It seems like a lifetime ago when I first found out about Japanese fashion and just how broad it is; from the elegant Lolita fashion, the cute and colour Fairy Kei, to the wild and sexy Gyaru. Despite this, though, I’ve only really done gyaru fashion (having called myself a proud gyaru for the past ten years) so here are all of the Japanese fashion styles that I’d love to try out one day.
Lolita was my first love in Japanese fashion; I can’t remember exactly how I discovered it, but I got lost in the (internet) pages of LiveJournal where people uploaded their lolita coords that they wore in public. I remembered being in awe of these confident people, and tried a few embarrassing attempts. In the end I realised that it wasn’t really for me and moved onto gyaru, but I’ve always wanted to give it a go again. Properly. It would be the perfect thing to wear for afternoon tea! Please note: Yes, it is called Lolita fashion, but it has nothing to do with *that* book. Lolita fashion is inspired by the Rococo and Victorian periods.
Fairy Kei is an extremely colourful and cute fashion, although featuring more pastel colours rather than vibrant ones. The overall look is quite childlike, with outfits featuring motifs from famous 80s and 90s toys like Care Bears, My Little Pony, and Polly Pocket. They’re like the pastel princesses of the Japanese Fashion world, and they are so cute! A few of my friends absolutely rock the style, which makes me want to give it a go.
It’s quite tricky to determine what exactly Larme Kei is as it doesn’t really have guidelines (especially when compared to Lolita or Fairy Kei), but the makeup features blushing cheeks and droopy eyes. The overall look I’m gravitating towards is quite romantic and cute as it reminds me a bit of himekaji but a lot more toned down. Yui Kanno, which was one of my inspirations back in my early gyaru days, wears a lot of what I would perceive as Larme Kei, so I’ll use her as a reference point.
Okay I am cheating – I’ve already tried Manba once, but I’d love to do it again (but perhaps more toned-down so I look more like the old-school gyaru). Manba is a branch of Ganguro which started off in the mid-1990s, a fashion that combats Japanese beauty standards of having pale skin and black hair – instead, they tanned their skin and bleached their hair. While I might not bleach/dye my hair, this is a style that is perfect for the summer, and I’m currently tracking down some wild hibiscus prints and platform boots.
I’m actually surprised that I haven’t tried this style before as it looks quite similar to himekaji, but Mori Kei features a lot of loose-fitting clothes such as floaty dresses and cardigans. They look like they have just stepped out of the woods with nature-themed accessories, and have a general soft appearance.
And that’s all for me! I might not be able to try them all out in the next year or so, but I’d love to give at least one of these a go.
What Japanese fashion styles would you like to try out?