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Archive for the 'EGL' Category

1/10/2007

Japanese Fashion Magazines: Gothic & Lolita Bible

I’m going to try and focus on the fashion magazines and books that are common in Japan for the next few posts. This information may not be complete and accurate, because my Japanese is poor and a lot of the information I’m finiding is quite old. If there’s anything that I’ve said incorrectly or something that you want to add, please feel free to add to it in the comments.

While I was still in Japan, my housemate purchased the highly appropriately named Gothic & Lolita Bible. This thing was a tome. It was huge. And fairly hugely priced at a bit under 2000 yen. The Bible has many articles, interviews with Visual-kei artists that goth-lolis so often idolise, catalogues, photos, manga and even outfit designs for budding cosplayers and gothloli heads. In theory, it’s published quarterly but don’t bet on that. It seems to be pretty erratic.

Image from http://www.trashqueen.it/gothiclolita/htm/magazine.htm

The Bible is a huge success in Japan (and around the world as Gothic Lolita and EGL became popular outside of Japan) and has spawned some spin-off magazines. The Gothic & Lolita Extra Volume seems to be just a collection of things that couldn’t fit into previous volumes. It looks like there is only one of these, but more may appear in the future. The Gothic & Lolita Hair Make Bible focusses obviously on the hair and make-up techniques and trends followed by gothlolis and finally the Gothic Lolita & Punk Brand Book is basically just a catalogue of fashions available. It has photos of all the typical fashions you can find for sale along Takeshita-dori and Harajuku.

I’ve seen it available for sale in quite a few places, but you probably won’t find it at your local 7-Eleven store. Akihabara has stockists given that a few of the maids in the maid cafes also follow Goth Loli fashions. Our sponsors at JList will sell you subscriptions, no matter where in the world you live.


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4/25/2006

Where to Shop

One slightly annoying thing about Japan – if you don’t read or speak any Japanese – is that shops, bars, restaurants, even schools are pretty difficult to find. This is because they tend to be tucked into the millions of office buiidings and skyrises throughout the country. The only hint that there might be a really funky discount clothing shop in this building is a tiny, flourescent lit sign hanging off the side of the building. But it’s all written in katakana, so most gaijin would miss it straight away.

While wandering around Harajuku, I’ve taken to just exploring every nook I can find, walking downs stairs into basements, pressing random buttons in elevtaors…just to see if I can find some interesting clothes shops.

This has been successful on a few occassions, such as the time we found a ¥390 shop. Everything was ¥390 (I *think* that was the price) – including shirts, hats, shoes, bags, endless amounts of jewellery and so on. My housemate and I decided that we would choose a colour and make a Harajuku outfit based on it from items in that store. Twas great fun.

If you’re not brave enough to just randomly walk into buildings and look around, then there’s a few websites you can look at for decent maps:

superfuture has shopping maps for cities around the world, including 10 just for Tokyo. Each shop listed has a short description to it. The downside to the maps is that you can’t seem to filter out only the shops you want (eg: clothing), so the maps look quite cluttered with dots for clothing, design, bars and restaurants, etc.

One website of interest to GothLoli fans is Sumire’s Tokyo Gothic & Lolita Shopping Guide. Here you’ll find some custom drawn maps and shop descriptions for clothing shops, all of which sell Elegant or Gothic Lolita merchandise in some form. Be warned though, the webpage was last updated in 2004, and while most shops are still there, a few may have moved or closed.

If you know of any other fashion shopping guides in Tokyo or elsewhere in Japan, comment it in here.


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4/24/2006

A Day Out in Harajuku

A few Sundays ago I spent the day in Harajuku. It was a great day, the weather was great and there were plenty of people around. As usual, the kids on Omotesando were dressed in their finest, although there were fewer than usual because the right side of the bridge (facing Meiji Shrine) seems to be getting re-paved, so it was all fenced off.

Netherless, I got plenty of photos – here are some of them. You can click on them to see the rest at my Flickr account.

Photo by Chidade
This gaijin punk received a lot of attention from the usual locals.

Photo by Chidade

It’s Decorer Stitch! Rawr!

Photo by Chidade
A GothLoli Dress for sale at Body Line in Takeshita Street.

Photo by Chidade
My favourite photo from the day. I don’t know why.

Photo by Chidade
On a Sunday stroll through Harajuku…

That’s all for now! Hope you enjoyed them!


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2/14/2006

Premade Fashion

There are many shops along Takeshita Street in Harajuku that offers pre-assembled outfits to fit in with the cool kids on Omotesando. They can be relatively cheap. Most of the are in the Lolita/Gothic Lolita vein but there are a few punk style clothes too.

It’s somehow disappointing. I got into Harajuku fashion because of what those kids could concoct themselves, not because of what they could buy from a shop.

Photo by Chidade

Photo by Chidade

Photo by Chidade

Photo by Chidade


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12/14/2005

Saturdays in Harajuku

I made a trip to Harajuku on Saturday to show some tourist friends around, hoping we’d catch some of the kids in crazy fashions that you’d normally see in droves on Sundays. While they weren’t there in high numbers, they were still quite a few. Mind you, even without them, there’s still plenty to see in Harajuku.

Funky Boots!

A pair of Decorers

Visual Kei

More strange fashion

Socks!


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7/11/2005

A sunday afternoon in Harajuku


(At least) one of them is a man… XD



FRUiTS at its best


Complete with loose socks!


Decorer style






Stripey!


Yip! Yip yip yip! Grr grrr!


I hope they’re cosplaying O_o




Matching brides of darkness and light!


Lolita and Gothic Lolita




I love this hat!


Very cute outfit! Love the shoes!







See? Guys can be decorers too!


The key to decorer fashion: ACCESSORISE!







Frilly parasol!







Haha! Cool glasses!




Girls dressed up Ganguro style






Leg warmers are a great touch


Why go to all the effort of ripping your clothes yourself when you can buy them pre-ripped?











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7/11/2005

Ribbontastic

An interesting post at Web Japan recently. It seems that the humble ribbon is making a comeback in Japanese fashion.
Image from web-japan.org
Well, we all know how popular kawaii things are in Japan. And while I can understand the significance of ribbons and lace in Goth Loli costumes, I draw the line at ribbons being placed all over my clothes.

Ribbons can be in three places only!

1. A simple bow at the front of your underwear
2. A simple bow on each shoe, or sock, but not both and only rarely.
3. Like this:
Image by Fred Gallagher - www.megatokyo.com

Those three ways only!


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7/8/2005

FRUiTS

FRUiTS is a monthly magazine published by photographer Shoichi Aoki in Japan. It started in 1997 after Aoki noticed a new trend in fashion among young people in Harajuku. Instead of a fashion trend that was dictated by designers, this was a trend started by the young people themselves.

Young people would mix traditional Japanese clothing such as kimonos or geta sandals, with Western or local Japanese designs, even with punk clothing. These people were not brand obsessed like most Japanese people are known to be. They developed a “Harajuku Free Style” fashion trend which Aoki wanted to document in FRUiTS.

Since the trend began in the mid-nineties, the street style has expanded to cover many sub-genres, like punk, Decorer, Gothic Lolita or just kawaii.

The trend has died down in recent years – probably due to the fact that Omotesando (the main street in Harajuku) isn’t closed to cars on Sundays anymore, so the FRUiTS kids no longer have anywhere to hang out. Aoki still manages to publish a magazine each month though, especially since the magazine has achieved cult status in both Japan and overseas.

FRUiTS is a great look into the minds and fashions of Harajuku youth and is available by subscription, or in two volumes of books from Phaidon Press.
Photo by Shoichi Aoki
Photo by Shoichi Aoki
Photo by Shoichi Aoki

Links:
The official website
Buy the first FRUiTS book from Amazon and support 3yen.com!
Buy the second FRUiTS book from Amazon and support 3yen.com!


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12/28/2004

Japanese Gothic Lolita

Gothic Lolita or “GothLoli” (ゴスロリ, gosurori) is a fashion particularly popular among Japanese teenagers and young women. It emphasizes Victorian-style girl’s clothing and often aims to imitate the look of Victorian porcelain dolls.

Variations of the Gothic Lolita look include “Classic Lolita” (more traditional clothing) and “Elegant Gothic Lolita” (EGL, which is heavily influenced by gothic fashion). The male analog to this fashion is “Elegant Gothic Aristocrat” (EGA) which shares EGL’s emphasis on the Victorian era, though not on children’s clothing. Gothic Lolita is also influenced by the imagery of more feminine Visual Kei (or “visual rock”) bands. Visual Kei is a Japanese form of pop music where the musical style may vary but defined by bands featuring performers in elaborate costumes.

Mana, the crossdressing former leader and guitarist of the Visual Kei band Malice Mizer, is widely credited for popularizing the Gothic Lolita movement. In 1999, he founded his own fashion label, Moi-même-Moitié, for which he coined the terms Elegant Gothic Lolita and Elegant Gothic Aristocrat. Mana, a male, regularly appears in the Gothic & Lolita Bible, modelling his own Victorian-inspired designs with heavy gothic makeup and big hair. After the breakup of Malice Mizer, Mana founded his solo project, Moi Dix Mois.

The style

Typically voluminous with ribbons, lace trims and frilly knee-length skirts. Usually a combination of black and white, often black with white lace, is worn. Skirts often have a concealed crinoline. In the past, some dresses were adorned by an “Alice in Wonderland”-style apron, but this is no longer common. Skirts are usually worn with knee-high stockings. Black fishnet stockings (often with intentional holes) and white or black tights are also common. Clunky shoes, typically boots or Mary-Janes, complete the look.

Frilly, ruffled or lace-trimmed Victorian blouses are also popular especially with “EGL” types. Typically black or white is worn but grey, red, blue and pastels are occasionally accenting colors. Designs are modest, sometimes with long lace-capped sleeves. A flat chest is preferred. Cleavage and breasts are de-emphasized to preserve a child-like look. Sometimes blouses have “Peter Pan” collars and sleeves.

Headpieces often complement the outfit. Mostly black or white, headgear might consist of a headband with ruffles, ribbons, lace or bows. Sometimes even bonnets or askew top hats (also seen in EGA) are worn. Hair may be curled to complete the porcelain doll look. The naturally dark Japanese hair color is often lightened but rarely to blonde.

Makeup is used sparingly and is seen more often with EGL styles than with other GothLoli styles. Black eyeliner is typical. A pale complexion is preferred, so white foundation might be used. Red or black lipstick is seen but lighter makeup is the rule.

Gothic Lolita outfits may be accessorized with other props like conspicuous pocketbooks, hatboxes, handbags and other bags, sometimes in the shape of bats, coffins, and crucifixes. Parasols are also common as are lace gloves.

Typically, this is not everyday clothing for adherents. Worn primarily in public for concerts and on weekends, the style is mostly for show and not a practical fashion.

“Lolita”

Although “Lolita” is apparently a reference to Vladimir Nabokov’s famous novel, and GothLoli is often worn by teens, most followers of the style do not consider it overtly sexual. Adherents present themselves as Victorian children or baby dolls and prefer to look “cute” rather than “sexy”.

Goth Loli Culture

In Japan it is mass-marketed and has wide visibility particulary in the street in Tokyo, on television, in manga and computer games. Outside of Japan it is still a fringe fashion although it has slowly begun to spread to Europe and the United States. Gothic Lolita, along with Cosplay and other Japanese cultural phenomena, can be seen at concerts and anime conventions throughout Europe and the United States. The style has not yet been mass marketed outside of Japan and probably never will be. However, there are plenty of dedicated fans filling the gap. Gothic Lolita magazines are widely available for purchase on the internet and at Japanese bookstores, which also deal in anime and manga. Adherents in Europe and the United States often sew their own homemade Gothic Lolita outfits, sometimes offering them for sale to make up for the difficulty of acquiring them from Japan.

(Source: Wikipedia)


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