Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pika Pika Pi-kigurumin?! Blog # 8

Fashion, it depends on where you live, what season and whats in. In Japan there seems to be a lot going on with street fashion because every district has its own unique fashion and its own unique taste. In the article by Yuniya Kawamura, "Japanese Teens as Producers of Street Fashion", we learn of the different styles of street clothing found in Japan from the early 1970's to todays fashion. I also found a website all about the Japanese lifestyle and how the youth then and now have established street fashions according to their districts in Japan. In Kawamura's article, she talks about how fashion is all about identity... you wear what you feel is you, and I agree with that. I'm the type of person that likes to wear clothing thats comfortable but I also want to look good, so my sense of fashion reflects on how I'm feeling. I find that Japanese fashion is very bold and makes a very loud statement. It's not something ordinary and normal for many westerners to see, but to the Japanese youth its the norm. Japanese street fashion is so broad and interesting! Japanese fashion seems to represents the lifestyle and the place in which these teens live. For example, the Gal / Kogal fashion is a subculture within the urban districts of Japan in which girls and young women alike dress and display their societal marking; in other words their "disposable incomes through unique tastes in fashion, music, and social activity" (website). In the website, they describe Kogal/Gal girls as girls that conform into the western look, mostly the Californian Valley girl. However in another distict, we can find the Ganguro (literally means "black-face") street fashion in which many girls are highly tanned, plantinum blonds and cake on layers of makeup, not to mention they like to wear very bright colors and wear a lot of accessories.

Desktop-1.jpg picture by aprilisbeforemay Theres no point in talking about Japanese street fashion if you don't talk about "KAWAII-iiiiii". I seriously think its gross that people get a kick out of young women acting like kids and dressing like kids...its like a whole other version of pedophilia without having to worry about the age... ughhh GROSS! I feel that a lot of Japanese fashion that focuses on the kawaii stage are a loophole around the aging carousel. I mean, you can't really expect not to grow up now can you? Wearing pajamas such as the kigurimin fashion in Kawamura's article is a whole other level. These are girls that are way over the age of wearing onsies out in the open. I must admit they are cute and yes I would wear them...but in public?! uhh I think not. In Kawamura's article it says that the point of the Kigurim fashion was "to look cute and outrageous and yet still remain in a heightened state of comfort. But i still find the ultimate version of kawaii is the harajuku style that totally oozes overly cuteness.
Its weird seeing girls being too cute when they are around the ages of 16 to 20...weird plain weird... But out of all the Japanese street fashions that Kawamura talks about, the gothic lolita has got to be the most interesting to me. Its like a mix of victorian dress with a bit of punk, emo, with a dash of freakishly weird accessories, maid's outfit, and doll-like looks. Kawamura talks about how the gothloli fashion " don't need to fantasize about European nineteenth century stuff anymore" (kawamura) they have made the style all their own. Gothloli is the darkest of all the Japanese street fashions talked about by screams out rebel but somehow its still cute?! I don't know how Japanese girls can pull this emo/punk/goth look and turn it into something cute but it's really up to the person isn't it?
lolita.jpg picture by aprilisbeforemay
All in all, Japanese street fashion, in its own, is a culture. Each and individual type of fashion found has it's own culture, own beliefs, own lifestyle. Kawamura talks about how these cultures are first then thought of by the youth but is then commercialized to a larger audience, therefore creating a "fashion". We can relate to this somehow... Today in the western world we say that there is the new fashion of wearing preppy style clothing, punk style, hip-hop style, underground, but whats the "in between style", the "comfortable style", or even the "I'm feeling like shit I don't care what I look like" style? That is exactly what Kawamura is talking about; the "social connection and a sense of belonging" (Kawamura) is the definite of what fashion and production of fashion is in Japan. The teens in Japan dress themselves up in unique and very interesting fashions because they feel that they belong in that specific subculture, they believe in the beliefs and values, and norms of the particular group.

In relation with the compact challenge...I didn't go shopping at all this week YAY ME~! (not like i've been buying anything) Is it weird to want to have a sweater with the cute ears on the hoodie? ---> like this! I really want one...but for the compact challenge I wont get one.... I'll get over how cute the hoodie will look in a week, I promise! But I do have a confession about buying a new printer....0_0 my old printer just wont print and if anything buying a new printer might save me more money than having to pay our school for every page I printed after the 30 pages (which used to be 60!) we're allowed to print before having to pay. Another $7 dollars has entered my savings account thanks to the $1/ day thing I'm doing. The weather has been great lately...SPRING has arrived!!! HELLO! If anyone knows the youtube person called glowpinksta or babysmiley then you have to know about her ganguro makeup tutorial...its hilarious. But it's also very educational since it has something to do with what we're learning right now! :)

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



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