I am sure you j-pop fashion poppers know who Tsubasa Masuwake is. I didn’t, I just found out about her and while some of the clothes she wears are decent, I cannot stand her pouty lips. What the heck is she doing pursing them in bids to look cute? OK it is her job and she does look cute in some of the pictures but here’s what I can’t stand: Random Asian teens camwhoring in their blog full of pictures and nonsensical word-noises from their lack of vocabulary. Guess who are they modeling after?
This magazine is young as compared to many of the other magazines out there but it is making headwaves with the type of fashion it is covering. Koakuma Ageha has a cutesy take on the Lolita sub-fashion culture in Japan. Hence, if you’re interested in the Gothic, Cute, etc Lolita styles, this is the magazine is a good start for you. The magazines covers hairstyles, make-ups, latest fashion trends and targets young women who are into designer brands.
Well, it’s definitely an eye candy magazine that measures up in substance :)
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.
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.
PingMag has once again come up with a great article on Japanese fashion. This time, they interview some of the photographers responsible for those ’street fashion’ shots from Harajuku and Shibuya. I’ve written about Shoichi Aoki earlier – the photographer behind FRUiTS magazine, amongst others, but he is far from being the only man witha camera in Harajuku.
One thing that this article really highlighted for me is the breadth of magazines in Japan. In this article alone, there were magazines mentioned that were aimed at 20 year old men, young couples and women who ride bicycles.
This isn’t really Japanese news…but it’s related and it’s on a personal note for me so just grin and bear it, ok?
Manifest is the Melbourne Anime Festival and my annual anime stomping ground. Every year they have a cosplay contest but this year they’re changing the rules a little bit.
From the website:
This year we have planned a special “FRuITS Fashion Competition” for the Friday of Manifest.
“The “FRUiTS look” could be summarized as combining traditional Japanese styles of dress with an irreverent approach to modifying and combining elements of clothing, accessories, and technology.”
Seeing as we only have Cosplay competitions on the weekend of Manifest where only Japanese anime/manga and video game characters are allowed, we wanted to take into account and support the ever growing Japanese fashion and acknowledge the hard work that some of our attendees go through to look good.
This competition is mainly for fun and hopes to relieve some of the pressure the weekend Cosplay Competitions may have.
What can be entered?
For our competition we are allowing any form of “Japanese pop culture fashion” This includes, but isn’t limited to, Visual Kei & J-rock (take for example Mana) J-pop (Morning Misume) Elegant Gothic Lolita, Sweet Lolita, Ama-loli (basically any of the “lolita” styles), traditional Japanese clothing (kimonos and yukatas), school uniforms (fuku) Japanese punk styles, Harajuku, Decora, Kogal, “Fruit” style and many more. Own creations are encouraged, we understand that there are some people that can purchase beautiful garments from Japan @_@ but this will be greatly taken into account when judging.
If you read my ramblings regularly, you’ll know that I am a huge fan of the FRUiTS magazine and books so this is going to be great fun for me. I’ll be taking along my camera to take lots of pictures on how Australians interpret Japanese street fashions. Stay tuned in October!
Shoichi Aoki is one very cool 55 year old. I wrote about his magazine FRUiTS yesterday, but he has two other magazines that he publishes monthly.
STREET magazine again follows street fashion, but from the major cities around the world. It was started by Aoki in 1985 in London, and is still going strong today. It’s fair to say that STREET magazine helped introduce street fashion to the Japanese youth.
The cities he visits each issue are printed on the cover, and it is available by subscription (or you can order back issues) from the website. http://www.street-mg.com
TUNE magazine is a mere 10 issues old. It is based once more in Japan and can almost be seen as a male version of FRUiTS (which isn’t entirely true since plenty of males appear in FRUiTS). The photos aren’t necessarily limited to Harajuku either, the spiritual home of FRUiTS. Nevertheless, if you like your street fashions to be a bit grittier and masculine, TUNE is for you.
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.