Kyary Pamyu Pamyu: Katy Perry’s Number One Fan
MTV Style catch up with the Kawaii Queen backstage at her Nanda Collection World Tour to talk all things KPez, Gwen Stefani and J-pop…
Looking at J-pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s stage set-up for her second ever London gig at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Tuesday 29 April, it isn’t hard to see who inspires her. From the giant light-up teddy bear, to a battered Jack-in-the-box and building blocks bearing her name, it has all the trappings of an early Katy Perry concert.
“The venue is a lot bigger than last time I was in London,” explains Kyary, backstage before the show. “I brought some stage sets from Japan and I think they could be used to create a promo video tonight.”
Perched on the corner of a sofa wearing a patterned Lazy Oaf shirt dress teamed with flatform Converse, the petite star shares where her signature kawaii style originated from. “When I was 16 I became interested in Harajuku culture and how they dressed,” she says. “I also like how Katy Perry looks, and Gwen Stefani, who was of course influenced by the Harajuku Girls and has a song named after them that I listened to.”
Appearing on stage later in a ruffled pink party dress, accessorised with an oversized hair bow and furry handbag, Kyary could easily have been the poster girl for Meadham Kirchhoff’s 2013 Topshop collection – as could her army of lookalike fans. Dressed in outfits inspired by Kyary’s PonPonPon and Candy Candy videos, their dedication is easily comparable with the most hardcore of Katycats, or even Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters.
“It makes me very, very happy to see my fans dressing like me,” says Kyary. “It’s different in the UK to Japan; the audience here are very happy and energised. There are also a lot of people wearing punk fashions with mohawks and everything. It’s very cool.”
Not only do her fans dress like her, but Kyary Pamyu Pamyu diehards can also dance like her, moving like wind-up dolls to her tracks Invader Invader, Cherry Bonbon and Fashion Monster. “I watch the fans on YouTube too and they emulate my style, but put their own spin on, which I really enjoy seeing,” says Kyary. “But recently I’ve been watching videos inspired by Frozen, where people dress up and sing like Princess Anna, which I really like.”
As for who else she’s into, Kyary says, “I’ve heard about Avril Lavigne’s Japanese-inspired Hello Kitty video, but I haven’t seen it, so I’m going to check that out. There’s a Japanese artist called Yuki who I like very much and I really like Katy Perry.” Singer, style icon and KPez’s number one fan; Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is our kind of girl.