How Harajuku is the Powerhouse of Japanese Fashion

Tanaeya Ross

Harajuku is just a broad term to describe several other fashion styles. These styles include, but are not limited to, Lolita, Fairy-Kei, Visual-Kei and Kawaii.

Lolita, usually portrayed with a large frilly dress, was inspired by Victorian dolls. Many people seem to assume that people who dress in Lolitas want to become dolls, but this is not the case. Most people who dress in Lolitas just love the more “girly” feeling.

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Source: tokyofashion.com
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In the photo above is Rin Rin Doll, one of Japanese fashion company Angelic Pretty’s fashion models. In this photo she is wearing the traditional Lolita outfit. Notice her very large frilly dress, hair decoration, handbag, stockings and gold heels. There also different styles of Lolita fashion, such as Gothic Lolita and Military Lolita.

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Ny.jonjon and Crypt.kasper at RuffleCon 2017, Stamford, CT. Photo courtesy of ny.jonjon (Instagram).
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Military lolita ensemble by Chinese indie brand Lost Angel. Photo courtesy of LolitaWardrobe.com.

Fairy-kei is another Japanese fashion style. The name literally translates to fairy style, with the style inspired by fashion worn in the 80s. Cartoons such as “Care Bears” and “My Little Pony” are also very prominent in the style.

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This is Suiya from the Japanese pop band DecoLa Hopping. Her outfit features brightly colored hair, a fuzzy coat, an umbrella (rainy day), “Alice in Wonderland” stockings, and pink furry boots.

Visual-kei is translated to visual style and is heavily inspired by rock fashion from the U.S. It is actually worn by many Japanese Pop bands, like Versailles.

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Source: tokyofashion.com
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The band Versailles were actually having one last farewell concert in 2012 when these photos were taken. These are actually photos of all the fans who attended the concert, none of them are named unfortunately.

Kawaii fashion is probably the most well known styles. Kawaii means cute and can range from a number of colorful and uniquely designed outfits.

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This is Kari a resale shop staff. In this kawaii outfit she is wearing a two-piece hello kitty top and pants, a “Hello Kitty” hand bad, several beaded bracelets and rings, and a strawberry beret. Her outfit embodies the vibrant colors and brilliant prints associated with kawaii fashion.