‘Harajuku girls’, popularly known as the ‘fashion aficionados’ or the ‘beauty stars of Japan’, are best known all over the world for their unique costumes, which are made in various styles of clothing that originated in the rich culture of some of the major cities of Japan. They have been named after the very popular Harajuku district in Tokyo and were made popular in the West by the ‘Love.Angel.Music.Baby’ album released in 2004 by Gwen Stefani.
Their Clothing Styles
These young, beautiful fashion icons are Japanese teenage girls who gather in a narrow street of ‘Takeshita’ every weekend and dress themselves up as the baby dolls of the Lolita-esque caricatures. A large number of fashion styles, including the cyber fashion, Gothic Maid, Wamono, Gothic Lolita, Second-Hand Fashion, and Decorah, can be noticed among these young ladies.
They can be often seen wearing dark outfits combined with traditional Japanese clothing, such as Kimonos and fans. Some of them also wear fake bandages and blood and carry things, such as cell phones, hello kitties, and photo stickers, which symbolize modern Japan. The varied clothing styles of these girls are beautifully featured by ‘FRUiTS’, the most popular Japanese street-fashion magazine.
Why do these Harajuku girls dress in such outrageous outfits every weekend? Is it their love for fashion that drives them to do so? The answer is ‘No’. There are much deeper reasons behind it. The weekly ceremony that lasts just for a few hours allows them to not only spend their spare time and money, but also momentarily escape the strict rules of the male-dominated Japanese society. Outrageous dressing styles actually symbolize the oppression of the female gender and their attempt to seek their individuality and independence to express.
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A look at the streets of Japan would reveal an interesting amalgamation of the traditional and modern fashion ideas. Here’ a look at some of the hottest trends in Japanese fashion.
The Japanese people have seen varied changes in their fashion trends from the olden days till date. Today, with the mix of various cultures, even the basic kimono has seen a marked difference in the way it is worn. The Japanese people are also heavily influenced by their idols. Today, the streets of Japan showcase a wide variety and mixture of traditional and ultra modern fashions.
Let us look at some of the hottest and popular styles that are donned and flaunted by most Japanese people today.
Although most Japanese women may not wear the kimono on an everyday basis, it still remains to be one of the most popular fashion items. The Kimono is a form of traditional Japanese clothing and was worn on an everyday basis till the middle of the 19th century.
One can see many styles being developed from its basic form. Today, the Kimono is worn for different festivals and occasions. The kimonos range from the furisode (formal wear for unmarried ladies), the Irotomesode (worn by married ladies), the Homongi (worn at formal parties) to the Susohiki (worn by the stage performers). The patterns may wary in terms of print, texture and fabric.
The fashion of shirt dresses although in vogue a few years back, is still very much rampant on the runways and streets of Japan. This one-piece dress is popular due to the versatility it offers. They look fabulous when paired with leggings for an evening out, or can be worn with trousers for a formal look at work. Shirt dresses are generally made of chiffon fabrics with plain or striped patterns. Some of them are little on the wilder side with polka dots, checks, flowers and even materials made of lace. A shirt dress also works as a great outerwear and can be thrown onto a short shirt.
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