Fashion seems to come naturally to the people of Tokyo. People dress up with an impressive level of sophistication – even simple outfits are carefully curated. The big fashion brands from the likes of Issey Miyake, acne studios and Prada can be found in the hip shopping neighborhoods of Harajuku and Omotesando (though I wish a few of my favorites like Minelli and Esprit are also here – soon perhaps?). The innumerable fashion stores include local designers and vintage brands. It is also out in the streets in these neighborhoods that I noticed some of the best styles and trends among young women.
Urban wear is big. Its style is defined by brands like Supreme or Off White, sports-/street- wear labels like Adidas or Nike, and also K-Pop stars who have a huge influence over the younger generation. On one hand, everyone tries to be “original” with their looks. Yet, many girls and women adore flashily-branded outfits – the louder the logo, the better. I don’t think foreigners can pull off this style. It is unique to Japan. The resulting look may be described as “repeatedly unique”. When you notice a cool detail, you start seeing it on many others.
Some indeed prefer the more discreet and low-key look where showing off the brand logo of your tee wouldn’t cut it. Even then, brands are not really about the name but a choice for quality. For all you know, that perfectly-fitted, edgy yet “simple” tee (100% cotton of course) might just be from Hermès.
Then you have the cute girly kawaii styles, more likely in the form of dresses and skirts adorned with colorful and feminine details such as ribbons and rhinestones.
For a self-confessed fashionista like me, Tokyo is a wonderland. Women here are arguably the most fashion-conscious in the world. You see and breathe fashion every day. There is a certain aura and attitude. The continuous experimentation come to produce styles and trends that are original to Tokyo. I am encouraged daily also to make efforts to dress up nicely – but what a refreshing influence!