Saturday, December 3, 2011

Does Being "Big In Japan" Still Matter?

My awesome coworker Nick picked me up my favorite Japanese fashion magazines ViVi and Glamorous on his recent trip to Tokyo. I can thank my fashion-obsessed girlfriends Hannah and Tiff for getting me hooked on these magical retail bibles, which has helped me through many layovers in Narita airport. I remember as a teenager thinking how fashion-forward the Japanese were--leopard skin tights (no way!) or neon windbreakers (can't be!)... but the Japanese were always somehow ahead of the times when it came to trends.

As I excitedly flipped through the pages of my new magazines, I started to realize... I'VE SEEN ALL THESE TRENDS BEFORE. But where? ON THE INTERNET. THAT'S WHERE. With fashion bloggers growing like weeds and tumblrs reblogging images like the way I consume bubble tea--fashion trends are spreading globally + rapidly. It's probably why fashion trends more recently (color blocking, studded leather jackets, etc.) seem repetitive and recycled, because everyone is beginning to dress the same. The Japanese are dressing like the French who are dressing like New Yorkers who are dressing like the Brits who are dressing like L.A. who is dressing like the Japanese?

As the globalization of fashion continues it will become harder and harder to distinguish style by geography. Street fashion in Tokyo may look like the streets of Orlando, Florida (okay maybe not). The worst part is if you're trying NOT to be trendy, you may just be mistaken for being uber trendy--talking to you hipsters!

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