The Japan fashion scene is always interesting. The array of styles and genres has always found itself influencing the fashion scene of the rest of the Pacific. Urban wear in Japan or the way the Japanese are doing it is not without influences. As most of the world, the fashion industry in Japan has at one point influenced by Westerners. It was in the 1950s when Japanese began imitating what were hip and new in America and Europe. But decades later, Japan fashion has grown into something different and has defined urban wear as street wear/street fashion often combining current and traditional trends to come out with something elegant, outrageous or simply unexpected.
Some American and European designers have even come to observe closely the Japanese fashion scene before releasing their clothing line. Some trends have indeed started in Japan first like the camouflage pants and the unmistaken cosplay looks or wearing costumes, makeup and accessories to imitate popular Anime or Manga characters. Japan urban fashion is known to be quite unusual often combining clothes that are worn independently. For example, Tokyo urban fashion scene is characterized by women wearing mini skirts over tight denim jeans with high heels. There are different kinds of Japanese street fashion among them are Ganguro, Lolita, Kogal, Kawaii, Decora and Cosplay.
Lolita has a lot of subculture style. First is the Classic Lolita which is a mature fashion style which uses light colors and much of blue, red and green combinations. Theres the Gothic Lolita which is known to implement dark colors, knee length socks, boots, brooches, parasols, bats, spiders and crosses along with other established gothic icons. Theres the Sweet Lolita which focuses on childlike attires including fantasy or fair tale themes.
The Ganguro is a street fashion style that uses outfits with bright colors, mini-skirts, bleached hair, dark tan, earrings, rings, necklaces and platform shoes. It is not uncommon to see fake eyelashes and black and white eyeliners for women sporting the Ganguro street style. This became popular in the beginning of 2000. Kogal or kogyaru was popular in 90s and uses the typical high school uniform modified with shorter skirt and loose socks. Kawaii, on the other hand, it the use of plush toy costumes and Decora uses heavy accessories as decoration.
And of course, theres the Cosplay style which has become popular and well known not only in the Pacific but as well as in the US and Europe. This is understandable due to the popularity of Japans Anime and Manga series which has quite a following in American teens.
Probably the best place you can see these variety of fashion styles is by going to Harajuku on a weekend. Harajuku is the area around Harajuku Station on the Yamanote Line in the Shibuya ward of Tokyo. During the weekend, you can see teens dressed up in different styles socializing with each other. This has become a popular place not only for Tokyos teens but for tourists as well. Urban wear, the way the Japanese are dong it is definitely unique, no one can argue with that.