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Japanese Fashion

Japanese Fashion

     When talking about fashion in Japan it is just impossible not to acknowledge the fact that Japanese people have an incredible sense of style. Fashion plays a huge role in Japanese peoples everyday life because they have a special attitude towards clothing. In Japan fashion is considered to be a simple way to express yourself, to manifest who you are, and to show others that you are aware of the newest trends. This phenomenon can be easily observed in Japanese biggest cities, especially in such metropolis as Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.

    Japanese fashion can be seen as a mixture of all European, exotic, futuristic and traditional styles. The Japanese designers like Issey Miyaki, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo belong to the most famous and innovative fashion creators today.

Traditional Fashion

    The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of  Japanese clothing is the Kimono, which literally translated simply means 'clothing'. This traditional outfit is one of the most recognizable parts of Japanese culture. Although it is not commonly in use any more, you can still spot Japanese women wearing kimono from time to time, but in most cases it indicates some formal meeting, religious holidays or family ceremonies, such as weddings.  There are many types of kimono, each worn according to the persons age, marital status, season or event.

    Furisode is a formal kimono type worn by young unmarried women. They are very colorful , bright, rich with patterns and  made of very fine quality silk. The Furisode Kimono is mostly worn for some social functions, as tea ceremony, ikebana classes or a wedding ceremony.

    Another formal kimono type is called Tomesode. It has the same social function as furisode with one basic difference, namely it is worn by married and older women only. The kimono has short sleeves, it's designs are more solid and the colors are more subtle. Tomesode can be basically broken down into varied categories based on social functions they have.

    The other type of traditional Japanese Kimono is called Yukata. This is a summer casual kimono worn by both men and women. For more formal occasions this kimono type can be accompanied by wooden sandals, called geta and obi belt wrapped around the waist. Yukata is lightweight cotton kimono  normally with very brightly coloured designs on it.  It is mostly worn for summer festivals and religious ceremonies such as Bon-Odori.

Modern Fashion

    Japan is famous for its amazing street fashion. One of the most popular Japanese fashion styles is known as Cosplay, which is a part of Japanese subculture concentrated at  dressing in a similar way as one of your favorite characters from manga, anime, video games and fantasy movies. The word cosplay is a contraction of the English words 'costume' and 'play' and explains the meaning of the whole idea of this fashion movement. The cosplay fans consider this way of dressing up as a hobby and often take part in many clothing contests.

    The other popular Japanese fashion trend is known as Lolita style. This look is inspired by children’s clothing and adults sophisticated costumes from Victorian era. There are a number of categories of Lolita movement. The most common style is Gothic Lolita, which is a blend of sweet porcelain doll look and more wild styles as goth and punk ones. The other examples of Lolita Look are Sweet Lolita, whose characteristic features are childish pastel-colored clothes and lots of lace and ribbons, and Classic Lolita, which seems to be more traditional with its light-colored and more mature-looking outfit.

    Another very popular fashion movement in Japan is Kogal. This look is very common among young Japanese woman living in a big cities who want to emphasize their income and unique test in fashion, music and social activities. This look is the best way to show that you are aware of the newest clothing and cultural trends. The most typical features of this style, besides very fashionable way of dressing up, is 'Californian tan'.

    The last very dressy Japanese fashion look is Ganguro, which literally translated means 'black face'. This name explains why the movement involves a deep tan. As the other basic characteristics are named bleached hair, artificial lashes, white lipstick, both black and white eyeliners, platform shoes, and brightly colored clothes. The root of this trend can be derived from middle 90's to the time of very popular Japanese singer named Amuro Namie.


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