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Harajuku Kid
Harajuku Kid

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.

Though the styles have changed over the years, street fashion is still prominent in Japan today. Young adults can often be found wearing subculture attire in large urban fashion districts such as Harajuku, Ginza, Odaiba, Shinjuku and Shibuya.

Although Japanese street fashion is known for its mix-match of different styles and genres, and there is no single sought-after brand that can consistently appeal to all fashion groups, the huge demand created by the fashion-conscious population is fed and supported by Japan’s vibrant fashion industry. Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, and Rei Kawakubo of the Comme des Garçons are often said to be the three cornerstone brands of Japanese fashion. Together they were particularly recognized as a Japanese fashion force in the early 80s for their intensive use of monochrome color and cutting-edge design.

As early as the 50s, there were a few brands specially catered to street fashion, like Onitsuka Tiger (now known as the ASICS), but arguably it was until the early 90s that the industry saw a blooming emergence of street fashion brands. The most popular ones include: A Bathing Ape, Comme des Garçons, Evisu, Head Porter, OriginalFake, Uniqlo, Visvim, W)TAPs, and XLarge. Street Fashion brands frequently feature collaborations with popular artists and designers and use limited edition as a selling strategy. There are also brands that target specific fashion groups. For example, Angelic Pretty is for Sweet Lolita style and Sex Pot Revenge for Punk style.

Every Sunday, young people dressed in a variety of styles including gothic lolita, visual kei, and decora, as well as cosplayers spend the day in Harajuku socializing. The fashion styles of these youths rarely conform to one particular style and are usually a mesh of many. Most young people gather on Jingu Bridge, which is a pedestrian bridge that connects Harajuku to the neighboring Meiji Shrine area.

The term "Harajuku Girls" has been used by English-language media to describe teenagers dressed in any fashion style who are in the area of Harajuku. This fashion infuses multiple looks and styles to create a unique form of dress.

The Harajuku culture has spread throughout the globe thanks to artists such as Gwen Stefani and the contents from her album Love. Angel. Music. Baby., as well as her Harajuku Girls dancing entourage, which performs along with Stefani on live performances and music videos. This also lead Stefani to create a Harajuku-related fashion accesories brand known as Harajuku Lovers.

Harajuku Kids listen to a variety of japanese music, from jPop to visual-kei. Western Weeaboo and j-goths take a lot of inspiration from Harajuku.

Info mostly from wikipedia, image from deviantart, last paragraph by me.


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