Get Inspired: Japanese Street style

Around the world, designers, stylists and magazines dictate fashion but there is a place, where these important people act only as catalysts to the fashion scenario.

The destination being JAPAN, where fashion is purely led by the youth and by what they wear.

Be UNIQUE, Stand OUT, Make NOISE, and be YOURSELF… being their motto.

The only place where the youth sells fashion and act as stylists and marketers. The trendy fashion conscious teenagers who are admired for their style work as salesgirls to promote brands and their own style statement and sometimes they even end up designing for these stores. Without any formal degree in design and fashion these teenagers must surely be really talented.

Shoppers and Stylists at shops in Harajuku

According to me, fashion in Japan is quite pictographic; there is so much symbolism, expression and rebellion. What’s more unique is the fact that there are magazines for everything, from fashion in various districts to manga and anime, magazines for working women in various age groups to magazines for hairstylists and makeup artists and even for various fashion cultures and their sub cultures.

Biteki-working women: 20-30 years:Brand Joy-Info,well established brands:Curl- beauty & hair

Cazi Cazi-street fashion in kansai area:Choki Choki-hairstyle for men : Cosmode-Cosplay Mag

Japanese fashion to a layman might just be about kimono’s and the wooden geta sandals or the obi belt but what we don’t know is that it’s big on the street fashion scene. Street fashion as a category started from japan and ventured into different parts of the world. In the 1990’s,Youngsters on the streets of japan in shibuya and harajuku areas of tokyo marked a change in the way the youth were dressing. Out of all the same old uniform styles, an identity crises for individualism came about and the youth didn’t want to wear the clothes that everyone was wearing just because they were branded or in vogue. Therefore, they customized outfits by adopting a mixture of traditional and international current trends. The unique part of this street style being that these clothes were that they not available in any store rather they are suited to the wearer’s creativity and style. Therefore, each style and trend got divided into various sub categories as per the wearers experimenting capability. Like Lolita fashion was divided into ‘punk lolita’, ‘gothic lolita’, ‘sweet lolita’ and so on.

 customized, self crafted fashion

Even now such fashion is generally combined with handmade, secondhand and alternative designer fashion in an innovative ‘DIY’ (do-it-yourself) approach to dressing.

 Do-It-Yourself Style

In general the Japanese street style is eclectic. The Tokyoites would wear prints, plaids, leopard spots, ruffles, lace and Fair Isle knits, all topped with voluminous scarves, lots of fur trimmings or lots of accessories. The quirkier the better is their catch phrase, from clothes to headgears: with looks ranging from oversize earmuffs to a miniature pillbox or ‘kawaii’ hairbands and clips.

Eclectic Layering with volume, plaids, color,prints and texture

Talking about ‘kawaii’ let me describe this in more detail, Kawaii means “cute” or “pretty this plays an important role in Japanese culture, entertainment, food, clothing, toys, fashion and behavior. Kawaii fashion generally relates to someone wearing clothing that appears to be made for young children or clothes that accentuates the cuteness of the individual wearing the clothing.

'Kawaii' Fashion

For example, the ‘hello kitty’ that is really popular on clothing and accessories, be it teenage girls or adult women, this ‘kawaii’ character is seen all over the streets. It’s a bit like the short-lived ’80s nostalgia fad that hit North America recently, when girls were sporting My Little Pony and Strawberry Shortcake t-shirts.

 To accentuate this style, one can take the help of the ‘decora’ trend. Lots of layering and colorful accessories define decora. The accessories include plastic and furry toys and jewelry and more jewelry and more jewelry. The more the better is the key!

'Decora' Fashion

This is not the end to sweet things in japan, lets not forget the ‘fairy kei’ and ‘dolly kei’. There are lots of combinations of the pastel colors, or pink and red, pink and white and pink and black, with pink being the most abundant. Fairy style is being supported by an adult woman who prefers lovely items. The pioneer of fairy style is fashion producer Sebastian Masudea who opened the fairy cloth shop “6% DOKI DOKI” in 1996. He is coordinating everything by himself from the make up of shop clerks to exterior and interior according to his themes, which are “sensational and lovely”, “not only cute but also happy” and “feeling of unreality”.

'Fairy Kei' Fashion: A Photoshoot

6% Doki Doki: The famous Fairy Kei Store

Doki Doki: on Seattle Tv : From their travels of 2011

‘Dolly kei’ on the other hand,is one of Japan’s newer styles but unlike some of their trends its very earthy.It has a feel of medieval Celt and Russia, folksy garments which are antique centric.It takes inspiration from antique (and slightly spooky) dolls and movies such as Narnia, Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter.Its full of florals, furs and dark colours. Its cute in a fairy-tale kind of way reminiscent of a Russian doll.This style began when now infamous shop ‘Grimoire’ was opened.The Japanese are a well-known nature focused nation with Shinto and a belief in spirits therefore,this style  combines the gothic side of loligoth with the nature vibe of mori kei (forest girl).

Shop: Grimoire in shibuya,Tokyo

With all this and so much more, japan is a destination for inspiration and an amazing pool of art and craft. If this has excited you, there is more coming about in my next blog…soo keep reading know more about japan and its fashion and its subcultures..!

  1. #1 by Vithal Mittal on August 9, 2011 - 12:29 pm

    A visual feast, great analysis of something as vast as Japanese street fashion.! Look forward to seeing some more articles on Japanese fashion.

  2. #2 by bria on June 19, 2012 - 2:07 pm

    wow these pictures are GREAT!!!

  3. #3 by Vie on June 27, 2012 - 3:02 pm

    More art than fashion … Love it

  4. #4 by waapple on September 12, 2012 - 12:16 am

    very well explaniation of the street fashion culture. !

  5. #5 by on February 15, 2013 - 6:31 pm

    I really wish to book mark this particular post,
    “Get Inspired: Japanese Street style styleinsight”
    on my very own blog. Do you mind if perhaps I personallydo it?

    Many thanks -Annette

  6. #7 by on March 8, 2013 - 7:19 pm

    It’s difficult to find well-informed people for this subject, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about!

  7. #8 by genevaoke on June 27, 2013 - 5:33 pm

    It’s so funny I was just writing a post on Japanese fashions and I stumbled upon this :). I really like this post

  8. #9 by genevaoke on June 27, 2013 - 5:34 pm

    oh and can post a link to this post in my own?

    • #10 by styleinsight on June 28, 2013 - 6:40 am

      hey thanks soo much …yes you may post the link..:)

  9. #12 by Rachel on December 2, 2013 - 7:45 am

    I would like to know..If you live in the US, where can you buy certain items and accessories like this online or here in America? I would love to express some of those styles here, love it!

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