Sunday, November 25, 2012

Agents of Japanese Fashion

            In this week’s reading of “Japanese Teens as Fashion Producers of Street Fashion”, Kawamura argues that the Japanese fashion subculture play a huge role in shifting the traditional order of disseminating fashion to a bottom up approach. She claims that those who are consumers are also the producers of fashion with the example of the Japanese subcultures. For instance, the Japanese high school girls she describes are the agents of fashion. Agents of fashion mean that these girls are the one that produce the trends. Kawamura says, “Japanese street fashion does not come from the famous professional Japanese designers, but is led by high school girls who have become extremely influential in controlling fashion trends.”(784). I agree with Kawamura on this because these Japanese school girls are making a huge statement in the way they dress to create their own identity and they are also making a silent movement within the fashion industry. Japanese schoolgirls choose to dress up as Harajuku girls, Gonguro girls, Kogals, Manba girls, etc. to show society that they are young, creative, and influential. They are slowly forming their own niche within their country. I think their fashion goes against society because Kogals, Gonguros, and Manbas show that pale white skin shouldn't be the beauty standard in Asia. Their clothing and makeup goes against social norms and has established a strong foothold in fashion. When I was a teen, I felt like makeup was the only form of change I can do to make a statement. So if I were a Japanese high school girl, I would most likely explore other forms of fashion because it is fun and it would make me feel liberated.

              The fashion subculture of Japan has spread over to America by way of celebrities and influence in the clothing line industry. For instance Gwen Stefani utilized the Harajuku trend to her advantage in selling her Love. Angel. Music. Baby. album in 2004 and as well as starting her own Harajuku Lovers named clothing line and perfumes. Stores like Uniqlo and Superdry that sell practical clothing are slowly opening within America as well. The continuous pop up of Japanese clothing stores show that there is an increasing acceptance of fashion from around the world.

The biggest hurdle of November has finally past and it was a struggle I only hope to live through once. I did not follow through with my plans for the break. On the last update, I stated that I would keep myself busy with physical activities and possibly attending museums, but I am a complete flake on my own plans. The only physical activity was shopping in downtown San Francisco with my sister and my cousins. Everything went downhill since Thanksgiving dinner when i found out that stores opened at 12AM and Urban Outfitters was going to 50% off sale prices. We started at 12 AM, took a break at 4AM, and then resumed at 12PM. I'm very picky when it comes to clothing so I ended up only a few things. My haul consisted of: $5 H&M Sweater, 2x $15 sweaters from Urban Outfitters, and 2 candles from Bath and Body Works. I was going to buy a few other items like a pj set at Target but I already did so much damage so i refrained myself from it. In my defense, I bought practical clothing to accommodation the weather. I think the damage I did this Thanksgiving weekend will put things into perspective for the next week. 

Mable Ng
Blog Post #4

Inside Source:
Yuniya Kawamura. “Japanese Teens As Fashion Producers of Street Fashion.” Reader.

Outside Source:
Fox, Imogen. "How Superdry Quietly Took over the Fashion World." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 14 July 2011. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. .

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