The Harajuku style of fashion comes from a very long history which dates back to 1964. Way before World War II, in 1603, there was a town known as Harajuku, and according to the Japanese, the town inhabited by real-life ninjas, actual ninjas! After World War II, Japan was handed to its allies, and that is when the Harajuku Station was constructed. When the Olympics were being held in Tokyo, the Japanese government got their land back under their control, and that’s when new shops and restaurants started opening. That’s when the fashion industry evolved. That is when the Harajuku style developed throughout the young blood of the Japanese. That’s why I am going to share my knowledge on how to get the Harajuku style.

There was a desire amongst the youngsters to not only be unique but express their individuality. The practice to get the Harajuku style resulted in creating a theatrical style that pushed the youngsters in the 1970s rebelling against the conservative norms of the Japanese culture, which is still known for that conservative nature. There were multiple movements in which the youngsters would close down streets, build up pedestrian zones, dance and perform for the thousands of people who would come to enjoy the show.

Takenoko–Zoku Movement                                          

This was one of the first movements that began the rebel against Japanese norms and culture. Youngsters choreographed in groups in Harajuku, near a local park. They would turn up in different costumes, dress-ups, and make-ups from rock-n-rolla style to avant-garde and spinoffs of traditional dances.

This movement became one of the most inspiring events of their time because not only did it give the younger generation their freedom that they desired, but it also brought together thousands of fashion lovers in the most spectacular way. This led to new fashion shops opening all across the country in Harajuku’s spirit and memory, which continued to grow, develop, and become famous worldwide.

become famous worldwide.

FRUiTS Magazine

maturity to the Harajuku fashion.

This was a magazine led by Shoichi Aoki. He had photographers roam around the streets to capture the best of fashion on the street themselves. There would be multiple fashion icons roaming around because they would be unique in their way. Aoki himself would capture amazing pictures. He started back in London with another magazine, known as STREETS, but went back home when he found out how people had changed the way they dressed.

Aoki waited for the right time and in 1996 began FRUiTS to show and display Harajuku, the new fashion trend born in Japan. The team used to capture people, all ready to be photographed, accepted for how they looked and showed their proudness for what they created and modelled.

With time, the style has faded, but people still work to keep this style alive as people consider this one of the best fashion eras of all time. People have begun to wear more simple and normal clothes, fashion companies of have taken inspiration from these styles, but not completely, which does not help them continue to spread this way of style.

New fashion businesses introduced high street retail brands, which led to the demise of Hokoten, one of the biggest companies that played a huge role to provide maturity to the Harajuku fashion.

Trends of Harajuku

Let’s talk about how to get the style of Harajuku. It’s not as simple as following a certain type of dressing, but a mixture of different styles which would create a unique style of its own. The main features that people count are the layers of clothes worn with different color and designs like costumes that make the Harajuku style. Because Harajuku’s style has no rules, it urges a person to display and show off their inner fashion sense, not restrict themselves and be proud of who they are. Most Harajuku styles comprise colorful, daring, and bold styles.

and bold styles

Subsets of Harajuku

Gyaru Kei:

The Gyaru Kei type of Harajuku is a girly and fun style which represents the teenagers of the west who rebelled with colored nails, false lashes and bleached hair. This style typically came from California, from the word ‘Gal’ in the English language. Gyaru are known to be fun, loving, party, and full of expression girls. They were also known as pariahs, as they were always trying to make their way into clubs from a very young age.

Ganguru on the other hand was a bit more extreme because of the neon coloured hair and the excessive makeup that gave them a deep tan look with very light lipsticks and circles around their eyes. They would wear animal prints, stickers and jewellery on their face.

Some people say that Gyaru Kei is a part or demonstration of feminism because it broke the Japanese’s assumptions and wishes on how their women should dress, look, or act.

Visual Kei

This was a style musician started for a tribute to the American artists such as the 70s hard rock/glam metal, for example, David Bowie, mixed with punk goth of the 80s and 90s. Their clothing mostly consisted of dark pieces of color, boots, zippers, ripped jeans, piercings, emo hair-dos and a lot of dark make-up.

Lolita Kei

They considered Lolita to be extreme Kawaii, which means cute—based entirely on the Victorian era, with corsets, long skirts, and sometimes even wigs. A typical girl in Lolita would be dressed up in stockings and knee-length skirts. They are also seen wearing ballerina gowns and tutu skirts to show their childish, doll-like, and cute look.

Fairy Kei

As the name suggests, this mainly revolves around the innocent and light colors from cartoon and fictional characters like Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, etc. People who dress up like Fairy Kei are also known to dress with Decora and Lolita Kei.

Decora Kei

Decora word came from ‘Decoration.’ It is a style that goes with extreme decoration, with neon colours and multiple accessories filled with coloured hair clips, band-aids, and stickers on their faces. They also take a few things from different styles, like Kawai purses, different layers of clothing or stuffed animal toys.

Cosplay

They are known as costume play, which means dressing up in a particular costume to match a famous movie character. Sometimes they even dress up as famous actors. They should not only look like the character but act like them.

Harajuku ‘Popular’ Culture

One of the many reasons why Harajuku has stayed alive, is because of different musical artists like Kyary Pamyu and Gwen Stefani, who admire the Harajuku style and tried to maintain its worldwide popularity.

How to get the Harajuku Style

How to get the Harajuku Style

Anyone is capable of wearing and dressing the Harajuku Style. It may bring out the defiant and uncontrollable side of teenagers but it is still loved and worn by anyone and everyone. The Harajuku fashion consists of all the styles from the 19th century to the 21st century or just playing dress-up. The goal of the Harajuku style is that everyone should enjoy and admire fashion no matter the gender, age or interests. All you need to do, is to focus on bringing your inner kid come out, go crazy and play dress up. Don’t be afraid of mixing up different kinds of fashion, just do it!

If you want to dress the Harajuku way, there is only one rule: to do and wear what you love. Then you must focus on layering your clothes in the most unique way possible. You can increase depth or add dimensions to the outfit by mix and match of color and styles. The entire outfit should portray the character you are try to be, which should consider the vision, values and purpose.

What makes the Harajuku style so unique is that they are not scared or terrified to create their own style which would make them a lot stronger. They will bring out their creative minds and with the help of needles, scissors, glue, and thread, to redesign their complete outfit to make yet another unique design for themselves which no one else could possibly have. There is one thing that people who want to follow Harajuku fashion should clearly understand, and that is to consider knowing who they are, there fashion representing themselves and of course if they believe in it.

Lastly, to match their outfits, and give them the final touch, one should have the best accessories to match them because they complete the outfit. You should focus on jewellery from the 1970’s or 1980’s, plastic, funky, necklaces, chunky earrings and colourful pieces. You could also include funky belts, cartoon character toys, fluffy toys or unique purses.

This complete finished look also calls for dyed hair with scandalous hair dos. They need to be flashy, eye-catching or anything that would push your boundaries. That would be truly known as the Harajuku style.

One last thing that you should always remember and is not to take this seriously. Whatever you come up with will be known as long as you meant it from your inner self.