Hot off the heels of the latest Harajuku kids comes the luminous madness that is this season’s Japanese influence on contemporary UK street fashion. A long way from the chic catwalks of Tokyo, London, Paris and Milan, and a giant leap sideways from the simplistic 2011 collections of the likes of Issay Miyake and Comme Des Garcons’ Junyo Watanabe, we have Japan’s street subcultures. Straight from Tokyo’s Harajuku to London’s Brick Lane.
Via the internet, underground publications, exhibitions and tourism, reaching across the globe as prodigiously as their technological exports, there are the rumours, trends and tricks of Japan’s infinite youth subcultures. Last year the prevalent trend amongst Japanese kids was “Alpine Skier”, with every shopping mall overrun with snow bunnies and ear-muffed boys clad in alpine knits and snow boots. This year it’s all about luminous colour! In a land where businessmen habitually have Pokemon characters embroidered onto their briefcase, it’s hardly surprising that this season’s winter wear is as vivid as colours can be before it hurts to look at them. The hard part is translating that look into a UK environment. Accessories are the perfect way to add a little luminous garnish to the daily grind. Watches in particular make a great statement without skimping on practicality. Juicy Couture watches are bold, bright, intricate and representative of a bright youth culture around the globe. Similarly Nixon and Toy Watches mark top brands making the foray into the fabulous world of bright colours with top quality production. Juicy watches etc are easily sourced on UK-based websites. Gloves, scarves and hats – stables of the British winter and the perfect canvases for colourful fashion statements. Aside from trying to source creatively in the UK, many Japanese brands and traders operate via eBay, opening the international door into a magnificent culture of diversity, imagination and bold trends!