♥ 6-4'o4!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Basic Information on Cosplay&Japanese Fashion Subculture Wear

Hi there everyone!

This is Zhuo Heng here once again! I am doing a follow up on the 6-4 Gathering@EOY 08. Some of you who are not exposed to this culture might be wondering what is cosplay? Or perhaps, be confused by the terms Japanese Fashion Subculture Wear and thinking "What is THAT?". Fear not! This article will hopefully clear up some of your doubts! =D If you don't even know what is EOY 08 yet, you need to read the information here!

I will explain very briefly and with the pictures supported, I hope that you will be able to understand what I am trying to say!

It's quite impossible to explain ALL in details as e.g. In Lolita, there are different kind of Lolita styles such as Classic Lolita, Sweet Lolita, Country Lolita, Gothic Lolita etc. and it will take forever just to explain only on Lolita and not to mention other styles!

Let me start with Cosplay with the help of Wikipedia!

Cosplay (コスプレ kosupure), short for "costume play",[1] is a type of performance art whose participants outfit themselves, with often-elaborate costumes and accessories, as a specific character. Characters are usually sourced in various Japanese and East Asian media, including manga, anime, tokusatsu, comic books, graphic novels, video games, and fantasy movies. Other sources include performers from J-pop, J-rock, Visual Kei, fantasy music stories (such as stories by the band Sound Horizon), novels, and objects from cyberspace or the real world that are unique and dramatic (especially if they have or can be given an anthropomorphic form).

Cosplay participants ("cosplayers") form a subculture centered around wearing their costumes and reenacting scenes or inventing likely behavior inspired by their chosen sources. In some circles, the term cosplay has been broadened to include simply wearing a costume, without special consideration given to enacting characters in a performance context.

Whew. That's a chunk of text. Ok, one thing I have to ensure that you guys out there understand is Cosplay and Japanese Fashion Subculture Wear are entirely different things! The only time when Japanese Fashion Subculture is considered Cosplay is when you are cosplaying a character from manga, anime, tokusatsu, comic books, graphic novels, video games,fantasy movies etc who is wearing the exact same wear. In other occasions, Japanese Fashion Subculture is considered a FASHION. I get annoyed when others say that it's cosplay. >.< =============================================================================== Cosplay Picture Gallery
In Singapore
SOY@Ngee Ann Polytechnic 2008
Cosplaying as Ryuk from Death Note

Cosfest Day 2@Downtown East 06 July 2008
Cosplaying as Gundam Exia from Gundam 00

Other Countries


Cosplaying as Nell

Cosplaying as Hatsune Miku

Final Fantasy


Next up, Japanese Fashion Subculture Wear!

Japanese Fashion Subculture Wear, to the people who wear them, are clothes. Just like how we regard our T-Shirts and Jeans. To some, these are even their basic everyday wear. =D There are many types of Japanese Fashion Subculture Wear and I shall only introduce to you several of them and they are Lolita, Decora, and Ganguro/Yamanba.

First up, Lolita with the help of Wikipedia!

Lolita(ロリータ・ファッション roriita fasshon) is a fashion subculture in Japan that is primarily influenced by Victorian children’s clothing as well as costumes from the Rococo period. Lolita has made this into a unique fashion by adding gothic and original design elements to the look. From this, Lolita fashion has evolved into several different sub styles and has created a devoted subculture in Japan. The Lolita look consists primarily of a knee length skirt or dress, headdress, blouse, petticoat, knee length socks or stockings and rocking horse or high heel/platform shoes. Teddy bears and dolls such as Super Dollfies are often carried to emphasize the childlike look.[1]

Although the origin of Lolita fashion is unclear, it is likely the movement started in the late 1970s when famous labels including Pink House and Milk, began selling clothes that would be considered "Lolita" by today's standards. Shortly after that came Baby, The Stars Shine Bright, and Metamorphose temps de fille. In the 1990s, Lolita fashion became better recognised, with bands like Malice Mizer and other Visual Kei (or visual type) bands coming into popularity. These bands wore intricate costumes, which fans began adopting as their own style.[2] The style soon spread from its origins in the Kansai region, and ultimately reached Tokyo where it became popularized throughout Japanese youth culture. Today, Lolita fashion has grown so much in popularity that it can be found even in department stores in Japan. Today many young people wear the fashion all around the world.

Although "Lolita" is a reference to Vladimir Nabokov's famous novel, and lolita fashion is often worn by teens, most followers of the style do not consider it overtly sexual. Adherents present themselves as Victorian children or baby dolls and prefer to look "cute" rather than "sexy". Many Lolitas claim that the term 'Lolita' doesn't necessarily have anything to do with sex at all. The usage of the word may also be considered wasei-eigo. Japanese culture places a higher value upon extremely youthful appearance and behavior than Western, and some adult women buy large amounts of products, such as Hello Kitty goods, that are typically marketed only to children in the West. SweetLoli is perhaps a more visible extension of this phenomenon. [16]

The different genre of Lolita shown in the Lolita Gallery are only a few of the widely ranged styles.

Lolita Gallery

Sweet Lolita

Classic Lolita

Gothic Lolita

Secondly, Decora!

Decora, or Decorer as it is also known, means "to decorate" or "be decorated". Featured primarily in the popular magazine and book series fRuiTs, Decora
(or Decorer as it is commonly known) is a more wearer-interpereted fashion.
It almost always features multiple layers of clothing and massive amounts of accessories. It can range from extremely bright, neon colors and tons of cheap hair clips, bracelets, and multiple layers of differen patterned socks, tights, skirts, and shirts, to a more muted,demure and somewhat stylish layered look.

Decora Gallery

Thirdly, Ganguro/Yamanba with the help of Wikipedia!

Ganguro appeared as a new fashion style in Japan in the early 1990s and is prevalent mostly among young women and women in their early 20s to this date. In ganguro fashion, a deep tan is combined with hair dyed in shades of orange to blonde, or a silver grey known as "high bleached". Black ink is used as eye-liner and white concealer is used as lipstick and eyeshadow. False eyelashes, plastic facial gems, and pearl powder are often added to this. Platform shoes and brightly-coloured outfits complete the ganguro look. Also typical of ganguro fashion are tie-dyed sarongs, miniskirts, stickers on the face, and lots of bracelets, rings, and necklaces.

Yamanba (ヤマンバ) and manba (マンバ) are terms often used to describe extreme practitioners of ganguro fashion. Old school Yamanba and Manba; (particularly known as 2004 Manba); featured dark tans and white lipstick, pastel eye make-up, tiny metallic or glittery adhesives below the eyes, brightly-coloured contact lenses, plastic dayglo-coloured clothing, and incongruous accessories, such as Hawaiian Leis (often the Alba Rosa brand). Stickers on the face died out shortly after 2004, and for a while, Manba died. Yamanba is now more extreme, and hair is often multicoloured, and usually synthetic. 2008's Manba has seen a darker tan, and no facial decoration (stickers). Hair is usually neon/bright colours, with pink being a favourite. Wool, extensions and clips are worn to make hair appear longer. Clothing remains the same, although Leis are worn less frequently now. Manba and Yamanba are not to be confused. Yamanba has white make-up only above the eye, while Manba has makeup below the eye also. Stuffed animals, bracelets, bells and hibiscuses are worn. The male equivalent is called a "center guy" (センター街 Sentāgai, Center Street), a pun on the name of a pedestrian shopping street near Shibuya Station in Tokyo where yamanba and center guys are often seen.

Ganguro/Yamanba Gallery


Alright! That's all! I hope that this post is helpful and makes you understand better about Cosplay and Japanese Fashion Subculture Wear! =D

+-+Zhuo Heng+-+

scribbled at;
4:21 PM;

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