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Japanese Fashion

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Nelson Chen

on 13 November 2014

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Transcript of Japanese Fashion

"Lolita" in Japan is associated with being cute, elegant and modest.
It is one of the most popular sub-cultures in Japan.
Closely related to aggressive femininity. It is seen as a confrontational reaction to the overtly sexualized representation of Japanese women.
Turned in the opposite direction and focuses on girlish innocence.
Wear clothes that you like without thinking of the criticism of others.
Japanese Fashion

Harajuku (原宿)
Lolita Fashion

Visual Kei
A visual style associated with Japanese music groups, became popular in the late 80s - mid 90s
Inspired by Western glam rock groups
Features make-up, elaborate hairstyles & costumes, and androgynous aesthetics

Nelson Chen, Laura MacDonald, Paul Trautrim, Kimberly Why, Evan Prowse
Japanese Brands and Influence
Many Elements of Japanese Fashion have leaked into western society and all around the world.

Are you wearing a Japanese brand today?
History of the Brand
Started to gain popularity in the early 90's alongside the rise of hip-hop

The Japanese fashion industry saw the rise of major brands that have emerged as leaders in high-fashion, street wear, athletics and basics
General Fashion & Influences
Visual Kei
International Brands and Influence
Lolita Fashion
Harajuku and Street Fashion
The Beginning
Lolita Culture
What is it?
Japanese Lolita fashion blends together many eras and styles together to create a individual and unique fashion.
Influenced mainly by Victorian children and the 50's Rococo style.
Targeted towards Japanese teenagers and women in their early to mid twenties.
Agenda: Brief Overview
Takeshita Street (竹下通り)
A Bathing Ape

It began in the 1980's when the streets Omotesando and Takeshita-dori in Harajuku were closed to motor traffic on Sundays.
Popular music and the visual Kei movement are what originally popularized the Lolita fashion trend.
The term "Lolita" came from the musician Mana who named his clothing line "Elegant Gothic Lolita".
Japanese clothing brand founded by Nigo in 1993.
9 stores in Japan, including Bape Stores, Bape Pirate Stores, Bape Kids Stores, Bapexclusive Aoyama, and Bapexclusive Kyoto.
There are also stores located in Hong Kong, London, New York, Taipei, Paris,Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul and Singapore.
Bape frequently collaborates with other brands and features characters from popular media such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Marvel comics characters,Nintendo, DC Comics, and Hello Kitty
On February 1, 2011, it was announced that A Bathing Ape was sold to Hong Kong fashion conglomerate I.T Group. I.T purchased a 90.27% stake in A BathingApe.
Musical artists such as the Beastie Boys, Pharrell, Kanye West, ASAP Rocky, ASAP Ferg, Kid Cudi, have all worn BAPE
Decora Style (デコラ)
History of Harajuku
In the final period of the Pacific War in 1945, Harajuku was burned to the ground during the Great Tokyo Air Raid.
Washington Heights (ワシントンハイツ)
Harajuku as it is now traces its roots to the end of World War II during the Allied occupation of Japan.
U.S. soldiers and government civilians and their families lived in a nearby housing area called Washington Heights.
Washington Heights was the U.S. Army officers’ residence near Harajuku created after the World War II.
Shops like Kiddy Land opened to cater to officers and their families.
It became an area where curious young people flocked to experience a different culture

Exist Trace, an all-female visual kei group
In 1958, Central Apartments were built in the area and were quickly occupied by fashion designers, models, and photographers.
In 1964, when the Summer Olympics came to Tokyo the Harajuku area was further developed, and the idea of “Harajuku” slowly began to take a more concrete shape.
Tanbi kei (耽美系)
-Tanbi kei is a subgenre of visual kei that adds elements from classic European fashion
Tokyo 1964 Olympics
After the olympics to now
Versailles, a tanbi kei group
-Noted as inspiration for the gothic Lolita style
-Also noted for its high number of male crossdressers
COSPLAY (コスプレ)

Cosplay is a portmanteau of
the Japanese words “costume” (コス) and “play” (プレ) and involves dressing up or acting out the part of a particular character
Nobuyuki Takahashi (高橋 信之) devised this word in 1984 during the World Science Fiction Convention in Los Angeles when he witnessed the costume masquerade and encouraged others to incorporate costumes into their anime conventions in Japan
Characters may be drawn from many sources: novels, movies, video games, comics, television or sometimes from the cosplayer’s own imagination

After the Olympics the young people who hung out in the area, frequently referred to as the Harajuku-zoku, or the Harajuku tribe, began to develop a distinct culture and style unique to different groups and the area.
In 1977, near Yoyogi park in Harajuku district, a large zone became open to pedestrians on Sundays. In its early days, dozens of teenagers wearing extremely bright costumes in vivid colors gathered to dance there.
Their exciting performance gathered such attention that the number of members rapidly increased, separating them into many small groups.
Takenoko-zoku (竹の子族) composed of more than 2000 young dancers attracted 1 million spectators at the peak of this craze
Nagoya kei (名古屋系)
deadman, a Nagoya kei group
-Nagoya kei is a subtype known for its dark and disturbing themes
Osare kei (オサレ系)
An Cafe, an Osare kei group
French for "Like Boys" and written in Japanese as コム・デ・ギャルソン is a Japanese fashion label headed by Rei Kawakubo, who owns the company with her husband Adrian Joffe.
Comme des Garçons is based in Tokyo and also in the prestigious Place Vendôme in Paris, the city in which they show their main collections during Paris Fashion Week and Paris Men's Fashion Week.
Each year, the company grosses about $180 million.
Notably, Björk wears Comme des Garçons in the music video for "Isobel". Other celebrities who have worn Comme des Garçons include Lady Gaga,

Comme des Garcons
In May 1984, a unisex casual wear store opened in Fukuro-machi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima under the name "Unique Clothing Warehouse". It was at this time that the name "Uniqlo" was born, as a contraction of "unique clothing".by April 1994, there were over 100 Uniqlo stores operating throughout Japan.
Uniqlo currently has over 1,400 stores in 16 markets worldwide
By April 2007, the company had set a global sales goal of $10 billion and a ranking among the top five global retailers, joining what at the time was Gap, H&M, Inditex, and Limited Brands.
In recent years their footwear has been ranked among to performing footwear in the market
Produces footwear for a variety of sports as well as a vintage line operating under the Onitsuka Tiger name
In its 2006 fiscal year, ASICS generated 171 billion yen in net sales and 13 billion yen in net income. 66% of the company's income comes from the sale of sports shoes, 24% from sportswear, and 10% from sports equipment. 49% of the company's sales are in Japan, 28% in North America, and 19% in Europe.
Harajuku (原宿)

Harajuku refers to the area around Tokyo's Harajuku Station, which is between Shinjuku (新宿区) and Shibuya (渋谷) on the Yamanote Line.
It is the center of Japan's most extreme teenage cultures and fashion styles
The focal point of Harajuku's teenage culture is Takeshita (竹下通り) which is lined by many trendy shops, fashion boutiques, used clothes stores, crepe stands and fast food outlets geared towards the fashion and trend conscious teens.
When you visit Harajuku on a Sunday, when many young people gather around Harajuku Station and engage in cosplay (コスプレ), dressed up in eccentric costumes to resemble anime characters, punk musicians, etc.
Made popular by groups such as X Japan, Luna Sea, and Buck-Tick
Harajuku Style and Fashion
Trends come and go at lightning speed in Harajuku. Decora, Goth-Loli, Cyber-Punk, Mori Girl, the list is endless. Many happen at the same time, and influence each other. Often it’s impossible to determine what gave birth to what.
In Harajuku, mixing different styles and mismatching colors and patterns is encouraged - you can do anything you want, as long as your outfit is a thoughtful expression of your individuality
Dress in layers:
sweaters, vests, or jackets over blouses over t-shirts, dresses worn with leggings, and so on.
Layering clothes:
allows you to mix and match a wider variety of different styles and adds a dimension to the outfits (i.e. ruffled dresses)
Customize your clothes:
secondhand clothing and do-it-yourself styles are popular ingredients in a Harajuku outfit.
wild accessories such as belts, earrings, hair clips, jewelry, and handbags give the outfits colour and makes the outfit standout.

-Osare kei, also known as "pop kei", is a more mainstream style that uses lighter colours and less shocking aesthetics
Popular accessories are:
Platform Mary-Janes
Frilled Knee socks
Individual pieces can range from $100-500 whereas a complete outfit can cost around $1,000.
Examples of Harajuku Fashion
Punk Lolita
Influenced by punk fashion styles
Less frills
Combination of punk and cutesy styles
Rooted in British street culture
Cute motifs and cuddly toys incorporated, giving it a much different feel than the looks of British Punk trends
Unisex clothing is more common
Hybridization of genders and styles
Princess Lolita
Consists mainly of white and pink colors.
Abundance of frills, bows, and lace.
Takeshita Street (竹下通り)
symbol of Harajuku
and birthplace of many of Japan's fashion trends, Takeshita Dori is a place where young teens like to meet up.
It is a neighborhood where everything having to do with
fashion comes together
Stores selling top brands, shops of new designers, good shops, charimsatic shops, large fashion buildings, cosplay shops, make-up, and everything can be found in Takeshita Dori.
In this neighborhood so sensitive to what is in and out in fashion,
new stores replace old ones at a furious pace
But although the stores and people may change, this street, as a place for young teens, never changes and is
always full of vitality.
Takeshita on Sunday
Goth Lolita
Introduced in the 1990's through popular music and Goth music labels.
The movement was similar to that of the western Goth fashion movement but with a happy and cute twist.
Gothic Lolita was inspired by theatrical outfits donned by visual Kei rock bands, most notably Malice Mizer (マリスミゼル) and its leader Mana
(マナ) who established the Goth Lolita brand Moi-Meme-Moitie in 1999.
One of the most popular kinds of Lolita styles.
Characterized as "dark and elegant" style of Lolita.
Sweet Lolita
It is the earliest form of Lolita, it is also one of the most recognizable, widespread and popular.
The key characteristics are dolls, toys and references to Victorian children's books like Alice and wonderland.
Uses Light feminine colours with pastels, cutesy and frilly aspects.
Let's visit the streets of Harajuku!
Decora (デコラ)
Decora, a Japanese street fashion subculture, is often mistaken for
FRUiTS fashion
, a fashion style magazine/guide to Japanese street fashion culture for the foreigner.
Decora means ‘decorative’ in Japanese, which means to dress up decoratively to show the
(cuteness) aspect in fashion.
Deocra girls are called ‘Decora-chan’: these girls roamed the streets of the Harajuku and Shibuya districts in Tokyo
Females try to look as young as possible by wearing dresses, bows, ribbons, and colorful stockings.
Their hair is usually dyed pink, blonde, or auburn and worn in pigtails or curled excessively.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
General and Casual Fashion
Seifuku (制服)
Japan introduced school uniforms in the late 19th century. Today, school uniforms are almost universal in public and private school systems.
In the majority of elementary schools, students are not required to wear a uniform to school and instead wear yellows hats. .
High school uniforms are based on
Meiji era
formal military dress, themselves modeled on
European style naval uniforms.
These uniforms consist of a white shirt, tie, blazer or sweater vest with school crest, and tailored trousers (often not the same color as the blazer or sweater vest) for boys
For girls, the uniform is usually white blouse, tie, blazer with school crest and tartan skirt for girls.
There are seasonal variations for
summer and winter
(sleeve length and fabric are adjusted accordingly).

What influences Japanese Fashion?
Anime and Manga
Many characters in anime and manga have interesting, playful, and stylish costumes and fashion
Some of these characters wear distinct fashion styles that influence cosplays and other trends
Music Artists
Kawaii Culture
Cuteness is everywhere in Japan - it is an integral part of the culture in Japan and some of the reasons are:
Reason 1:
Kawaii usually refers to small children, babies and small animals. In a culture that values youth, both men and woman are attracted to anything youthful. Women want to appear youthful which gives reason to the popularity of bonds like AKB48 and Perfume.
Reason 2:
Japanese people work very long hours and they are under enormous social pressure. Cuteness is the total opposite of Japan’s harsh reality.

The style itself varies considerably from group to group and wearer to wearer
There are various degrees of the style, ranging from tame to extremely shocking
-Most visual kei group members are male, although there are exceptions
-Visual kei fans are mostly female, or evenly split between male and female
-Some fans choose to also dress in visual kei style, some don't
-Visual kei has received international attention, in places such as the US, Southeast Asia, and Europe
-Although not as popular as it was in the mid-90s, a second wave of visual kei groups continues to be active today
Visual Kei
The Style
- Anyone can cosplay, as it is a “participatory culture,” where there are “relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement”
The geographical spread of cosplayers has facilitated the development of expansive online cosplaying communities.
o Some common sites: http://cosplay.com, http://www.deviantart.com, and http://www.acparadise.com
o Skills and knowledge are acquired through online tutorials, forum discussions and real-life interaction with family or friends with more comprehensive skills

The purpose for a person’s cosplay generally falls under these three categories:
Adoration for the character by becoming the character through cosplay
The attention a certain character brings with donning on that character
Enjoyment from the process of creating a character
- Not only is the visual part important but also the physical aspect - learning postures, signature poses and dialogue demonstrates the transformation from an individual’s “real life” identity to the chosen fictional character and is considered role playing

Origins of Cosplay
- International cosplay networks began to take off during the globalization of western or American science and fantasy fiction conventions in the 1970s and 1980s

- As far back as the first World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), held in New York City from July 2nd to 4th 1939, Forrest J. Ackerman and Myrtle Rebecca Douglas wore homemade costumes that Douglas had created inspired from the film Things to Come (1933)

- Although cosplay is strongly associated with Japanese animation, manga/comics and video games, it is not limited to these genres – examples include Harry Potter, Star Trek, Batman and Lord of the Rings
Statistics of Cosplayers
The "Cosplay Culture: The Development of Interactive and Living Art through Play" study by Ashley Lotecki gathered demographic information about North American cosplayers to develop a clearer and more accurate portrayal of the individuals partaking in cosplay culture, not necessarily solely focused on Asian culture
Anime and manga cosplay are only two genres within the larger scope of cosplay
There is a large range of costume fandom activities, creating some distinguishable genres
Steampunk, Furries, Zombies, Live Action Role Playing
Cosplay has become a distinctive street style
- Cosplay influences Japanese street fashion
- As cosplay has evolved, new fashion hybrids and identity groups have become evident.
It is a popular hobby and essentially cosplayers display their artwork
It is challenging to transform something from what is normally in a flat/two-dimensional perspective to a living, interactive, three-dimensional performance, whether the cosplay is constructed or bought
The process may take a lot of effort, money and emotional investment, but fans are able to find an outlet for their devotion to something
Professions may stem from the art of cosplay – costume designers, make-up artists, jewellery makers, models and photographers
There are individuals who have made a name out of cosplay for a living and compete in tournaments globally
Why do people cosplay?
- Costumes that are created for the purpose of cosplaying tend to be more intricate and durable than those created for the purpose of stage theatre or Halloween
Cosplay is fashion-minded so the dressing, styling, wigs, and accessories may not as readily appeal to men
Respondents were first asked to select their age, gender, sexual orientation, the race in which they most identified, and country of residence
The average age of 36 respondents (N=506) was 23.8 percent. The birth year with the largest number of respondents was 1993, at 14.0 percent
An average of $106.71 was spent per costume
"Wa" Lolita
Classical Japanese fashions merged with Lolita.
Kimono-like in style
Important because the main inspiration and origin come from inside the country and has ties with Japan's history.
Kuro Lolita
All black clothing
Shiro Lolita
All white clothing
Innocent World
Osaka based
Founded by Yumi Fujuwara
Sweet and Classic Lolita
Their concept is elegant and cute, a simple world without dirt or blemish which reflects the pure hearts of young women
Baby the Stars Shine Bright
· Started in Tokyo in 1988 by Akinori and Fumiyo Isobe
· Seen as epitome of Sweet Lolita
· Became famous in 2004 because of the screen adaptation of Novala Tokemoto’s novel Shimotsuma Monogarati where the heroine is dressed throughout by Baby the Stars Shine Bright. (English subtitled movie is called Kamikaze Girls)
· One of the most well known Gothic Lolita labels
· Established by Mana in 1999 with “elegant Gothic Lolita Aristocrat Vampire Romance
· Two main lines; elegant Gothic Lolita for women and Elegant Gothic aristocrat for men
· Uses mainly dark blue and black.
Lolita Brands
General and Casual Fashion
Cosplay websites and communities provide encouragement, engagement, support and inspiration for many cosplayers

Traditional Culture fused with Modern Culture
Yukata (浴衣)
The yukata (浴衣) is a casual version of the kimono - the robe is usually made of cotton or synthetic fabric, wrapped around the body and fastened with a sash (obi).
Fittingly, the yukata is often worn in onsen towns. In particular, the garment is the typical dress code for guests at ryokan
Recently, the yukata has also become a way of dressing for
summer festivals (祭)
Full transcript