Friday, May 29, 2009

Japanese Street Fashion and Influences

This week I wanted to talk about what we discussed last week. Last week we discussed alot about the Japanese fashion culture, such as "Kawaii" and the Lolita complex trend in Japan. However, in this blog, I want to focus on Japanese Street Fashion.

As we all know, Japan has been one of the rising nations in the world when it comes to fashion. In Yuniya Kawamura's piece of "Japanese Teens as Producers of Street Fashion", she discussed the idea of Japan having a lot of influences in the fashion industry. Japan has been making it's mark in the fashion industry for a few decades now, but has been more so in the past few years.

The question we raised in class was "How did Japanese Street Fashion Emerge?" Did it emerge from mimicking Western fashion, or was it their own style? I believe that Japanese street fashion was highly influenced from Western ideals. However, in my opinion, Japanese street fashion is much more unique than American's street wear. Kawamura explained that Japanese Street fashion is so unique and different even though they took their ideas from the West, is due to the fact of the influences in Japan.

Kawamura states that it is the teenagers of Japan that was revolutionized Japan's street fashion. They dictate where the trend comes and goes. Even countries nearby, know that teenagers (high school girls) are "designers" and know what are the newest styles. Many Japanese adults and kids mimic these highschool teenagers and that's how this Japanese street fashion trend starts. Kawamura's idea that teenagers are producers of fashion holds true also in our society.

When you look at our society, it is mostly the young generation (us), that starts many mainstream fashion trends. A common trend in today's society is the "hypebeast" look, that many young teens and children today are wearing as their style. What started out as a type of style from the streets from teenagers, has become a everyday style wear. Wikipedia defines hypebeast as "It originally refers to a streetwear enthusiast who is only interested in having the latest trends." If you think about it, it's very similar to how Japan's street fashion as evolve.

If you look at these photos, this is typically how a hypebeast style would look like. The hypebeast look usually consist of skinny jeans, a pair of nikes, a fitted hat, and flannel. This is the look that is what's in right in our society, and kids today are looking up to it and are mimicing it as well.

This is a kid having been influenced by the hypebeast culture and mimicking the older teenage generation. The point of all this is, that we can see how fashion has been so dominated by teenagers of our generation. Is this influence a good thing for the Fashion Industry, or a bad thing? In my opinion it can be a good thing, in a sense that fashion can be controlled by the non-elites. We don't have to follow what the elites say and what they tell us is "fashionable". We can control what we want to be and is trendy, and call it a style. However, this teen dominating the fashion industry can be a bad thing. When I say this, sometimes these fashion experts and "real" designers actually know what they are doing, and know what is nice and what isn't. Maybe these teens influence on the fashion industry is a mockery and all jibberish. In the end, it's up to our own individual self to gather what is fashion and what and where our influences comes from.

Yuniya Kawamura. “Japanese Teens as Producers of Street Fashion.” Class Reader.


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