Hello Harajuku: The Top Japan Street Fashion Trends for Men

This season, fashion is eastward bound. The runways in Paris, New York, and Milan were flooded with menswear that reflected an eastern sensibility, from delicately printed silk suit linings with ink brush details, to ninja reminiscent draping in black architectural fabrics. But the Asian inspiration was not limited to the more traditional aspects of eastern aesthetic and culture.
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Many a designer produced pieces that clearly received inspiration from the Japanese street wear phenomenon that is the Harajuku craze. From wild and colorful pieces to restrained minimalism, we’re counting down our favorite Japanese street wear inspired looks for the upcoming season.

1. Graphic Tees

These aren’t your ratty old band tees. Japanese street fashion graphic tees are all about the aesthetic value. Many style cull imagery from Gothic fashion, as well as hip hop styling. Commonly seen were stars, crowns, and dutch genre painting prints. Think Alexander McQueen style drama, mixed with a little more swagger. Givenchy showed long tees with snarling pit bull heads printed approximately the size of small basketballs, suggesting a clear feeling of confrontation. The pallet tended toward black and white, with some light forays into deep burgundies and rich gold.

2. Graphic Everything Else

Japanese street fashion has always had a large amount of whimsical print items, but perhaps never as many as were shown this year. Everything from canvas sneakers and snap back caps to bomber jackets and heavy duty shorts were given the graphic treatment. Each house had its own take on this trend, although styles tended toward nineties inspired line drawings. These prints were often paired with pieces that gave a pop of color, elevating the look from golf course garish to perfectly street wear chic. Bold fashion enthusiasts can also consider wearing two different graphic prints together for an inspired afro-punk look.

3. Plastic

It’s the fantastic plastic season! Runways were practically dripping with the neoprene, done up in a variety of different treatments and colors. Some people opted to go for a BDSM inspired shiny black look, the textile in question often applied to sleek jackets and surprisingly un-frumpy boots. Others decided on the fisherman Gordon treatment, assaulting the eyes with slightly matted lemon yellow, kind of like the classic rain coat. Whether matted or slick, colorful or monochrome, this plastic look has Andy Warhol written all over it, and reads as a similar sort of call to recognition of consumerism. Of course, a lot of the pieces cost about as much as a used Nissan Sentra, so maybe it’s more the thought that counts.

So now that you know the trends, how can you apply them to your own closet? The key is to look at the big picture, and the big picture this year was loud. The Japanese street wear looks were largely flashy and dramatic, perhaps in a way bucking the drabness of normal mens’ collections. You can try to work some cheeky graphics or plastics into your outfits, but remember the key is to go big or go home. Go get ’em, Tiger.

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