takagi presents TGC KITAKYUSHU by TOKYO GIRLS COLLECTION 2017
Oct. 21, 2017 at West Japan General Exhibition Center Annex, Kitakyushu
Tokyo Girls Collection – also known as TGC – is a semi-annual fashion show originally held in Tokyo and nearby areas such as Saitama and Yokohama. The show proved so popular that it has spread to other parts of Japan including Nagoya, Okinawa, Kitakyushu, and Hiroshima, even overseas in Beijing. TGC in Kitakyushu, or “takagi presents TGC KITAKYUSHU by TOKYO GIRLS COLLECTION”, as it is officially titled, began in 2015 and has grown bigger and more popular in Kyushu every year. With 15 clothing brands and 11 booths, this year’s TGC in Kitakyushu was a jampacked event from start to finish, with approximately 12,000 people in attendance.
Standing in line to enter the West Japan General Exhibition Center Annex, one can easily tell that the event is for the fashion-conscious – even casual outfits appeared to be carefully assembled. Since most of the featured brands and booths are geared for females, it’s no surprise that most of the visitors are young women. However, it was a nice surprise to see parents with their children and young men, too!
Inside the venue, visitors swarmed around the booths including event’s main sponsor Takagi Resort, hair removal shop Kireimo, Kumamoto-based sweets shop Higoroccafe, green juice Fabius, taxi company Daiichi, and Amazing Thailand. Most of the booths offered swag in exchange for answering surveys, presents for uploading photos to social media, and cute photo spots for the perfect Instagram shots.
With so much to see and line up for, there wasn’t enough time to drop by all the booths before the lights dimmed and the show began to excited screams from the audience. Fortunately the programme offered two long breaks in between for this purpose.
The word “show” might be too simplistic to describe what Tokyo Girls Collection really is. Think Victoria’s Secret for the kawaii, with cute outfits instead of underwear: models walking down the runway amid flashing lights and in time to the beat of the music, with live performances in between. Except the models aren’t your usual professional runway models – they are also celebrities popular with the young crowd, actors, actresses, idols and singers. Katie from New Zealand said, “I was surprised that most people there seemed like they were fans of the models, rather than the clothing brands. So every time a model they knew was on stage, they would scream her name and yell ‘kawaii!’ non-stop!”
Indeed, TGC is the ultimate hodgepodge of the phenomenon that is J-pop or the Japanese pop culture. As one of Fukuoka Now’s TGC giveaway contest winners, Azlynne from Malaysia said, “My exposure to Japanese pop culture until now had been limited at best. The event, which combined famous Japanese fashion models, fashion brands, artists and actors all in one place, gave me an entertaining insight into this phenomenon.”
Visitors looking forward to a fun fashion show would not be disappointed. As models sashayed down the runway, they would pose, wink, blow kisses, and wave to applause and admiring screams. The standing area surrounding the runway provided a distance close enough to catch some of the freebies the models would throw to the audience, such as candies, or even a bag! Suthisa from Thailand regrets not catching any, but remarked that the show was “a great chance to update my fashion. It made me want to dress up more.”
Time might fly when one is having fun, but the four-hour length of the event was still felt by many. Julie from Germany remarked, “I admire the endurance of the attendees – my feet sure are sore!” Perhaps walking around is key. Bee from Thailand dropped by all the booths, saying, “the most interesting one was fortune telling!”
Runway shows and booths aside, the live performances definitely did not disappoint. All-girl band Faky opened the stage with a rocking performance while Shuta Sueyoshi of pop group AAA proved he has what it takes solo, too. Visual kei band Golden Bomber had the audience jumping and dancing to their well-known single “Memeshikute” (Effeminate) and even held a fashion show of their own. Female idol group Keyakizaka46 was welcomed with thunderous applause, bringing the house down with their act.
After a colorful ending of confetti and streamers, the audience received a final surprise from TGC at the exit: goody bags that included a 30-day green juice pack from Fabius. Those looking to buy original TGC items might want to buy early on in the event, though, as most items were already sold out by the end.
To read about Fukuoka Now’s report on Fukuoka Asia Collection (FACo) 2013, click here.
Report by Irene Ladignon (Philippines, Fukuoka Now). Special thanks to Julie Scheurl (Germany), Katie Angelova (New Zealand), Bee Pimnipa Tulawasincharoen (Thailand), Azlynne Yuen (Malaysia), Suthisa Rojanasuwan (Thailand) and Ngô Nữ Tường Vy (Vietnam).