August 10, 2015 by Stefanie Martinez
If you’re new to Style Lush TV, or you’ve been an avid follower since the beginning, you can see how unique each of the Style Contributors are. We bring our own sense of personal style and taste to the plate, and so far, we’ve been able to relate to many of you who tune into our channel! Yet, not many know that my own style is heavily influenced from my childhood love of the Japanese culture, lifestyle and ANIME! Yes, anime, the Japanese cartoon style that has gained more popularity in the last few years, and just like any Comic Con, the masses come out to celebrate their love and appreciation for it. Finally, after years of having to miss out on the one convention that has always been on my radar, I was able to attend…and it was everything my heart has been yearning for.
Just to give a little background as to how my obsession with the Japanese culture began, it all started in the 5th grade. A classmate of mine drew a picture of a girl with a ‘meat ball’ head. I asked her about it and from then on, I became hooked on Sailor Moon. I would watch episodes religiously on Cartoon Networks ‘TOONAMI’ hour after school. Memorizing the theme song, the action battle moves and even pretending to be Sailor Mars on the playground. My fascination quickly turned into an obsession of all things anime. I grew up in the era of Pokemon and as it was spreading like wild fire, there were adults that didn’t think it was the best cartoon in the world for me to watch. Having my trading card collection banned from school, thrown away and never to be recollected, I vowed to keep my secret love for anything anime, hush hush, until I could reconnect with others who felt the same way. Once I moved on to middle school, it was hard to freely express my love for anime. I started drawing random little characters in art class, only to be denied by my teacher who banned my style of drawing in the classroom because it was not ‘American’ (yes this really happened, and yes I still kept drawing my anime girls). When you get picked on for something you love, it’s hard to be yourself, but when you find another person who feels the same way, then it’s not as lonely of a world as it seems.
I continued my love for anime throughout my Middle School and High School even in my College years, my little drawings popped up on my notebooks and cheesy love letters. Once we had Internet in my home, I was exposed to even MORE types of anime shows, manga books, beautiful illustrations of their culture. My heart yearned (and is still yearning) to one day make a trip to the holy motherland where my obsession sprang from. Some day I will be in Tokyo exploring the streets of Shinjuku, Harajuku and everything that falls in between, I WILL make it happen! So why am I blogging about this? Because the anime world has a very major influence in the Fashion world, all over! From gothic lolita fashion, to gangaro girl fashion and cosplay, fashion makes a bold statement in the Japanese culture. If it weren’t for their outlandish style, music, pretty much everything that’s about 20 years in advance from America, I would not be the person I am today.
Being able to attend San Japan as a Style Lush TV contributor made me feel so official and it was by far the most fun I’ve had filming in a good while. I attended the first day and was just blown away by the cosplay attendees, all of the imported fashions and collectibles from Japan. Oh how I wish I could have bought all the kawaii (cute) things I laid my eyes on. I set out to find some great StreetBeat content and I was not disappointed from what I found. I also attended on the second day with fellow Style Contributor, Amanda Millette, and she truly helped me bring my Style Trips vision to life! My video content is in the works due to the San Antonio Fashion Awards being my primary duty at the moment, but once my video is out, I encourage you all to take a peek at a world that might be new to you, but for some, it’s their way of life.
Stay tuned for MORE on my San Japan adventures! And for more information on SAN JAPAN, visit their website San Japan ’16 The theme is already set for next year’s events! Maybe I’ll see you there! 😉