Kurogyaru Fall Looks and Discuss! What is gyaru to you visually? When does gyaru stop?

Insomnia does horrible things to my complexion but great things for thinking. So I decided to make a very simplistic chart as one for debate and discussion not one you have to agree with at all, it’s up for debate! I’m going to jump around in this post, but below is just a lot of info and talk about the state of gyaru.

gyarumap

 

But now this season has become a bit difficult because the big fall trend for Fall is “Onee Monotone” shown with the two big Kurogyaru brands and it’s not necessarily the most gyaru-est gyaru gyaru trend ever.

kurogyaru diaSpec DIA‘s Kurogyaru Onee items for FALL

garula-aw2013
Garula‘s Onee and MIX for Fall


 

The cannot be anything but gyaru-gyaru

Extra Long DECO nails
There’s a few items that you can say are gyaru and not any other style type. Super long nails with lots of stuff on them is very gyaru. Do others do them? Yes, but it’s very associated with gyaru style.

DIA brand
Less stores lately, but still a popular brand within gyaru. Admittedly DIA itself is softening a little (see outfits above & peak inside for 2013 summer), but its belts, bras and sexy mix are a distinctive look for gyaru and nothing else.

Tans
Are tan people in Japan all gyaru are non-tan people gyaru? No and yes, but in combination with other aesthetics it’s a good indicator.

 

egg-september2013-palegyaru

However Egg magazine which I’ve considered the signature over-the-top gyaru mag has really put it a lot of non-tanning models lately (or their whitening has gone to Ageha levels).


 

The combined with another activity-gyaru

Oraora deeply tied to yanki culture and saike/psychedelic trance. Are all people who like modded bikes and psychedlic trance gyaru? No. But it’s super common.

Blackgyaru aka B-gyaru tied deeply to hiphop music. And also hiphop dance. A lot of people may not consider themselves gyaru but shop at Dance by LB-03 and Cheer for their hiphop dance performances. But there’s Baby Shoop which is the ultimate b-gyaru combination.


 

The Ageha-Hime effect

While Agejo is dying out, it’s still worth talking about as a style. Most girls are non-tans but with extra-long nails often. But agejo is softening so less nails. Still mostly gyaru.

Hime is also dying out. Even with the moderate success of Princess Melody it still has no actual in-person store. And La Parfait has closed all but its flagship in Nagoya and there are only 3 stores still open of Jesus Diamante‘s brand.


 

The “shiro-gyaru” tan-free and sweet-kei style

Liz Lisa has been a brand associated with gyaru since the beginning however it’s also worn by lots of other girls like high school girls who want to look cute on a date. However their charisma shop staff look decidedly gyaru. However some kurogyaru may look and not see gyaru as much with girls who are shirogyaru. But Liz Lisa, Ank Rouge, Dazzlin, Titty&Co and so many brands are popular right now and sweet-kei are the brands that are expanding (along with cool and street-style influenced brands)


 

The “Oneegyaru” blend

Rienda, Rady and Duras are brands doing well, but it seems their brands are also being appreciated by younger ladies lately. 3 of the Egg models when surveyed in Egg’s September issue said “Duras” was their favorite brand.

oneegyaru-egg-models-duras-love

Not discussed but not ignored: the rise of Black Diamond circle, declining amekaji and surf-kei, rock gyaru’s mesh with street-style western fashion since rock gyaru has had a few non-popular years. A few of those need a talking about. XD Soon if you’re curious although I’m sure many gyaru lovers are aware of those topics :)

 

I tend to take a broad view when it comes to gal, but I also prefer discussing gyaru from the fashion marketing side. Meaning if it’s in the 109 tower I’m calling it gal and whether or not people want to view each other as gyaru makes no deal to me, but then I make a chart…. oh hypocrite blogger. But it’s for discussion only! I don’t even know what I think of my current self and gyaru I’m just putting on and styling myself in what makes me happy and have stopped thinking whether or not I’m coloring within the gyaru lines.

What are your thoughts? Where does gyaru begin and end? How do you feel about what’s growing and declining? Do you agree with how some things are softening? Ramble on below! :smiley:

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16 Comments

  1. September 23, 2013 / 2:03 pm

    This reminds me of my philosophy class~! We’re currently learning about antropology and what makes human a human and I think some of the same questions can be applied here. Even tho I agree that for example long flashy nails are a typical gyaru thing, it doesn’t mean that people without them are not gyaru and the other way around: people that have them aren’t necessarily gyaru. Same goes for example with the clothing. Liz Lisa is (as far as I see) very popular with foreign gyaru, but that doesn’t mean that when you’re wearling LL clothes you’re gyaru. I think you have to look at the total package of interest in specifically the gyaru culture, reading the magazines, doing the make-up and hair and just liking all things related to it for ex. nails, circle lens, extentions (even tho it’s not necessary to have them) and above all the intention to be gyaru. For me, the attitude and intention makes the gyaru!

    • Mitsu
      September 23, 2013 / 3:10 pm

      I think in some ways it becomes philosophical, weirdly! Philosoraptor must have fabulous nails though XD

      I just feel the total package is changing even for the inner circle of gyaru. Gels more in Egg than acrylics, tan vs no tan. So it makes it harder I think or how I tried to do it with the fuzzy bursh chart is it’s more nebulous than it ever was before, in my opinion.

  2. September 23, 2013 / 3:26 pm

    For me, Gyaru means putting a lot of effort in your looks. This means wearing make up, big hair (or at least styled hair), pretty nails and extravagant clothes where everything from head to toe matches. I think the typical make up every gal wears is big eyes and small nose/small face in general. Otherwise there are so many substyles now that Gyaru clothes can be everything.

    • Mitsu
      September 25, 2013 / 9:35 pm

      I just think a lot of that big eye and make-up styles are really changing. I’ll be talking about this next future of gyaru post :)

  3. September 23, 2013 / 3:36 pm

    nice post!

    as for your last comment, i’d be interested in hearing you talk about the black diamond girls!

    i think what is really “gyaru” now is the kind of girls in NUTS… what would you call that? Oshare gyaru? lol. it also happens to be my favorite mag <3

    • Mitsu
      September 25, 2013 / 9:35 pm

      I think Oneegyaru is a longtime trend but currently the best selling flavor of the month and with it NUTS being popular. But also sweet is so popular right now. Liz Lisa, Ank, and Swankiss all opening new stores recently. Which goes against the general retraction of other brands.

  4. September 23, 2013 / 4:48 pm

    The “gyaru” that many western gals have come to love seems to be a dying art (in my opinion). From watching the evaluation of style change with girls who wear oneegyaru, I see a big difference. What used to be a necessity, is no longer such. Like deco nails, falsies, and even circle lenses aren’t as required anymore. Sometimes I hear gyaru being translated into simply “trendy girl”. The gyaru spirit isn’t even as it use to be. Things have taken an interesting stance. Though gyaru isn’t in fact “dying” its a fashion industry thats constantly evolving and I’m curious what turn it’ll take next. Surely western gals are going to say this change in style is going to begin heading towards the final countdown, I think differently. There will always be new style icons and new designers whipping out more trends. Furthermore what will eventually dictate whether gyaru stays alive or not will always be the consumers.

    • Mitsu
      September 25, 2013 / 9:33 pm

      “whether gyaru stays alive or not will always be the consumers.”

      THIS THIS THIS the consumers are dictating a lot of the changes. I think gyaru is softening for this reason. As an easier way for newcomers to enter and for older people to stay with the style long after they are done with tans and super long nails.

  5. cappuccino
    September 23, 2013 / 11:05 pm

    IMO there’s just more options and mindsets are changing. I like where gyaru is headed. I still see dark skin, crazy nails, huge circle lenses, and monster eyelashes now and then so it’s not like that part is disappearing completely. Girls just don’t feel like they need to have these things to fit in anymore. For a style that began as a middle finger to the masses, there was still a crap load of conformity. But it’s gotten more practical. It has also shed a lot of it’s negative Jersey Shore-esque reputation, and lately there’s been a lot of responsible professional career gals in the spotlight which is a good thing. This probably has something to do with the rise of sexy but practical and even classy onee style, and more visibility of high end brands like Prada, Bottega Veneta, LV, etc.

    A lot of the readers of even adult gyaru magazines like nuts are teen girls who haven’t even started dressing gyaru yet. They read in curiosity and envy at these glamorous and flamboyant chicks. Now they’re reading about hard work, earning designer goods in ways other than enjo kosai or hostessing and think “I wanna do that too” so they can be cool and glam like their professional idols. It shows them they can stand out and be in control of their own life (a lot of appeal of gyaru in the first place, which likely started the original unfortunate trend of drop-out dead-end behavior) without being irresponsible.

    I think foreign gyaru have a delusional view of gyaru in the first place and there’s a lot of special snowflake, secret club, no-fun-allowed attitudes in foreign gyaru communities which doesn’t help their reactions as it changes to accommodate the lifestyles Japanese gyaru increasingly want to live.

    • Mitsu
      September 25, 2013 / 9:31 pm

      I really like how you’re stating it. I think options and mindsets is a good way to look at it. Although admittedly I’m sad of the phasing out of some of the impracticality.

  6. September 23, 2013 / 11:30 pm

    I think that Shibuya girl fashion culture is just phasing out of gyaru. Knowing how their industry works, I think the new generation of girls that designers and people are getting their inspiration from are not really looking into that hardcore style as much. It’s softening up a lot, and it’s not just reflected in magazines. Honestly the image of ‘style perfection’ in mags gives a unrealistic view of actual street fashion, which I’ve always seen to not be not as unique, and more on normal generic than GYARU (aside from the occasional creative person). I find the underground gyaru culture itself more exciting and unique because that’s what they were always all about. They weren’t about the trends that was currently going on (like Black Diamond unit**’s cookiecutting/multicloning selves in D.I.A.), they were always trying to 1-up the current trends and being the most unique. As long as the gal lifestylists are still there, like Gal circles and etc, the real spirit of gyaru is still alive, though probably won’t be easily seen online unless people have mixi or something.

    Hearing about the hime brands struggling makes me kind of sad, but it’s definitely not anything surprising. Things like hime and lolita has always been more of small niche businesses so the downsizing isn’t all that surprising. Especially since keiko and himeka left the scene– I think they pumped a lot of the idolization of JD’s brand concept that had girls willing to pay the ridiculous prices. Even Himena wore some JD in the beginning part of her modeling career, but not long after that she seemed to be mainly La Pafait or PuriMelo or MA*RS. But even then, the focus of the current consumer don’t seem to be on that frilly leaning-on-tacky cuteness anymore, so…

    But I don’t see Gyaru shifting that much nowadays, I just see the Shibuya market moving away from it. Gyaru had it’s years..

    • Mitsu
      September 25, 2013 / 9:30 pm

      I don’t know about that. If there was something else for them to fill in the void I would agree, but it’s not just one thing and I don’t think gyaru is phasing out. It’s worked for so long because it adapts. I’m just curious how that adaptation plays out.

      JD’s prices are crazy and the times I was in there it never seemed like himes coming in and buying. What I saw was older women (30s40s) who maybe wanted a special dress for a certain occasion. Which was originally the premise of JD.

  7. September 24, 2013 / 6:13 am

    I agree with you when you say, if it’s in 109 you consider it gyaru. So do I. But the nails, the fantastic hair and make-up with contacts and eyelashes is also what makes it gyaru for me. There’s a way about the make-up especially, even if my hair is straight and doesn’t have so much volume, if my make-up is on point with eyeslashes, I feel gyaru-ish. But maybe that’s just me in my skin.

    Sakurina has been a big inspiration for me in gyaru with more of a rokku style, I really love her and Ghost of Harlem. To me that’s still gyaru.

    But like other girls have said in their comments, I think now it’s more broad and open than it used to be. It’s not restricted to a few selected brands. You can mix brands with other things in your closet and still be/look/feel gyaru, I think it’s about the whole look and your attitude.

    • Mitsu
      September 25, 2013 / 9:28 pm

      I feel natural make is becoming a really hard thing for me to differentiate. I know circle lens are such are toning down. But things like eyelash extensions which look more natural and also brown false lashes and short falsies. There’s just a bunch of new things that are not just 109 but all around that are a more toning down.

  8. Chelsea
    September 24, 2013 / 7:37 am

    I think it is changing within Japan, as you said, and foreign gyaru style isn’t. Among the active gyaru communities in Europe and the US, it is still all about circle lenses, huge eyelashes, massive hair, and more sexy outfits. Yet in Japan it seems like things are moving more towards ‘wearable’ looks rather than anything too extreme, more Popteen – which I for one am quite happy with!

    I like the slightly less risky brands like EMODA and Liz Lisa, the sort of stuff I can wear here in the UK without too many stares. Same with no circle lenses – wearing circle lenses is pretty ‘extreme’ to people who don’t know/care about Japanese fashion, and it is nice that I can find makeup inspiration from Japanese gals who aren’t wearing them now. Don’t get me wrong, I love classic gal, it’s just not something I can feel comfortable wearing here in Europe – it’s a shame.

    Speaking of the 109 and changing gal, what do you think of Galaxxxy being in there now? I love Galaxxxy and consider it girlier streetwear, and sort of like Western brands such as Lazy Oaf and UNIF…Not really gyaru at all though. I’d love to hear your opinion!

    • Mitsu
      September 25, 2013 / 9:26 pm

      Galaxxxy has always been in Shibuya and I think there was a lot of overlap especially when ex-Egg girl Kaoru Watanabe left and started doing some work for it. I think it’s something I wouldn’t have put as gyaru, more Harajuku but since they’re pushing it into 109 I can definitely see it. I think it’s a bit more outrageous than UNIF and Lazy Oaf and doesn’t copy those brands (Glad News coughcough) so I’m happy such originality is in 109 :)

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