Fashion isn’t just for girls!

If I asked you to explain to me what you think Japanese fashion looks like, you would most likely tell me about young girls in Harajuku, wearing dramatic clothes with bright colours and frills. However, not only women get to experience the wonders of the street style districts in Tokyo. Men also experience the many subtypes of fashion that I have been discussing throughout the progression of this blog and use fashion as a way to express themselves just as equally as women do.

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So let’s begin discussing the subtypes of Male fashion in Japan: 

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Genderless Kei:
This subtype of Japanese fashion is a fairly new trend that has been gaining popularity during the 2010’s. It features males and females wearing whatever clothes that they feel expresses their identity, regardless of their intended gender. This androgynous trend  has taken Tokyo’s streets by a storm. Many men wear dresses and Lolita/kawaii objects (see previous posts) to express their genderless style.

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Visual Kei:
Eyeliner, leather jackets and punk rock hairstyles, all are the key items needed for a successful Visual Kei outfit. Inspired by J-rock (Japanese rock), this subtype of Japanese fashion is very punk inspired and can be seen on the streets of Japan.

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Gyaruo:
Gyaruo is the male version of Gyaru (mentioned in a previous blog). They sport bleach blonde hair, tanned skin and youth/beach inspired clothing. They believe in glam shopping and care a lot about appearance. Gyaruo can be seen shopping in the district of Shibuya.

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Street Kei: 
Inspired by US trends, the street Kei trend follows closely to hiphop and down town trends in the USA. They remain neat and designer labeled, but also have an element of casual/street attire. This subtype is greatly influenced by American popular culture and lacks in its own unique attributes like other Japanese fashion styles.

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Mode Kei:
Mode Kei is a casual street style. What sets this subtype apart from others, is that every piece of clothing is designer. They stroll the streets of Tokyo in brands like Gucci, Prada and Dior. They bring bold, statement pieces to the streets of Tokyo and usually are the trend-setters in the Japanese fashion industry.

Although there are many types of male fashion, in this post I have explored a few key types for you to learn. This post was in response to a question I received about why I have not represented many males in my posts about fashion. I hope this is a sufficient response, but as always, if you have any questions please ask and stay tuned for more 🙂

What is Gothic Lolita and are there other types of Lolita’s?

Lolita is a subculture of fashion that is wildly popular in Japan. It features European and Victorian styled clothing, with short skirts, extravagant frills, bows and stockings, the Lolita trend has been in fashion since the 1970’s, making its debut into everyday street-style during the 1990’s. People who identify with the Lolita fashion style can be seen in the districts of Shibuya and Harajuku.

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Gothic Lolita’s are a subtype of the Lolita trend. They tend to wear all black clothing, with over-the-top lace and stockings that usually cover most of the leg. The sexualisation and fetish aspect of the Lolita trend usually is not met by the Gothic Lolita’s, in the sense that they do not represent child-like tendencies that other Lolita style types do. Gothic Lolita’s, although not adult-like, their style is very mature in comparison to other Lolita’s, with their all black attire representing a form of maturity in comparison. Gothic Lolita’s have impacted the international fashion market, with their all black style becoming increasingly a staple in international retail.

Subtypes of Lolita’s: 

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Sweet Lolita’s dress in child-like attire. This style of Lolita is very popular in the international media and is replicated by a lot of people. This style of Lolita is criticised for occasionally sexualising childhood. Sweet Lolita’s love the concept of Kawaii (view previous blog) and love the colours pink & purple.

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Brolita’s are men who find the Lolita trend appealing. Although Lolita focuses mainly on feminine outfits, this style is for everybody and Brolita’s can sometimes be found in Japanese districts.

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I explained Gothic Lolita’s above, but as I said previously: they are an all black style of Lolita, expressing a more mature and covered look in comparison to other Lolita’s.

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The classic Lolita look is the less embellished form of a sweet Lolita, it contains more colour than Gothic Lolita’s, but it is definitely a lot less extravagant than a sweet Lolita.

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Punk Lolita’s are similar to gothic Lolita’s, in the sense that they demonstrate a darker, rock aspect to their appearance. But Punk Lolita’s also express themselves with extra accessories e.g. chains & skulls.

There are many subtypes of Lolita’s, but the ones I have mentioned in this post are just the most popular in Japan. Lolita fashion is popular not only in Japan, but also internationally. It provides an escape from adulthood, allowing its followers to embrace their previous childhood.

Thanks for reading this post! Please remember to ask any questions you have and I will endeavour to answer them A.S.A.P. Next post I will be discussing male fashion in Japan and its importance in the fashion industry. So I hope you are looking forward to that post and continue to learn about the Japanese fashion industry with me 🙂

The Power of Kawaii

Picture: Hello Kitty, Rainbows, Pink and bright colours, all of these thing are what the Japanese call “Kawaii”. “Kawaii” is the Japanese word for cute. When it comes to this trend, its followers like to dress in child-like clothing to capture a level of innocence and youth.
The mass following of Kawaii started in the 1970’s when the Japanese public wanted to rebel against the conventional fashion that had been in their country for centuries and the expectations it came with.
ff9f1d4a31ddcd44298ea67741b4d786.jpg Kawaii can be seen as a type of escape for the Japanese public, especially during their time of economic crisis throughout the mid-to-late 1900’s. Companies used Kawaii as a marketing strategy for their products, placing cute images and cartoons onto their marketing campaigns to appeal to an international market and not allow the international public to see their time of hardship.

Japanese women began using Kawaii as a way to hide their sexuality, by adjusting their image and personalities to be more child-like. Having the luxury to hold onto childhood demonstrates the fight against accepting adult responsibilities and opens up a world that embraces creativity and individuality that is seldom found in a grown up modern world.

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There is no one fashion subculture that falls under the Kawaii trend, but Dekora definitely expresses an immense level of “Kawaii” inspired objects and accessories. This fashion subculture characterised by its bright colours and over-the-top items has taken the streets of Tokyo by a storm, districts like Harajuku (mentioned in my last post!) have Dekora inspired outfits everywhere.
The cute culture appeals predominantly to a younger audience of teens – young adults. It is usually embraced by youths trying to hold onto their final years of being children or by adults fighting to not accept that they must take on further responsibilities.
Other fashion subtypes that are influenced by Kawaii are: Fairy Kei, Sweet Lolita, Cosplayers and many more. It is a lifestyle that is open to anyone and is not limited to anything other than what people subjectively find cute.

Thank you for reading another blog by me, please remember to ask me any questions that you may have, I always try my best to answer them all to the best of my ability. Next post we will be discussing the Lolita trend (specifically Gothic Lolita’s). I hope you look forward to that post, and continue to learn about Japanese fashion with me 🙂

The hub of Tokyo’s fashion

Tokyo is not only the capital of Japan but it is also the Japanese capital of fashion and potentially one of the trend-setting capitals of the world.
Fashion shows move off the cat walk and onto the streets of the cities district’s. Showcasing bright, expressive and culturally impacting styles that are fascinating to all that observe it. Two of the major districts in Tokyo for fashion are Shibuya and Harajuku. They are filled with fashion conscious shoppers daily, each expressing their style that matches the district they are in.

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Shibuya:

 

Shibuya is the most active shopping district in all of Tokyo. It is the home of department stores and attracts a large audience of pre teens and teens.  It is known for three of the most popular shopping streets in Tokyo: Spain Zaka, Koen Dori and Center Gai. Center Gai is the hub for the fashion subculture of Gyaru. People who identify as Gyaru go for a fashion glam look, usually sporting beach style hair and tans.
Shibuya attracts a lot of young people that are still trying to find their styles or are more interested in a glam-based look. Many of the styles that Shibuya cater to are very similar to Western clothing, with trends constantly changing.
Shibuya is known for its iconic shopping centre Shibuya 109 or “ichi maru kyu”. In the video I have linked below by a YouTuber called “Ines Japan” you will be able to see how large Shibuya 109 is and the many different styles it caters to.

From this video you can see how versatile the shopping options are in Shibuya, but it is still mainly targeted to a younger audience, where older shoppers usually like to avoid.

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Harajuku: 

Harajuku is internationally known for its young, energetic and extreme fashion choices. This district attracts crowds of youths from ages 13 – early 20’s, each expressing their own individual interpretation of the fashion subculture that they wish to portray. Harajuku has made its way into many Western main-stream music, inspiring artists such as Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj and (most famously) Gwen Stefani.
Harajuku’s streets are lined with inexpensive stores that are home to Kawaii (cute) clothing, Lolita fashion options as well as a multitude of other flamboyant options for their shoppers. In the back streets of Harajuku shoppers can find vintage clothing stalls packed with accessories and other items, this can range from older victorian clothing items (Gothic Lolita) to 80’s inspired items.
Many international fashion designers keep an eye on the Harajuku district, as it is the source for a lot of trends that can sometimes be seen entering the international fashion market.

Both Shibuya and Harajuku are fashion forward districts in Tokyo city. Each allowing the population to buy clothing and to have a space to express themselves through the outfits that they were. If you are looking for a more modern, Western feeling to shopping Shibuya is definitely the district for you, but if you are interested in the many styles and fashion expressions of Japan, you should go to Harajuku.

Don’t forget to leave me a comment if you have any questions about this topic, I would love to give you some more information if you need it. Next post will be about the culture of Kawaii and how it has influence over Japan. Thanks for coming 🙂

Welcome to “Fashion in Japan!”

The Japanese fashion industry is well-known for its bright colours, expressive outfits and outrageous trends. Looking good is a necessity that fashion conscious members of the Japanese public are willing to spend thousands to keep up with.

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The districts of Harajuku and Shibuya are Tokyo’s capital’s for fashion, showcasing Japanese youth’s expression of fashion. They have been a haven for pop culture and will be a topic that is discussed throughout this blog. Other topics include the subcultures of Gothic Lolita and Kawaii and their influence on how Japanese culture is evolving. The influence teens have on the production of fashion within Japan and the way that Western fashion industry impacts how the Japanese population’s opinion on what is beautiful will also be key points that I will address in future blog posts.

Stay tuned to see the progression of my blog and allow me to teach you about the subcultures of the Japanese fashion industry. Together we will discover how positive and occasionally negative Japan’s fashion market can be!

Don’t forget to leave me some comments on each post for me to reply to! No question is a dumb question, I will be more than happy to answer anything that you asked. Thank you for reading my first post and I hope to see you again. 🙂