Jan. 28th, 2014

elana: (squishy)
I wish this article had been out last year when I was writing a paper about the history of ギャル! Nicola from Graphic Noise translated an article from Jelly magazine where they interviewed models about how they would define ギャル fashion today, since the movement has undergone so many changes over the past fifteen years, and is presently in quite a 'mainstream' phase. The article has proven to be so interesting, corroborating a lot of the stuff I had to piece together in my research. (English language academic texts about Japanese street fashion are really hard to come by — much easier to find texts about couture.) The contradicting directions of cuteness and non-conformity, the culture-historical significance of Shibuya, the struggle with being labelled by external observers and a disapproving media… of course all couched in the context of Jelly as a more 'grown up' magazine, with all these models having 'moved on' from the excesses of the teenage ギャル style of the late nineties. Each interview has something really insightful to contribute. Hana Imai paints the contemporary ギャル as basically a scientist of かわいい. "…[G]irls who are truly investigating kawaii are gals". So interesting!

I subscribed to her blog and I'm looking forward to part two when she translates the second half of the article.

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elana

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