Quiz: What fashion rule would you break today?
Tokyo is a city full of sights and adventure. As Japan’s capital, it constantly buzzes with traffic, sounds, and events. The city’s diverse architecture reflects the spirit of Tokyo itself. For example (for those of you who have never been there), you can see beautiful landmarks from throughout Japan’s history, and modern concept structures… All within the same block!
Many such sights in Tokyo draw people from all over the world. One place in particular entices tourists to visit from their homes just minutes away, as well, and it is a special favorite of some of the PPJ staff! That place is called Harajuku! See, told ya we didn’t sneeze!
…But First, A Little History!
Harajuku is what the locals dubbed the region that spans from Omotesando to Harajuku Station. Its history is as rich as its culture is today, and just as strong! This little piece of Japan has seen everything from war and failed farming attempts to a devastating that destroyed the entire region many years ago, although you wouldn’t know it to look at modern Harajuku!
Those Fashion Statements, Though!
One of our favorite cultural aspects of Harajuku is the love and exhibition of unique fashion statements and styles. Remember the fashion rules many of us heard as kids, like “Do not wear brown shoes with black slacks,” “Yellow and black make you look like a bumble bee,” or “Never pair blue and black together?” Well, in Harajuku, no such rules exist! In fact, the only fashion rule there is “If it fits, it sits! On your toosh, that is!”
In all seriousness, if you’re looking for a simple explanation of the styles in Harajuku, we have only one word for you (our favorite word, in fact!): Unique. Basically, people in the area put their own spins on mainstream fashion trends (like punk, grunge, etc.) based on their personalities and lifestyles, and create styles that are, well, unique. The vibrant, bright colors make neon lights jealous, and the darker, goth inspired outfits look like they walked straight out of an awesome Tim Burton film. Stripes waltz proudly with polka dots, and plaid is the epitome of hotness, especially of the blue-and-black and bumble bee varieties! Maybe there’s a second fashion rule: Break every rule we ever knew! In any case, the style in Harajuku is unique and awesome! And we’re not the only ones who think so!
What’s Fruit Got to Do with It?
Put down the napkins; we’re not referring to food! In the late 90’s, a photographer by the name of Shoichi Aoki started his own magazine called FRUiT, which featured the wide and unique fashion variations found in Harajuku. It started as a small publication primarily consisting of pictures of people dressed in wild and interesting clothes. However, as it grew into its big kid cover, it played an important role in fashion interest and creation all throughout other parts of Japan. In the two decades that the magazine printed monthly issues, it was THE source for trendy outfits and style inspiration. It became such a cultural staple for the trend-lovers of Japan, that when Aoki announced he was ceasing publication of the magazine, all of Harajuku and surrounding areas wept. However, the photographer assured the public that he would continue to take pictures of the increasingly, and amazingly, odd fashion statements. So far, he hasn’t let down his fans, or the Harajuku fashion senses!
Do You Harajuku?
Do any of you have any Harajuku style-inspired outfits? Have you ever visited the area and have a story of your own personal experience you’d like to share? Talk to us! Trust us; we want to hear about everything that makes you uniquely, individually you, especially if it’s related to Harajuku!