Digital Kawaii Interview with Xuetong Guan
Hello, our Kira friends! Kirakira World is so excited to finally reveal our first Kira Star interview with Xuetong Guan; an Australian influencer with 1,477 followers on Instagram who knows so much about Kawaii fashion! We are so lucky to have a chance to do an interview with her as her knowledge of fashion is so deep. We were so intrigued to hear about the story of how she was able to develop her own unique kawaii fashion, so in this interview, she will share her story of how she got into Kawaii fashion in her childhood and styling tips. If you are a kawaii fan, you don’t want to miss this out! Check it out below:
⭐ Now let's dive in!⭐
Kira: How would you define your kawaii fashion?
Xue: I've always strived to go beyond definition; I like to leave room for the imagination in my form of self-expression. I aim to combine elements of various different sub-styles into my outfits, such as incorporating techwear into JK fashion or even adding a touch of cyberpunk to formalwear. Just like painting or sculpting, fashion is also a form of art — and you are the canvas.
(Dark lolita look for Oz Comic Convention)
Kira: We are so happy to collaborate with you! Do you have any standards or criteria when you are deciding who to collaborate with? And what was your Kirakira World impression?
Xue: When it comes to collaboration, it is important to work with brands you believe in. Everything from visual presentation to values, as well as work ethics all, defines a brand. KiraKira World stood out to me because the brand reflects my style; cute yet versatile and ever-changing. I also appreciate the diversity KiraKira World has in terms of featuring creators of all different backgrounds and fashion styles, it really shows a genuine connection with their creators and audience.
Kira: Why did you choose our product Soft Vintage Grunge Plaid Lolita Dress for giveaway to your followers? What did you like about it?
Xue: For the giveaway, I chose the Soft Vintage Grunge Plaid Lolita Dress because it's simple yet unique. It is especially suitable for people like me who love to experiment with all kinds of looks since it can be styled easily. You can wear it as a cute Lolita dress, incorporate accessories and create a Jirai Kei outfit, add some ripped stockings and make it punk, or wear a blazer and look smart casual.
Kira: What’s your goal?
Xue: I would love to meet and work with more talented creators on the platform and collaborate on fun projects together!
Kira: You have very unique fashion and saw one of your posts in which you showed yourself when you were young and transitioning to fashion now. Since when have you realized that you were into fashion and what made you get into kawaii fashion?
Xue: Thank you! I have always been super invested in fashion and visual presentation as a kid. I remember enjoying a lot of shows and movies, not for the story, but rather for the fascinating costume design. My mother was also a major influence in my life since she has always been interested in thrifting, clothes-making, and dressing-up from a young age. She always wanted to dress me up as a child but due to my low self-confidence, I was convinced I could never be fashionable myself. This all changed during high school when I decided to develop my skills and expertise in art and design, which gave me opportunities to meet fashionable people and explore fashion as well. Naturally, I became more and more comfortable in my own skin and have only become more confident since then.
Kira: We have noticed from your account that recently your fashion is more focused on the dark atmosphere and black fashion compared to before posting. Were there any emotional changes, inspired by something, or what has been changed?
Xue: It's interesting that people have been noticing actually, and I've never explicitly tried to rationalize it until now. I've always been an optimistic and motivated person, and I still am. Admittedly, there were major events in my life where I could have chosen to give up or go down the wrong path. In fact, having been working in the industry of design, architecture, and fashion, I am aware that there are a lot of negative stigmas, particularly in terms of mental health. Ironically, people always say 'don't judge a book by its cover', yet it's so easy to make assumptions about someone, especially through the way they dress and express themselves. I used to try too hard to maintain a sunny, 'happy-go-lucky' image to make sure people knew I was happy. But now, I just want to show people I can be as many things as I want. I can be invested in my appearance and still excel at my studies; spend a lot of time socializing and still be hardworking; coexist with my hardships and 'darkness' while still being a positive, ambitious, and resilient person.
Kira: How would you define your kawaii fashion? What is that you most care about in your fashion?
Xue: The biggest thing I care about in terms of my fashion style is that it must represent me. I love it when an outfit complements my body shape, feels comfortable, and is fun to wear. Hence, I love mixing and matching, like putting jewelry on my shoes, changing my pants into arm-warmers, or making shirts into hats. Fashion is only enjoyable when you're having fun.
(A purple 'taro-themed' outfit for a picnic)
Kira: When we saw your Instagram account, all the posts seemed to be very artistic, and one post that grabbed our attention was that you wrapped your body and face, called ‘light and shadow’? What were you trying to show in that art piece? We would also like to know if that’s showing in your fashion?
Xue: They are actually photos from a modeling photoshoot! The project is created by talented photographers Adam Park and Shunan Li, where harsh lighting and high contrast were used to create a visual relationship between light and shadow. The focal point of the piece was to show how lighting interacted with the human body, and how it can be manipulated to create feelings of tension, struggle, comfort, and tenderness, all at the same time.
Kira: What do you think is the kawaii trend right now? And how do you stay up with the trends?
Xue: I think we are going through an interesting shift in fashion at the moment, with the rise of countless new sub-styles and people disassociating themselves from labels and categories. I am personally very excited about it since people are realizing that clothing can be a very personal thing. I am very much the same, I don't feel the need to fit in just because something is popular. On the contrary, I also don't feel any pressure to stay unique or original either, because I simply want to dress in a way that makes me feel confident and genuine. Art and fashion can only evolve when there are no restrictions to being creative, and that's why it's good that people are actively challenging trends.
Kira: What items do you recommend to beginners of Kawaii? Can you pick one from our store? (dress, shoes, dolls, etc.)
Xue: I would definitely recommend starting with basic pieces like dresses or skirts, then gradually building your collection of tops and accessories to match them. For example, I would start off with a Kawaii Heart Buckle Belt Pleated Skirt, then explore T-shirts and sweatshirts you like to go with it.
Kira: Can you do styling recommendations for choosing items from our store? And can you tell us more about the styling you chose?
Xue: If I wanted to build a cool set that can also be worn casually, I would start off with a Black Lace Knitted Crop Tank Top as it is very flexible to style. I would then pair it with a Goth Lace Up Black Leather Skirt to reinforce the kawaii gothic energy. On the bottom, I would wear the Japanese Letters JK Pantynose, then topped with the Punk Cross Chain Platform Boots to add layers and detail to the fit. The E-Girl Black PU Short Jacket would be the outerwear of my choosing as it's stylish and warm at the same time. To accessorize, I would match my outfit with cute Black Ribbon Hair Clips and balance it out with a gothic Black PU Leather Choker. I would pick the Goth Chain Shoulder Handbag to go with my outfit as it coordinates with my accessories and has large inventory space.❤️
Kira: Is there anything that you want to say to your fans and followers?
Xue: Express your style and explore your interests to the max. Don't be afraid to walk down roads nobody has stepped foot on. Anything can be used as self-expression and something you are afraid might be 'too weird' now might become a trend in the future!
(Collaboration photoshoot for EOTD contacts)