Friday, October 31, 2014

The Coolest and Creepiest of Idol Costumes

It's the spooooookiest time of the year! Midterms!

I'd take AKB48 over my criminology midterm.

Of course that's not! Midterms are pretty close, but nothing compares to Halloween! The costumes, the scares, the candy, Halloween is the one day of the year where anything (legal) goes! I hope you're all having a wonderful Halloween this year, whether you're dressing up, giving out candy, or just sitting at home watching a horror movie. I had a costume planned out, but now I have to spend Halloween as a sick person! Yay for strep throat! While that's a bit of a bummer considering how excited I was to experience Halloween in college, I'm trying to make the most of it! While I can barely talk, I can type just fine! So I thought why not do a little Halloween-themed post on the Wonderland? Then I realized finding idol-related Halloween material is a bit harder to procure. I could probably scrounge up some spooky idol PVs, but 90% of those PV would be either BiS or Bellring Shoujo Heart PVs. So I had to broaden things out.

And what's one thing idols and Halloween have in common? Costumes.

For someone with zero sewing skills, I really love costumes. The more elaborate they are, the better! And when I was eleven years old watching Perfume's Chocolate Disco, part of the appeal was the costumes they were wearing. Now they look totally cheesy and dated, but at the time, all that shiny latex looked hip to me! While the schoolgirl uniform is a popular style of idol groups popularized even more by AKB48, there are still other idol groups that come up with some awe-inspiring costumes. Groups like, Momoiro Clover Z, BiS, and Babymetal are just a few examples of idol groups with a distinct visual style meticulously incorporated into what they wear. Even more orthodox idol groups can get mind-melding, fantastic costumes. So on a day where everyone is dressing up, I thought I'd take a look at some of the coolest idol costumes, along with a few of the creepier ones. These costumes all bend the rules of idol fashion, ranging from elegant and eclectic to strange and outlandish. The common thread is that whenever I look at these costumes, I think, "Wow. Someone made that."

Before going into the list, I do want to clarify these are costumes not outfits. The difference between an outfit and a costume is you can wear an outfit in public and attract little to no attention. Costumes in contrast are clearly meant for the stage.

For example: this is a costume. This is an outfit.

There are idol groups that wear very cool outfits, but they do not appear in this list. So let's travel into the space where idols and couture meet starting in... the fifth dimension. I swear this blog needs theme music.

5th Dimension - Momoiro Clover Z

I couldn't find a high quality picture of my favorite 5th Dimension outfit, but luckily, all three outfits used in promotion of the album look pretty cool! Conceptually, I loved MomoClo's second album, even if musically, the album was a bit choppier. But just look at those spiked masks! Equal parts creepy, strange, and surreal, those masks are what I expect from Momoiro Clover Z. The outfits not pictured with the tulle and rhinestones are my favorite. Maybe they're a little costume-y, but costumes are the sort of thing MomoClo excels in!

BiS Kaidan

You guys ever dissect a frog? Because the costumes for BiS Kaidan make me think of that. It's BiS; of course they're gonna do some weird shit when collaborating. Their latest trick for this noise album was wearing white schoolgirl outfits and having their guts literally gush out of them. Creepy? Yes. Weird? Totally. Creative? Absolutely.

Edo no Temari Uta II - C-ute

Hello! Project is more notorious for their tacky costumes, but every once in awhile their styling department does something right! For C-ute's first and only enka-inspired single, they combined funky with traditional with some pretty fun results. I love the variety in each member's costume, and no one got saddled with anything unflattering. My favorite outfits of the bunch though have to be Airi, Saki, and Erika's costumes. Airi's little hat is adorable, along with Kanna's. All the different patterns and details in each costume made 7nin C-ute as a whole look amazing.

Fashion Monster - Kyarypamyupamyu

With Kyarypamyupamyu, it's more like what costumes of hers are not cool. There are tons of insane outfits she's worn over her career. I could probably have just made this post all about Kyary's costumes. Still, my personal favorite is the outfit she wore in Fashion Monster. I love the stripes and the tulle, and that bat hairstyle is equal parts weird and impressive. Also there are a ton of amazing cosplays of this costume. If I were a talented individual, I'd dress up in this costume!

Fly - BiS

I've always found it kind of ironic that the costumes were based around cockroaches and not flies given, you know, the song title. The main part I like about the costumes for Fly are the goggles. Those antennas attached to them add to the insect-like look the outfits have going. I don't care for cockroaches, but BiS pulls the look off!

Future Diver -


I may have a love/hate view of, but their knack for good costumes is definitely on the love side. The costumes for Future Diver are one of my favorites! The bottom picture isn't the costumes used for Future Diver, but the shoes are featured in the cover art. And I had to include those shoes. I mean, look at them! I don't even know how the girls could walk in those things, let alone put them on, but they look awesome! The dresses themselves look cool too; I wonder what material they're made out of.

GAME - Perfume

Perfume has had many stylish outfits, but a lot of their later stuff hasn't gotten very costume-y. Their indie and early major label days, most definitely. But that was more tapping into their quirky Shibyua-kei electro group image. One of my favorite Perfume outfits from their earlier work though were the outfits they used for GAME. I love the variety in each one; the girls look edgy and stylish but also like technopop idols from the future. The GAME costumes are a weird blend of styles, but they make for some exquisite outfits.

Kindan no Karma - Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku

...I do not speak of Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku on this blog. Look, one Stardust group is enough of a handful for me. When I did attempt to get into Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku, I found the music video for Kindan no Karma. The song was okay, but the costumes stood out to me more. They're kind of cheesy, but I love a good ol' vampire costume!

Liar - Tokyo Girls' Style

Remember in 2011 when Tokyo Girls' Style's outfits were solely Lolita-styled? That was awesome. The most Gothic of those outfits were the ones for Liar. The dark makeup matched with the white skirts made for a nice contrast. In fact, the covers for this single don't do the costumes justice. Here's a closer look at the makeup. And the best part? The skirts are rip-away! So if the girls got tired of wearing fluffy tutus, they can wear shorts instead! Elegant and convenient!

Love & Hate - Vanilla Beans

Like with Perfume, Vanilla Beans has some stylish apparel but nothing overtly costume-y. The closest they get are the costumes for Love & Hate, and that's mainly due to the chainsaws. Of course, their jaunty berets are also cute, and the latex-looking fabric creates for a very neo-idol look. It's like they're idol lumberjacks from the future!

Megitsune - Babymetal

Babymetal gets some pretty cool costumes. They are a metal idol group after all; they've gotta have clothes to match the image! A lot of their costumes look very rigid and hard, like they're little metal soldiers who are really good at headbanging. The costumes used in Megitsune are much flowier and softer. I love the red tulle skirts, and the way the robes billow out. And the masks match the theme of the song!

Mugen no Ai - Momoiro Clover Z

The world needs more space pirates. Luckily, MomoClo is on the job! I would have loved to see a whole album based around this concept, because Mugen no Ai was an awesome single. The outfits for Mugen no Ai looked spectacular in the music video and the promotional cover art. There's something about the shiny plastic mixed with the pirate regalia that makes these outfits look so distinct. And I like that they worked in MomoClo's colors!

Radar Man - Togawa Jun

If there's one thing my blog can never have enough of, it's Togawa Jun! Jun pulled a lot of crazy antics in her idol years, a trend which followed the rest of her career. My favorite Jun outfit though is the robot arm she used for Radar Man. Keep in mind, she wore that in 1984. And it looks fantastic. I'm all about science fiction, cyborgs, the future, etc. so the sheer intricacy of that arm has me in awe. I wonder if she kept that robot arm...

Spring of Life - Perfume

Speaking of science fiction, here's Perfume! What will always be Perfume's pinnacle of costuming is Spring of Life. They're light-up dresses. Light. In dresses. How awesome is that!? I know they've also dabbled in projection mapping which is just as cool, but from a design aspect, Spring of Life's costumes are fantastic. Think of all the wiring the designers had to put into each different outfit. Seeing them wearing these outfits live is an even more impressive feat!

Tsukema Tsukeru - Kyarypamyupamyu

I put this on here mostly for the skirt. The shirt is nice too! I like how Kyary's boobs are highlighted by the titular fake eyelashes. Kind of trashy, but that skirt is made of trash. Kyary makes the outfit look adorable regardless, and I really do love all the different candy wrappers on that skirt.

So what are some of your favorite idol costumes? Image links are much appreciated!

1 comment:

  1. Bellring Shoujo Heart signature costume :

    Perfume's Spending All My Time dresses :

    Girls' Generation's Mr Mr dresses :

    Tokyo Girls' Style's Kodou No Himitsu costumes :

    AKB48's Saitama Super Arena 2011 last costumes :

    AKB48's Iiwake Maybe PV uniforms :

    And, of course, all the ones you mentioned in this post. My ultimate favorite : BiS Kaidan.