I don’t know about everyone else. But the last two days have been hell for me. I spent the majority of Saturday and especially today working on the research paper. I am really glad to finally have the paper out of the way. On another hand, I am also glad that I am almost done with the challenge. It’s my fifth week into the challenge, which means that I only have one more week to go. Yay, me!
Anyhow, yesterday I went through the reader and looked at the different portrayals of Japanese fashion from pages 320-330. In my heart, I knew that if I wore anything similar to the styles seen on those pages, I would get some form of ridicule from people. More notably, if I were to wear an outfit and make-up of the Mamba fashion, I would really get a lot of heads up since Fairfield is not use to seeing such a thing nor do I believe a lot of people know that it is a type of fashion acceptable in Japan. Nonetheless, that did not stop me from becoming inspired to dress in my own “unique” way. (When I use the word “unique,” I mean something that goes against a norm in society. Here is a link to a dictionary’s meaning.) Originally, I wanted to dress like the Takenokozoku because their fashion was neither too “outrageous” nor too “normal” for me. However, I did not have anything in my closet that was similar to lady’s blouse and bottom on page 320. And because of the challenge, there was no way I was going to spend money in order to achieve the look. As a result, I decided to reuse articles of clothing and accessories that I already have. I came up with this:
As one can see, I did not achieve any of the styles seen in the reader. I want to point out that I did use different items from different styles to make my own style. For instance, I had a boom box like the Takenokozoku and boots like the Gonguro. (So what if they weren’t platform boots; they were still boots!)
After I had my attire on, I decided to test it out in the public. I went to a friend’s house. When she first saw what I was wearing, she asked me if I was serious, and I told her I was. I told her that the youths in Japan had a unique sense of fashion, and it was accepted there. “If that’s the case, then why can’t I have my own style,” I told her. I was greeted by my auntie, my friend’s mom. When she saw me, she also asked me why I was dressed the way I was and whether or not if I knew that it wasn’t Halloween. In addition, she gave me a look as if I was nuts. Before I left my friend’s house, I showed her and my auntie images in the reader. The both agreed that some of the fashion in there were “unbelievable” and “funny” if worn.
As a whole, my experience has given me a better understanding of diffusion as well as an insight on the dynamics of fashion. According to Yuniya Kawamura, “In dealing with fashion consumption, we have to consider the group mentality of those who adopt and wear fashion. Mass fashion diffusion and consumption can be explained as a process of collective behavior among large numbers of people.” I tried to sell my look by advertising. By the reactions I received, however, I could tell that there was no way that my style would make people want to buy articles of clothing so they could dress the way that I did. From the words I received, I could also see the mentality of the group I exposed my style to; they saw me as a stigma for not wearing the fashion seen in present society. Overall, I learned that location is an important factor to consider when speaking of fashion. American culture is not used to seeing looks such as the Gonguru look. In addition, unlike Japan’s street wear, those fashions have not “migrated” here. Overall, I am now left to wonder how people such as my auntie and friend would feel if looks such as the Gonguru were accepted. Would they change their opinions on unique fashion such as the ones that I had worn? What if people accepted my style? Would they do the same? If so, this would definitely be a fine example of how fashion “is not created by a single individual but by everyone involved.”
Yuniya Kawamura's "Fashion-ology"
Yuniya Kawamura's "Japanese Teens as Producers of Street Fashion"
Macias's and Evers's "Japanese Schoolgirl Inferno" and Profile images