Tokyo has a wide
range of fashion sub-cultures. Some are familiar the world over. Others
may barely be heard of beyond certain suburbs of the city.
TROPICAL CREATURE IN SHIBUYA
Shibuya is a mecca of Tokyo fashion, teeming with hip young people. In
Shibuya you can see tons of fake-tanned girls dressed in hibiscus-patterned
clothes, with bleached hair and strange make-up: white eye-shadows, strong
eye-lines and lines of gem stones under the eyes.
They are called 'Ko-gyaru', which means pre-posh ladies. I met a group
of Ko-gyaru: Yuka 19, Fumi, 18, Yuh, 15 and Risa, 18 (see bottom left).
They‘re wearing typical Ko-Gyaru make-up on their faces. (See left).
Perhaps a representation of cool back divas such as Missy Eliot or Beyonce,
Ko-gyaru make-up is a blend of Hawiian style, black culture and L.A beach
Yuka says, 'Tropical stuff is cool! I like to tan my
skin as much as possible, like the surfer girls in L.A.' She continues:
'The best tropical / surfing gear can be found in Shibuya 109 department
store.' In fact, I saw lots of the girls in hibiscus patterns around this
store. What is much stranger is you can see this fake tropical tribe not
only during summer, but even in winter!
The Ko-gyaru's favourite word to describe their taste is 'Nang-goku tic'.
Nang-goku means 'southern countries', while 'tic' is a suffix used to
make an adjective. It's not about any specific place - could be Hawaii,
L.A., or Cuba - but more about a tropical, summery vibe.
Stateside lingo, Valley Girl goes Japanese
wild, wicked world of the Gon-Gyaru