Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Japanese Clothing

I've been wondering how Japanese fashion and clothing are viewed from outside of Japan. Sometimes I hear people say Japanese people are one of the most fashionable people in the world - I don't know if the fashion level is "high" in the world standard, but I do think that people here pay a lot of attention to what they wear and what other people wear. So many of the people in this country especially the generation from teens through 30s are so conscious about fashion, always keen on checking up witht the latest trends.

I don't mean to make any jusgements today on Japanese fashion sense cuz I'm rather pretty proud of our artistic sense (even though it wasn't until recently that I finally realized how fashionable Japanese people are), but am curious to know how non-Japanese people think about our fashion - of the designs that are out there and the way we wear them. Do they appear fashionable to you, or silly?

The biggest question in my mind at the moment is, do the thoughts/ideas of coordination come up in daily fashion in your countries? Coordinating dozens of items considering the balance of colors and volume is almost like common sense here even for daily clothing. We have layers and "today's one-point fashion" and all those sort coordinated together not only with clothes but also with shoes and hairstyle and nail fashion.

I also wonder how many people are actually interested in dressing themselves up with clothes from Japanese brands. Most of the clothes we have in fact have a lot of Western origin and influences, but are modified with little details and are added lots of little values which I suppose, build up to stylishness. Many people are good at finding the balance of their total coordinate but what's been in my mind lately is that does our fashion style have any chances of spreading overseas?

I noticed that a lot of the punky gothy clothes are pretty popular in the name of Harajuku fashion, but I feel a lot of British punk rock elements in them and also that style, although pretty famous and popular in Harajuku (which is a 10-min-bike ride from where I live) it is by no means a representative of the whole customer population there.

Shibuya is also famous for young generation's fashion as many times represented in the term "109 fashion" or in Japanese (marukyu-fashion). How many of you would actually be interested in buying loads of clothes in Shibuya and wearing them daily back in your home country? And how available are Japan-originated clothes outside of Japan?

Once a pretty big figure in the Italian fashion industry said that the men's fashion culture in Japan is well-established and is something the whole world can learn lots from. Come to think of it, I guess that's kind of true. Men here are pretty keen on fashion even just wearing T-shirts with blue jeans. Graphic printed T-shirts are extremely popular among them. Have a look at this brand,
graniph, they're one of the prominent brands in the T-shirts industry in Japan (kind of like a Japanese version of Stussy). See here also for more popular fashion brands in Japan. Too sorry a lot of them only have Japanese website.

Okay I think I must stop here as I am not exactly ready to update today's feature on my website. Today I have an article on manga that I've talked a little about on this blog a couple of weeks ago. It's about how common and popular it is to make live action films and TV dramas in the past few years. Come see Japan Mode for more :-)


Lauren said...

T-shirts, I think are a universal staple. Everyone seems to wear them! From plain, graphic to sport lovers!

monamie said...

Yes, I agree with you that they're a universal staple. But do you think that there are popularity tendencies even for an item spread so widely regardless gender and generation?
What do you think about other fashion items/designs popular here in Japan? Would they be something you might want to wear?

tshirt shop said...

私、IDCOMジャパン 代表取締役トーマスオスブルグと申します。