Introducing Mode Gyaru

This week as I mentioned The Doll is all about Mode style.

:star2: Mode Inspired Make-up
:star2: Introducing Mode Gyaru
:star2: Mode style booms
:star2: Mode Hair how-tos
:star2: Lip Service 109 to Overseas
:star2: Trendwatching: Dots & Stripes
:star2: Mode make-up 2: The smoky gyaru eye

What is Mode? Let’s start with a definition, although I argue about mekas quite a bit. I think they did a good definition so I’m using their definition from here :

mohdo (mode)モード – The Japanese term for “high fashion” — with the emphasis on challenging designer brands and not casual wear or traditional. From the French “mode.”

I’ll add to that and say Mode Gyaru focuses on sleek lines, interesting cuts, bold patterns, conforming to or changing the body shape to make dramatic silhouettes.

Recently my article on Mori Gyaru has created quite a debate in the gal_style live journal community and the morigirls live journal community. I finally read through both and really appreciate ALL the opinions Mori Gyaru stirred. I will have to say, I side with the dissenting view that it will not be a new style. Although not for any of the reasons listed in the debates.

It’s a really about SALES! There’s no Mori Gyaru brand, and until there is it’s just some made up words from a magazine editor’s dream. Like how Ethnic is the new Boho. Or how the long term Dolly-kei Sweet-kei trend is now just mainstream lace and florals.

HOWEVER!!!!! Mode has several of its own brands! Maybe once it was a made up dream in some editor’s head after looking at some runway show, but now it’s a style. It has not one, but several brands who are MODE to their core.

Emoda (left) Murua (right)

Brands love MODE

Mode Only brands:
:star2: EMODA
:star2: MURUA
:star2: Gimlet

Brands who have attached onto Mode:
:star2: Gilfy
:star2: Egoist
:star2: Lip Service
:star2: Duras
:star2: Delyle

New brands are taking on a trend, 3 out of the 5 new brands for Spring 2010 are MODE based (Minirdees and Miia are the other two new gal brands). While the older scions of gal are helping popularize it more. Some of the most famous gal stores are loving Mode Gyaru, so it’s time we all paid attention. :!:

The two Cool Beauties of Mode

Emoda is produced by ex-Vivi modal Ena Matsumoto (松本恵奈), and Murua is fronted by Momoko Ogihara (荻原桃子) another ex-Vivi model. Both ladies are just some of the most strikingly beautiful women I’ve ever seen. They just emanate the Japanese quality of “Cool Beauty” or “高嶺の花” (takene no hana, an idiom meaning it’s something beyond one’s reach). They have made themselves the faces of Mode and they are faces I want to see more of. :stepup:

Both women are 25 and 26 respectively, which is a bit older than the “supposed” normal gal yet both are making waves with their collections in gal magazines.

So why am I talking about these women along with their brands?

Well Ena Matsumoto’s blog which is mostly about Emoda ranks around 25 to 30 of the most popular Ameblos daily. This girl has readers, readers who want to know about her and Emoda.Momoko Ogihara whose blog set-up is a little clunky and hasn’t updated in a week is STILL in the top 100 of all blogs. I know Chinatsu chatter is all the trend in foreign gal blogs lately (including here), but Chinatsu’s ameblo doesn’t rank in the top 500 of blogs usually.

Pop gal Miia’s producer, Akina Minami, is not even in the top 500 Ameblos either. Miia clothing on fashionwalker recently went on sale. 5 pages of sales! That’s a lot of unsold clothes for this time of year :oops:  To contrast, neither Murua nor Emoda have had to put much on sales (only 2 or 3 items respectively).

Being the Chanel freak I am, I had to point this out. They have the same Chanel bag! It’s a few years old so it’s an even odder coincidence. Maybe they both bought them as twinsie bags when still working for Vivi. :sparkle2:

Mode for Fall

A blog does not make a successful clothing company, but items selling out does. Over 50% of the items on the Murua and Emoda webstores are sold out.

I recently have stalked the Emoda webstore to buy a few items, however once items are released they often sell out the same day! This is Chinatsu-WC fan type devotion here :upheart:

The current state of Western, Florals and every other dominant Summer trend, WILL NOT LAST INTO FALL as they are. They COULD last, but change is necessary. Western could go very dark and celeb mix, florals could evolve into even stronger retro prints. However, MODE doesn’t need to! It’s black & white base with strong lines already makes it a go to for Fall and Winter.

Walk around Japan in the Winter and I promise you’ll see a ton of black. My closet last winter turned that way as well. Even with some of fashion houses calling for an all white blend for Winter 2010, MODE currently has the clothing in stores to do that.

Two pieces currently on sale at the Emoda webstore that could easily go into fall. Both with the right jacket would look quite sleek.

Mode is also a very adult trend. As the spending money of Japanese teens declines, these are the kind of women with the kind of brands gyaru should be looking to. They are providing a way for adults to keep gyaru yet BE adults. The new brands above are also great crossovers. They’re getting press in JJ, Vivi and other OL magazines while being edgy enough to make gal magazines publish their looks. Nuts, SCawaii, Blenda and Jelly are all listening to Mode Gyaru (examples next post).

Some may think this look is not gyaru, and I think you’d be wrong. I am sure similar thoughts happened when Egoist did Celeb style, or Duras putting out a golf line.

My logic if an clothing trend is gal or not:

:star2: It appears in gal magazines
:star2: Gal brands put out items involving the trend
:star2: Street snaps in gal magazines show women wearing the trend

All of these are true for Mode Gyaru. So let’s cheer on yet another style into the giant gyaru world :upheart:


  1. June 8, 2010 / 10:34 am

    aaah~~ this makes much more sense now!!
    i think right now i wouldn’t dress this way, but give me a couple of years and i really could see myself doing this. it seems to be able to tranfer to the work place much easier than other trends if done right, and that’s SO convenient!

    i also LOVE the focus on silhouette; outfits with a good silhouette is so fun~

  2. June 8, 2010 / 10:44 am

    This seems far more contemporary and mature than many other styles, I really like the emphasis on different cuts & patterns. Thanks for the informative post.

  3. June 8, 2010 / 11:56 am

    It looks gorgeous! I’m a fan of old styles and how young and different they were, but since gyarus are getting older it’s really really interesting to see that type of style, more mature, so, I agree with you Mitsu: Another beautiful beautiful style for the giant gyaru world <3

    Thanks for the awesome post and all the information ^^

  4. June 8, 2010 / 11:58 am

    Yay! I wonder what style will come out next?

  5. June 8, 2010 / 12:08 pm

    I think mode style is a great bridge between Western (specifically European and US) RTW looks and Japanese gyaru sensibilities. It seems that both brands are taking inspiration from the looks/direction popularized by the current crop of fashion bloggers du jour (a la Rumi of Fashion Toast, Gala Gonzales/Amlul, Caroline Feber, Karla of Karla’s Closet, etc). Really hope this look continues to gain momentum as it suits so many girls who are transitioning from other gyaru styles as well as becoming older. I also like how despite mode gyaru having two very strong brands at its forefront, the look can easily be built using pieces from labels/designers outside of Japan.

    Looking forward to the rest of your series!

  6. June 8, 2010 / 12:21 pm

    Mode is so sexy and hot and can really keep the lifetime of GALs by dressing in a sexier and mature way that doesn’t draw the typical attention of what gyaru’s are stereotyped as: wild.
    I love it and will most definitely take inspiration from it <3

  7. June 8, 2010 / 3:29 pm

    Sure mode gal is gyaru! Just more grown up gyaru. And btw I love it! I was spamming my tumblr with Ena and Momoko recently :oops: I love the brands` style and the producers :love:
    Actually Ena`s hair long time ago inspired me to cut my hair (along with Mori Maya :)) and I bought glasses like hers.

    I think another important point of mode gal is a big emphasis on body-con dresses/skirts. No tutu style bottoms like in younger gyaru, all about body con. :)

    love your blog :hearts:
    helps me relax after work and always has best posts! :peer:

  8. June 8, 2010 / 4:12 pm

    I love mode style! I’m really glad you decided to devote an entire week of posts to this topic. I’m sure many gal enthusiasts have been quick to dismiss it since it doesn’t have the same cutesy aesthetic as most other gal fashions. Don’t get me wrong, I think I’ll always love looking at the ridiculously over-the-top side of gal fashion…but mode is something I feel like I can pull off much more easily. Thank goodness for grownup fashion goddesses/inspirations like Ena and Momoko!

  9. June 8, 2010 / 4:36 pm

    I love Mode because as you said, it will transcend seasons well and as much as I love denim and florals I ain’t gonna be wearing them in fall haha. I also think that it’s a slightly more chic/sexier look. I don’t know why but the more ‘mature’ vibe it gives off just makes it more appealing to me.
    It’s so simple but stylush too, but yeah you can probably guess I love it :mrgreen:

  10. June 8, 2010 / 4:54 pm

    Mode-kei is certainly all about the cuts and sillouttes. I really like how bold it is, and it’s a style that can be worn into the late 30s (imo). I’m frankly not rich enough to be able to afford Emoda prices, but I do appreciate what they are producing.

    I think gyaru style is growing up a bit, the real leaders of gyaru fashion are all getting into their mid or late 20s now.

  11. June 8, 2010 / 6:42 pm

    hmmm. I feel like this is not that interesting-new of a look. Not flattering to many people either. Looks like what I see here when I go to early-middle aged rich women malls. :[

    (again this is not the random person who posts as Suyin. btw who is that if anyone knows!)

  12. achan
    June 8, 2010 / 6:47 pm

    I see a lot of girls in mags with Chanel or LV bags, but do mode gyaru ever wear contemporary “designer” brands, like Balmain, Helmut Lang, Alexander Wang, Rick Owens etc?

    • June 9, 2010 / 9:40 am

      More Japanese models are picking up on Wang in their off-duty style and Jil Sander, Helmut Lang, Rick Owens (more specifically his diffusion line) are popular as well. There is some trickle down but it might be a long time before any of those brands will be featured in any gyaru magazine. Isabel Marant and Balmain’s looks from the past few seasons could be incorporated into mode gyaru style but I think Japanese women prefer designer pieces that have immediate brand recognition, e.g. logo heavy (Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent) or iconic look (Balenciaga, Hermes, Goyard, Givenchy) and primarily in the form of handbags.

      Magazines like So-en and Nylon Japan (and to some extent Spring) are catering more towards the Balmain/Sander/Wang/Owens crowd, so it’s still a long way away from the gyaru scene.

  13. June 8, 2010 / 6:56 pm

    Well said!! :hearts:
    The beauty of gal fashion, for me, is that it is constantly evolving. As we have seen especially lately with models like Detsu Korohi & Nonoka, there is no one ‘set’ gal look or style & I love that! I think people forget that gal fashion is still FASHION & fashion itself is constantly changing.
    I can definitely see mode becoming more popular, especially since, like you pointed out, it’s a style that easily transfers between seasons. I’m excited to hear about DELYLE going more mode since that’s one of my favourite brands :hearts2:
    I also love how Ena & Momoko have the same bangs and nearly the same body type, haha! Both of them are gorgeous but Ena is amazing :hearts: Do love Momoko’s make in the Chanel bag comparison photo!

  14. June 8, 2010 / 8:09 pm

    lovlovelove mode style! ena is my favorite blog to read right now for sure! such a cool topic thank you~~!

  15. June 8, 2010 / 10:22 pm

    I don’t think I could rock Mode style very well, the cutesy stuff suits me better! But it’s awesome to see more adult trends, and I definitely think it’s HOT. Classy and cool gyaru, can’t go wrong! :hearts2:

    Of course, no idea what I’ll do with all my florals in the fall when I’m back home, haha. Oh well. 8)

  16. June 8, 2010 / 10:59 pm

    mod style is awesome! thank you for sharing this.. i definitely feel my style is changing since i’m getting older, and letting go (slowly) of my love of cute styles — i still want to keep my gyaru style going and this intertwined with gal makes me excited… and i like how it’s so practical, and can be used with winter fashion as well – i gotta read up on more of ena and momoko..

    thanks for a great post as always mitsu ! :hearts:

  17. June 9, 2010 / 12:09 am

    I’ve been really curious about mode style! This post was super informative~! Thank you!!

    I’m definitely really drawn to this look although it IS a more mature look… really sophisticated and cool~

    I agree about your definition of a gal trend! A lot of western gals have difficulty agreeing what’s a trend or not but I think your definition is definitely a good way to look at trends. :D

  18. June 9, 2010 / 6:13 am

    Hooray, FINALLY a gyaru style I can actually wear to work! :o It still bothers me a tad that the skirt length is still a bit too short to be worksafe though. -_- But the mature cuts, colours and patterns used really help drive home the fact that that it’s for girls my age. :cheery:

    All the same, thank you so much for this Mitsu! ♥ :peer: I am sharing this post with my friends, who also like to dress gyaru for work but agonise over the mostly young-ish gyaru styles that are more immediately available.

  19. June 9, 2010 / 7:02 am

    I love this style! It’s fierce and mature! I like it! ^___^ I follow en matsumoto’s blog, I love her style!

  20. xue
    June 9, 2010 / 7:13 am

    interesting article. :) but regarding the blog ranking part, chinatsu’s blog has reached dendo or whatever you call it, which is meant for blogs that occupied the first position in the daily rankings over a period of time. so her blog wouldn’t be included in the rankings anymore. her blog is really quite popular i think.

    • Mitsu
      June 9, 2010 / 8:47 am

      I do wonder about that since the top 3 haven’t changed for quite a while. Any link about than on ameblo would be most helpful :hearts2:

  21. June 9, 2010 / 11:29 am

    Really interesting like everything you write about :) I don´t leave comments very often but I read you everyday you post something new!!!!! You´re helping us a lot U///U

  22. Maki
    June 9, 2010 / 12:04 pm

    Very interesting read! I’m not a huge fan of this style, but there are certainly elements I can appreciate (epsecially working in a corporate environment).

    I do really like Delyle’s mode line. Especially this one:
    Nice way to class up overalls! And this outfit, I could totally wear to work!
    Though people with a stricter environment, maybe not… -_-

  23. June 10, 2010 / 12:07 am

    I looove this style!

    But to be honest, doesn’t it remind you of American “hipster” style a bit? Especially some of the looks I was seeing for Emoda and Murua. (On their websites)

    At least living in LA, I know all the trendy/rich girls are wearing things like this.

    • Mitsu
      June 10, 2010 / 12:30 am

      I can see that, although I don’t want to LOL!

      Well it is based on Ready-to-Wear styles so rich girls are affording the actual brands with Balmain studded sandals and Herve Leger banded skirts. Mode Gyaru is just rifting ideas off them.

      Ena Matsumoto was in LA with Hoshiaya to do a shoot. I am sure she got some more inspiration :oops:

  24. krissy
    June 10, 2010 / 8:28 am

    Can you pls I.D the golden bag or clutch you’re holding. I need it in my life . Thanks

    • Mitsu
      June 10, 2010 / 4:38 pm

      lol since I’m white that’s definitely not me, it’s either by Murua or from Momoko Ogihara’s personal collection.

  25. June 17, 2010 / 4:28 pm

    “although I argue about mekas quite a bit.” – I’d like to know what you argue about. Being on of the 2 founders of the magazine, I’m interested :-) Feel free to send me a mail.

  26. July 1, 2010 / 2:46 pm

    I’ve been loving mode recently,I think since you 1st mentioned it and it started popping up alot more in jelly it s been really catching my eye.The style just completely appeals to me,stylish and it.
    Im loving both Ena and Momoko styles and companies aswell.Think Im drawn more to Emoda thou,but Momokos make is lush!

  27. October 21, 2012 / 9:59 am

    I’m actually transforming my fashion lifestyle to Gyaru and this form of Gyaru style speaks to me. Than you for the post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:) :( :icon_eek: :o :-S 8) :oops: ;-( :-D -_- :x :mad: :P :mrgreen: :wink: :roll: :?: :evil: :love: :panda: :depressed: :^_^;;: :yayblush: :cat: :cat2: :lovecat: :heartcat: :sadcat: :catno: :cheery: :smiley: :star: :stars: :star2: :bow: :dotbow: :rila: :korila: :marie: :alpaca: :heart: :hearts2: :hearts3: :eyelashes: :makeup: :shoe: :loveword: :omg: :lolpastel: :whaaa: :happydance: :yayyay: :rushed: :busy: :heartguy: :heartmouthguy: :rockoutguy: :stepup: :sage: :up: :peace: :sweatbubble: :regret: :heartbreak: :109: