his point of views. His aim is to bring Love and Romance into the fashion industry as well as peoples’ daily lives.

His designs have been strongly appreciated and worn by celebrities in Hong Kong such as Sammi Cheng, Twins, Myolie Wu, Ivana Wong, Fiona- Sit & Kary Ng Etc. And recently he was selected as one of the “Rise & Shine” Fashion influences by Hong Kong well known magazine “Jessica Code”.

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Geeks Life Luxembourg: Mr Yiu, thank you so much for giving us the time to talk about your beautiful handcrafted dolls. They are really amazing and have become quite popular, that’s why we have become curious about their origin.

1.  But actually this is just a small part of your passion and talent as in fact you are a fashion designer and creator of the brand Kevolie?

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Mr Yiu: Yes indeed, I am a fashion designer in real life but I was grown as an animation lover, making dolls is like a hobby for me to escape from my intensive work  🙂

2.  You started making use of your dollmaker talent and sharing it with others? How did that happen? What was the main inspiration?

Mr Yiu: I learnt how to make puppets when I was studying in England and I have always been very keen on dolls since I was little and I am a Sailor Moon doll collector as well.

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Mr Kev Yiu’s impressive Sailor Moon doll collection. Over 200 dolls.

3.   I’ve heard about your huge Sailor Moon vintage doll collection. How many official Sailor Moon dolls do you own now and how long did it take to collect them? 

Mr Yiu: As I mentioned I am a Sailor Moon doll collector, I have collected over 200+ vintage dolls from different countries, mostly japan, for the Japan edition I am still missing the non-taking Jupiter from season SS and the deluxe Moon set B from season S, I would be willing to exchange them with my work if anyone is willing to hahaha! It took me around 7 years.

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Every Doll is handcrafted with so much passion and Love. This is what makes them so special and gives every one a heart and soul.

 

As far as I can recall, about two years ago I accidentally encountered a clip showing how custom dolls are made and I was like why not giving it a try?

So I purchased some second handed dolls and started practicing on hair rooting and face painting , sewing dolly dresses has never been a problem for me as I have been making dresses for human for over 10 years .

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Every doll is handmade with love
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The place where his beauties come to life…

4. By that occasion, what is your favourite Sailor Moon character and why?

Mr Yiu: I like the villians most as they have wonderful and complicated designs.

5. Let’s get back to your dolls now. How long have you been making them?

Mr Yiu: I have just picked up this hobby for 2 years but my ultimate goal is to launch my own fashion doll line, but I still need more practice to achieve that.

6.  With your experience being a designer you got many abilities for making the dolls clothes. But how about hair and face? Did you visit a workshop?

Mr Yiu: I basically learn from trial and failure and YouTube (thanks for all youtuber!)

7.  Imagining your full time job as fashion designer at Kevolie, how do you even manage to find any time for this passion? Must be very hard?

Mr Yiu: I only have time to get the dolls done when I have a day off, or any sleepless night will do lol!

8. And how long does it take you to finish a doll?

Mr Yiu: For simple ones it takes around 12 hours but for complicated ones I can spend up to 45 hours.

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9. How can your fans order a doll handcrafted by you? Do you have an online shop?

Mr Yiu: I am planning to launch an online platform selling fan made and originals, stay tuned. For now they can direct message me via Facebook 😊

 

 

Thank you Mr Kev Yiu for giving us the chance to take a look at your beautiful work and we hope that we will see more of your beautiful dolls in the future!

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Until the online shop launches and for further information about his beauties, contact: https://www.facebook.com/KYminicouture/

 

 

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Gyaru Festival x Deshima Sounds: GalFes Summer Event 2017

22nd July at Dynamo, Eindhoven

Gyaru Festival was organized by a group of European Gals to celebrate J-fashion in general

Writer’s Take on Shibuya Spring/Summer Fashion 2016

Note: This is a stricly personal contribution. Anything stated here stems from the writer’s point of view and her personal tastes, but do feel free to share your opinion on this season as well!

 

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2 happy ‘d.i.a.’ shop staff girls

Part 1: https://geekslifeluxembourg.com/2016/04/06/part-1-shibuya-springsummer-2016-fashion-trends/

Part 2: https://geekslifeluxembourg.com/2016/05/10/part-2-shibuya-springsummer-2016-fashion-trends/

 

Although I’m not one to follow many trends for the sake of it, there’s a lot of inspiration to pick from this season’s styling. The silhouettes are interesting, there seems to be a lot more going on with sleeves and tops in general cut-wise (though I do miss creative prints this season). The wide pants and flowing bottoms get a thumbs-up from me as well, kind of breaking of a bit with the skinny-pants-always trend going on around here.

My biggest pet peeve is still the lack of colour choices. While tropical colours like blue and orange as accents seem to be a thing for most brands, the huge presence of white could bring up interesting results with a wider palette to pick from. That’s one thing I’ve been missing on most shop staff and coordinate pics, but of course these are just trends aka points Japanese fashion is currently focussing on for this season. And these points are just ideas you CAN, but don’t have to go for. I personally still support everyone trying and finding out what works for him/her.;)

This leads to another point: the monopolization of the once colourful Shibuya fashion. The dominating trends are interesting, but unfortunately they seem very standardized with the brands and shop staff I’ve seen so far (not talking about the magazines, the problems there have already been highlighted on numerous sites that discuss Japanese street fashion). Several brands have completely revamped their style (me jane, d.i.a.) to cather to the bigger crowds in Shibuya right now.

Meaning the Onee Gals, LA casual (not sure how to call them, think ENVYM and GYDA style) and Otona Kawaii girls. But at the same time they’ve kind of lost their identity. Rienda and Resexxy, ironically Onee-Gyaru-brands, have been doing well by changing things up without completely revamping what they’ve been doing before. It’s sad because there doesn’t seem to be any Rock-style brand going strong at the moment although there would be creative ways to incorporate the current loose-casual/ethnic trends!

 

What do you think? Do you miss the more colourful 90s/2000 Japanese street fashions or are you going with the newer looks?

(Part 2) Spring/Summer 2016 Shibuya Fashion Trends

 

Ethnic prints

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Ethnic prints and details are a HUGE trend right now.

Top: ‘Jouetie’ and ‘Ungrid’ shop staff

Bottom: ‘Evris’ director Ayano Sasaki

Doesn’t seem to be such a huge trend for most Onee Gyaru brands (the dress on the right is by ‘Resexxy’), but street styles such as ‘Flove’ (left) are definitely going for them.

 

Fringes and tassels

They can be seen as a continuation of the ethnic trend. Fringes are everywhere, tassels mostly on accent pieces such as bags and jewelry.

Duras, ENVYM, Sly, Spiralgirl

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A cute ‘Avan Lily’ ethnic/tassel shoulder bag

 

Sleeves galore!

I personally see this as the biggest change. Puffed, off-shoulder (which seems be a trend carried on from last year), frilly, cut-outs, with sheer or lace accents… more emphasis seems to be put on outfits with impact sleeves. The sheer variety to pick from is huge, with street brands favouring cut-out pieces and sweet/girly styles not being afraid to go bigger.

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‘ENVYM’ showing off one of their cut-out sweaters

 

‘Resexxy’ donning a cut-out top as well as wide 3/4 sleeves on the right

Otona Kawaii brand ‘MIIA’ seems to be your go-to-place when it comes to trying out different cuts

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Sweet style brands like ‘Ank Rouge’ seem to be doing really well with this trend

 

V necklines

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A trend look by ‘Emoda’: V neck onepiece, cut-off long vest and lace-up sandals

‘Resexxy’

Flower prints

Flower prints are always popular during this season, but this year many trends don’t seem to be shying away from bolder colours too. On the other hand, vintage-styled flower dresses have been popping up here and there, as shown by ‘Jouetie’.

Colourful ‘Duras’ dresses, the right one is by ‘Resexxy’ (see the straight cut this season?)

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More adult looks (‘Mercuryduo’ and ‘Resexxy’ (right and bottom)

Flower prints in bolder colours

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‘Jouetie’s vintage dress

 

Overalls and salopettes

Less than 2 years ago, but still going strong. See previous post for examples on how to wear overalls. Regarding their popularity, I felt like salopettes still deserved a section on their own 🙂

‘GYDA’ and some interesting styling by ‘Flove’ director Hana Imai

‘Egoist’ overall, playful ‘Jouetie’ going for suspenders and Sweet Gyaru brand ‘Ank Rouge’ showing how to include salopettes into sweet-style outfits

 

Others

(Personal picks; not really belonging into any of the categories, but still worth sharing in my opinion)

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Glavil by Tutuha

Dazzlin, Ungrid

And Sly summing up their spring/summer 2016 trend pieces

 

What do you think about these spring/summer trends? Is there anything you like or think that it’s a no-go? Do you think it will be easy to emulate Shibuya fashion in the West? Feel free to post your opinion, it’s going to be added to the post.

Also this was about the Shibuya/Gal crowd. Are there any fashion styles/trends/things you want to read about on GLL? Don’t be shy and tell us if there’s something you want us to talk about!

 

Part 1 here: https://geekslifeluxembourg.com/2016/04/06/part-1-shibuya-springsummer-2016-fashion-trends/

(Part 1) Spring/Summer 2016 Shibuya Fashion Trends

Spring has started and fashion brands have already been stocking up on their season pieces. This series focusses on Gyaru, Neogal and similar fashion that you can buy in the 109 buildings (think Shibuya109, 109 Machida, etc.), summed up here as “Shibuya fashion” for conveniency since these fashion styles originated there.

GLL is giving you an overview of fashion pieces that currently seem to be trending and have been seen on shop staff and in various Shibuya-centered boutiques.

However this post is by no means complete nor is it limited to Japan. All the mentioned trends and styles can easily be emulated around other parts of the world too.

The first part gives you the big key trends and a general overview over the trending colours (though those are by no means the only ones that look good, Shibuya Fashion or not; as usual, we don’t suggest to follow trends blindly, which are just recommendations after all ;)). The second part will be all about the ethnic/safari feel as well as flower prints, Impact sleeves, V necks making a comeback and fringes/tassels.

 

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Models from the magazine ‘Jelly’ showcasing different trends released by fashion brand ‘Egoist’

As usual, denim is going to be big this season. Gyaru and related fashions are probably that one Japanese style that focusses the most on releasing different denim pieces in various shapes. This year, they seem to be going for long denim vests, overalls and cropped short pants, all adapted to the rising temperatures.

Not coming as a big surprise, Otona (=adult) Kawaii style has been big style-wise. Mote Kei and Larme fashions (which generally go for that soft girly ‘literature’ girl look you’ve probably been seeing a lot lately) are present too, but not bringing many new things to the table. Normcore seems to be heading towards getting a category on its own, with brands like ENVYM and GYDA hitting it big. And of course there’s Neogal represented by Evris (and to a lesser extent now, Fig&Viper, since they’ve been closing stores).

Nonetheless some trends have been seen throughout all the styles.

Key trends:

  • white
  • loose-casual
  • ethnic prints
  • lace, flower lace, crochet accents
  • fringes, tassels
  • cut-out sleeves
  • large or impact sleeves
  • V necklines
  • denim
  • loose overalls
  • trending colours: white, blue, nude/light camel, khaki, salmon, pink/saxon blue (for sweet styles) / accent colours: orange, black, red, darker and more adult-looking pinks

 

But first the biggest change… loose cuts, casual styling, wider pants (usually cropped/ankle-length) and longer skirts

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Sure, this isn’t really a 2016 thing, since with the popularity of gaucho pants, we’ve been seeing a rise of relaxed fashion since last summer. In fact, especially Gyaru and Neogal fashion have been going the more laid-back route for a while now. But this season, the overall silhouette and coords seem to have gone a step further.

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The major ‘SLY’ trends of the season

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Street/Neogal brand ‘Evris’ basically tells you what’s big for them this season: tank tops (I’ve seen quite a few shop staff and models knotting them at the hem too) paired with wide cropped pants

‘Evris’, ‘EMODA’ and ‘dazzlin’

Long coats (trench, chester, etc.) are a trend from the 2 last years that still seems to be going strong

EriMika (the twins are the producers behind LA-inspired Street/Normcore brand ‘ENVYM’)

 

Quite an unusual design for ‘Duras’ (left) while ‘Rienda’ releases several maxi-length skirts and dresses

… could be partially due to their comfort line which seems to be going strong too. The demand from Onee Gyaru asking for comfortable, yet stylish clothing to wear at home has been on the rise and it’s showing in the general ‘Rienda’ collection too

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Left to right: ‘titty&co’, ‘Spiralgirl’ overall, ‘one way’ outfit with a skirt

Happy to see that we can still count on playful ‘Rodeo Crowns’ to add some pops of colour and whimsical designs *thumbs up*

Skinny pants on the other hand remain an evergreen and other looks are still going strong as well.

‘Duras’ and ‘CecilMcBee’ still offering lots of feminine pants styles. ‘Rienda’ on the far right combines a pair of tight bottoms with a long flowing top. Notice the presence of blue and salmon tones too?

‘Egoist’ and ‘titty&co’ rocking monotone looks with pants

 

This leads us to another BIG trend this season: white!

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…especially white combined with lace, crochet or see-through accents. Nearly every brand has been going for this trend.

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Onee-Gyaru (=older sister Gyaru) brand ‘Rienda’ focusses on a lot of white this season, either on its own or paired with large printed pieces in bold colours

Sweet/Larme brands ‘Honey Cinnamon’ and ‘Swankiss’ usually pair white with pastel colours. Gingham (as shown on the model in the middle) seems to be a medium trend with sweet styles again, same with scallops

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Lace, crochet, see-through accents

I personally like the way flower lace was incorporated into that ‘Resexxy’ skirt as well as the presence of sky blue (which seems to be the other trending colour next to white this season)

As expected, Sweet brands Ank Rouge and Swankiss are doing well with this trend

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Other popular ‘ENVYM’ looks: off-shoulder, white cut-out tops, fringes, lace-up shoes

 

Popular colours

Blue in various shades, khaki (especially for cool, street and casual brands), nude/light camel, salmon seem to be the big ones. Sweet styles have been focussing on a lot of pink and saxon blue. On the other hand, several brands are releasing a series of cardigans in different colours (including flashier colours like yellow and turquoise) so there may be more coming up.

What’s popular this season though with the huge presence of white and blue are accent colours. Popular options include orange, black, red as well as darker and more adult-looking pinks (as seen by ‘Rienda’).

 

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Photo taken from the official ‘Rienda’ website. Shop staff showing off the spring/summer collection.

 

Part 2 here: https://geekslifeluxembourg.com/2016/05/10/part-2-shibuya-springsummer-2016-fashion-trends/