I am an avid j-fashion fan, and when the internet begins to yell at you that you’re favorite fashion culture is dying, you start to freak out a little.
If you haven’t heard, or you’re not quite sure what’s going on, here’s the bad news; KERA, FRUiTS, and Gothic and Lolita Bible have announced their last issues. These Japanese magazines have been core places of inspiration, suggestions and a place to advertise the new styles of Tokyo’s Harajuku street for years.
And now they have announced the end.
But, the end has been coming.
Harajuku street, from what I’ve heard, isn’t what it used to be. Stylish kids are having their pictures taken without permission, new brand name stores are opening and causing the small boutiques so famously associated with the street to loose money, and the originality of different styles have been fading out for a long time.
The end of these magazines, however, does not mean that the end is really here. It’s not a hard thing to fix; J-fashion has translated into all parts of the world. It’s been picking up and translating back in Japan. There are new fashions coming about. It’s still a changing and living fashion district. The fashion inspiration can keep coming, if you’re looking for it.
Here are some things to keep in mind;
There’s a new and upcoming style called “Peco Club”, created by Genderless Kei’s starboy Ryucheru’s girlfriend Peco. It’s sort of like a toned down version of Fairy kei, with a lot less hair clips and a lot more pleated skirts.
Genderless Kei is still thriving. Having gained momentum since it first appeared sometime between 2015 and 2016, it’s stubborn break of male and female stereotyping is refreshing and original in a fashion world seen mainly dominated by outrageously dressed girl.
The “Queen of Harajuku” is now a space up for grabs. With Kyrary Pamyu Pamyu’s flop of a hit in October of 2016, her announce that she may be changing her image, and Harajuku regular/model Hirari’s disappearance from the streets themselves- there’s a gap where the crown should be sitting. We should be striving to create a new Queen, not mourn the loss of the old ones. They’re moving on to better things, and so can the J-Fashion communities.
Just because the styles are becoming absent in Japan, doesn’t mean they have to be absent from wherever you live. If you’re a lolita, stay strong for your community. Create regular get togethers. Find stronger bonds in your lives and hold on to the friends that you’ve made. If you’re feeling a change; now’s the time to do that to. If you love your lolita fashion but also want to experiment with fairy-kei or mix it with some visual kei vibes, do it! You could create the next fashion sub culture.
Fashion is always changing. We all knew that one day Harajuku may not be Harajuku anymore, with the raise of popularity in trends and fashions that are more simple, sleek and modern. The rise of Uniqlo and Muji is upon us. It’s time to decide whether the J-fashion communities will be able to withstand these blows, or move on to better things.
But don’t worry guys.
Harajuku isn’t dead yet.