Tokyo Street Style
If you have thought you have seen extravagant streetwear fashion in London, you have definitely not seen Tokyo street style. Incomparable to anything else, Tokyo is a capital of uniqueness and extravagance but it can be simplistic and minimalistic at the same time. If you want to look cool and hyper-trendy with the emphasis put on ‘hyper’, Tokyo is the place to start with.
This time we would like to take you to the very essence of the Japanese style, showing all its intricacies and different layers which mirror the Japanese culture with its many layers – the visible and hidden ones. At the same time, we want to show you where to find top Japanese style boutiques in London, so whenever you feel like wearing a Japanese design, you know, with the help of the ShopTrotter app, where to find it.
Japan has got many different faces, in many areas. Conservative and restrained, on the one hand, avant-garde and roaring on the other. The same rule applies in fashion. Japanese fashion has a reputation for being radical, boundary-pushing, and extreme. Drawing inspiration from the East and the West, the traditional and the ultra-modern, Japan’s sartorial legacy has made a formidable impact on the industry.
It is the extremes that make the Japanese fashion so fascinating. From the Harajuku phenomenon which remains one of the biggest tourist attraction in Tokyo and giving some idea of what the Japanese women can wear.
Harajuku style has been in existence since the early 1980’s and is named after Harajuku Station in Tokyo. Every Sunday, in Takeshita Street, which is the focal point for Harajuku fashion culture, Japanese teenagers meet, dressed up in different styles of Harajuku culture. These styles constantly change and evolve but some are the crucial and fairly stable ones.
The message behind the colorful, crazy style which mixes and matches traditional fashion and culture with modern fashion, the anime world with TV fairly tales and the child-like world is the youth’s rebellion against the mainstream fashion. Through Harajuku style they are showing that they can dress as they wish.
But Harajuku fashion is also a movement against strict societal rules and the pressure to fit the norm. Harajuku style now stands for a lot of different things and while many trends come and go, Harajuku fashion still remains.
Harajuku and its several different niches
The most popular and most widely recognized Harajuku style is the Lolita style. This style features extremely feminine, doll-like clothing with Victorian elements such as corsets, full-length skirts, headdresses, petticoats, and knee-length stockings.
There is also a Lolita substyle, called Ghotic Lolita, which incorporates a darker, punk-like elements. Ghotic Lolita Harajuku style includes black lace dresses, tattoo stockings and platform heels.
Lolita’s another substyle, Sweet Lolita, includes lighter colours and child-like fantasy themes.
The Lolita style is incorporated in yet another Japanese phenomenon namely the ‘kawaii’ concept where everything is pink, cute, child-like and sweet. This can be observed in Harajuku, but it is easily spotted in most of the teenage and modern Japanese street style as a leading element.
Great Japanese Designers
This is what the Japanese street looks like. It is a mixture of extreme styles, colors and tastes. It is an exceptional experience to shop in Tokyo for many reasons. If you want to learn more about the unique shopping experience in Tokyo, go to our post about ‘Japanese Shopping Experience’.
How to Look Japanese in London?
Do you know where to look for top Japanese design boutiques in London? If not, our ShopTrottter app can come in handy.
If you are after a wide range of socks and any leg warmers, go to Tabio in 66 Neal Street, Covent Garden. You will be surprised by the choice of colorful and uniquely patterned socks and tights.
And if you are a fan of five-toe socks, you will have a wide array to choose from. Those of you who have visited Japan know that socks are a Japanese spécialité and this can be easily noticed in Tabio.
Uniqlo does not need any introduction to anyone who follows Japanese streetwear style. The shop offers just everything you need: from basics through coats, overcoats, blazers, dresses, trousers, accessories and many more. Fans of the Japanese highstreet fashion style should be satisfied. Reasonable prices and good Japanese quality. You can find their stores in many London locations, the flagship being 170 Oxford street or 84-86 Regent Street.
Son Of A Stag
This is a boutique that we particularly adore. We have written about it already but we love to come back to the absolutely unique boutique every time an opportunity arises. This is a shop for men who know what they want to wear and what style they prefer.
The shop has its soul and so its faithful customers. They are regulars and they always come back to the boutique in 9 Dray Walk (Brick Lane, Shoreditch) every time they are around. Son of a Stag offers A-Z labels from Japan (very rare ones) and some American too, so a nice mixture for real fashion lovers.
If you look for this typical minimalist Japanese cut of overcoats, coats, trousers, and dresses, go to Relax Garden at 40 Kingsland Road. They offer a very timid palette of colors, which is so characteristic of the Japanese fashion style, so do not expect anything bold and extravagant. But if you want to follow the essence of the Japanese classic look, you can rely on Relax Garden.
This again is a shop which does not need an introduction for all those who love the Japanese fashion style. MUJI is a place where you can find the minimalist simplistic spirit of Japan. You can find there light-weight foldable umbrellas, little shopping bags, home accessories, but also white sneakers, gloves, plain white T-shirts, and socks. Prices are very affordable which makes the shop really popular.
They can be found in many locations in London. One is in 6-17 6-17 Tottenham Court Road, another at 157 Kensington High Street.
Evisu is an iconic Japanese denim label. It was founded in Osaka in 1991 and is named after a Japanese god of prosperity – Ebisu.
The brand captures the spirit of the detail-obsessed Japanese fashion audience and initiated a revival of interest in vintage denim on a wide scale. Today, Evisu is a highly recognized and appreciated denim brand, both internationally and in London. Hipsters, independent fashion lovers, denim wearers from all over the world visit the boutique in London to follow the Evisu unique denim style which has remained unchanged since its opening.
They can be easily located in Soho, in 2 Newburgh Street amids other independent boutiques there.
If you look not only for Japanese-style fashion items but for some design works, a visit to Wagumi in Tower Wharf is a must. You will find their typical Japanese artworks as well as avant-garde foldable wellingtons, ideal for the British weather.
Wagumi aims to showcase the best in Japanese design and crafts through independent small producers who bring fresh ideas and non-brand thinking.
If you want to find a real lot of Japanese clothing brands, all in just one shop, you must visit Butikku in 13 Maddox Street, Mayfair. The interior design concept brings in the idea of Japanese minimalism, industrial design, and a bit of the most expensive pop music video.
Most of all, however, Butikku offers a hand-picked edit of luxury clothing from a host of leading independent Japanese designers.
You will love the choice and the designs. Prices vary but at sales time you can get real Japanese pearls for reasonable money. Excellent choice and excellent taste.
Remember to download ShopTrotter app to find all the Japanese fashion and style boutiques in London!