1. First off, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Could you tell us a little bit about your fashion background and how you got into gal.
Thank you for including me in your series.
I’ve not got a particularly interesting fashion background. I dabbled in trendier styles when I entered high school and then went down the route of grunge/mosher clothing. Eventually I found Fruits magazine and then on to Kera which was a major influence to me when I was 16/17.
It was sometime in the summer of ’07 that I got into gyaru. I found some himegyaru images online and from there it just grew and grew. Though I didn’t fully commit to the style until summer ’08 and it was a difficult transition as I was in my comfort zone but I was never 100% happy with my style before…whereas now I am!
2. What are you favourite things about gal?
My favourite things about gal are definitely the hair and make up, which is what originally drew me into the style. I love the amount of detail and effort that goes into it.
3. Do you have any style preferences and is there anything you wouldn’t try?
Now that I have narrowed down the styles I like, I’d say my preferences switch from rock, agejo, onee, shibuhara and more recently mode – I like elements of all of them.
Jelly has been a massive influence to me in the last year; I can easily imagine myself in the coordinates and the styles. It feels more age appropriate for me.
I don’t think I’d do mamba, the make up doesn’t appeal to me but I admire anyone who has the balls to do it.
4. Your make-up is always flawless, what are your favourite products and what resources do you use for tutorials?
Aww thank you, although I’m not a slave to particular make up brands, I do own and love a lot of MAC products. My fave products (I have too many) are:
- all my blushes including my MAC, Sleek and Topshop ones,
- my gel liner-MAC fluid line,
- YSL #7,
- Bourjois trio d’ombres-#41,
- Ben Nye eye shadows,
- MAC Stable eye shadow,
- Candydoll lipgloss,
- Mac painterly paint pot (by far one of my most used and loved products ~perfect for eye shadow bases and I use it for creating nude lips).
Saying that, I don’t think you need an entire collection of high end items to create stunning gal make up. I’ve seen some pretty fabulous make up done entirely with drugstore products.
As for resources, I’m forever researching tutorials and techniques but most of my techniques now are down to practice and adapting tutorials for my own needs. Magazine tutorials can be very good; though I can’t read Japanese so I just look at the pics. A lot of gaijin gyarus do tutorials too which can be valuable. On the flipside though you can get a fair amount of awful ones, it’s just a case of being selective.
5. You recently did a spam of models/gals and their coordinates. Whose look do you admire most and why?
That’s a difficult one; I find that I admire a lot of different gyarus – Japanese and Western. I really love Mipo’s style but she doesn’t blog anymore. The others I like and regularly check blogs of are Chinatsu, Suzu, Nori and Tae, Marimo, Maichi, Maya and more recently Ena Matsumoto. I‘ve got a long list of models and shop staffs blogs that I like looking at as well.
6. Your own personal coordinates are gorgeous. Which trends are you loving right now, and what do you hope to see next season?
Thank you, though its getting nearer autumn now, I’m still loving the floral and denim trends and mode is something I’m very interested in at the moment – I like the sophistication.
I’m looking forward to bowler hats coming in for autumn as I’ve wanted one since I was 14 (I’m baffled as to why I’ve not bought one since then) and I’m usually lucky for winter trends as rock items seem to be more prominent when the weather gets grim and cold 😀
7. With the rise of styles aimed at a slightly older clientele (mode etc.) do you think gal has an expiry date? How long do you plan to carry on with it?
I think it does, but I also feel you’re only as old as you feel.
I always liked the phrase “mutton dressed as lamb” and keep it in mind for when I’m older.
Thankfully my own style preferences seem to be evolving into more mature styles anyways, so I think I’ve a while yet to be into gal.
While I do think it has an expiration date, to me I think it has a pretty big range of ages to begin with and elements of the younger styles can easily be merged into more mature styles. A lot of the models are shockingly alot younger than me but there are also a lot of models that are my age and older, so that gives me comfort.
8. You live in the UK, so do you have any hints or tips for other British gals?
Gal in the UK can be a little awkward but not impossible. In regards to fashion, you just have to pinpoint the items from trends you want and hunt them down. I’ve luckily (or unluckily) inherited from my aunt an intense desire to seek specific items. If I’m after a particular item, I search everywhere, ebay, google, high streets etc until I find it or something like it :O
As for make up, well a lot of Japanese gals use make up from brands that are available here as well, like Revlon, Maybelline, Bourjois and higher end brands such as MAC, NARS, Bobbie Brown, YSL and Chanel.
As for the Japanese cosmetic companies of Canmake, Charcott and Candydoll amongst others, I can’t say I’ve found a place where I can physically buy them, so I buy them online at Ichibankao or Alphabeauty (on ebay).
9. Do you have any advice for newcomers who feel a little apprehensive about joining the style?
If you decided to join communities and post photos of your style, just be prepared for the outcome and take the con criticism onboard, and ignore the negative criticism as it serves no purpose.
10. Finally, as you know the aim of this series is to promote a better image of ‘Gaijin Gyaru’ by showing that it’s not only the Japanese gals who can get it right. How are YOU representing Gaijin Gyaru?
ahh how do I represent gaijin gyaru :O
Eee this is a difficult one as I sometimes don’t feel very gal if I’m honest but I try and am always trying to be better.
I‘d say I represent it with my blog, although its not 100% gal because it includes my other interest as well. I try to update with news about gal make up items, gal photo spams and my own coordinates and make up photos.
Also whenever anyone in my tiny town compliments an aspect of my style I’ll mention gal to them and see if they seem interested.
I’d like to be more physically involved in gal events in the UK but money and time doesn’t permit it.
A note from bloomzy: Alanna is a good friend of mine, and without trying to be too bias she carries off Gal very well. Her make-up skills are amazing, and she really does the latest make-up trends perfectly. I also admire her for being able to carry off so many styles without losing her identity/looking any less gal.
Her posts are interesting and helpful – I especially enjoy her reviews and tutorials. Check Alanna out @ Viva Rilakkuma Time.