Sweet Therapy in Fashion

Photo credit: Steven Mendez

Photo credit: Steven Mendez

Fusing alternative fashion into everyday life isn't as dramatic as it seems. Japanese style, alternative fashion, anything that isn't jeans and a t-shirt can draw the gaze of the general public and make you feel like a colorful spectacle. However, in a moment of a fashion risk, there is also a relief.

Dressing in a manner so vibrant can substitute your voice as you interact with so many different people. I’m best known for my magical girl lite looks, with pink hair and heart-shaped glasses. I claim my magical girl status both for my admiration of 90’s and early 2000 anime series about magical girls and because I felt it expressed a joy I don't always exude in my daily life. If I'm not fighting evil by moonlight, I'm fighting it by daylight in common interactions. The joy I experience in feeling like I'm about to transform can mentally keep me going under the stressors of just being a black woman in America. I feel like I embody my favorite magical girls as I walk to work or pick up some shampoo at CVS. Whatever I’m doing these minor fashion additions help me express confidence and magic that I don’t feel I have in an ordinary style.

Alternative fashion, or even cosplay, offer the chance to dress beyond yourself but yet be the self you wish to be, or the character you want. It’s a duality of fiction and reality fused into fashion and style that tests the limits of our creativity. I don’t find anything wrong with jeans and a T-shirt. In fact being comfortable is a big thing I think is essential in how we dress. There are a few of us existing out here who find comfort in vibrant colors, pastels, all black, or perhaps Victorian-inspired fashions. I've seen that I'm dabbling in just about everything, fusing looks into a casual manner. I take inspiration from Japanese fashion, Ugly Betty, and anime. There are little details in my general style that come from all over the place. Color coordination and killer accessories really pack a punch for my magical girl aesthetic. My goal is to look like I'm in a magical girl anime and any moment I'm about to magical girl spin and transform.

However, I don't stop there. This upcoming fashion shoot with Otessa will push my fashion creativity into Decora. I'm modeling a style inspired by Hard Decora x Puvithel that fuses Decora and Menhera Fashion. Decora Fashion emerged in late 90's and early 2000's as a branch out of Harajuku fashion. This style is defined by the layers of accessories and bright colors used to decorate the outfit. Mehera, which is Japanese slang for "Mental healther" takes motifs from mental health stigmas and melds it into kawaii culture and aesthetics. Redefining a concept that can be socially isolated or ignored and making it into a statement of acceptance and care. My background in psychology and my love of fashion will really contribute to how I wear this fusion of styles and aesthetics. I'm excited and nervous but I like the challenge to represent my advocacy for mental health and fashion creativity in showing how something shunned in society can be beautiful. It’s a step in a different direction for me, but I hope that this style is another way to express something I believe in.