You see, I have a dear friend of mine, Erika, who recently visited Japan for a year. In fact it’s only been a couple of months since she’s been back. Japanese pop culture has always peaked my interest a little. I like the music, the comics, some of the fashions etc. Unfortunately I have never had enough passion to find out about it’s history or learn it’s language, but the colourful teeny-bopper like elements of what washed over onto these shores was bizarrely cute. I liked it.
So when Erika was generous enough to bring over some of the fashion magazines she’d purchased in Osaka while living there, I got a little excited. I was treated to one copy of ‘Fruits’ magazine which takes pictures of various Fashionista((s) is that a plural) on the streets of Tokyo, and another magazine called ‘Kera’ which was a bit of a Punk come Neo-Rave come Gothic Lolita madness. It had bright colours clashing, strange hairstyles and weird cuts and patterns thrown together in a way both maddening and genius. Looking at these images filled me with a type of invigoration that I don’t experience when staring at fashion magazines very often.
When I was looking at the girls in ‘Fruits’, beautiful and highly fashionable as they were, I was looking from page to page getting more and more excited. You see, I found myself thinking, I can do this. And better still, I can do this without buying anything. This magazine managed to do things that I never would have thought of with items that I already had and was on the verge of replacing with something more current. At work, it was true I had to be current. But on those free days when I can completely have me to myself there was no reason for me to be boring anymore.
It’s curious how easily I was swayed away from my normal safe ‘looks’. A few of my friends say I should embrace my quirks while I’m still young and I can feel my neck stiffening with age all too soon. So I’m going to try a bit harder everyday to try wearing things that are a little different, maybe clashing. Taking two patterns that are sworn enemies and forcing them to cooperate with one another. At the end of the day if it goes right, their clothes so looking great makes you feel great. And on the other hand if you make what you, yourself perceive to be a faux-pas than who cares, their only clothes! Take note, laugh it off and try again tomorrow.
Looking at how Japanese fashion magazines inspired me has made me think about how much money I have invested in trying to make myself feel better by looking better. The thing is clothes, shoes and accessories do make me feel more confident when I feel like I look good. But just because I buy something new doesn’t mean I enjoy wearing it. I’m going to make more of an effort to work with what I have. I’ll try and experiment, making the most of all the hand me downs I’ve accumulated from my older sister and mother, as well as the things I stocked up on in previous years.
It’s more economic, more environmentally healthy and it’s a lot more fun as well. I won’t say I’ll go cold turkey on buying new things. But I will try a little harder to recycle. If I get stuck for inspiration I’ll flip through ‘Fruits’ and ‘Kera’ to give my imagination a boost.