Why People Love Harajuku Fashion
When you look at the world of fashion right now, especially street fashion, the impact of Harajuku street style clothes is being felt everywhere you look. Why is that?
Why do people love Harajuku fashion so much? Is it just the look, or is it something else that lies within the culture and art behind this unique fashion trend from Japan.
What is Harajuku Fashion?
First of all, let’s be sure that we’re all on the same page when it comes to Harajuku style. The name refers to a neighbourhood in central Tokyo in between Shibuya and Shinjuku. It’s home to popular landmarks like Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi Park. In fashion terms, it’s also home to a unique culture of cartoonish, colourful and vivid street style characterized by loud colours, huge and flamboyant contrasts, and inventive individual looks. It first emerged in the 1990s and has ballooned ever since.
Why Do People Love Harajuku Style?
What is about these seemingly outlandish styles that really appeal to people? At first glance, Harajuku style can appear childish, bizarre and even completely unrealistic — but then when has high fashion ever embraced realism?
These are actually some of the things that people love about the fashion trend the most. Let’s take a closer look.
- It Breaks through “Norm” Barriers
One of the biggest appeals of Harajuku fashion is in its outlandish style and totally unorthodox approach. It makes all the sense in the world that it would emerge in a country of fairly repressed conservative culture like Japan where young people were striving to find their own identities in a changing society and a globalising world.
Harajuku style, then, whether presented in its full outrageous outfit style or via artwork on more conventional clothing items like hoodies and t-shirts, is symbolic of individuality, and of breaking down walls of tradition that barricaded thought and progress in the past. To young generations today frustrated by the legacy of the “boomers,” there’s great appeal in that.
- The Sheer Diversity
There really is no one single definitive look that sums up Harajuku style so easily. It’s not as simple as a kind of hat, a cut of a dress, or a particular colour or scheme of colours. It’s more of a philosophy or an idea, and that means the range of looks that one can achieve and use to express this style is seemingly endless.
What’s more, while Harajuku fashion was first popularised by youth in the Harajuku area of Tokyo, it is not a style that is bound by age. In its various forms, it is a universal, open and welcoming style that allows any and all willing wearers to participate in its message and philosophy.
- It Doesn’t Take Itself too Seriously
The world of fashion can be a high-minded and judgmental place, and many fashion styles have found themselves strictly governed by various rules and norms to do with style, colour, the way cloth is cut and shaped, and so on. To stray from these conventions was to defy the fashion, but Harajuku style has always been a lot freer and less bound by such ideas.
It’s easy to tell from the popular motifs, icons, colours and styles employed by individuals embracing Harajuku style that there really is no unifying pattern, nor does anyone make particular demands of people regarding their individual look. In other words, to fit in with the Harajuku crowd, you need to do your level best not to fit in at all. The more relaxed and confident you are in your own style, the more you are “conforming” and that’s something people just can’t get enough of.