A new kind of fashion has been taking over the American streets recently with some of its origins from Japan. Western culture is slowly cultivating a love for the distinctive fashion style in Japan. These Japanese clothing is seemingly having a huge impact on the main stream identity of the western style and culture. While some may argue that the western culture is a diverse environment rich with different cultures, the fashion industry has been impacted hugely with this emerging trend relating to the changing face of the Japanese fashion.
Fashion is a style that is prevalent at a given time and is very dynamic. To some it is a form of art while to others it is part of culture and religion. Fashion can serve as an extension of one`s character but to most it is a method of using the cloth to avoid other individuals from noticing their behavior. While some may argue whether fashion is a form of art, the view that fashion is a visual medium that closely resembles to that of painter and sculptors is none arguably true. There is more that goes in fashion than just wearing a mix of clothes. Immense creativity as well as a mastery of technique of materials is required in order to achieve that same stimuli a person gets when viewing a piece of a well sculpted art. The choices made in relation to clothes is usually controlled by the current fashion as defined within the fashion statement. For much of this decade, fashion trends have originated in Japan and gone global. Although many brands have not taken advantage of this receptive welcome form the global markets, the fashion industry is slowly shaping in order to financially gain from the global markets. In this paper, we research on the Japanese fashion, discussing all the possibilities and impact it has had on the American fashion particularly the Harajuku style.
Overview of the Japanese culture and its influence on fashion
Much of the fashion in Japan is a result of culture that is embedded in the modes of dressing. The Japanese culture is embedded in various aspects of life from the electronics, media and to fashion. In today`s American fashion, it can be seen that some certain features of the Japanese traditional costumes have been adopted and modified to go with the emerging trends in the fashion lines. Perhaps the most common and well known Japanese fashion statement is the Kimono prints that have been embedded in the garments and are nowadays common in the runways. These fashion styles have their history form the traditional Japanese cultures that have been incorporated in the Japanese way of living.
In order to accomplish the objectives of just how and why the eccentric harajuku fashion style is slowly embedding itself in most peoples way of dressing in the west coast, a cope of the methodological approaches used to gather the necessary information would be adopted.
To research on the scope of information, a literature review was used to gather enough information on the research topic. I researched on books and websites thoroughly for the aspects of Japanese traditional culture and Japanese fashion. Sources of information ranged from electronic media, available printed books and conducting of one- on-one interviews with people who wore or sold any of the Japanese fashion.
From the available data, it was found that although most people did not have a detailed knowledge of the origins of the fashion they wore, they appreciated the aesthetic appearance of the fashion. The available print media seemed to provide a lot of information regarding the origins and the extent to which the eccentric harajuku mode of dressing is embedded in today`s fashion.in the subsequent paragraphs, we discuss the findings and the possible origins of the Japanese culture.
Until the recent dawn of the century, Japanese fashion style was reserved due to the huge impact the traditional culture played in people`s mode of dressing. In the beginning of the 21st century, the move towards economic globalization and interdependence saw a mix of cultures that led to creation of a street fashion. This was the new era that saw brought about a revolution in the Japanese fashion style. Traditionally, the Japanese garments were designed with a square body and a pair of squared sleeves that made the garment easy to fasten and discard. The kimono is the most common form of traditional dressing that involved minimal cutting of fabric and overlapping of the front and back that resulted in minimal wastage of fabric. The 21 century brought a modernization in the traditional women`s clothing as people were now free to express their freedom through their mode of dressing. The need for the aesthetic view together with the functional need for the clothes resulted in a creation of outfits that are a mixture of the current and traditional culture. This created a new form of fashion style known as the Harajuku. These form of dressing originates form the Harajuku which is considered a fashion statement region that is packed with fashionable people lined with fashion boutiques. Although some may argue that the eccentric harajuku fashion is extreme and exaggerated, it has drawn a lot of attention from the outside world who view it as an emerging and future trend in dressing. The harajuku neighborhood is particularly famous with the fashion lovers as a place of bold fashion choices. This has created a form of style known as the harajuku style of dressing that is popular with the pop culture lovers. This form of dressing is characterized with loud patterns, tons of jewelry and dyed hair. It can be best referred to as a colorful form of eccentric style that is interesting to see for anyone in love with fashion.
Popular with the young people, the harajuku style of dressing can be seen in different types of fashion that we highlight in the subsequent paragraph. The visual kei harajuku style famous in most rock musicians involves an elaborate and detailed costume with an eccentric style. There is a lot of use of make-up which is described as weird looking for non-fashion lovers.
Cosplay which is the most common nickname is a known style which is a short form for the costume player is a style of a dress that follows the character of an anime popular with the ladies. Lolita which is a Japanese fashion style influence by the famous Victorian and rococo period clothing is characterized by a knee length skirt or a dress with a sharp like bottom, knee socks or stockings, headwear and a shit with lots of laces. Although not originally from japan, Lolita is a mixture of styles which are blended to make a very appealing finish. Decora or decorations as the name suggests is a style of clothing that is characterized by a lot of bright colors and accessories. The most outstanding feature of this form of Japanese style is the immense use of accessories that are very conspicuous. The most common accessories is the plasik doll stuffed with feathers and jewels that make noise whenever the wearer moves.
The harajuku form of fashion style is a mix of design and styles that usually accentuate humor. They resemble clothes that look like they are meant for children characterized with a lot of wrinkles, bright colors and use of accessories including dolls and bags that feature anime characters.
Although the Japanese fashion is still young in terms of its entry and incorporation to the US fashion style, there have been famous Japanese designers that have been introduced to the Paris runway-the international arena. Pioneers such as Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake who had an unconventional style characterized with monochromatic and baggy looks. The Japanese fashion style has had transformations in terms of design in the recent years leading to a creation of innovative designs that incorporate both the culture and current trends to produce simple and yet very appealing clothes. The current popular Japanese brands that are in the market today include labels such as Issey Miyaki, Kenzo, Comme des Garcons, Junya Watanabe, Yohji
Yamamoto, Limi Feu, A Bathing Ape, Mercibeaucoup and Tsumori Chisato.
The extent to which the Japanese style of fashion has influenced the current markets cannot be ignored. Fashion lovers are looking for beauty and simplicity incorporated in clothing which the Japanese culture provides.
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