Sunday, May 24, 2009

Splatter Speaks for Individuality?

In the process of finishing up my research paper, one of the things I began realizing is that much of the reason behind the extravagant paint work that is portrayed on Japanese denim is merely for individuality. Although in our culture, seeing paint splatter and arbitrary images scattered along the leggings of jeans seem messy and unappealing, it is one of the few remaining ways on how urban street wear can develop character in denim. Essentially, though these kinds of styles go for hundreds of dollars when stamped with a "limited edition" tag on it, they are an expression of individuality that can be done by anyone - or as Kawamura describes it, the teenage consumers are the designers of their own style (Kawamura, 2007).

In addition, synonymous to Kawamura's idea of teenagers designing their own style, many of the designers of the more flamboyant designs of Japanese denim also do it to remain fluid with the styles and trends of urban street wear, used to convey their type of lifestyle in the pursuit of shifting from class fashion to consumer fashion (Kawamura, 2005). With this in mind, it puts an interesting spin on the idea of the Compact Challenge. Rather than having to buy clothes that are necessarily synonymous with today's most popular styles, simply using arts and crafts to redo the ones you already own in your own unique voice not only speaks for individuality but also pushes toward innovation. Something that as a hypocritical consumer I can learn a great deal from.

Hugo Da Rosa - Blog #5
Sources: Yuniya Kawamura - "Japanese Teens as Producers of Street Fashion"
Yuniya Kawamura - "Fashion-ology, Chapter 6"
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