Every Sunday, young people in Tokyo gather in the Harajuku district to shop and show off their fashions. The most popular place to gather is Jingu Bashi, a pedestrian bridge. What I find interesting is that these young people “express” themselves in a culture that is well-known for their conformism and a country that has suffered from a long-standing recession. Harajuku is so like some parts of SL in some ways I am blown away.
First, the culture of Harajuku is so keenly like SL culture, it’s amazing. (Check this nice little ethnography by Chris Perry.) It’s primarily social and consumerist, centered on gathering in small groups to chat, take photos, go shopping, and show off fashion with the secondary aims of enjoying music and other activities. (And the participants use aliases instead of their real names.. hmmm….) Second, it takes place in a country that has suffered a long recession but is, by all measures, pretty well-off in the greater scheme of things (just as we are in the US and Europe). Young people can still afford such consumerist pleasures as we are afforded in SL.
My brief academic bit over, I want to show my little Harajuku outfit today. Wearing a dress from Emedea Morgenstern, who primarily has a shop for neko and steampunk. It’s mainly photosourced but well done with a flirty plaid skirt layered over lace. The outfit includes the cute little glasses.
The skin is from milok Hermit. I felt I needed a more Harajuku-ey skin (ie, not so sexy as much as doll-like) so a trip to Mother Goose was in hand. The pale skin, bright cartoonish blush, and stained lips is defintely a more East Asian aesthetic for skins, I think.
I topped it with hair from Toast Bard, who has several nice pieces at the Hair Fair. I think Toast is an unsung hero of interesting styles, to be honest. I really like what I am seeing coming from his store, from vintage to almost manga like this hair.
The boots are my twist on the Lolita look (to match the “naughty” stockings in the outfit). What else would push this outfit from cutesy to cutting edge faster than boots made in tribute to Alexander McQueen, as made by Meg Demina?
Harajuku Girls you got the wicked style
I like the way that you are, I am your biggest fan
~ Harajuku Girls by Gwen Stefani
Skin: .::Mother Goose’s::. KittY Skin a3 by milok Hermit for .::Mother Goose’s::.
Outfit: *Rag Dollz* Naughty & Nice – Red by Emedea Morgenstern for *Rag Dollz*
Shoes: McQueen Sequin Boots by Megg Demina for Chapeau tres Mignon