Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The beginning of Harajuku Street Style

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Harajuku street style had roots way back in the 50's through the introduction of American cultural influences which moulded the origin of a fashionable rebellious youth trend setters called 'the Harajuku tribe'.

Through the next two decades a variety of tribes (zoku) appeared, disappeared and re-emerged, styles came and went, but it's fair to say that nothing really radical ever stood out and made history.

The early 80's were more significant, a new kind of intellectual gothic wave of music and fashion took over Harajuku., 'Shojo Stuff, Virtual Pure Girl' (related to the, controversial for some, otaku culture) adopted the French dolls fashion to create 'Loli Goth'.

You might have heard of LaForet Shopping Center, since back in 1978 it has made itself the prime outlet source for the innovative and latest Harajuku street fashion. A fantastic variety of Lolita Goth clothing is specifically sold by LaForet Boutique.

The beginning of the 90s saw a remarkable change in the way that youth dressed, an avant-guard subculture was starting to appear on the most fashionable streets of Tokyo.

Harajuku was soon at the forefront of any other fashion district emerging as the most assertive and innovative place where street culture and individualistic creativity enjoyed complete freedom from the limitations of the traditionally conformist japanese society.

In 1996 photographer Shoichi Aoki launched the fanzine Fruits which became 'the look' bible of the style fashion tribes.
'I am gonna get my picture in Fruits' was forged as the highest fashion achievment statement of Harajuku wanna be style guru
The end result, East abruptly merged with West pop culture adopting and redifined the british punk idea, leather gear, studs and goth clothing were individually customized, even the more traditonal kimono had a street style re-launch . Doc Marten boots, second hand self tailored military garments also found a place in the imagination of Harajuku amateurish designers.

On Sundays, the Station area, Yoyogi Park, and the notorious Takeshita Street, paraded the most amazing make up looks and costumes displayes. A complete transformation of the ideal model of youth fashion and anti-conformistic Japanese aesthetics took over the sub urban district transforming Harajuku into a mecca of style innovation.

Japanese Steet Fashion it's not limited to Tokyo it has become a nationwide idea, but it doesn't end there, it has followers from all over the world , Cosplay in particular (costum play) has long established stongholds in Europe and the USA .

Harajuku lovers follow the more extravagant and sometime outrageously extreme Japanese street fashion.
The innovative characters of Harajuku are today the masters from whom known designers bow and look to for the ultimate inspiration. It's a fact that known commercial enterprises often take Harajuku 's young people fashion ideas and turn them in to their 'own' high street fashion .

Harajuku smart 'kids' are mostly well mannered and do not seem to have any cash flow problem, their costumes are an elaborate piece of expensive artifice which they are quite happy to display and pose for your camera snap adopting a pre-format and prepared look, but you better be quick, the magic is not to last, a polite smile and soon they are back to fade in the colorful Harajuku crowd.
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