The Tokyo street scene is not defined by one style, as evidenced by the Tokyo Above-Underground Fashion Show at the inaugural Waku Waku +NYC at Verboten in Brooklyn. Misha Janette, an American-born, Tokyo-based stylist, fashion journalist, editor of the popular fashion blog Tokyo Fashion Diaries, and host of Kawaii International on NHK WORLD TV, curated the show. Janette selected two looks from ten labels that she says are trending on the streets of Tokyo right now.
Of the Tokyo street scene, Janette says, “Some styles don’t have a name yet. Others feed off of older versions and evolve. They take a lot of inspiration from the West, from Hollywood.”
Tokyo Above-Underground Fashion Show will air on Kawaii International on NHK WORLD TV Saturday, September 26 and Saturday, October 3. Here are the styles you’ll see on the program.
Style: Ame-Hara (short for “American Harajuku)
Brand: Aymmy In the Batty Girls
Janette’s Description: “ . . . it shows how Harajuku can pick up a style from outside its borders and still make it completely something Tokyo-style.”
Style: Sweet Girlie Style
Janette’s Description: “This particular vision of sweet girlie style is inspired by visions of Princess-y romance and vintage silhouettes but re-imagined for street wear for girls in their 20s.”
Style: Harajuku School
Brand: Neb Aaran Do
Janette’s Description: “This brand takes hints from both the school sailor style AND the real sailor uniform, making it a mysterious, androgynous style worn by both genders. School uniforms worn as fashion is a huge trend in Tokyo now.”
Style: Street-stle Yukata
Janette’s Description: “Although the world of Kimono and Yukata are filled with rules and restrictions, this brand shows the free-wheeling side of these traditional robes.”
Style: Vintage Fairy Tale
Janette’s Description: “Styles in Tokyo come and go very quickly, and Grimoire was born when a vintage trend called ‘Forest Girl’ was very popular. Grimoire’s particular vision of vintage style has survived by following the trends and evolving with them.”
Style: Japanese Gothic
Brand: NUDE N’RUDE
Janette’s Description: “ . . . an orthodox Japanese gothic style, with elements of steampunk and dark fantasy that are popular in Tokyo today. Although Japanese street style is thought of being just fluffy and sweet, this version of Goth is meant to be strong and elegant.”
Style: Shibuya Gal
Janette’s Description: “The Shibuya Gal, or ‘gyaru’ style is one of the longest ever running in Tokyo and has gone through many evolutions since it first appeared in the ‘90s. [This] represents a pure-blood vision of the GYARU style, which is known for being garish and loud, as well as sexy and strong.”
Style: “Future Asian” (This is a new side of Harajuku)
Brand: M.Y.O.B NYC
Janette’s Description: “MYOB stands for ‘Mind Your Own Business,’ and two Japanese girls launched this brand while living here in New York a few years ago. The brand’s designs are mostly black and white with Asian design elements from India and the Middle East thrown in, mixed with a sporty taste.”
Style: Kawaii Anarchy
Brand: 6% DOKIDOKI
Janette’s Description: “6% DOKIDOKI is a leading brand in Harajuku, representing the well known side of ‘Kawaiii Fashion.’ Their concept is ‘Sensational Kawaii,’ seen with acid-colors and toybox accessories. This is a favorite for fans of Decora-style, which piles on colorful accessories and layers for a chaotic decorated look.”
Style: Neo Street Style
Janette’s Description: “You can create this look with clothes found at Tokyo’s premier underground shop Hayatochiri. This is where some of Tokyo’s most hardcore fringe fashion can be found, filled with one-of-a-kind items made by young designers in Tokyo. It mixes cyber, hip-hop, cosplay, gyaru, and vintage styles for a truly unique look. Just as Harajuku was cooling down, this new style has fired it up again!”
These styles aren’t an everyday look for the average Japanese young adult. Janette says that dress in these fashions after school and on weekends. People who work in the shops in Harajuku, however, will dress like this, representing their specific brand.
We haven’t seen these styles in New York yet, and Janette maintains that we won’t until New Yorkers as a whole learn to allow people to have the freedom to wear styles such as these. “In Japan you can wear whatever you want without being bothered,” says Janette.
Tokyo Above-Underground Fashion Show by Misha Janette from Waku Waku +NYC will air on the program Kawaii International on NHK WORLD TV. In the New York area, NHK WORLD TV can be found on Comcast/Xfinity at Ch. 265, Time Warner at Ch. 223, Verizon Fios at Ch. 482, and WRNN at Ch. 48.5.
For more photos of the fashion show and of Waku Waku +NYC, please visit our Flickr album.