Japanese street fashion

Japan began to emulate Western fashion during the middle of the 19th century. By the beginning of the 21st century it had altered into what is known today as 'street fashion'. The term 'street fashion' is used to describe fashion where the wearer customizes outfits by adopting a mixture of current and traditional trends. Such clothes are generally home-made with the use of material purchased at stores.



At present there are many styles of dress in Japan, created from a mix of both local and foreign labels. Some of these styles are extreme and avant-garde, similar to the haute couture seen on European catwalks. The rise and fall of many of these trends has been chronicled by Shoichi Aoki since 1997 in the fashion magazine FRUiTS, which is a notable magazine for the promotion of street fashion in Japan.












Types of Japanese street fashion:

Lolita: Containing many different styles and themes within its boundaries, Lolita has become one of the larger, more recognizable styles in Japanese street fashion. Now gaining interest worldwide, Lolita is seen as one of the many different styles that brings the "cute" in Japan.

Ganguro:The Ganguro street fashion became popular among Japanese girls in the early 2000s. A typical look for a "Ganguro Gal" is to wear brightly colored outfits, mini-skirts, and tie-dyed sarongs. The Ganguro style consists of bleached hair, a dark tan, fake eyelashes, black and white eyeliner, bracelets, earrings, rings, necklaces and platform shoes.

kogal :The kogal (kogyaru) look is based on a high school uniform, but with a shorter skirt, loose socks and often other modifications as well. The girls call themselves gyaru (gals). This style was prominent in the 1990s, but has since declined.


While bōsōzoku fashion has not been popular since the 1990s, the stereotypical bōsōzoku look is often portrayed, and even caricatured, in many forms of Japanese media such as anime, manga and films. The typical bōsōzoku member is often depicted in a uniform consisting of a jumpsuit like those worn by manual laborers or a tokko-fuku (特攻服), a type of military issued over-coat with kanji slogans. These are usually worn open, with no shirt underneath, showing off bandaged torsos and matching baggy pants tucked inside tall boots.

Visual Kei:The style of Visual Kei consists of striking makeup, unusual hair styles and flamboyant costuming. Androgyny is a popular aspect of the style visually, especially within the entertainment field. Some of the more well-known and influential artist groups include X Japan, Malice Mizer and Dir en grey.

Cosplay:Cosplay, short for "costume roleplay", is a type of performance art whose participants outfit themselves with often elaborate costumes and accessories as a specific character or idea. Often, the fusionists of this street fashion will dress up as characters from manga, anime, tokusatsu, and video games. Less commonly, they will dress up as characters from live action television shows, fantasy movies, and Japanese pop music bands.




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