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Harajuku fashion snapshots
January 25, 2011 3:04 PM   Subscribe

Daily snapshots of people on the street in Japan. I think it's Harajuku, but I don't speak or read Japanese. Those pictured as slightly less staid than those on The Sartorialist.

I'm sure there's more to the sight, but, again, I don't speak Japanese. For instance, I suspect that these kids are talking about fashion, but I can't understand them.
posted by OmieWise (68 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Indeed, it's Harajuku.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:07 PM on January 25, 2011


LOL
posted by Brocktoon at 3:14 PM on January 25, 2011


Miniature greyhounds in pink jumpsuits. That's what I remember most from Harajuku.
posted by dickasso at 3:16 PM on January 25, 2011


Is it 2000 again, the days of yore when this was novel?
posted by everichon at 3:22 PM on January 25, 2011


Oh Japan, what are we going to do with you.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:23 PM on January 25, 2011


Ah, the understated minimalism of Japan.
posted by aubilenon at 3:23 PM on January 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wabi-Sabi
posted by Ad hominem at 3:28 PM on January 25, 2011


On revision, while [Harajuku] was written in several spots on the right hand side, below the other, smaller pictures, I thought it was easiest to tell that it was Harajuku by the vapid looks of the fashion slaves/accidents being photographed. Sure the country is heading down the shitter, but at least these kids are going to spend money to look good to their peers while going along for the ride.

/becoming a bitter old man
posted by Ghidorah at 3:29 PM on January 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


For instance, I suspect that these kids are talking about fashion, but I can't understand them.

These are indeed interviews with fashion kids (東京リアルトレンド"を動画で毎日紹介 = "Daily video introduction to Tokyo's REAL TRENDS").

Fortunately, the same Youtube user has similar videos with English subs.
posted by vorfeed at 3:31 PM on January 25, 2011


Wasn't this stuff pioneered ten years ago by Fruits magazine?
posted by MegoSteve at 3:36 PM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


You beat me to it, MegoSteve. Love the Fruits. And also, Final Fantasy.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 3:38 PM on January 25, 2011


I like the part where she wore the ironic t-shirt.
posted by notion at 3:47 PM on January 25, 2011


You gotta hand it to the Harajuku kids. They really go for it. Nothing half-assed about their efforts.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:47 PM on January 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


..but rarely see traditional Japanese clothing worn in clownish ways by these kids.
posted by stbalbach at 3:49 PM on January 25, 2011


Hm, that's peculiar. The site says Harajuku but to judge from these comments it sounds like these kids are on some sort of communal lawn you all share.
posted by No-sword at 3:54 PM on January 25, 2011 [49 favorites]


Yeah, I find these pictures kind of delightful. I've been looking at them for weeks.
posted by OmieWise at 4:01 PM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Out in the countryside where I used to live, the cool kids shaved their eyebrows. Others wore little pale pink or blue towels around their necks, despite the best efforts of their homeroom teachers. Others wore undershirts under their uniforms with some sort of design or pattern.

These were the tough kids. It was a constant struggle to maintain order and stop them from off-white socks.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:02 PM on January 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


@No-Sword

Unfortunately, freedom of expression cuts both ways.
posted by Alcibiades. at 4:03 PM on January 25, 2011


The internet: a communal lawn we all share.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:10 PM on January 25, 2011 [9 favorites]


I'm just jealous.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:14 PM on January 25, 2011


Style Arena does weekly shots as well from Harajuka, Shibuya, and Omotesando, Daikanyama and Ginza.

(Ginza's styles always make wonder how much those people spend on clothing and accessories, especially those university students.)
posted by tksh at 4:32 PM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


tksh, the thing is, the Harajuku and Shibuya styles are just as expensive as the Ginza stuff. Sure, one or two kids finds something cast off or used, but then the trend watchers catch on, and the new craze is in stores the next day, and you're looking at $300 for an artfully distressed sweater.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:36 PM on January 25, 2011


(also, what the hell is up with the wampa legs this year?)
posted by Ghidorah at 4:37 PM on January 25, 2011


It looks like skinny ties are in again.
posted by adso at 4:42 PM on January 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is pretty fun. Does this group of folks dress like this as something to be taken seriously, no laughing allowed, or is it with a sense of fun?
posted by maxwelton at 5:02 PM on January 25, 2011


Unfortunately, freedom of expression cuts both ways.

Shit that dull don't do no cuttin'.

Y'all oldsters don't want us to dig up some pictures of people looking stylishly silly in decades past, would you? Because I have a feeling it would be very, very easy to do so. Very.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:09 PM on January 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't like people having fun with clothing.
posted by everichon at 5:14 PM on January 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


or is it with a sense of fun?

Definitely sense of fun. These kids are all about the fun.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:14 PM on January 25, 2011


Like 80s fashion in North America was any better.
posted by bwg at 5:15 PM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately, my disdain has little to do with fashion, and more with having actively worked with young Japanese people for the last ten years. I've been assured that the situation is the same back home, but lord, I hope not.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:28 PM on January 25, 2011


OMG. A search for Harajuku led me to this trend of light up smiles. The first vid clip on this link is both fascinating and a little horrifying.
posted by binturong at 5:31 PM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Harajuku kids are awesome.

Rich, vapid, and mind-crushingly boring to talk to, but awesome.

They are a tiny spark of color in an increasingly anemic Japan drained of economic vitality.

Friends are always disappointed when they come to Japan and have the sudden realization that Harajuku is just a tiny outdoor cosplay event space. The other 99.9% of the country is dressed in cheap black Uniqlo suits and toting the same faux-leather briefcase they've had since the bubble burst.

But at least you can head down to Harajuku station on a Sunday, wait for an hour to steal a window seat in a cafe on Omotesando, and watch a cat-walk parade of fashion that New York and Paris designers only dream of producing.
posted by jet_manifesto at 6:17 PM on January 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Kamikaze Girls seems like a movie version of these kids.
posted by medeine at 6:40 PM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Apparently, clown shoes (or shoes at least 3 sizes too big for one's feet) are going to be the next fashion trend... I assume its done to visually foreshorten the body (perhaps, in a nod to the American urban style of oversized and extremely low-slung pants), but, man, it is very strange and (to this fashion-challenged, Western) eye, a little disorienting.
posted by Chrischris at 6:41 PM on January 25, 2011


Kamikaze Girls seems like a movie version of these kids.

Kamikaze Girls features one girl who is really into the Gothic Lolita look (which a sub-plot of the film revolves around in a hilarious way), and I guess it is a subset of these kids but is pretty specific (and kinda old at this point I think), and another girl who is yanki, which I'm having a hell of a time finding a proper description of, but is basically like a rough delinquent sorta thing.

I love that movie. Anna Tsuchiya is super hot too...but I digress...
posted by dubitable at 6:53 PM on January 25, 2011


Oh, reading that Wiki page I see that actually Momoko was into a subset of Gothic Lolita, "Sweet Lolita," and that the brand featured in the movie is a really brand: "Baby, The Stars Shine Bright."

You know, if you cared.

God, the scene in that movie in that shop where Momoko meets the boss and faints and Ichiko gets pissed never fails to crack me up.
posted by dubitable at 7:01 PM on January 25, 2011


"is a really brand" --> "is a real brand" doh.
posted by dubitable at 7:02 PM on January 25, 2011


So where exactly do these kids go to shopping to find such cool clozes?
posted by Hoopo at 8:58 PM on January 25, 2011


Um, Harajuku.

Or did you mean which store? 'Cause I think there are a lot of little small shops in Harajuku all with different sorts of clothes catering to different styles (and price ranges...).
posted by dubitable at 9:02 PM on January 25, 2011


Yeah I know--I used to live an hour outside Tokyo. I was making a (poor) "go to shopping" joke thinking the MeFi eikaiwa expats might get it.
posted by Hoopo at 9:29 PM on January 25, 2011


Is it still cutting edge to be trend spotting by observing teenagers in Tokyo for future product development and design directions or have we moved on yet to some emerging markets yet?
posted by infini at 9:30 PM on January 25, 2011


(too many yets, whoops)
posted by infini at 9:32 PM on January 25, 2011


Wow, Tom Waits as a young Japanese hipster.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:42 PM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah I know--I used to live an hour outside Tokyo. I was making a (poor) "go to shopping" joke thinking the MeFi eikaiwa expats might get it.

Oh. I know just enough about Japanese culture to be dangerous to myself and others. So I took the bait but you went way over my head...sorry for the fumble...
posted by dubitable at 10:01 PM on January 25, 2011


Wow, Tom Waits as a young Japanese hipster.

What is up with those gloves, are those work gloves?
posted by dubitable at 10:02 PM on January 25, 2011


They look like gardening gloves.

Did anyone notice there are a lot of the same people in these photos? Just days apart, but with wildly different outfits? It seems there's a handful of people who make up this scene and work really hard at it.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:13 PM on January 25, 2011


hoopo, I've been here so long, it didn't even leap out at me. Then again, I've got 3rd year JH students who can't even respond to 'good morning' without looking like they'll burst a blood vessel.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:14 PM on January 25, 2011


It looks like skinny ties are in again.

He was my favorite, that vintage kimono is great. What is he using as a bag?
posted by clearlydemon at 10:32 PM on January 25, 2011


wow. i can see the americanization of japan at hand. but just like all other country's they take it to the nine and make it in a way look so much better then we do.
posted by Josuh42 at 10:32 PM on January 25, 2011


wow. i can see the americanization of japan at hand. but just like all other country's they take it to the nine and make it in a way look so much better then we do.

What? Japan was "Americanized" sixty years ago. In fact, they surpassed mere Americanization quite early on; they're probably up to Neptunization by now.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:00 AM on January 26, 2011


Meh. I'll take fashion that actually exists in the real world (The Sartorialist) over crazy-Harajuku people that only exist in Harajuku
posted by clockworkjoe at 12:12 AM on January 26, 2011


neat! I have the same coat as this person does! It's (I think) from a salvation army band uniform - probably 60 - 80 years old. Mine has the crosses on he sleeves (which I have embroidered little X's through because I'm and atheist) and the collar says CAMDEN 23. Mine is still black, the one in the picture looks like it's been sun bleached. So interesting that the same antique coat is being worn so far away! I love vintage clothes.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:13 AM on January 26, 2011


This one is really great - all the elements blend, it makes a nice sillouette, it even has a theme. So many of the others are just too damn random, and make their wearers look like walking laundry hampers!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:26 AM on January 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


These wonderful colourful glorious fruitcakes are better than any of the bitter arseholes who ridicule them.

You know what really sucks? Boring.

In fact, they surpassed mere Americanization quite early on; they're probably up to Neptunization by now.

Absolutely.
posted by The Monkey at 5:49 AM on January 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think these are great.
I could look at them all day. In fact, if you don't want them on your lawn, they can come and hang out on mine.
posted by jonesor at 7:13 AM on January 26, 2011


wow. i can see the americanization of japan at hand. but just like all other country's they take it to the nine and make it in a way look so much better then we do.

You got it mixed up. Fashion in Japan is at least one or two years ahead of North America.

posted by KokuRyu at 9:44 AM on January 26, 2011


You got it mixed up. Fashion in Japan is at least one or two years ahead of North America.

When I first moved to Japan, all the kids were wearing a certain style. A year and a half later when I was leaving, the styles had changed, but it was kinda funny moving to Vancouver and seeing that all the Japanese girls doing "homestay" were wearing the stuff that was in almost 2 years ago in Japan but just sort of hitting with everyone else in North America.

By a strange coincidence, the style at all the stores in Tokyo during the winter I spent there (5-ish years ago) seemed to be puffy vests & coats, fur-trimmed-hood jackets, plaid flannel shirts, mukluks, and toques. For a minute I almost felt like Canada was trendsetting and fashion forward.
posted by Hoopo at 10:21 AM on January 26, 2011


Lots of people who buy their clothes at Jusco in this thread.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:39 PM on January 26, 2011


Ten years ago I generally had to buy my clothes in the "BIG SIZE" section of the local Heiwado (a department store chain found in the more or less rural prefectures of Shiga, Fukui and Ishikawa). I was just happy to get a pair of pants that fit (at the time I had a 36-inch waist). At one point (this was at the dawn of the Internet) I even considered looking for a store catering to sumo in Kyoto or something.

Somebody told me about this great store called "Uniqlo" out on Route 8... They actually alter your trousers for you while you wait! After that, it was nothing but Uniqlo. I still have a couple of jackets and some v-necks from there.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:45 PM on January 26, 2011


I don't buy my clothes at Jusco, though thanks for assuming. I buy clothes where they fit, and look decent enough. On the other hand, I don't feel the need to let my clothes be a stand-in for personality anymore. When I was younger, in high school and college, sure, I wore clothes that helped me blend in with groups I thought I wanted to be a member of. As I've gotten older, I've decided to let my personality be what people judge me by, if they would like to get to know me better or not. At the same time, honestly, people who are going to judge me (and find me wanting) based on my clothing choices? Probably not people I'd really have much in common with.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:28 PM on January 26, 2011


Lots of people who buy their clothes at Jusco in this thread.

In regards to your response to that Ghidorah, I have a feeling that was another Kamikaze Girls reference, but could be wrong...

Also, Hoopo, you just reminded me of this Japanese drama I just watched where the main female character was wearing this big poofy coat with fur trim for much of the episode, and...super short shorts, like almost ass-hanging-out short. Hilarious, although I didn't really think about it at all until you mentioned the Canadian style thing.

KokuRyu, last time I was in Japan I purposely bought like four pairs of pants at Uniqlo, in part because I'm a small guy by American standards (5'6"), and it is SO awesome to go clothes shopping somewhere where for the most part you are a "medium." I'm probably one of the few American/Western guys who actually has better luck shopping in Japan than my native country...here, I sometimes have gone into the boy's or women's section (yes) to find something that fits. *sigh*
posted by dubitable at 8:48 PM on January 26, 2011


I'm probably one of the few American/Western guys who actually has better luck shopping in Japan than my native country...

now that's just cruel... (why yes, I do most of my shopping in other countries, why do you ask?)
posted by Ghidorah at 9:16 PM on January 26, 2011


I'm probably one of the few American/Western guys who actually has better luck shopping in Japan than my native country...

I'm in that club with you. The fit is usually perfect for me. Except for one thing: if I want a shirt that's a little big and baggy, that can be tough. I mean, what they call X-large at Uniqlo is a joke. It's an American medium, pretty much.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:21 PM on January 26, 2011


what they call X-large at Uniqlo is a joke

Definitely, and as someone who wears X-large, well, I'm screwed. On the other hand, there are stores (like Eddie Bauer and Land's End, and occasionally Gap) that sell things in American sizes. There have been more than a few times where I would have happily plunked down X-amount of yen for something here, but found that the largest size is something that might fit a hand puppet. I mean, Extra Small? In men's clothing?

why yes, I will be having a salad for dinner tonight.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:59 PM on January 26, 2011


I have a feeling that was another Kamikaze Girls reference, but could be wrong...

Yeah, all the other village people besides Momoko shop for clothes at the local branch of Jusco.

On the other hand, I don't feel the need to let my clothes be a stand-in for personality anymore.


And when you eventually stop having to defend that position, or caring about what other people think about that, you'll have finally have it cracked.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:34 AM on January 27, 2011


now that's just cruel... (why yes, I do most of my shopping in other countries, why do you ask?)

Haha...sorry Ghidorah, honestly didn't mean it as a slight...in fact, it gets really tiresome in the US to be such a small guy everywhere, for a LOT of reasons. It's nice to be somewhere where I feel...average! Although otherwise it's pretty hard to fit in in Japan...*sigh* Damnit, where are my true people!
posted by dubitable at 3:34 PM on January 27, 2011


I didn't take it as a slight, no worries. I do understand what you mean, though. I'm about 5'8" or so, which makes me on the shorter side of average in the States. Here? When I play pick up basketball, it makes me the power forward or the center, which helps to cover for my otherwise complete lack of skill.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:20 PM on January 27, 2011


Yeah, same here Ghidorah--I'm 6'4", so the only clothes I could buy were from hip hop stores, which thankfully there were a few of in the Shonan. I still have a bright yellow Miles Davis On the Corner t-shirt I bought in Fujisawa in my closet. Shoes though...that really hurt cuz Japan has some really nice shoes in small sizes. All I can say is thank god for Hikari no Kutsu in Shinjuku.
posted by Hoopo at 9:05 AM on January 28, 2011


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