Fall arrivals from MA*RS. The popular agejo brand shares the spotlight with, you guessed it—Betty Boop! Various pieces can be purchased here.
Néojaponisme’s Marxy has just started what might be one of his best series yet: a long, well-sourced, nuanced history of Gyaru in Japan. Definitely worth reading in full.
Many have seen long-term gyaru dominance as a symptom of a depressed Japanese economy’s inability to invent and push new styles. Looking closely at the actual changes in fashion and cosmetics, however, the gyaru of 2012 look almost nothing like the gyaru of 2000 let alone those of 1992. Gyaru, in other words, have not actually been a single tribe or subculture, but instead, something like a “style stream” — with each incarnation influencing the next but radically changing along the way. The gyaru look has shifted from the relatively natural kogyaru schoolgirls of 1995 to the shocking ganguro of 2000 to the koakuma glamorous blondes of 2008. While very different, they all understood themselves as “gyaru” and were understood in wider society as “gyaru” as well.
This ability to evolve with the times may be the gyaru movement’s core strength, but the transformations have not simply been a superficial shift in fashion. Most critically, the class composition of gyaru has changed over time. Gyaru style started as a delinquent look for rich girls at top Tokyo private schools, but ended up as the new face of yankii non-urban working-class delinquent style, blending seamlessly into preferred aesthetic of kyabajō “women of the night.” The gyaru thus provide a perfect case study to understand how style in Japan often trickles down from the affluent to the middle classes through the mass media and then is co-opted and re-conceptualized by the working classes.
This four-part series attempts to look at the origin of gyaru style, the nature and mechanisms of its style changes, and the shifting social context of each historical stage. And hopefully these essays will clear up a few of myths surrounding gyaru along the way.
ALBINA by GOLDS is a lower-priced diffusion line from GOLDS infinity. There isn’t a whole lot to choose from yet, but if you’re in the market for some basic agejo duds, then be sure to check them out. All pieces shown can be purchased here.
Also, exciting news for fans of fellow agejo label MA*RS! The brand has announced a new line of extended sizes called deluxe MA*RS. The extended sizes include 2L and 3L and carry the same designs as the original line. See more here.