L’Histoire de Mode~Japanese Street Fashion pt.1
This is going to be a three part history series for the next few days in which I will go over the main branch, Japanese Street Fashion, then move onto Harajuku Fashion & then onto Lolita 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
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. More recently, Japanese hip-hop,
which has long been present among underground Tokyo’s club scene, has influenced
the mainstream fashion industry. The popularity of the music is so influential that Tokyo’s
youth are imitating their favorite hip hop stars from the way they dress with over-sized
clothes to darkening their skin with ultraviolet rays, usually done by tanning.
Many Japanese youth believe that tanning or being darker is a freedom of expression they
are unable to experience in their circumscribed social role as ‘Japanese’. The idea
of darkening one’s skin to more closely resemble an American hip-hop star or
ethnic group may seem like a fad, but this subculture, the black facers,
do not particularly set themselves apart from many other
sub cultures that have emerged as a result of hip hop.
The motives driving the pursuit of fashion in Japan are complex.
Firstly, the relatively large disposable income available to Japanese
youth is significant. Many argue this was made possible through youth
living at home with their parents, reducing living expenses. In addition,
the emergence of a strong youth culture in the 1960s and 1970s that
continues today (especially in the Harajuku district) drives much of
the striving for new and different looks. The rise of consumerism to an
important part of the “national character” of Japan during the economic
boom of the 1980s and even after the bubble burst also contributes
to the feverish pursuit of fashion. These factors result in the
incredibly swift turnover and variability in styles
popular at any one time.
Japanese Street Fashion:
If you like this post, then come back tomorrow for Part 2: Harajuku Fashion.
Please rate & comment so I know how I’m doing and what you like to see.
Thanks for coming.