SERGEANT NANAKO: VICTORIAN – GOTHIC LOLITA FASHION STYLE
Model/Cosplayer/The Star and Make – Up Artist: Tina Camua a.k.a. Sergeant Nanako
Photographers: Jana Punzalan (Nikon D3200)
Klen Manalo (Nikon D90)
Editor in charge: Lovely Del Mundo
J-Fashion is usually associated with unique fashion style, experimentive combination of clothing, festive colors, Kawaii, and Harajuku. What makes Japan stand out in the world of Fashion is being UNIQUE and LIBERATING in terms of pattern and color combination in one style. When you say Japanese Fashion, most of the people will automatically relate it with cosplaying. For all we know that Japan is famous for Anime. But that doesn’t stop there. All I can say is when I discovered about it, J-Fashion has wider range of styles and offers a lot of options which is really cool.
Personally, my favorite J-Fashion style is Mori Girl. If I have I chance, I would present it in my way. It’s like red little riding hood in a Japanese style but of course it’s not necessarily to be always red. I also prefer the modernized way of being a Mori Girl. The bloggers that convinced me to appreciate J-fashion style are Tricia Gosingtian and Chai Mungcal. J-Fashion is not delusional and limited to anime cosplay only. You can also incorporate your personal touch into to it just use the magic of your creativity.
Most of all, the person who gave me a glimpse or I must say opened the curtain of this J-Fashion power to me is a long-time high school best friend of mine. She influenced me more in watching anime/live action and J-pop soundtrack compiling. She is actually my idol with her superb talent in drawing. *worship* She’s also a violinist. *cheering* She also finished her study in Dress Making. Now, she’s actually the topic of this blog. Please welcome… Tina Camua a.k.a. Sergeant Nanako.
Next, you’ll read her personal answers regarding my interview questions about her style, label and history of Sergeant Nanako and see the best of its photography.
Sergeant Nanako is an aspiring illustrator, cosplayer and has her own fashion statement. Like many anime lover in the world, I started watching anime when I was about 11 years old and started to read manga at age 12 by my cousin’s influence, and this started my journey to draw.
By the time I was in fourth year college, I bought a manga book in a thrift sale and it featured Nana Kitade in a Punk Lolita outfit, I thought it’s fabulous. During college, I was a bit of ashamed of being influenced by J-Pop culture as I was secretly doing photoshoots by snatching away our family Digicam whenever I’m alone in our house. I transform wearing Harajuku fashion. Since then, I longed for wearing such clothes and cosplay, but didn’t have enough money to go further and was afraid what might my religious relatives say or think that I’ve already gone crazy. So, I just wore pieces of being a Harajuku baby, from beret, boots, etc. That time, I created another facebook account under the name “Nanako Sumemura” where I could post anything from cosplays, dressroom play, to drawings. I want without the judgement of neither my parents nor my relatives and so on.
By the time I finished college, I started to learn more about illustrating digitally in Makati under my first mentor. Also during that course, I changed my pen name to Sergeant Nanako because I was inspired to what our pastor preached us on one Sunday: that we are all servants of the Lord and that we are here to commit ourselves to serve Him, our family, and other people. That really struck me then I changed my pen name. I also didn’t like that fact that my pen name was nonsense and just using it for the heck of dreaming to be Japanese. I liked the idea of being a military image, then I stumbled at the word ‘sergeant’: it’s based on a French word meaning ‘to serve’. Later years I joined numerous art groups and have studied further to learn more about traditional tools from other masters to hone my craft from manga to portraits to illustration and so on, extending my help to wattpad writers by making few book covers. I was known as a master chibi, since I usually make chibi portraits. Aside from that, I also loved drawing grown up out of our young anime characters that we loved decades ago. Other than that, I usually draw myself in a sergeant uniform or military Lolita dresses.
- What is Sergeant Nanako’s style influence?
Ideally, Sergeant Nanako style is all about Military Lolita (And I will be doing that soon…). But I started out originally as a punk and gothic Lolita fan, which are the ones that you see in photos. The first time I saw a Lolita fashion was from the Shoujo Beat manga I bought from a book shop and there’s Nana Kitade being featured in that magazine. Since then, I looked over the internet to learn more about some cords then when I had some active Lolita friends in my facebook from other parts of the world. At first, I was insecure when I see their photos, but later I started to appreciate their own style. I guess they influenced and inspired me more.
- What’s your fashion label?
I liked having an innocent, but brave and a bit of a rebel heart look or rakista look. I was fond of wearing boots, berets, brooch, black and anything elegant but corporal. I didn’t like looking pa-sweet all the time. I’d rather hold a weapon in a fashionable way! Hoho! Shades of strong colored hues is what I liked best like black, bloody red and maroon, navy blue, military green and elegant violet are on the list; pastel colors didn’t looked good on me since I’m actually have fair-tanned skin.. So in my style there’s lace, dark hues of red and black, boots, and some sweet accents.
- How did you start and what made you start this hobby?
Eh? My history?… Tsk… I wasn’t really proud of it… hehe… Anyways… The time I saw Nana Kitade rock puck Lolita through the pages, I don’t know but I kinda liked it and simply I knew it would look good on me… I started browsing my wardrobe, but meeeen, it wasn’t easy. Haha! I never had a knee socks or cute black shoes, or anything lacey clothes… I remember secretly snatching my dad’s high length black socks and his office red tie! My make-up was just plain powder, blush-on and eyeliner. As for my accessories, I grabbed all my accessories, they were actually just ordinary watch, bracelets, etc, just to recreate Kitade’s bundle of bracelets she had on the photo then I grabbed my brown teddy bear and started to pose!
Since then, I longed for wearing such clothes and cosplay and further better clothes like my facebook Lolita friends have, but didn’t have enough money to go further and were afraid what might my religious relatives say or think I’ve gone crazy, so I just wore pieces of being a Harajuku baby. By the year 2010, my secret is out. They knew I was crazy. I mean, I wear such things. If I have free hours alone, again I would have a photoshoot by myself using cellphone, taking selfies or mirror selfies and upload them and I’m proud of myself for others did recognize my look and the clothes weren’t bad as before, hahaha! And, that’s when our friend Jana comes in the scene asking me to do photoshoot in “full armor”… err…whot?!
Well, I am just very proud of you Camu! I didn’t know that you are already collaborating with wattpad writers already. 😮 On the photo shoot day, I was not able to join them but able to see the results on the same day. Of course, this won’t be possible without our talented photographer friends Jana and Klenn! You are awesome guys, Cheers to more of this! 😀
Everyone one of us has this passion concealed within us. Remember how Sergeant Nanako started? She did everything secretly like having photo shoot alone snatching her family’s camera, her dad’s red tie or anything just to fulfill this hidden desire to wear such clothes and to cosplay. Now, she can freely model and express her love about this certain hobby without any doubts. It’s because of the people who believed on her and she never let go with the passion she has on this. You might be doubtful in the beginning with anything you are passionate about too because of the possible judgements of the people around you but remember don’t let fear conquer you and you’ll be able to soar high with your dreams.
Follow Sergeant Nanako on Facebook, to all the Lolita, Harajuku, and Anime Cosplay Enthusiast out there… you will love her swear! ❤