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Transcript of DECORA
BY SAMMI WONG
In Tokyo, many people love to dress in different fashion styles; this has resulted in the creation of many opposing cultures and subcultures.
Tokyo street fashion and style photography has became a big hit around the world; there are thousands of renowned magazines and websites that take professional photographs of innovative street styles and publish them onto the internet to share. There are also many popular blogs that frequently update on what is happening on Japan's busy streets everyday.
Age does not matter in Japanese street fashion; a diverse age range from little kids to matured adults tends to follow Japan's ever-changing trends.
Young boys and girls age around 18-25 is however, the biggest and most common age group that clothe in decora style.
Decora fashion is described as fashion with cute patterns or prints, ideally in bright colors. The clothing is then piled with layers and layers of kawaii accessories with colorful characteristics.
Layering is what really brings the Decora look together.
For girls, a basic plain shirt or hoodie is often worn underneath, fashioned with a neon colored tutu skirt; usually paired with cute, brightly colored leggings or stockings.
Strong group identity
For guys, they wear oversized neon clothes; such as shirt that sits below the knee or baggy pant and short that matched with unorganized pieces, often leggings and sneakers.
In late 2000s, the style is eventually replaced by another famous street style called lolita; though decora is still reasonably popular overseas.
Other common characteristics of Decora style are:
the clothing is usually in neon colors, pastel colors are rare. Other acceptable colors are black and baby pink.
hair and makeup are not as dominant and are plain and simple; hair is usually in a low ponytail with long bang.
accessories are the most significant part of Decora style; the underneath clothing is always less visible than the cute accessories piled on top.
other common patterned pieces are stockings, legwarmers, armwarmers, knee socks and face masks.
The Decora style originated in the late 90s/early 2000's in Japan, centered in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. It has rose to great popularity both in and outside Japan.
Picking out the entire decora outfit takes additional time and effort compared to choosing the usual casual wear when you go out. More importantly though, it requires money for purchasing varying appropriate clothes and accessories. This is partly the reason why higher class people are more prone to wear this style because they have sufficient money and time to spend on deciding and choosing the perfect decora outfit. Higher socio-economic class people have greater tendency to wear in fancy street style compared to lower class people.
Short skirts are predominantly made from tulle which transform into fashionable tutu skirts.
Other types of skirt are made from cotton with trims of white laces.
Sometimes, skirts that are formed from a combination of cotton, lace and tulle are also common within this style; this combination creates a puffy-looking round skirt with tutu underneath.
tutu skirts made from chiffon and silk are also very common; sometimes they comprise lace or ribbons
other decora clothes are mostly made from cotton; this includes graphic t-shirt, patterned pants and jackets with adorable prints.
Music can influence the way Japanese people dress. Pop artist such as Kyary pamyu pamyu dresses in a very unique way, her style varies depending on the concept of a particular song. Some of her outfits in her music videos have inspired bloggers to create a new style into street fashion.
Kyary pamyu pamyu
is a Japanese model and singer.
She is renowned for her distinctive public image which predominantly associates with Japanese's kawaisa and decora culture.
Kyary pamyu pamyu
Desire for self-expression
Decora style is all about distinctiveness and self-layering where it does not have a definite structure to follow. It is this attribute that makes decora so prevalent around Japan; that it has distinguished from other sub-cultures. The way they dress like big kids and toy with kawaii accessories then mingle those into layers make them appear somewhat fashionable. Dressing in decora style is seemingly contradicting the present day's fashion trends.
Decora refers to being disorganized, random, unmatched and unpredictable since it is up to you who concoct the vivid clothing. Nowadays, in contrary, people love contemporary garments; we love branded and designer clothing and we always ensure to pair them correctly like admiring models or celebrities. Unlike decora, we do not develop individual styles or dress the way our hearts tell us to. By fashioning yourself in decora style, you notice that you're disregarding current trends and expressing your respective taste. This is how decora protests upon current society's value and makes an assertive statement on creativity.
The name decora is abbreviated from the original word ‘decoration’; it is very personalized since its term solely means self-decoration. There are no rules on how to layer or incorporate clothing and accessories into an outfit; it is all up to you.
While there are many means you can employ to make yourself look child-like to fit the decora style, Japanese people like to create their own vibrant outfit according to their taste. This is how individuality and creativity are portrayed. Within the group, each member has a differing aesthetic and character, no one is perceived as identical or even similar because there is no such thing as 'copying' in this sub culture. The selection of clothing and accessories chiefly depend on the dresser's personal ideas and inspirations.
Everyone possesses dissimilar clothing items to incorporate; therefore everyone's outfit should be distinguishing and self-decorated. Some may want to omit certain pieces while others may be tempted to add more related things such as a plush toy or a wand. Here are some examples:
This guy painted his face black, yet the rest of him is clothed in decora
While, in comparison, this guy painted his face white
This girl chose to wear a tutu skirt
While this girl wanted to wear pant
This girl accessorized large buttons on her hair
While this other girl selected crowns
sense of territory
Decora girls mostly hang out on the streets of the Harajuku and Shibuya districts in Tokyo where it is primarily originated.
Harajuku is one of the busiest, most densely populated cities in Japan. It is renowned for its magnetism of exotic street fashion dressers, typically decora girls. Takeshita Street located near its most prominent central area is ideally where decora girls are inclined to roam around.
Another popular site called Shibuya is also relatively close to the city; it is commonly familiarized by tourists due to an immense, often overcrowded crossing road.
Japanese street fashion predominantly lies within congested streets as more people can recognize and acknowledge their colorful wear. It is highly probable to encounter these stylish wearers about the central city since they are gradually characterized as their meeting areas.
Devoted decora followers don't stereotypically discourage and repel anyone who shows interest in joining; in fact they aren't normally presented as assembled groups but they portray themselves as individuals. Therefore, everyone is affectionately welcome and eligible to become a decora girl or boy because there's supposedly no stereotyping or discrimination evoked from the individuals.
Decora followers' prime accessories are :
KAWAII HAIR CLIPS
Hair clips are highly fashionable and essential for completing the decora look. They aid in brightening and enhancing the bland colour of the dresser's hair.
Hair clips must be childish-looking; therefore children's style hair clips are most suitable. Design of the clips mustn't be dull, simple, or lack in colours.
Jewelleries also play an important role because they crucially determine the final appearance of the decora outfit.
Jewelleries can include necklaces, bracelets, headbands or earrings etc. But these must look vivid and compelling in order to fit the decora style.
Other decorative pieces
This category chiefly consists of bags, sunglasses, phone cases or anything else that's bright and cheerful.
Since there aren't any restrictions on layering the pieces, the dresser can possibly try a broader range of unfamiliar things.
Hair styles can vary, but oftentimes dressers like them to be exotic; preferably spray dying or teasing hair for a funkier look.
Makeup isn't always presented and employed; due to the dominance of countless accessories.
Nevertheless, when makeup is used, it's often paired with perceivable stickers or band-aids to reinforce the dresser's face.