Sunday, August 23, 2015

Japanese Fashion Magazines: The Good (Long, image heavy)

In my short time reading and looking at Japanese fashion magazines as an admitted n00b (to the full "experience", looking at particular spreads on Tumblr doesn't count), considering my favoritism towards Asian fashion, Japanese in particular (because let's face it, Glorious Nihongo (hahahahahahahahahha i can't believe i just typed that) has better taste than us Filthy Westerners, I have learned a few things. 

Staring at a few issues of Vivi, Popteen, and Non-no don't grant me some diploma or even full expertise, but as a nugu, I have made many observations, that i have camped into pros and cons for conveniences' sake.


The Good

Japanese fashion is cute.

Though it obviously contains some western staples, still capitalizing on things like crop tops, it does so differently and BETTER than the western fashion magazines do. The majority of the styling in the spreads, is done in a very flattering, cute way, and though there is definitely no guarantee that I wouldn't look like a landwhale in what Japanese girls wear, I want their outfits... soo oooo bad.

the polka dot top is very cute, does it come in a size that doesn't show midriff? 

cutesy girly dresses, if only I had a date to wear them to.
*begins crying about how men don't find my 12 year old looking face attractive*

i have a top like that, actually. kind of.

In addition to that, they also outfit them in the cutest little skirts, most of which I have only been able to find at American Apparel online (for absurd prices too, unlike the one I own, because it's not the factory outlet site, boo fuckin' hoo), like the white skirt I wore here, and an array of other styles that I haven't been able to find in any of the stores that I shop at. 

where art thou, denim miniskirt? where art thou????? besides american fucking apparel where you cost over thirty bucks?

Then again, I'm maybe just looking in the wrong place, but it doesn't seem like anyone sells denim, high waisted skirts anymore.... or denim skirts at all. It's probably the wrong season to be asking why retailers aren't carrying them, since everyone is focused on winter season clothing, even though here, it's the last thing we need.

Context, Texas weather fluctuates between mildly warm and lobster broiling, "I want to die because it's one hundred degrees out", hot. 

Every other year or so, we will get snow during the winter, but more often we get ice, and all the schools close promptly to avoid the consequences of dealing with paternal backlash, as nobody here knows how to fuckin' drive on ice without skidding and colliding with something.

So in other words, when I see bitches in the mall sellin' parkas...


In comparison to American magazines, JP fashion magazines rely a HELL of a lot more on muted colors or pastels, which is a breath of fresh air over the ugly ass neon I see in west fashion spreads. They don't have excess vibrancy, they don't look like they could be seen from a thousand feet away, the coloring is very subtly done without being one hundred percent SHOVED IN YOUR FACE. Let me put it this way, while Japanese fashion is some guy screaming at the top of his lungs - "LOOK AT ME EVERYBODY, COME LOOK AT ME, NEON NEON NEON", JP fashion coloring is a very subtle, slow, come hither look, it gets your attention but it doesn't overwhelm. When they do use more vibrant clothes, they at least make sure they correspond well with the other articles.

Here's an example of them using base colors.

I don't know what the fuck is with whoever did the hats here, but I like the clothes, looks like AHS Coven vomited all over them. Fiona Goode, you put it best.

 The left reminds me of my old school uniform back when I was enrolled in private school. They were actually kind of cute in hindsight. Actually, what sucks is that the uniform skirts got even cuter during high school, but I left long before. The issue was, they weren't made of light and airy material like this, they were fucking "sweltering woolish type shit, heats up to a thousand degrees in the blazing Texas sun". That I do not miss.

Hafu Models

Hafu, translated as literally, half, is a word used to describe someone who is half Japanese and half another ethnicity. 

In hafu couplings the father more often is the foreign parent while the mother is the Japanese parent, lots of hafu children were born with United States or other countries' military personnel for fathers, and a naturalized Japanese mother. Apparently JP woman crave the 'murican dick, probably because even small 'murican dick is a vast improvement over the teeny azn d.

The Japanese are very testy about the one / two base/s left in Japan because they don't want Filthy Westerners imposing on their land. 

moreover, the lot of older Japanese are just plain xenophobic / racist, living in a primarily homogeneous society like Japan, that tends to happen. Anyway...

Hafus have become more prevalent in the Japanese entertainment industry in Japan, you see hafu singers in Japan, actors, actresses, but more often than the former, you see hafu models. Hafu are kind of a fetish in Japan. Despite the older gen's griping, the younger gen tends to LOVE them.

They combine the prized and sought after white western features Japan tried so hard to emulate with their giant circle lens, porcelain pale skin, knobby little bodies, and the dark and beautiful Asian features together, creating what many younger Japanese find to be super kawaiiiiiieh. Vivi in particular has a variety of hafu models, such as:

Rola is actually only a quarter Japanese, her mother is a hafu (Russian and Japanese), while her father is of Bangladeshi descent, but the lot still qualify her under the hafu umbrella. She has graced many a Vivi cover. 

Rola is not considered a full fledged "exclusive model" for Vivi, but she frequents the cover and the contents inside. She speaks Japanese, English, and Bengali. 

In addition to being multilingual, Rola also worked as a tarento. Worked, past tense.

Like the haul of hafu tarentos, she was cast out to the same realm as Becky because she got 2old4thenihongodes.

Hafu tarentos can be seen as either a lasting novelty or a one trick pony, but all lasting novelties eventually become one trick ponies as they age past their prime and into what as well might be obscurity, if their "talent" starts to become boring and doesn't keep them afloat.
Oh, Becky.

I particularly like Rola's features a little over the other girls, though Fuji Lena almost beats her, because the others are pale as hell, but Rola actually has some color to her skin, despite the fact that they try to whitewash the hell out of it. Her eyes also have a very pretty tint to them, almost greenish, not sure whether that's the circle lenses or not. Being only a quarter, she is significantly more "exotic" than her fellow models.

Tamashiro Tina
Tina is one of the youngest Vivi models, at only seventeen years old, and has a very distinctive look to her.
Despite the fact that she's still got that glassy eyed, not-quite-human doll-eyed look to her that many JP models do, there's something about her that's just so damn adorable!
She doesn't smile a lot, but she still exudes some sort of weird cuteness. Her mother is Japanese, while her father is an American. She's got a good balance of both Western and Asian features, and she rocks a bob.

Maggy (formerly Natsuki Margaret)
Maggy is another hafu, and like Rola, multilingual, speaking Japanese and English. 

Her father, Ian Gibb, is a Scotsman from Canada, while her mother is Japanese. 

Maggy is, in my humble opinion, the most "white looking" model of the hafu bunch, she can't escape those thick brows and reddish hair, but that really doesn't discount any of her adorableness compared to the rest.

In fact, her eyebrow game's top notch. She has a way of looking far more European than the rest of her cohorts, but not overly European, if that makes sense. Despite looking quite Caucasian, she still has a tinge of Asian features about her, but they're nowhere near as "balanced" as Tina's.

Emma, stylized as emma, is another one of ViVi's hafu models. Her father is British, and her mother is Japanese.

Emma is actually older than youngest model by over three years, but has the appearance of someone much younger. Not to say she's not adorable, but like Tina, i feel a bit creepy looking at them both, and that's coming from someone who looks twelve. Like, "excuse me, who let you out of middle school to wear those crop tops, go back and change, young lady!"

She also has a good balance of Caucasian and Asian features, similarly to Tina.

4. The styling; the makeup, the hair, and the presentation of the clothes

The way the scenes are photographed for JP fashion mags are done very nicely, despite the copious photoshopping that clearly plagues the pages. There's a lot of alterations between outdoor and indoor setting, which makes for some nice scenery changes.

Each model has their own sort of niche, you never really see Tina or emma smile, and if they do show expression, it's usually in the form of a pout or a tongue sticking, Trindl always seems to be more peppy looking than the others, Kawakita's job is basically looking like she's about to snap in half, blah blah blah blaaaaaaaaah. The other models are a bit meh, not as good looking as the hafus, perhaps save for Miyagi and Kawakita.

Overall, though, Japanese fashion magazines tend to do a better job with layouts, design, and presentation compared to their American sisters. They present their fashion in a way that won't get girls banned from class, usually, without showing excess midriff, they present themselves very nicely, in a way that isn't going to get a girl designated or deemed a slut or whore, and Japanese fashion is a definite breath of fresh air from the weird crazes like harem pants sweeping America. If only I could find some that would fit.


The "good" parts of Japanese fashion magazines may vary from person to person, many find their issues with the styles featured based on personal preference, I alternate between dressing like a slob and dressing like a pseudo cutesy girly girl, while simultaneously trying to accommodate the fact that shirts are never long enough for my giraffe torso, but I'm quite pleased with the cute styles featured therein. The photography gets the job done, and the layout is decent as well, it's not perfect, 100%, but I still think the editing is better than the American fashion magazines'. Now, onto the bad.

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