Neogal Update

Neogal has created a lot of press lately and the word seems to have grown from just a double page spread in Vivi magazine to a full fledged style tribe. English language anything-Asian site Kotaku even decided to report about the Neogal trend (based on a Japanese tv program MezamashiTV).

I’m going to link and talk about all the press that Neogal has gotten and break down what the style is considered by many different sources and then talk about what’s up with gyaru.

 

neogal-2

NeoGal lover interviewed on MezamashiTV

Fig and Viper Producer Neogal Talk #1

Fig & Viper producer Alisa Ueno has even taken to English to describe Neogal, but her thoughts seem to very much be changing.

neogal-explanation

Alisa explaining NeoGal on MezamashiTV

Her first response via tumblr a month ago was this:

haha ive never said “I’m a neogal” and stuff tho. lol this word is from one of the article in ViVi magazine.
who cares about the differences or something w gal culture?
i was a gyaru when i was teenager
and i dont think neogal is gyaru. so you guys are right. its just using the same word “gal”, but just mezamashi TV broadcasted gal has shifted neogal. but its wrong.lol (shh..;p)

anyways, what i just can say is… whatever ! lol
but theres no culture in tokyo/jp right now so i just wanna set japan alight through fashion and culture. cuz we have olympic in 7 yrs?idk lol
other japanese as well.
so TV and magazine want some topic or news of tokyo young/youth culture thats why everyone focuses on neogal.

And since then she’s decided to tag most of her outfits as #neogal and spread the word. So… she’s now calling herself neogal.

Fig and Viper Producer Alisa Ueno’s NeoGal Talk and Interview #2

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She’s recently given an interview with Fashion Collection Tokyo that’s two parts that they’ve translated into English. You can read part one and part two here.

Her recent feelings on the Neogal in the interview are here

Neo-Gal was born instead of Gal? What do you think?
I don’t think so, actually the number of Gal is decreasing, but just it, Neo-Gal was born from Neo-Gal, Gal was born from Gal, so totally different.

Your friend, Ayano Sasaki, who is the director of EVRIS, is also called Neo-Gal. Have you ever talked about Neo-Gal with her?
No, because we don’t think we are Neo-Gal. I think she isn’t aware that she is a Neo-Gal. We know that we are called Neo-Gal, but we have totally different style, so we don’t know Neo-Gal is what. In common, I, Ayano, Natsumi Saito and GYDA(a fashion brand) is called Neo-Gal, if I you ask me, we may be inspired by fashion overseas.

…but she tags it? I just don’t know. I think she’s been contradictory.

Since a style tribe is not just one person or usually even one brand Style Arena steps in…

 

Style Arena names NeoGal a New Tribe

neogal-stylearena-street-style

Other than Alisa, the best street fashion site in Japan, Style Arena, has decided to report on NeoGal as a new tribe.

Style Arena always does a clear, concise job on reporting on new street fashion in Japan and I think their description of Neogal is quite good mainly because they have nothing to gain or lose by discussing it.

Talking to actual Neo Gyarus, it seems they were Ko-Gyarus (little Gyarus) in high school and they naturally progressed to this present style by wearing clothes and make-up they liked after graduating. Major sources of Neo Gyaru fashion information include fashion producer blogs and overseas collections. Neo Gyarus immediately want to buy items that they take a liking to so Internet shopping is popular. There are no particular themes in this fashion. It is possible to incorporate whatever clothing you prefer whether it is second-hand or luxury brand name clothing. Highlights are a popular hair style with many Neo Gyarus coloring only the tips of their hair with hair chalk.

So a key for Neogals is many of them had the foundation of gyaru. Alisa Ueno and Ayano Sasaki (Evris Producer) as well as Yuria Kushido (Gyda Producer) all were gyaru.

alisa-2010-neogal-before

Alisa Ueno from 2010

alisaueno-2011

Alisa Ueno from 2011

Both pretty damn gal. (taken from her ameblo)

So she like the girls and brands she mentioned she considered NeoGal all have had a foundation of gyaru.

 

Popteen and Gal History now Neogal

Popteen has recently put out a history of gyaru and they’ve decided to make 2013-2014 the year of both NeoGal and “Sweet Baby Color Girly Style” aka Larme-kei.

popteen-neogal

So Popteen calls out NeoGal as a gyaru progression and maybe one of the trends in Gyaru.

Random fact: former lady models are often called OG models. OB/OldBoy is common in Japanese slang for OB former of a sports team or magazine, but OG is OldGal. Alisa’s 24 and she’s an OG.  :lolpastel:

 

 Final thoughts.

I side more with Style Arena’s point of view than anyone. It’s a new tribe full of former gyaru who want to mix style up yet with modern twists. I do not think Neogal is Gyaru’s new form as Popteen suggests, but I think it’s a bit superficial to ignore its connection with gal. Especially since it most if not all lovers of Neogal were into gyaru.

I don’t think NeoGal is killing gyaru. It’s a popular style but a loose one, if you count Evris, Gyda and Fig and Viper as the stores it’s barely 10 stores across Japan. If Fig and Viper are the chief operators of Neogal it only has 6 stores and they’re in Tokyo, Osaka and Kanazawa. That’s not a takeover. Gyda itself had to die off once in Shibuya 109 and then come back. Evris only has 2 stores in Tokyo.

Neogal is frankly too new. Alisa’s concept of Fig & Viper has changed wildly throughout it’s short four year history. It started out as oneegyaru overseas brand (example), moved to a colorful “blogger” look (see the Fig and Viper shop staff from 2012) and now it’s a bright crazy one.

 

I stick by what I always feel has been killing gyaru.

:bow: Over mori, nails/hair/everything went too over the top and impossible to maintain. Tanning died. Even if you like it, the over mori people who kept up with it all started looking the same. Outrageous yet a bit boring.

:bow: The boom of 2007-2009 in gyaru created gyaru but many of them naturally calmed from that era and are moving towards something else. That can be Neogal, but it’s also mega popular Onee gyaru, Mode, or Street casual like Sly. Again all of the other choices than Neogal have many more stores and followers.

:bow: The growth of oraora, it’s a way to rebel without as much flashiness. No to mention Ora Ora and psy-trance (saike) go hand in hand which allows people to congregate at raves and music events without the problems of Shibuya.

:bow: The K-Pop boom is crazy in Japan as well as AKB48. The new highschoolers who could pick an aging Ayu or older Koda Kumi instead are going with the youth and fun of K-Pop and AKB48. Both which don’t promote gyaru.

:bow: Brands were too quick to change their individual style to promote the new hot trend. Soon mode clothing was at every store not just Emoda and Murua and brands started looking the same, Lip Service and Egoist now look like Murua. It ruins brand loyalty and individuality. The sweet dolly boom has created a lot of watered down Liz Lisa, Ank Rouge types like Adree, Secret Honey, recently bankrupted Ricori and more.

:bow: Shibuya has been dying since 2008. Dying because of the asshole fake policemen harassing gyaru since 2008. The popular Center-gai McDonalds closed early. Dancing was banned and clubs shrank. There became much less safe-space gathering places for lots of gyaru. Again and again older gyaru lament how Shibuya has died and keep saying “let’s go back” but without any real game plan or safe space.

…and a lot of other reasons. The growth of foreign fast fashion brands in Japan, the on-line discount brands like Yumetenbo and Galstar, the lack of new original models etc… It’s so multi-faceted.

 

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21 Comments

    • Mitsu
      July 24, 2014 / 2:10 pm

      I miss 2008 Gilfy, but then I want things to evolve. I just wish there were more trendsetters and more variety in gal as there was 2 years ago even.

  1. July 24, 2014 / 1:32 pm

    Yeah I agree neogal might not be what’s killing gal, and you’re previous post on the topic made that all very clear~ I feel like, neogal can look really cute sometimes! But the lack of make-up makes it boring to me…the mezamashi tv girl still looks cute though~
    I guess Alisa Ueno tags herself neogal because people are maybe trying to find her through that tag? I’m not sure, she looks a little vague to me..but vague is the new cool?

    You’re rigt the link between gal and neogal is undeniable as some gals started loving the style, but I always felt like it’s a certain chunk of the population, middle class kids that like fancy-/cool-/hipster-foreign stuff, that is supposed to fall for this stuff..

    • Mitsu
      July 24, 2014 / 2:09 pm

      My personal opinions on Neogal is less influenced on if I want to wear it. I think my style is too mix and match lately. Sometimes I want to wear sweet, sometimes I would like all black, sometimes I want vintage style. I really however love love love how two overseas ladies do it: missalmightyx aka Anni and Hiki (hiki1758 on instagram). To me they’re really not looking overseas style as much as true Neogal. But I think the feeling of what is Neogal and what isn’t can be a HUGE debate style-wise. Especially since the style keeps changing.

      But it’s so broad.

      I mean the bottom center girl on Style Arena she’s in a white t-shirt, a jacket, and jeans. Is it the platforms? The retro cherry earrings? She’s so not visually it for me.

      So it’s still making its way into a theme.

      I think Alisa is just realizing that her look is a business and she’s responding a lot to the likes she gets and if #neogal makes more people find out about her or if she creates a style trend it’s more money in her pocket. But I feel like I can’t trust what she says as much because she’s been so iffy.

      Those kinds of kids, you are so right about :D

  2. mikachan
    July 24, 2014 / 1:37 pm

    JUST YES YES YES TO EVERYTHING

    • Mitsu
      July 24, 2014 / 2:10 pm

      I always worry if I’m coming off too harsh or one sided so thank you

  3. July 25, 2014 / 2:46 am

    I 100% agree with all your statements about why gal is dying particularly what you were saying about brands changing their individual looks. I miss murua from 3-4 years ago

    • Mitsu
      July 26, 2014 / 5:04 pm

      Yes! Murua from 3 years ago was this cool hippie monotone mix vibe. Momoko turned 30 and somehow gave into that feeling that women have to dress some-type-of-way it feels. Now it feels like its Alexander Wang without draping.

  4. July 25, 2014 / 5:54 am

    It’s inevitable that fashion will change and evolve over time. I agree with you when you say it became a bit too extreme, too much of a good thing is not always a good thing, the tanning, the over the top make-up, the crazy nails, etc. It became too much to up keep and was too extreme. I really like the last few years though, with Gilfy and the other brands with their respective styles like Ghost of Harlem was darker and Liz Liza was girly and floral.

    What bothers me with this “new style” is like you said, it’s very broad and loose. I guess in a way it’s good because it leaves it open to anyone and everyone, but… I don’t know… I find it very plain and bland. I don’t think it’s unique anymore and the lack of make-up, as another gal commented, is what is disappointing the most to me. I always looked up to gyaru for make-up and now there’s barely anything… it’s very… boring.

    • Mitsu
      July 26, 2014 / 5:02 pm

      Ghost of Harlem had a rockin’ season and Gilfy was my gateway drug into gyaru. I wish that rock look came back. Glad News is trying to hold on but has changed to more a “UNIF” style, which is well a bit unoriginal, especially since a lot of UNIF is not original (the copy prints and such).

      I do want to see more extremes. I’m curious if Aiko Ueda will influence others. She’s GYDA sales and tags her pics as gyaru and wears a ton of make-up yet goes far out to Neogal. It’s weird she’s not GYDA’s aesthetic but makes it work http://ameblo.jp/aikosensei-gyda/

  5. July 26, 2014 / 12:06 am

    i so agree with you with all brands looking the same now… recently i went shopping at Lumine Est with a friend of mine that i hadn’t seen in a long while, and this friend has always taken my fashion advice very seriously (lol. dunno why… XP) and she asked me what was my favourite brand now (so we could check out the store) and i replied “i dunno… i guess i don’t really have one nowadays.” cuz every shop looks the same. and even the ones that used to be edgy are all kinda watered down. it’s sad. i’m ready for a new fashion boom! and i’m ready for matching twinsets and crop-tops to GOOOOOO!!!!! XD

    • Mitsu
      July 26, 2014 / 4:52 pm

      Yea! I feel like what brand I enjoy is the print or shirt or dress or whatever I bought that I really like. It’s not really a loyalty feeling. Rare brands have a collection that looks so individual and fun that makes me think, “I can’t wait to buy the whole thing.”

      I’m okay with matching, but onesies and crop tops would be nice. But that’s just because I have 0 hip and crop tops seem to look good on hippy people D:

  6. July 26, 2014 / 1:19 pm

    Great post! Very informative. ^__^ I totally agree.

    • Mitsu
      July 26, 2014 / 4:51 pm

      Thank you for thinking so!

  7. July 28, 2014 / 7:46 am

    I totally agree with you…
    I really loved and still admire original gyaru style and everytime I read about its demise I get so sad..
    So, why do you think there aren’t any new models who can spur a big gyaru comeback?? >.<

    • Mitsu
      July 28, 2014 / 1:58 pm

      I just don’t think the desire is there. I think a lot of new styles will take its place. Flashiness isn’t trendy right now, or maybe it feels like that type of flashiness is dated. I think a new type of flashiness is required. Maybe a bgyaru reemergence or something.

  8. smu
    July 28, 2014 / 6:46 pm

    I really dislike the new gyaru styles, it looks boring, too hipster and mainstream. Their clothes, hair and makeup look too plain in neo gal. I really dislike crop tops and its nothing unique as croptops are popular even in the U.S. sold everywhere right now in the summer so its not unique. I miss the old gyaru styles when gyaru stood out and was different.

    • Mitsu
      July 28, 2014 / 7:56 pm

      I’m curious if there will be a backlash. Like I said previously I think people are bored with the same kind of flashy. Maybe a new kind of flashy will help gyaru style. Or a model or celeb that forwards the culture in a different direction.

  9. Mel
    August 20, 2014 / 8:54 pm

    I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU ON EVERYTHING YOU HAVE WRITEN ON THIS POST.
    I felt like crying because of how things turned out :/ I don’t like any style now. Every style in this world got ruined because of shitty popular stuff (ex. r&b, hip-hop, rap are now swag… WTF?) Trends from america & korea reached japan & now shit happened. Gyaru had originality which came from japan… but then this faded away because they all get crazy for what is trending now. I’m a fashion creator & i do not agree with the trends, they are shitty stuff which make people with no taste victims & slaves of this world’s shitty plans on getting more money & fame.

    • Mitsu
      August 21, 2014 / 10:05 am

      I don’t know if I’d take it that far. Gyaru has always looked to the west. I mean it had a huge CelebGyaru boom that was mainly focused on people like Paris Hilton. Top model / blogger Yunkuro still absolutely loves Paris Hilton and every old agejo bought a pair of Dior Glossys because she wore them. I do feel like fast fashion has really edged in but I think it’s a lot of things. Fashion often has an equal reaction so maybe something flashy on the horizon.

  10. haneul
    August 21, 2014 / 9:10 pm

    i also feel like alisa tags #neogal in her posts so she can garner more hits to her blog. and while she may not have initially branded herself as neogal, i think she’ll run with it if the media labels her so. since after all, she has a brand and image to maintain.

    style arena sorta but not really built a definition for neogal there but those photos don’t look like they have an ounce of neogal in them! i have such a hate/love relationship with the whole concept of neogal, it’s so frustrating that there’s no definite *look* you know?

    i completely agree with how you must’ve had a gyaru background to be able to delve into the neogal style. i don’t think it’s possible to put together a good “neogal” coord without it. i feel as if neogal is a style you gotta “evolve into”; some people will, others may not over time. it’s not something you can pick it up right away.

    miliyah kato started off as a bgyaru, (like 10 years ago LOL). but eventually, she became more of a harajuku trendsetter. tbh i think she was doing it before alisa? i didn’t hear of alisa until recently tho. and i’m not sure if miliyah calls herself a neogal. (as a longtime fan of her, i can’t bring myself call her that either.) but to me, she has the look of neogal but that’s only after a decade’s knowledge of styling and ~*oooh*~ fashion.

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