Global Style: Harajuku Happy

I thought I knew all about Harajuku. Of course, I knew about Japanese street style, Hello Kitty, anime, and American Harajuku girls Nicki Minaj and Gwen Stefani. But I didn’t know that Harajuku was actually a place in Tokyo, Japan where the cool ‘kids’ dress in the most creative fashions. And that is actually how the look got its name.

As an artist and a frugal fashionista, I can’t help but admire how well thought out all the aspects of these outfits are. The whimsical shoes, knee socks of every color, necklaces featuring children’s toys, plush backpacks, stuffed animals pinned everywhere, the rainbow colored hair and the inventive makeup — no detail is left un… well detailed!

photo by Japanese Streets

Needless to say, everyone in Tokyo doesn’t dress this expressively. Most people dress as conservatively are you or me. But if you find that there’s a tiny little harajuku girl inside of you just dying to get out and you don’t happen to live in Tokyo, then you’ll be happy to know that the trend is starting to catch on in other parts of the world.

Harajuku Lovers Jelly Wedge $22 on sale at Loehmanns
Super Lovers 3-piece Pant/Tee/Bag set $85 at Tokyo Rebel

Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Lovers line and New York based Tokyo Rebel offer designs, both in stores and online, inspired by the Japanese street style.

photo by Japanese Streets
photo by Japanese Streets

For endless inspiration, you can peruse Japanese Streets, the longest running online English fashion blog. This blog features the photography of journalist Kjeld Duits, an expat of the Netherlands who has been living in Japan and documenting the real people and real clothes of Tokyo for the past 10 years.

Just in case you are afraid to go it alone, you can even get your guy and your baby in on the act with you.

photo by Tokyo Faces