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Archive for the 'FRUiTS' Category

9/18/2006

Street Fashion Photographers

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.

Photo from pingmag.jp

Link:
PingMag: Interviewing Omotesando Street Fashion Crews


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8/2/2006

FRUiTS Fashion Goes Conventional!

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.”

Why?
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!


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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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12/15/2005

Para Para photo photo!

Eurobeat music, despite the name, is actually biggest in Japan, thanks to para para. So it’s not surprising that a Eurobeat CD/LP company actually references Japan and some of the subcultures there.

While the ganguro are probably all for a spot of para para, I’m not sure I can imagine some of the alien fetishists in Harajuku in the clubs dancing to cheesy Eurobeat music. Nevertheless, this website has a small blurb and some cute photos of ganguro, Harajuku, Maid Cafe and general Tokyo fashions.


HI NRG ATTACK – A Eurobeat Para Para studio


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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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7/9/2005

Shoichi Aoki’s other magazines

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.

Back issues and subscriptions are available again from his website: http://www.street-mg.com

While thse two magazines aren’t as famous as FRUiTS, they are very interesting to read to see where Aoki has come from (STREET) and where he’s going (TUNE).


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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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