Welcome to Issue 2 of Volume 3: Revival!
Sometimes you have to look to the past in order to move forward. It’s often said that fashion is cyclical: a lot of current trends like Y2K and e-boy/girl just rehash past trends. If that’s true, maybe you shouldn’t be donating all of your old clothes just yet—you might be wearing it again in the near future!
This issue, we’ll be showcasing the best of Japanese street fashion throughout each historical period. Each era was defined by its own distinct style, some of which we look upon with nostalgia and fondness, while others are met with “Why was that ever a thing??”. So, as we explore each era, maybe you’ll rediscover a style you’ve forgotten or even one you never knew existed!
Part One begins with Showa, a period spanning 63 years, the longest Japanese era to date. Showa fashion changed dramatically in the postwar period, each decade wildly different from the last. From rockabilly to Mod fashionistas, there was a never-ending stream of style inspiration. Along with western trends, kimono fashion remained strong, from the Meisen boom in the 1920s to Sayoko Yamaguchi-style in the 1970s. The COMM took inspiration from iconic artists who reimagine ancient Japanese art and young designers who incorporate their cultural heritage into their designs.
Part Two is the era that most people are probably familiar with, Heisei! Heisei saw the rise of subculture fashion, particularly in Harajuku and Shibuya. People would come out in droves on the weekends to show off their latest handmade creations. Fashion styles were born on the streets, rather than dictated by the fashion industry. Quintessential styles like Decora, Gyaru, Fairy Kei, and Lolita were documented by FRUiTS and Kera magazines. Of course, these styles have not disappeared completely and many still wear these iconic fashions! Of course, these styles have not completely disappeared—head to Shibuya and you are sure to see a Gyaru or two, or hop across the pond to London for a Lolita tea party!
Finally, Part Three is Reiwa! The current era. As I’m writing this, Y2K fashion is at the height of its popularity. But what comes next? Y2K draws inspiration from the noughties and nineties and updates them to be seen with 2020 vision (see what I did there?). Maybe the next trend will be to look even further back, or way into the future. Maybe the boxes and labels that dominate subculture fashion will finally succumb to being broken down and deconstructed in the same way that everything else hit by postmodernity has. Either way, we’re excited to see what the future—or is it the present?—holds!
It’s been so much fun to delve into each era and its respective trends! We love seeing what the COMMunity has to offer and we’re sure you have some innovative Revival-inspired outfits of your own, so don’t forget to use #thecommoffline when you share your looks on social media!