Thanks to behwatch @ AHS for the scans!
Hamasaki Ayumi Lady in Bloom
A moment from an excellent girly spring
Gently riding on Spring’s light breeze, the song princess AYU is here. Wrapped in well-chosen girly lace, even her hair and make-up give off spring vibes. A must-see: ayu reveals to Bea’s Up alone, her first time usage of brown eyeliner. But the inner voice of this girl has become rock, no matter what fashion she dons on the outside. So how is this girl like inside?
Maybe it’s because spring is here… Fashion and make-up have all taken a girly turn to give off such a style
She doesn’t remember ever changing her eyeliner, so this may be the first time she’s using a brown one.
Recent make-up has been highlighting her cheeks, with bright pink colours.
A change of clothes, from strength to tenderness, in preparation for a warm spring
On a sunny spring day, amidst the bustle of tour rehearsals and recordings, AYU enters a studio somewhere in the city to do filming for our magazine. The clothes she wore gave off a light and cute feel, something which we have not seen in the past from our beautiful song princess. Her fashion, make-up, nails… AYU, with her current style, brought out the trends of that time, the era of the “girl”. Before this, it had been all about leather, fur, and other such cool stuff, even her jewellry and dresses were elegant and high-class. For a change from this coordination of strength, she dons lace and flowers, creating an impressionable style that is all female.
“When it’s cold, I mostly go with black. For a brighter feel, I use grey. And when it got warmer, I wanted to try giving myself a complete makeover. That’s why my clothes have all become girly and bright recently. (laugh) First, I cut my hair short, and dyed it a brighter colour. Now, or rather recently, I’ve probably been moving towards a brighter direction. In contrast, winter is a dark period, so I always have that kind of dark impression for that time.”
Of course, to fit with the change in fashion, a change in make-up style is essential too. In the past, black eyeliner was always used to enhance the effect of her stunning large eyes, along with her signature long eyelashes.
“Because I was fixated on giving off a feeling of strength, I used black eyeliner. But today, I decided to try out a dark brown eyeliner for the first time, and it’s not bad. (laugh)”
Brown gives off a rather moderate and tender feel that is really gentle. Together with the lightness of her girly fashion, it came off really well. We also noticed that there’s been changes to her blusher recently, often employing colours ranging from orange-brown ~ coral.
“Before this, my cheeks have often been faintly coloured, but they do stand out now. And using bright colours such as pink is probably also a part of my makeover. A note about my previous make-up was the shadow effect from my cheekbones up to the temple, but now, the cheekbones have become the main focus.”
We asked about her trip to London for the new album’s production, which also turned out as a good chance for her to change her skincare regime as well.
“I had this image of a fog-filled city, and it was so cold that my hotel room needed lots of heating. As a result, it became really really dry inside. The local staff actually had to sprinkle water from bottles in the area around my bed. (laugh) That was how dry is was, so I had to take absolute care of my skin, with facial lotion at the very least. And while it didn’t get really bad, I totally realized the importance of moisturizing.”
And after she returned to Japan, an additional item was added to her bedside: the Panasonic Ion Steamer.
“There’s 2 kinds: one which is used while you’re in the bath, and another which is used while you’re sleeping. After I started using them, my skin condition has stabilized, so I’ve become really interested in such beauty-related items recently.”
Since last year, she has been following a full-blown training and jogging routine. Even now, she still keeps the practice of doing these once every 2 days.
“Probably because, if I don’t have the physical strength, I won’t be able to move around and sing while on stage.”
The new album and ayu’s rock
We asked AYU about her just released new album, and the worldview she holds for it.
“The reason why I chose to do the recording in London this time was because I wanted to make an album in a closed-off environment, sort of like a place where sunlight doesn’t reach. The songs this time are like me. They’re not liberal and open-minded. The songs which I’ve always made often share the same views and ideas as the listener, but this time, they’re more like shouts and prayers from my individual innermost self. With this image, I’ve probably gotten closer to how I was like inside when I first debuted. What I do in America has always been liberal and open, so that’s why I chose London this time instead.”
In fact, the music videos filmed in the UK are cold, and seem to possess a deep, meaningful worldview. The album title brings all the tracks to a higher level, and links them to AYU.
“Traditional Japanese, ethnic, European… With all these different sounds mixed together, it’s like a circus. And when I sing, they become rock. Rock is a very wide genre, and can include lots of different types of songs, but when I sing, it becomes rock. For example, even if I dress up in a girly manner like today and sing a ballad, rock will still be rock. And because rock exists in my soul, it will be reflected in whatever I do. The new album’s title “Rock’n’Roll Circus” reflects something interesting, scary, sad, weird, and a whole bunch of others mixed together. And that is what I think Rock&Roll is about.”
And from now on, AYU will start out on a long journey to bring this album to all her fans around the country. That will be something to top last year’s tour, with its 35 tours and 400,000 audience.
“The nationwide tour, which will be starting from now on, will be really enjoyable, so I certainly wish for everyone to come watch it, either alone or with a whole group of friends. I think that a-nation and CDL at the end of the year will be counting on this tour. And this release is something which I’ve planned for this year, so I hope everyone will look forward to it.”
The single that was released at the end of last year was her 47th. And if the releases keep on coming as she says they will, we may even have something as special as a 50th release this year.
The song princess, who is Japan’s representative, continues to run on without stop this year, changing and evolving.
Style and fashion are a reflection of feelings. That is something which cannot be shaken.