[The mall is a modern architectural and aesthetic marvel; Roppongi Hills pictured above]
Looking back at only a month ago, I still can’t believe that I was in…JAPAN! It truly was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life, and the way that I view its culture, and in a larger scale, the world, is forever changed. There’s so much I’d like to share from my trip, and short of saying “you really just need to check it out for yourself,” I’m going to zero in on the fashion and beauty aspects that struck me most profoundly during my 16-day visit.
Here’s 10 of my observations, when it came to fashion and beauty in Japan, during March of 2016:
[From a Geisha performance in Kyoto during the spring festival]
The kimono is still often worn – and it’s stunning
I thought that on a rare instance I might see some ladies wearing kimonos while in Japan, but on the contrary – I saw dozens upon dozens of women wearing them, particularly at Jotaro Saito’s fashion show. Until seeing so many, and close up, I began to train my eye for the small details and nuances that shifted from one to another, picking up on which ones might be of higher quality and more costly. It was graduation week while we were there (in Japan, it occurs in later March), and as a result, we saw young men decked out in suits, and women dressed in kimonos, as their attire for this formal occasion. I really wish there was a US equivalent to this kind of traditional dress, and my appreciation for it grew ten fold after our visit. In historic districts in cities like Kyoto, you can even rent one for the day, and pay a la carte for accompanying services like hair and makeup.
As a side note, tabi boots still have a place in Japanese culture; the split-toe look was definitely spotted by rickshaw drivers (or runners, rather) in the historic districts, and occasionally on hip Japanese in eccentric prints and colors (see some by my new favorite brand, Sou Sou Kyoto), but we saw the most often on…construction workers!
[One of many unexpected American brands spotted in Japan]
Odd, Sporty 90s brands are back in popularity
It’s true that classic Americana — Levi’s, work wear, and all things generally found on Huckberry.com are majorly trending in Japan, however I saw an amusing addition- 90s sportswear brands that have fallen out of popularity here, such as Starter, Champion, Dickies, and Fila, have revamped and re-branded themselves into top tier street wear looks once again. Very curious indeed was this discovery, but it seems like cross-culturally, this tends to happen with brands. It really brings the whole concept of fashion context and relevance under scrutiny…