Harajuku, Shibuya, and Omotesando Districts
(photos above: Gwen Stefani & the Harajuku Girls, teenager in Harajuku)
If there is one thing I am obsessed with, it is Japanese fashion. As someone who has been to Japan nearly 13 times, I have learned so much about my culture, but especially the fashion culture that is so rich and vibrant there. Japanese fashion has always been the inspiration for many Western individuals including Gwen Stefani and Lady GaGa. There are so many layers that make Japan's fashion scene so interesting and popular, and I will talk about some of these things below.
Perhaps the most iconic part of Japanese fashion, street fashion. Japan is renown for its street fashion scene. The center of street fashion lies in the Harajuku district. Harajuku is known for its attention to younger fashionistas. Clothes here are mostly very affordable and fashion forward, and also emulates gothic, anime, punk, and other music-inspired styles. If I was to describe this place in one word, it would be "wacky!" Harajuku's main purpose is to house underground designers that have forward perspectives and styles. Harajuku is one station away from Shibuya-eki on the Yamanote-sen line.
Shibuya is home to the higher end stores and brands, mostly American and European brands with the exception of high end Japanese brands. The Shibuya district is also the home of Shibuya 109, where Japanese trends begin. Shibuya 109 is a building across the street from Shibuya station. When you walk inside, you are immediately taken into a new world; mostly devoted to women's fashion, you see models who are wearing the latest trends, and are in complete makeup from head to toe, literally. It is one of those things you must see for yourself.
Omotesando is Japan's Rodeo Drive. Nestled in between Harajuku and Shibuya districts, this street has it all. Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tod's are just a few of the dozens of high-end stores Omotesando has to offer. Being in a rich neighborhood, you are immediately surrounded by Japan's wealthiest and prominent residents.
As apart of my Japan Fashion series, my next post will include a special look into Japan's most prominent designers. Hold tight, but until then enjoy this brief post about Japan's major fashion hubs!