Saturday, February 20, 2010

Japanese Street Fashion: Identity vs. Fitting In



I have heard of Japanese street fashion but never did really read into it. I found that Japanese street fashion is quite a phenomenon. The article, "Japanese Teens as Producers of Street Fashion" by Yuniya Kawamura, expanded my knowledge toward Japanese street fashion and raised ton of questions for me also. Surfing through the internet, I actually found websites, magazines based, indicating the type of fashion in trend and showcase street model. Japan Street Fashion

In her article, Kawamura mentions about how fashion is all about creating identity and sense of individual (Kawamura). I must agree that Japanese street fashion is very unique and has lot of personal touches. Yet, later on, she mentions on how salesgirls in the stores such as Shibuya 109 Department Store becomes the trend setters as well as the model to follow (Kawamura). Then where is this thing call personal identity through fashion in this? Through the reading, I am able to see that there are two group of street fashion. One wear to fit in and the other wear because it's "kawaii."

All the school girls just basically "copy" what the salesgirls are wearing because they think the clothes that she wears are "in fashion" at the time (Kawamura). The school girls just looking to fit in with the society by wearing what in trend. Where is their thing so called "personal identity through fashion" in this?

For the other group, they feels the clothes and having this "kawaii" feeling to their clothes (Kawamura). They takes whatever fashion have to offer and create their own styles out of what already has. But does it really make them a designer? A designer not only have to have the sense of fashion but also they have to have something unique about them and be able to understand/basic knowledge of sewing/cutting/creating fashion from a piece of fabric. It not like if you buy clothes from department store and alter it that make you a designer. Then everyone is a designer.

Japan really redefines the definition of designer and fashion.

What is fashion now? What does it take to be a designer?

In the articles, they also mention the cost of each piece of clothing to be inexpensive at the range from $30-$50. Also, new products come in every two to three weeks(Kawamura). Then average spending of a school girl is more than $300 per months. Supposed if they take on the Compact Challenge, they would not last because they are so into the habit of buying and wearing these fashion which must update almost every month.

For me, the Compact Challenge has been very successful for me. Not only that I saved lots of money and slowly breaking my shopping habit. I manage another week without shopping. I should totally celebrate this by the end of the quarter :D

Tu Le
Blog #8

Work Cited:

Kawamura, Yuniya. "Japanese Teens as Producers of Street Fashion." Current Sociology. Davis: SAGE Publications, 2006. Print. 784-801

Duits, Kjeld. "Japanese Streets." Japanese Streets. JapaneseStreets, 2010. Web. 20 Feb 2010. .

Image 1:http://www.japanesestreets.com/media/1043.jpg
Image 2: http://www.japanesestreets.com/media/988.jpg

1 comment:

carolina said...

too much summary and not enough analysis. lacks outside source. 2/3