Saturday, 27 August 2016

Wedding Photoshoot with Hiroko Tokumine

Did you know there is such a thing as a Lolita Wedding dress designer?
Neither did I until I met Hiroko Tokumine! She creates beautifully crafted Lolita dresses, and also Lolita inspired wedding dresses for an extra flamboyant touch to your wedding. I had seen images of her work online, specifically on her instagram @hirokotokumine and was amazed  veteran Lolita model Misako Aoki modeled some of her beautiful gowns, as I had seldom seen her model for indie or lesser known brands.  Looking at the products up close I could see why Misako was interested; every design is incredibly intricate and lovingly hand-made. The "Kawaii" silhouette, ruffles and lace concept which is the bones of Lolita becomes fused with the elegance of wedding dress fabric, veils and flowers. Hiroko says she is inspired by "The Rose of Versailles" and "Grimm's fairy tales" when creating her pieces.

 I think the concept of a "Lolita" wedding is a beautiful idea - a bride in a huge billowing, ruffly dress gliding down the aisle, a princely groom and hundreds of chattering girls in huge dresses at the service, packed into the church like frilly sardines.

 Her website is also pretty interesting; you pick the silhouette or base of the dress you want and from there you can custom design your idea and she will make it for you! I am assuming that if you chose to get the skirt and top separately, you could incorporate them into regular Lolita coordinates too!

Although she only speaks Japanese, her sister lived in California and speaks English fluently, so I am sure just using English, you could still order something to your specifications.

Now on to the photoshooot!

I had never modeled a wedding dress before so I was both excited and extremely anxious; what if I make it dirty? what if I fall over? What if my butt is too big and I rip it?
Luckily Hiroko and her sister were very lovely and comforting, two other models also attended the photoshoot, as well as Leo acting as my groom for the day. I thought the entire shoot would be in Japanese but actually, the photographer  and one of the models spoke English very well!

The dress I modeled was intimidatingly colossal - I needed two people to help me into the skirt and petticoat. However, to my relief, it fit very well and the material was extremely silky to the touch. The majority of the dress was a champagne-tinged white, covered in cascading lace and mammoth veil complete with Tiara, the parasol even had its own veil! There was also a giant bear, I named him Papa.

Leo made a very dashing groom! It made me realize that in a few years we could be walking down the aisle together...

The studio itself was in Ebisu - luckily in Tokyo there are many themed rooms or studios available to hire per hour for photo shoots. Some are more targeted at cosplayers or editorial shoots, however this room was all white, complete with a floral "kitchen" filled with fake pastry and a giant stuffed bear. If you are interested in modeling in Tokyo I suggested looking into themed rooms for photoshoots!

The second part of the shoot was for a new collection by Hiroko - Lolita dresses themed around fairytale characters, with a Japanese twist!

I had been given the role of the Rapunzel, so the hair and makeup artist transformed my extensions to super long flower embedded locks! The other girls took on the roles of Snow White and Cinderella. The dresses each came with fitted corsets, so we didn't have to worry about size, and the fabric itself was a mix of white cotton, lace and gorgeous printed Japanese patterns.

I could also watch Hiroko working away making last minute adjustments to the dresses. She herself is a Lolita, so there is something charming knowing that your wedding dress was lovingly handmade by someone who also enjoys the fashion!

You can check out her website here;!designer/cee5

Lastly, one of the other models, Ai Akizuki actually makes beautiful flower arrangements and bouquets, this added a very personal touch to the photo shoot, please check out her other work on her instagram at @aiakizuki.

Overall it was an incredible experience and opened my eyes to the possibility of a Lolita themed wedding! Please check out Hiroko's collections and Instagram!

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