When we think of vintage fashion, we probably go back to the 60s, possibly the 50s, or maybe even the 30s! But for Holly, a.k.a. Aliferous Angel, her vintage style extends to an era far beyond that. By taking cues from the Victorian era and adding some Japanese street fashion elements, Holly has created a signature demure antique style. Having discovered a community who also love to dress in vintage-esque Cult Party Kei, this solidified her love for fashion. Now, Holly furthers her love for all-things-vintage by collecting vintage toys and oddities which add to her antique lifestyle. We interviewed Holly about her style and being inspired by a bygone era!
Please introduce yourself to The COMMunity!
Hello, my name is Holly! I’m a lover of all things antique, vintage, and the macabre!
I’m from a small island at the bottom of the world called Tasmania (Australia). I live in Tokyo and work as an English teacher!
This issue we’re exploring different eras of Japanese fashion. Which fashion era inspires you the most, and why?
I like to dress in and collect clothing from the late Victorian era, especially the Belle Époque era of 1871-1914, mainly focusing on the 1890s and early 1900s. I also sometimes dabble in the Taisho era styles of the 1920s, modan garu! A lot of my posts are actually of the style I like to call “Antique Kei” or “Vintage Kei” which combines elements from “Dolly Kei”, “Cult Party Kei” and Victorian and other historical fashions.
It’s difficult for me to choose a favourite era, just because I like to change up my style A LOT! But if I had to say, I would say the older the better, haha!
Tell us about your first encounter with Japanese street fashion. What drew you to antique style?
My first encounter with Japanese fashion surprisingly wasn’t any antique style, but was Gyaru and Harajuku fashion! I stumbled across Japanese models such as Tsubasa Masuwaka in Popteen Magazine and artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu one day and from there just delved more and more into the fashions and culture!
As for what drew me to antique fashion, I discovered the fashion style called “Cult Party Kei” and completely fell in love with it! From there I found some friends who dressed in the style but in a more “antique” way, incorporating the elements of historical styles that I had always loved!
How do you incorporate this aesthetic into your everyday lifestyle, aside from dressing in an antique style? Do you visit antique fairs and collect vintage items?
I try to incorporate aspects of my antique style as much as possible in my everyday life. When I have to work, it’s toned down as much as possible but I like to wear a pair of antique-style glasses or do my hair in a historical-inspired way! But on weekends and days off I like to go all out, often sporting a 130-year-old blouse or hat! Aside from actually dressing in an antique style, I often visit antique fairs and markets in my free time. I’m always on the hunt for antiques, old photos, etc!
Top 5 fashion must-haves?
1. I never leave the house without my antique-style round glasses, it’s quintessential Holly at this point, haha!!
2. A bonnet or some type of antique-style hat. I feel like it just really completes the style nicely!
3. My huge antique-style bag. I often carry too much with me, so having a large and sturdy bag is a must-have!
4. A pair of antique-style platforms or boots! My go-to shoes are either my Tokyo Boppers or my Victorian-style boots, but I also love to wear my super comfy Doctor Martens when I’m walking long distances.
5. Lace!! I love lace!! You can’t go wrong with lace. It’s a part of every outfit I wear. Antique lace is my favourite, but you can find newer lace and tea-dye it to give it an antique look!
What are your future goals and dreams?
I currently have a lot of aspirations and goals for the future. The biggest one I’m working on right now is sewing. I’ve always struggled with tasks that require dexterity, but I’m determined to succeed! I’d love to be able to create my own outfits from scratch. A lot of people I follow who dress in historical styles sew their own outfits, so naturally I would think it’s only appropriate that I try, too!
Any last words?
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my style with the community! I’d love to meet more people who share the love of antiques and historical fashion! It would be fantastic to have a Meet and Greet one day—I’d love to make some more friends! Let’s spread the vintage love!
Assistance and BTS filming: @anna.boat.prem
Introduction and questions by Choom.