わたしは東京ストリートファッションを誇らしく思っている。それは、この10年、自分のキャリアに欠かせないもので、沢山のことを教えてくれた。言わば、人生の一部。そして、ブルックリンの一角でひっそりと行われたショー。そこでは東京ストリートを引っ張る 10 のブランドが注目を浴びていた。わたしの前には素晴らしい光景が広がっていた。下に続くレポートで、東京ストリートカルチャーの多様性が少しでも伝わって欲しい!
Recently, a rather interesting milestone occurred. It may not be a game changer in the grand scheme of the fashion world, but it is something I am extremely proud of and it sure taught me more about my life’s work (which is Tokyo-based street-style) than anything in the past 10 years of my career. It was a teensy humble show in a corner of Brooklyn, which saw 10 totally different Tokyo underground street styles together on one runway. It was fantastic, and I hope you’ll go through it with me and see how varied the street culture of Tokyo really is.




このショーのどこが、他の海外で行われる日本のファッションを発表するショーとち違うかって?言える事はひとつ、「自由」という事。当たり前だけど、ファッションショーにはお金がかかる。=ある程度余裕のあるブランドでなければ、ショーが出来ない。もっともイノベーティブかつ新鮮であっても、ね。そうやってファッション界は回っている。東京のストリートで起きているファッションムーブメントをしっかりした形で世界に向けて発表する場がなかなか無い事に、ミーシャはフラストレーションを感じていた。でも今回の”Tokyo Above Underground Show”(アングラ系を表に出す)では、選ぶブランドもスタイルもセットも100%任せて頂いた。そこにはビジネスとか政治とか堅苦しいものはいっさいなくて、支援をいただいたNHKワールドにお礼を言いたい。「8月末にニューヨークのブルックリンで日本のブランドを引っさげたショーを初めてやろうと思ってるんだけど、プロデュースしてみないか」、「同時に、カワイイインターナショナルで放送するドキュメンタリー映像を密着撮影したい」とお話をもらって、とても光栄。このドキュメンタリーは月末までにオンデマンドで観れるのでチェックしてね!(詳細は下記)

Why was this different from any other “Japanese Fashion” show? Well, for one thing, it was not bogged down by politics. You know how it goes; a fashion show costs money-lots of it-and so many of the brands you’ll see on the runway at all, tend to be the ones who have the cash for it, and not necessarily the ones that are making the best, most innovative fashion. It’s unnervingly frustrating, but it’s a part of life. Therefore, I personally felt frustrated that while there were a number of expositions on Japanese fashion shown around the world, they tended to lack the off-the-cuff spirit of what was really going on in the Tokyo streets today. But for this Tokyo Above Underground show, I was given 100% free reign to choose the styles, brands and even the setup. There were no politics or sponsorship involved, it was all thanks to the generosity of NHK World. NHK World asked if I would be interested in putting a show together for a Japanese culture convention to be held for the first time in Brooklyn at the end of August. A documentary-style episode that followed the setup and behind the scenes was shot exclusively for NHK World’s Kawaii International (which I also host) and can be viewed on-demand here for three more weeks.





We had an open-call for models in NYC, since I think street fashion should be worn by real people, not just models. I matched the models’ personal styles to the brands I brought as best as possible, but there was a huge problem; most of the girls were only interested in 3 styles: Lolita, Girlie, and Decora. But I was bringing 10 totally different styles from Tokyo and some of them were not girlie or pastel at all. In the end, street fashion is all about having fun so I hoped that the audience could see how much fun the models were having, even if it was a totally new style to them.

So what are the raddest styles in Tokyo now? And what did everyone in NYC think about it? (In order of the show):

Aymmy in the Batty Girls



Creative Director Ayumi Seto is a very popular street-style magazine model and this brand pretty much “grew” around her personal style and obsession with old-school Americana culture. I called it Ame-Hara (American+Harajuku) in the show. At first, I was unsure if the clothes were “different” enough to present to an American audience (because duh, Americans already know all about American clothes). But the clothes look like they were supersized from my wardrobe as a grade schooler, then mixed in with adult themes, like the angsty film “Ghost World” which was the concept for the new season. As for color scheme, this style gives pastels and brights a hard pass and sticks to darker, primary tones. The Garage by Aymmys shop is located in Laforet Harajuku.



model in tokyo-above-underground-fashion Aymmy-in-the-batty-girls




Screenshot 2015-10-04 18.07.32


A text-book brand for Girlie style, this label’s concept is “romantic vintage”. Creative Director Saaya Hayashida said that she designs clothes to represent “the moments when a girl is at her utmost happiest”. I goaded her a bit to see if there was any sarcasm or cynicism there, but there was none to be found. This is the frilliest, softest, cutest, prettiest, pastel-iest little clothing you will find for adult women. I decided to present one of the outfits that had a really sporty vibe to it, to show that the brands don’t live in their own bubbles; they ebb and flow with the trends, too. Swankisss is located in 109 Shibuya.

model in tokyo-above-underground-fashion swankiss

model in tokyo-above-underground-fashion swankiss


Neb Aaran Do



Pronounced “Neverland” in Japanese, you can kind of see where it comes from in that there’s a mysterious storybook feel to it. “Never grow up!” they say. And so, their styles are inspired by school uniforms, as well as the old sailor clothing that they came from. Although it may come off as quite girlie because of the ribbons and bows, it’s got a number of unisex styles that are worn by their female and male customers. This is not “school girl cosplay”, these are strictly designs for mature people who enjoy the youthful, but low-key styles. They pretty much stick to a color palette of white, red and blue and their models give off a mysterious vibe. Neb aaran do don’t yet have a proper shop, Online shop here.

tokyo-above-underground-model in tokyo-above-underground-fashion




ストリート浴衣系。今時でワイルドな浴衣スタイルを打ち出す月影屋。春画プリントとか、煙草を吸ってる口のプリントとか、ヤンキーっぽいスカジャンとか見せたかったものはたくさんあったけど、ファミリー向けのショーだったから(しょうがない 笑)、キッチュなアイスクリーム柄のものや、ストリートグラフィティ写真の転写プリントした帯を使った。昔のロックンロール精神みたいなものが通ってるから、ランウェイではロカビリーとか芸者とかをリファレンスにしたヘアにもこだわった。このブランドはどの浴衣も職人の手で縫製、素晴らしいクオリティ。月影屋は代々木八幡にお店を構えている(夏場はラフォーレの1F)。詳しくはこちら。
The yukata is a lightweight, cotton kimono worn in the summer months, and while they are usually pretty tame and traditional, these ones are brash and wild. For the show, I chose a kitsch ice-cream-patterned yukata and then another with an Obi printed with a real photo of street graffiti. What I couldn’t show were the awesome shun-ga prints or the lips smoking cigarettes, or the other yankii (old school Japanese gangsta) references. There’s an old rock n roll vibe here, so in the show we had hairstyles to match…I think our reference was Rockabilly, Geisha and Amy Winehouse. These yukata are 100% artisanal and hand-sewn and printed, too. Tsukikageya has a store in Yoyogi Hachiman, one stop from Harajuku & online shop here. Also read more about Tsukikageya here.


model in tokyo-above-underground-fashion tsukikageya



Photo: Fashionsnap

ヴィンテージトレンド系。10年前、フェアリーテールヴィンテージが流行ったときや、森ガールトレンドなどを経て今や不動の人気を確立したグリモワール。街に溢れていた森ガールブランドの中で、どうやって生き残ったのか?グリモワールはストリートトレンドと自ブランドのスタイルのミックスが凄く上手い。グリム童話の世界から出てきたような世界観でありながら、決してコスプレに見えない、絶妙なセンスを持っている。ショーでは、モダンに仕上げるためにスニーカーやファーで覆われたヒールを合わせた。渋谷にある Grimoire Almadel がミーシャのお気に入り店(オフィシャルHP)。

This store became wildly popular when fairy-tale vintage was the huge trend about 10 years ago. At the time, it was labeled as just another “Forest Girl” brand, but it kicked the label and survived the fad’s demise by adapting and mixing in popular street trends. The stores and clothes themselves still look like they were plucked from a Grimm Storybook, but the people who wear them aren’t cosplaying fairytales. For the show, I used shoes to ground the vintage dresses in modernity, with sneakers and a fur-covered heel. Grimoire Almadel in Shibuya is my favorite location.

model in tokyo-above-underground-fashion grimoire

model in tokyo-above-underground-fashion grimoire


Nude n Rude



Japanese goth is a mainstay  on the streets, and it’s gone through a few iterations. This shop caught my eye back when “kowa-kawaii” ( ‘scary-kawaii`) was really popular, which is a kitschier version of pastel goth. Now the trend at this shop is far more classic goth, but there are still quirky elements to be found. Nude n Rude had a good selection of steampunk pieces, which is still growing in popularity in Japan. For the show, I was adamant on finding a pair of platform heels with 20cm since that’s what shop owner Riria was wearing, so the model could look like she was tip-toeing on pointe. Nude n Rude is located in Shibuya.

model in tokyo-above-underground-fashion nude n rude



Photo: universal-doll


Even though gyaru style has been on the wane lately, I really really wanted to see it represented in the show. And not just NEO-gal, but the original, brash hardcore Gal style that put Shibuya on the map. DIA, which has been located right at the entrance of 109 forever sells both hardcore and some Neo-gal styles so they were a perfect fit. The most fascinating thing I learned from styling this bit was when I asked the store manager about why the sexy, hardcore gal style isn’t as popular anymore. “Before, it used to be about female independence and just dressing for friends. But now girls want boyfriends (ed-I`m guessing it’s the economy) and the guys are put-off by how sexualized it is.” Which is opposite of what western men would go for! It just goes to show that no matter how western Japan looks on the outside, the culture is still very different and it trickles into the fashion world too. The D.I.A. shop is located in 109.


model in tokyo-above-underground-fashion dia



Photo: fashioncollection

??系。M.Y.O.B.は、2人のクールな若手女性デザイナー(タニミとコミ) が手がける斬新なブランド。彼女たちのMYOBにかける本気度といったらすごくて、ブランドを大きくしようと、とても努力している。でもミーシャがこのブランドに注目している理由はそれだけじゃない。たぶん、MYOBは海外にいちばん受け入れやすいと思ったから。白と黒を中心に、スポーティでフューチャリスティックなユニセックスデザインを展開している。中には中国やインド、中東などアジア各国のデザイン要素も取り入れているので”アジアンフューチャー” と呼んでいるけど、ストリートではジャンルの名前なんてない。彼女たちからしたら、Mind Your Own Business(余計なお世話よ)って感じなのかもしれない。ブランド名にしてるくらいだからね!ラフォーレにお店がありますよ(オフィシャルHP)〜

I have a special affinity for MYOB not only because it’s designed by two young, cool Japanese girls (Tanimi and Comi) who really have worked SO hard making a name for themselves but also because it’s probably the easiest to translate overseas. It’s design ethos is concerned mostly with a black and white palette, in sporty, futuristic, unisex designs. They throw in a lot of other Asian design elements from China, India and the Middle East so I arbitrarily called this style “Asian Future” but it’s not necessarily called that on the streets. The brand name stands for Mind Your Own Business, and the people who wear it ooze attitude and probably give 2Fs what people want to label them as. The MYOB shop is located in Laforet Harajuku.

model in tokyo-above-underground-fashion myob




かわいい系。今回の10ブランドのなかでいちばん歴史が長いのがこの6%DokiDoki。そしていちばん分かりやすい”原宿ファッション”なのかもしれない。イカついカラフル&重ね着というスタイルから、”センセーショナルカワイイ”とか、”カワイイアナーキー”と自らを位置付けている。海外では”デコラ系”って呼ばれてるこのスタイルだけど、プロデュースしているのは、セバスチャン増田さん!彼は今や原宿カルチャーに欠くことのできない人。また、ショップにいるメンズ店員のかなたくんが、これまたすごい。NYCのショーでは、メンズモデルが頑張ってガーリーな歩き方をしようとしてた。でも違う、”メンズらしく歩くんだよ!”って命令しといた 笑。6%DokiDokiの場所は、当然原宿(オフィシャルHP)。

6% DokiDoki is the most long-running brand in this lineup, and it’s also the most representative of what everyone probably thinks of when they think of “Harajuku” fashion. It’s a cacophony of colors and layers, and it’s why they call themselves “Sensational Kawaii” or “Kawaii Anarchy”. On the street and in the west, the most extreme end of this style is called “Decora-kei”. The mastermind behind DokiDoki is Sebastian Masuda and he’s done an amazing job of keeping the freewheeling spirit of Harajuku alive, all while not holding back on the creativity. I was impressed with seeing Kanata-kun, the male shop staff pulling off the DokiDoki look so effortlessly. In the Brooklyn show, our male model was trying to walk in a feminine way, not understanding that he didn’t need to act girlie to wear the clothes. “Don’t walk like a girl, just be a GUY!” I commanded him. The 6%Doki Doki shop is located in Harajuku.

model in tokyo-above-underground-fashion dokidoki

model in tokyo-above-underground-fashion dokidoki2



Photo: Tokyofashion

リメイク+ネオストリート系。スタイリングするのがとっても楽しかった。はやとちりのオーナー、後藤さんと、お店で何時間もあれにしよう、これにしようと、パーフェクトに”カオス”を表現するようなコーディネートを研究した。ネオストリートスタイルに仕上げて、東京の最先端なストリートを引っ張るようなイメージにするため、池田ヒラリーやShoushiだったら”何を着るか?”って考えた(外国の人にとって、一番わかりやすいだから 笑)。選ぶのにすごく苦労したアイテムの中には、実際にShoushiが買おうとしたけど後藤さんが手放さなかったものもあったり。笑 また、前理科でこのスタイルを着こなせる人を見つけるのに一番苦労した!ぴったりのモデルを、オーディションの最後についに見つけた。よかった!はやとちりは高円寺にあるよ

This was really fun to put together, and I`ll tell you Hayatochiri owner Goto-san and I spent *hours* putting together the perfect ensemble from the plethora of wild and fun things in his shop. It was SO hard to choose! I was basing the looks on “Neo Street Style” and the more fashion-forward people in Tokyo today, and I wanted a boy and a girl for this one. So I cheated a little bit and just imagined what Hilary Ikeda might wear, or what Shoshi might wear. As for the yellow animal bucket bag, Shoshi told me afterward that he actually wanted to buy it but Goto wouldn’t let him have it (laugh). My female model needed to have some major GD ATTITUDE and THANK GOD she showed up as the very last model at the audition. The shop is located in Koenji. Read more about Hayatochiri here.


model in tokyo-above-underground-haya

model in tokyo-above-underground-hayatochiri




Part 2: Will there ever be a “Harajuku” in any other part of the world?

WATCH the 49-minute documentary on putting on this show on NHK World’s Kawaii International until the end of Oct 2015 here (in English)


Large runway photos from Japanculture-nyc.com

Words: Misha Janette
Edits: Natsumi Yasuoka