Larme magazine (ラルム) is a new sweet style magazine that started in late 2012. Larme means “tears” in French and is pronounced like “Rarumu” in Japanese. It’s published by Tokuma Shoten (former Egg magazine publisher).

The editor-in-chief of Larme is former Ageha editor 28 year old Haruna Nakagori (中郡暖菜). She started at Ageha when she was 20 in 2006 as a part-time job and then when she graduated in 2008 and was promoted to part of Ageha’s editorial staff.

Larme Editor in Chief Haruna Nakagori (in black) surrounded by Larme models

Larme isn’t Motekei or Gyaru, but something in between.

After the boom and success of Ageha, Ms. Nakagori proposed the Larme concept to In Forest in 2011 (now defunct publisher of Ageha magazine) and while it was originally approved, it got bogged down by upper management and never came to fruition. She left In Forest for Tokuma Shoten (former Egg publisher, current Larme publisher) in hopes create Larme magazine.

“Instead of in Akamoji magazines like Ray and CanCam you won’t see the front of the issue saying it’s “Attractive Black Hair looks” or “Spring Campus Make-up Bible”, “Larme” will have it’s own concept instead. The center of that concept is ‘this is what’s the cutest right now, that’s the reason it’ll stand out.”



Sweet Girly Fashion Artbook

Ms. Nakagori states that concept of Larme is “Sweet Girly fashion Artbook” (甘くてかわいい女の子のファッション絵本). A sweetly cute girl (甘くてかわいい女の子) is the concept for all of Larme style. The image for the magazine is a girl 18 to 25 who lives reading and going to art galleries. Production always starts with this image of a cultured girl.

The first issue came out in September of 2012. Larme magazine started out as a quarterly magazine and by its third issue quickly grew to a bimonthly magazine (six issues a year). The original September 2012 publication had to be reprinted twice because the original printing sold out. The same happened with its second issue, both sold 10,000 issues. By the third issue it was selling 15,000 copies an issue which put it on track with longtime magazine “Ray” (source).




Larme’s creator states that she clearly wants Larme to stand out fashion wise from gyaru and akamoji styles. She wants people to call a look “Larme-kei” or to say “That girl is very Larme” or a designer or photographer to say “this could really fit into Larme”.

The term of Sweetly Cute Girl “甘くてかわいい女の子” is the basis of Larme-kei. Both are used interchangeably to discuss the look. Popteen used the “Amakute Kawaii Onna no Ko” to describe how gyaru is trending. While the popular model Amo is in Larme magazine, and has always been a slight sweet and aomoji style girl, even Amo herself by her fans is simply called Amo-kei with her style. However the look for Larme isn’t just Amo-kei.



Harajuku darling AMO in a full page spread

Larme models

Larme didn’t hold a model search to find their models and currently has no plans to do so. Instead they’ve poached models from several different magazines and looks. Ms. Nakagori says Larme girls are Harajuku-like and Idol-like and Gyaru-like as long as they fit the look of a “Sweetly Cute Girl”.

Former Popteen model Yui Kanno (菅野結以 blog)
Harajuku princess Amo (blog)
former Popteen model Reimi Osawa (大澤玲美 Reipyon blog)
model and talent Risa Nakamura (中村里砂 blog)
former Ageha model Korotaki Maria (黒瀧まりあ blog)
Cutie model and talent Kondo Jasmine (瑛茉ジャスミン blog)
gravure idol Aizawa Rina (逢沢りな)
former AKB48 Watanabe Mayu (渡辺麻友)
current AKB48 Kojima Haruna (Kojiharu 小嶋陽菜)
current Nogizaka46 乃木坂46 Shirashi Mai (白石麻衣)



Larme and Trends

Ms. Nakagori states that she doesn’t want to shy away from trends that aren’t Larme’s style. Instead she wants to interpret trends in a Larme way. She gives the example that Neon colors were very popular, but Larme is a pastel-based magazine so instead she decided to do “Milky Neon”.

larme-street-girly larme-street-girly2

Larme Magazine doing street trends but deciding to call them “Street Girly”



Larme’s design

In order to make the magazine look more like an artbook than a traditional magazine there are no flashy side headlines in most magazines. The magazine also resists using black to highlight or outline words on the cover. The pages themselves are made from a thicker paper and are supposed to give off the feeling of more a keepsake than throwaway.

Inside the magazine it’s more focused on one large picture per page or an illustration to get the point across. Illustrator EcoNeco has worked with Larme as well as other girly illustrators like Mokoxxx. Each issue is also based around a theme or look. The first issue was “Antique” the second was “Dreamy” for the fourth issue it’s based on the 1962 film “Lolita”.



sources: blogos | model’s press | nogizaka journal

This is part one of the series on Larme Magazine.

Part one features history and creation behind the magazine
Part two features Larme brands and collaborations
Part three features Larme reader poll, see what the common bond is for Larme girls
Part four features style breakdown on popular looks for hair, styling, and nails for Larme girls


This post is part of the Japanese Fashion University section. Want to learn more in depth about Japanese Fashion? Click here


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I had a big post on Larme magazine that got erased by wordpress being a butt and realized part of the post was trying to break down modern Japanese female fashion styles that I don’t usually talk about on the Doll.

I’m going to take about mostly mainstream trends and the building blocks modern fashion came to be, so if you are waiting for subculture trends like decora or v-kei boom or such it’s not going to happen in this post.

Japanese fashion has moved to be much more fluid recently.

The problem is…

1. Internet. We’re so much more global. Street fashion grows better locally before it can be diluted by outside influences. Also internet is where people can look for free without magazines, making magazines close down.

2. Economy. The big one. The booms of street fashion have happened with the booms of economy. The bubble era really grew the original gyaru. The strong economy in Japan under Koizumi grew it again in 2007-2009. The economy is hurting right now and that trickles down quickly to teenagers. Less pocket money, less opportunities for fashion. Magazines close that promote that fashion. Less brands open. Every style I’ll talk about in this post happened during a period of economic prosperity.

3. Fashion can create an equal reaction. The physics of fashion create reactions. Akamoji and Aomoji or Hime Gyaru growing from the dark Kogyaru look. Currently the reaction to the wild pop feeling of 2008-2010 (WC boom) is a softer look.

So for all these reasons, especially number 1, the codification of style is breaking down. But there was a time when they weren’t and it helps connect with current fashion. I’m going to discuss some terms and style crazes from Japanese female fashion you may come across and break them down and discuss how they’re all related or have spawned from each other.


New Traditional ニュートラ

Hamatora ハマトラ Kobe-kei 神戸系 and Nagoya-kei 名古屋系 - 1975 – mid 1980s


Kobejou brands such as Vicky along with Nagoyajou brands like Knit Kitchen and Dear Princess in an old CanCam from the 1980/90s


Nagoya based Dears Princess in 2013-2014 runway shows. Check the similarities from 1980s.

The history:

Stemming from the 1970s and into the 1980s port cities in Japan a lot of wealth and manufacturing in that area. Manufacturing allowed quality craftsmanship and goods to come from the region and the wealth that flowed allowed women who shopped there to look elegant and stylish but conservative. It’s the beginning of the “Ojousama” look. Or little rich girl look, the girls in Kobe being known as Kobejou. Most of the women making New Tora (New Traditional) a fashion were college girls. There were a lot of these college girls in the area and this created a sense of competition that made the fashion. The trend also moved to Nagoya and created Nagoyajou.

The look:

New traditional: Magazine of the time “an – an” coined the term New Tora (Nyu-Tora ニュートラ) or New Tradtional to describe the boom first and JJ magazine codified the look especially in Yokohama (coining the term Hama Tora). The look was a simple color palette and very feminine. As were sweater sets (see above). The look was conservative however it wasn’t traditional colors fully like navy or blacks only. Instead it was pinks and other feminine colors. This is not a work look, it was made by the girls who don’t have to work and spawned the look for those who did have to work to replicate on their off days.

The look is compared to the Ivy League preppy style boom in the United States. Kobe’s NewTora was a very overly adult look with suit jackets and knee-length skits. Yokohama’s Hamatora was more of a childlike preppy with plaids and sweaters.


Early 1981 Kobe-kei New Tora


The child-like Yokohama centric Hamatora style.

Branded bags, scarves and jewelry were a signature of this look. Louis Vuitton, Fendi, YSL, and Celine brands made inroads into Japan and all became popular bags and accessories in Japan during this time. Showing off with a large flashy scarf over a conservative blazer was a strong point of New Tora. Emilio Pucci and her Pucci pattern scarves became popular during this time.

Magazines during this time focused on overseas brand items along with rich hobbies such as tennis, skiing and golfing. Furthering the little rich girl “Ojousama” wave.

Brands such as Vicky and Aquagirl which still exist were created in Kobe around this time. Dear Princess (above) from Nagoya is still around.


Kobe based Vicky shop staff in their current Fall collection. Still imprints of their older look.


Kobe based Aquagirl, founded in the Kobe-kei era has gone more modern.

New Tora decline:

Although New Tora, HamaTora and Kobe-kei are outdated terms, many of the brands are still in existence. Kobe-kei style hasn’t much changed (comparisons above). However looking at Kobe, Yokohama and Nagoya as fashion heads has. Cities were battling to create their own version of this style and the look became more of an entire country style.

The wealth of both Kobe and Nagoya have taken hits with the Japanese economy and localized manufacturing isn’t as prided. Also magazines in the mid 80s to early 90s stopped focusing on rich-girl campus life as much instead focusing on work life. The bubble also burst in 1991 and its affects afterwards in the early 90s made the rich-girl image not as palatable.

New Tora Kobe-kei legacy:

Akamojikei magazines stem from this look. Hime Gyaru and Agejo are often thought to be influenced by this popular fashion as well, because of the little rich girl mentality and look. Pucci prints still remain popular with Agejo and Agejo-adult brands like Rady. Hime Gyaru brands Jesus Diamante and La Parfait are founded from this region.


Kansai-based now defunct “Honey Girls” magazine in mid to late 2000s shows origins in Kobe-kei fashion. The first issue says “Ojousama Snap” and the look is “Gorgeous”. The party look of the first issue shows how hairset and dresses moved to Agejo.

The popular runway show “Kobe Collection” founded in 2002 grew from this fashion craze.

source: livedoor | kansai blog | wiki | fashion-j | neojapanisme

Bodycon ボディコン – mid 1980s – 1994


Early bodycon shows evidence of NewTora trends: such as branded bags and scarves as accessories.


newtora-bodycon oneline-bodyconLooks from the Kobe-kei style started moving to One-Line BodyCon

BodyCon of the 1980-90s wasn’t all miniskirts and spandex.

Known as BodyCon but more formally as One-Line Body Con (ワンレン・ボディコン) and could be somewhat conservative. The one-line meant hair was all one length and stopped all together and the dressing was all one line as well. One color dressing with a scarf as a pop of color was en vogue. The styling was meant to be close to the body showing off a waist and slimmed to the leg, but outside of the club the look could be very conservative mix. The kitten heel to mid-level pump were very popular during this time.

Let’s get physical, physical. Sexy bodycon

This Sexy Bodycon look was furthered by the popular club in Minato, Tokyo Juliana’s (ジュリアナ東京) that operated from 1991 to 1994.

Club going bodycon was definitely more sexy and the look spiraled to extremes.


Super Sexy Juliana’s bodycon.


From that time period girls competed to be the best gogo dancers at Julianas. The look was extra-straps with t-back stage bikinis. The early “kogyaru” got their nickname sneaking into these clubs and wearing provocative items.

Bodycon the legacy:

Bodycon will always live on, but in Japan it produced the original gyaru of the early to mid 90s. It also can seen with EroKawaii of the 2000s.

sources: sappukei | wiki | alfa


Akamoji-kei 赤文字系 – 1990s-?


Akamojikei magazines through the years (clockwise): JJ in 2006, CanCam in 2006, CanCam in 1991, JJ in 1980

Why Akamojikei?

As I’ve talked about in the Aomoji-kei post, Akamojikei is less a look and more a lifestyle. Akamoji literally “red character” was termed so because magazines like CanCam and Ray would always choose a red colored font for their magazine titles (see above). So it was the “red colored magazines”. This was a term coined in the 90s and feels a bit outdated.

What makes Akamojikei magazines a genre?

Most of these magazines were started before the 1990s but grew especially in the mid-80s to become more lifestyle magazines and focus on more OL life than campus times. Akamoji-kei is a lifestyle magazine genre that celebrates independence as well as responsibility. Akamojikei magazines are for women in their 20s and early OL (Office Ladies). Akamojikei magazine shots would show women drinking coffee alone enjoying themselves (independence) and then picking out date outfits that would appeal (responsibility). Many magazines of the time would have a section on OL suits (responsibility) along with a vacation section (independence). Nowadays there’s more of an independence focus and casual lean since a lot of styles have relaxed and office wear has relaxed as well.


July issue of “Ray” magazine suggests what to wear and do on your off days of OL life.

Akamojikei history:

The big four Akamojikei magazines were Ray, CanCam, Vivi and JJ. The original Akamojikei magazines all had significant readership booms during the 1990s. In early 2000s all saw a dip in readership and have made different moves away from conservative and New Tora style.

JJ magazine (originally known as Joshei Jishin) started in 1975 and supported this college girl Yokohama Hama Tora trend. Can Cam magazine (origin “I can campus”) was started in 1980 to focus on the Nagoyajou trend and stylish college girls. Vivi followed in 1983 and Ray in 1988. Now defunct 2004-2009 Pinky was considered the second wave of Akamoji magazine.

Akamojikei magazines currently:

Akamojikei is nowadays used to describe Ray and CanCam and the models within it. Vivi and JJ have both moved away from conservative and OL bases into more trend-mode-girly style. The term itself is usually just to say “Akamojikei magazine” not in combination with fashion or trends, instead it’s a genre of magazine.

CanCam had a spike in 2006-2008 and was the best selling women’s magazine in Japan selling about 600,000 copies yearly. With senzoku models (exclusive models) such as Yamada Yu and Ebihara Yuri (Ebi-chan). They moved from a conservative to a motekei style and before Ebi-chan quit,  CanCam was the taste maker of mainstream female fashion. Ray, Vivi and JJ all took sales drops during this time.


The decline of the Akamoji magazines (source)

According to Japanese magazine 2013 half-year sales reports former Akamojikei magazine Vivi ranks 8th in sales (211,351) with their casual trend style, while Akamojikei head CanCam has fallen to 24th in sales (106,939). Ray and JJ didn’t crack the top 30. If you extrapolate from a half year and say CanCam sold 200,000 issues in 2013, they dropped 400,000 from 2009.


Akamojikei magazine “CanCam” sets out what to wear on a drive with your friends. Such independence and fun.

  sources: wiki | fashionmarketingjournal |

Motekei モテ系 – Current


July issue of Akamojikei “Ray” magazine suggests coordinates to wear to get him to like you.

“The best MOTE wardrobe”

What’s Motekei?

Motekei is a term used by the editor-in-chief of Larme magazine so it’s a term I’d like to bring up before the big Larme posts. Motekei is taken from the slang term moteru (モテる) meaning to appeal to the opposite sex. Motekei a clothing style that is meant to be appealing to guys, meaning you don’t look a type just cute and appealing. Nothing to cutesy, overly sexy, or flashy. It’s not a codified style because it’s meant to describe mainstream current appeal from any time period.

I like to think of Motekei as the machine gun of attractiveness. It gives off a lot of appealing vibes so it’ll most likely hit someone.

How is one Motekei?

Often you’ll see it if a magazine or website wants to discuss date coordinates. Or for women (and men) to discuss what they think is attractive on the opposite sex. If you’re going to a wedding you want to dress very motekei. A first date is a definitely motekei time. Group data (goukon)? Motekei yourself, wear a moteru coordinate. But there is no motekei lifestyle. Many magazines promote motekei from Sweet to JJ and Vivi. Old Popteen and other gyaru magazines had sections on what are cute date coordinates and used the term Motekei.

CanCam in 2007 saw its reboom for capturing the motekei style of that decade with Ebihara Yuri.


Yuri Ebihara in CanCam in the late 2000s showing off full motekei look. Not too much make-up, effortless hair, clean skin, welcoming not sexy glance.

Motekei examples:

Mercury Duo, Snidel, Fabulous by Cecil McBee, CocoDeal, Lily Brown could all be considered brands that support the Motekei look. Mainly because these brands make date outfits, party dresses, and dresses for weddings and formal events i.e. all motekei dressing times.


Mercury Duo shop staff in a Fall trend yet motekei outfit. Sweet flowing dress with adult accessories doesn’t make her look too childlike or adult. Loose tendrils of hair compliment the effortless yet appealing look.


Snidel shop staff in their current Fall fashions. Date appropriate attire with matching natural-ish hair and soft make-up.


I’ll probably flip back and forth between terms and styles and dates, but I’d like to show some roots of current fashion. Man this post was long enough that it should’ve been several. Oh well that’s several weeks worth so if you wondered other than kittens why I’ve been slow, it’s this.

Upcoming terms and trends: Shibukaji, DCBrand, Oneegyaru, Onee-kei, Seiso, Conservative, EroKawaii, Otona Kawaii, possible Yamanba and Kogyaru talk.


This was a Japanese Fashion University post. Want to learn more in depth about Japanese fashion? Click here.


Aymmy in the Batty Girls is a clothing brand that is the project of Zipper magazine model Ayumi Seto (瀬戸あゆみ). Ayumi has long been considered a figure-head in Aomoji-kei dressing, and the Aymmy brand reflects that style.



What’s Aomoji-kei?

Aomoji-kei (青文字系 あおもじけい) is a reactive style to Akamoji-kei (赤文字系). Akamojikei is the soft, date and appealing style often seen in CanCam and JJ (post on Akamojikei magazines and Motekei).

The essense of Aomoji-kei is cute and girly, but dressing just for yourself. You don’t need others to think it’s cute or appealing.

Aomoji-kei was named by Yusuke Nakagawa who runs Asobi System. Asobi System is a large Harajuku-based promotions and talent company known for producing Capsule and Kyary Pyamu Pyamu as well as popular models like Ayumi Seto.

Aomoji has two broad areas of style according to Asobi System. 1. the natural-kei of “mer” magazine or 2. the Harajuku-centric Aymmy style. However most people associate Aomoji-kei with the Aymmy look. Often Aomoji-kei is considered the umbrella term of Harajuku fashion that doesn’t have a defined term like lolita, fairy and cult-party.

Kyary Pyamu Pyamu before she evolved into a popstar was considered during her street snap era to be the Aomoji-kei figurehead.

Age range: Aomoji-kei is a youth style targeting ages 15-25.

Magazines Kera, Zipper, Mer, Sweet and Cutie all to a certain extent promote this look.

Brands aren’t as important for this style since it focuses on a mix-and-match but Aymmy, Galaxxxy, Candy Stripper, Jouetie, Merry Jenny, and Listen Flavor can also be considered Aomoji. Popular model Eva Pinkland can also be considered Aomoji. All of these brands use bright colors, comfortable shoes (sneakers, flats, platforms, oxfords), mix and match, punk and skater style, fun prints, and layering.



Aymmy details:


Brand concept:

The brand concept is actually around a parody of Ayumi Seto herself known as “Aymmy”. She’s a 17-year-old girl. She was born in California, USA. This brand is about her life. Which includes her fashion, interests, friends, and living environment. She does not stick to skating, rock, punk, or military. She has her own sense of style. Her style is basic on American culture and mix pop edge. She shows her own street style. Nobody can imitate her batty style. Her look is a style, she’s not focused on fashion.

You can read all about Aymmy’s interests in English on their website:


Brand style:

Aymmy centers on a very pop-retro look, with bright colors, comfortable fun shoes, and a mix-and-match fashion sense.

The first thing many will notice is the Aymmy logo is based off of Wendy’s. Wendy’s has had an odd future in Japan. It’s never been very popular it closed its 71 stores in Japan in 2008 (Versus 3,400 McDonalds in Japan). It has since reopened in 2011. (source)

Aymmy online: | instagram: | facebook: | twitter:

Aymmy stores: web only for now, Pop-Up below



Aymmy Fall Winter 2014 Exhibiton Style

aymmy-exhibition-fall2014-coordinates aymmy-fall-exhibition-style-4 aymmy-fall2014-exhibitionshots-2 aymmy-fall2014-exhibitionshots aymmy-fallexhibition-2014-styleaymmy-exhibition-looks-1 aymmy-fall-exhibition-plaid-style

Even though Aymmy is an Aomoji brand it shares a lot of gyaru brand clothing trends: PLAID, longer skirts, sweater set-ups, sailor-style jackets, and long light jackets.

It’s an exceptionally girly and uniform collection for Aomoji style. I’m excited to see what the Aomoji lovers do to mix up the look.


Aymmy in Harajuku La Foret

Aymmy has no stores yet, but did have a pop-up store in Harajuku La Foret that I got to see. And by pop-up they mean pop-up, this shop was a tiny shoebox! However it seems to have been doing a brisk business.




What a cute shoe box! I love the turquoise and red theme. It goes well with Aomoji style.


I spotted these girls later in La Foret. I don’t like taking pictures without asking but I was in a hurry and felt these girls needed to be represented with their cute Aymmy style. Perfect everyday Aomoji style.


Hopefully they and other fans can help Aymmy make an actual store soon!

Next I’ll be talking about Larme magazine and Larme-kei. As a teaser did you know Larme has its roots in Ageha?


This was a Japanese Fashion University post about Aomoji-kei. Want to learn more in depth about Japanese fashion? Click here.

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Japanese Gyaru Clothing Brands is a Japanese Fashion University post. A series of posts aimed at laying down the foundation for a well rounded knowledge of the history and style of Japanese fashion.

I talk a lot about gyaru clothing (hell this blog is 80% clothing, 20% travel, and the rest of the 10% is beauty, food and randomness) but I’m going to try to define what exactly is a gyaru brand. Gyaru brands are very big and profitable businesses, these giant clothing conglomerates that prove that gyaru just isn’t about make-up and hair.

Most of your favorite gyaru brands are part of conglomerates. Vent International owns Jugeetta, Liz Lisa, Liz Lisa Doll, Tralala and Killwatch. Runway Channel owns Emoda, Jouetie, Dazzlin, Murua, Laguna Moon, Gyda and other non-gyaru brands. Another group owns Mars, MeJane and Princess Melody. Another Sly, Rodeo Crows, Rienda, Miel Christnaut and more. They’re huge.




That’s my definition to describe gyaru brands. Why Shibuya 109 and not say Machida 109 or Fukuoka Tenjin core or any other the other gyaru malls in Japan? Because Shibuya 109 has only gyaru brands for the most part, they’re known as the mecca of gyaru. So they make the best example of a gyaru mall.

If it’s in Shibuya 109, you can say it’s a gyaru brand. What brands are in Shibuya 109? Well check out their website and webstore (shopping service only). Their current stock is current gyaru clothing.

What are gyaru magazines? Oh girls you know I wrote about about this earlier: gyaru magazine encyclopedia:wink:

What do gyaru models wear? Well search on crooz or popular blogs on amoeba. Usually you can view their off duty outfits and see what they wear. Popteen and other magazines also show their off-duty style, too. Why gyaru models? Because they’re wearing the trends a few months before everyone else often because they had to do magazine shoots in them, and they go to exhibitions of the clothing, they are the trendsetters. I decided to put this in for many of the web and hime brands. Web brands like Yumetenbo don’t often get a lot of magazine love except for Popteen ads, but they are popular with gyaru. Same for hime brands.


So let’s try my theory out!


JSG – It’s in LA Foret, but was in Shibuya 109. Gyaru models wear it (Egg model Kanako Kawabata loves it), and it’s in gyaru magazines. BOOM! It’s a gyaru brand.  :stepup:


Liz Lisa – It’s in Shibuya 109. Gyaru models wear it. It’s in gyaru magazines.  :stepup:

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