Casual Friday illustrating la Joie de Vivre.

Today we will focus on Japanese s and how it can be pictured in more western countries. Japan, said to be one of the countries with the highest suicidal rates, still seems to find an escape or a sort of cure in the colorful imagery it shows in fashion.

Different, Eccentric, Radical – Japanese Street Fashion.

       It first emerged in the middle of the 19th century and dominated the street fashion in Japan in the beginning of the 21st century. With its exceptional style it attracted the attention of the people and the world. Today the Japanese Street Fashion does not only find adherents in Asia – especially Japan – but also in Europe. Many people are fascinated by the fashion, in which there is no end in sight of ones fantasy. The fashion trend might remind of costumes, which are mostly hand-made and thus unique. It is a mix of different genres of fashion, of which Haute Couture is only one of them.


        The Lolita fashion trend is one large fashion style in Japanese Street Fashion with a unique and recognizable character. The Lolita style can be regarded as alliteration to cuteness, in which doll-like make up and fanciful clothing characterize the trend. As the name already might suggest, the trend is more about extravagant, puppet-like make up and clothing in which the person changes to an aggressive femininity. It is important to keep in mind that only women practice the Lolita fashion trend.

       To some extend the Lolitas are influenced by British culture. It is not only the Victorian flair of the clothing that has its roots in England, but also the literature that had great effect onto the style. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, is such an example: ideas and inspirations of Lolita costumes are found in the fantasy world of Alice in Wonderland. Interesting is that a distinction between different genres of Lolita fashion trends can be made. The Sweet Lolita is the most recognizable of the Lolita looks. The innocent world with bows and colors as blue and pink play a major role.

sweet_lolita_405437-26301863791    Harajuku-Sweet-Lolita-Fashion-2012-02-10-G3746

        Another well-known form of the Lolita trend is the Gothic Lolita, in which black dominates the clothing and spreads a gloomy atmosphere. The cut of the clothing is basically the same compared to the Sweet Lolita look with the exception that the color of the clothing is black. In order to be a perfect Lolita it is thus not only important to pay attention on the way of clothing but also on details as accessorizes: heads, wigs, bags, rings, bows and the list could be endless – play a very important role as well. Accessorize round of the costume and make it perfect.

Fairy Kei.

        Followers of this trend inspire themselves from fairy tales and the fiction like environment. Their outfits are surreal and obviously stand out of the crowd. The girls put emphasis on pastel colors, which gives a sort of cloudy and dreamy vibe to the character. The structures of the clothing are a bit more modern than the Lolitas we previously saw. That is to say that they inspire themselves from the must-haves of the 80’s such as colorful leggings, perfectos, knee-highs, etc. Another important inspiration of theirs are toys: they like to make references to My Little Pony, Barbie, Care Bear, hence showing that growing up doesn’t have to mean leaving behind all that makes us happy in our childhood.

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How it influenced the Western World.

           As we pointed out at the beginning of this article, Japanese fashion has been of great interest for other countries. Japanese have of course been acing these styles since the late 20th century, a small influence has been seen recently in the western world. While we remain still a bit conservative in our ways of dressing especially by our adoration of nude and dark colors that keep popping up each season, we still want a bit of eccentricity in our lives.

The Seapunk trend.

First have a look at Azealia Banks video for Atlantis. You’ll get ALLLLL the ideals proposed by seapunks.

         You got it: the sea, dolphins, bright colors, sparkles, diamonds, virtual imagary. Most of all, the artist seems way beyond happy to be in this aquatic environment. The seapunk movement started in 2011, via the internet and promoted by visual geeks. Originally a social media trend, seapunks are interested by the computer and gaming visuals of the late 90’s. Since it started off on social media, we can see it encompasses so many fields such as music, especially in electronic music (Panteros666 in France, Grimes, Kreayshawn), design, and obviously fashion.


         As a heritage of the 90’s, seapunks usually wear crop tops, bright mesh or tie-die shirts, or ruffles everywhere (imitating the waves of the ocean perhaps). Logos such as ying-yang, aquatic animal stickers, seashells, smiley faces and round designs are everywhere. The most important element of this trend is perhaps the dyeing of one’s hair: turquoise, purple, pink are the most used colors and they really where trendy in 2012-2013, even in high-fashion (Chanel, Givenchy).

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  Funny enough to observe that in Japan, the eccentricity isn’t really a subculture, it is a fully accepted symbol of youth. On the contrary, in western societies, these movements remain subcultures that are mostly seen as excessive and sometimes is misunderstood.

we don’t claim to own the uses photos for this article. they all were provided by research on google.

julia & adé.


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