The World Of Japan Fashion
In Japan, fashion is very important to young people. Aside from dressing well just to look good or cool, fashion defines for them what subculture they belong to, and they attach lots of importance to it.
One style you’ll see all over Japan is the “gkogal” look. You could say that kogals are the valley girls of Japan. They dress expensively and even have their own unique slang which is incomprehensible to some, especially older, adults. Kogal style is lavish, usually including mini-skirts and platform shoes. You can usually spot kogals right off by their bleached hair and deep suntans. You can see kogals all over Japan in any urban area, but their favorite spot is Tokyo’s Shibuya district, where all the expensive shops are.
Note: The pic above is not a representation of Japan fashion.
Another particularly striking fashion is the “Gothic Lolita” look. The Gothic Lolita style (called both GothLoli and Loli-Goth) is a combination of Lolita fashion and the goth look, as popularized by a movement in Japanese pop music from the late “90Â”s called “Visual Kei.” Visual Kei bands put a lot into their stage shows and fashion sense. I know itÂfs getting a little confusing now, so let me simplify it a little for you! Basically Gothic Lolitas wear Victorian style clothes, usually white and black, and with sometimes lace and fringes. They look a little like Alice in Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland. There is definitely a fairy-tale aspect to the style.
When you look at these various fashions, you realize how much work, money and time goes into perfecting the look. When I first saw Gothic Lolitas hanging around TokyoÂfs popular Harajuku district, I wondered, “What are they doing?” Well, what theyÂfre doing is really just hanging around and being looked at. These subcultures are characterized by fashion more than anything else.
The most remarkable fashion among young people in Japan is simply called ‘Street Fashion.” This refers to young people just hitting the streets in their wild outfits. The purpose of street fashion is self-expression. It’s more individual than the established styles, so it’s always new and different.
The best places to see cutting edge Japanese fashion are in the hip areas of Tokyo. I recommend Shinjuku, Harajuku and Shibuya. In many parts of the city, the kids just hang around and let people take pictures of them.
To young people in Japan, fashion is a way of life. Like Milan and Paris, the world has its eye on the new styles of Tokyo.