Tokyo street fashion is constantly changing with new styles, subcultures, and trends. Parisian brand Marine Serre has gotten attention for sophisticated vintage clothing remakes, while Japanese label Sreu has focused on a sleek style that incorporates denim and lace.
Oversized hoodies are the latest trend, especially in hyper-bold colors. These versatile pieces can be paired with skinny pants or dresses for an eye-catching look.
Anime and Cosplay
Anime and cosplay are hugely popular in Tokyo, where there’s an entire district dedicated to them. Fans love to dress up as their favourite characters at events and in the streets, and some even create mashup styles inspired by a range of genres.
For example, this month’s Rakuten Fashion Week saw showgoers mixing and matching styles to create bold outfits. Among them were a pair who layered a Ganni organza puff sleeve top with a rib chain accessory and ripped denim jeans.
Alternative and goth fashion (visual kei) also reign supreme in Tokyo, especially in the Akihabara area. This style focuses on black clothing, heavy piercings and accessories such as plaid, lace and chained belts. It also includes a fairy-kei subset that dresses in light, feminine fabrics with big frilly dresses that look like they stepped out of a fairy tale. There’s also a more sultry and edgy style called gothic lolita, which dresses in aristocratic European styles from different eras.
Alternative and Goth
During Tokyo Fashion Week Fall 2023, stylish show-goers showcased oversized tailoring and goth black leather ensembles. Whimsical beanies and tarot-inspired accessories were also popular. Harajuku’s infamous Takeshita street (Takeshita-dori in Japanese) is a treasure trove for those who love alternative and goth fashion. From the vintage-looking gothic lolita to the wild visual-kei goth style, there is a niche for every interest here.
Gothic Lolita is a romantic fashion trend inspired by Victorian clothing. It’s a popular choice for those who prefer a more feminine look compared to the sexy rock and general alt-rock styles. Often seen with petticoats, corsets, floor-length skirts and blouses, it’s also common to see these ladies wearing vintage lace and silk fabrics.
The male counterpart of Lolita is called Kodona and features boyish outfits with lace cuffs and ruffled shirts. Other popular styles include Decora, various kawaii trends such as yami kawaii, osare kei, fairy kei and more. It’s also common to see young adults dressed in cosplay, otaku or anime styles.
Lolita Tokyo Street Fashion
Tokyo Street Fashion One of the most popular and kooky styles to have taken Tokyo street fashion by storm is Lolita. A unique and often misunderstood style, Lolita fashion is a little girl style that draws inspiration from Victorian children’s literature and notably Alice in Wonderland. The style is characterized by dolls, cuddly toys and references to childhood nostalgia.
A large part of the Lolita fashion movement is attributed to the establishment of boutique chains such as Baby, The Stars Shine Bright in 1988 and Manifesteange Metamorphose Temps de Fille in 1993. Due to the growing international interest in the fashion, Lolita brands have begun to expand overseas, including establishing English-language websites for their products.
The styles of the Lolita are varied; Gothic Lolita dresses with a dark elegance and there is also Country Lolita that evokes a traditional Japanese aesthetic. While some women dress in the style only on weekends and for concerts, others incorporate the ethos of the style into their daily lives.
Street Fashion Photography
Tokyo Street Fashion photographers have a unique way of capturing street style. They use a technique called bokeh which creates a blurry background to highlight the subject of the photograph. This gives the photographs a more realistic feel. Street fashion photography is a great way for influencers and aspiring models to showcase their looks.
This style is best known from the Harajuku area and the magazine FRUiTS which was famous for documenting the flamboyant styles of young people in that area. It has now spread to other parts of the country and around the world.
In this style, people often wear pastel colors or mix and match various prints and patterns to create a unique look. This is a popular trend amongst fashion lovers and bloggers alike. Some fashion brands like Non Tokyo incorporate this into their girly collections. Other brands like Sreu show off sophisticated vintage clothing remakes. These are made using dead-stock pieces and redesigned into sleek shapes and styles.