In  Style

Japanese Street Style

By Susan | Comments: 4 | June 26, 2014


This designer influence is less about a single design than an entire collective feeling and aesthetic.

Japanese designers like Miyake and Rei had been making a name for themselves and Japanese style for many years.

Then we started to hear more about how the kids in Japan wore wacky outrageous clothes.

When the photos emerged it was a hyper colour mix of traditional Japanese mixed with Manga, fantasy and fashion. There were groups and sub groups and elements that identified you with this character or that music style. It was it’s very own visual language that moved and morphed with all the influences they were collecting.

The first time I was in Tokyo and got to see it for myself I was blown away. Within 50 square metres there were b’boys practising their dancing, a group of what appeared to be gothic clowns, some mow hawked punks with a strong American Indian aesthetic, Lolita’s, skaters, BMXers, bikies on super tricked out Motorbikes that were all chrome and bling. Then above it all there was a band performing that we’re doing some serious channeling of early Mick Jagger.

It was overwhelming but also so great to see so many people taking fashion and interpreting it in different ways. I’m sure some of them went home and wiped off the make up and put on a suit and went to work Monday to Friday. But the fact that they had this ultra creative release had this almost transformative power.

Each time I have been to Japan the scene has changed and each time it seems as if the Japanese can create looks which translate across so many levels of fashion and that eventually trickle across to influence the entire globe. The last time I was in Tokyo was not long after the devastating Tsunami. The streetwear was more subdued, there was less of the CosPlay type elements and more stores like The Gap and Zara (it seemed like very street had a Zara). I hope that these influences are temporary and they don’t take on the homogeneous looks of The West. Hopefully in time as the country heals it will show a re emergence of their unique blend and character and once again they will show the world how to embrace genres and style.

1- via Fabsugar  2- via Styleinsight 3- via Styleinsight 4 – via YourUtopia


  • Stephanie
    June 27, 2014

    I am really drawn to some of the graphic, bold Japanese kid clothes – these photos are awesome!

    • Susan Goodwin
      June 27, 2014

      I like how they embrace so many styles, next to people dressed like this will be someone in stark minimalistic clothes or a your girl in tradtional clothes. It’s the expression through clothes that is so interesting.
      Japanese Kid stores are amazing. SO MANY cute style! eep!

  • Melanie
    June 27, 2014

    I just love this quirky Japanese fashion. When we were in Tokyo in February this year we hardly saw anyone dressed up in their fun outfits. Our first day in Tokyo we headed straight for Hirajuku to people watch but NADA! Apparently the mayor has cracked the poops and made it illegal to dance/hang around in public. WHAT!

    • Susan Goodwin
      June 27, 2014

      Oh that’s sad if that’s been happening. I’ve always found Saturday mornings at the LaForet store was one of the best people watching places. Plus inside they have an entire store devoted to the fashion styles of Miss Marple! Love it, oh I want to go back!

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Hi, I'm Susan. A designer living in Sydney, Australia.

Here I share tales of my sewing, my pattern collection and insights into what it's like to work as a professional fashion designer.

Other recurring themes include cat photos and an ever changing hair style.



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