So on my formspring, someone asked me to talk about Cocolulu. Which is great I’m all for suggestions of what to write about here, or random questions! Bring ’em on! :sparkle2:

To talk about Cocolulu is really to talk about the early trends of gal.


The history of gal: The term kogal (j wiki) started to be used in the early 1990s when teenagers started showing up to clubs. They were called kogals because they were in highschool (koukou) and because they were small/childish (ko). So they started in the clubs and wore the style that existed in the early club scene of the 90s. So while they were younger, they weren’t really setting their own fashion trend. This influx of people into the club scene made for huge clubs in Tokyo, both Avex run Velfarre and Juliana Tokyo (fansite).

The club style of the time was bodi-con and idol and these highschool girls dressed like that. Bottom left is the early days of bodicon, top right is the reopening of Velfarre in 2003.
You can still see feathery fans used in gal clubs today.

Then Amuro came along:

It all started in 1996 with Amuro Namie, a superb, 17-year-old siren and graduate of Okinawa’s Actor’s School. An excellent dancer, she performed on stage in a strapless bra and then in a pant suit with long jackets. Her look–golden skin, mother-of-pearl hair and carefully tweezed eyebrows–immediately became all the rage, launching the “tropical” style. Amuro Namie also introduced the vogue of “platform boots,” which she even wore in the middle of summer to make up for her short stature. – Sirens of Tokyo

Even in bodycon women were not necessarily tanning themselves, especially since the adult women doing this were mostly office workers (OLs). Now there is a bit of argument on whether Amuro latched onto ganguro or whether she originated it. The fact is Amuro Namie was just tanned because of her Okinawan descent and lifestyle, and it was also a craze for younger girls to tan and start enjoying surf clothes.

The rise of Cocolulu

In comes Cocolulu

Some Cocolulu history: Cocolulu is as old school gal as you can get. Starting in 1998 with a surf style. Cocolulu was a big part of the early gal surf scene, but quickly adapted to the style that Amuro preferred. Since its gal shift, they’re a brand directly aimed at teens. Even today most Co&Lu lovers are under 20. It’s a brand that’s not really trying to grow up as Emoda, Egoist and Lip Service are. It’s all about being a teen and enjoying the surf and sun. :sparkle:

Their t-shirts and parkas were the first to become popular, but their logo jeans which were introduced in 2003 are now very stylish. The Men’s side of Cocolulu opened last Spring in 2009. some info via

The amazing thing about Cocolulu is how much they’ve stayed the same throughout the years. While AlbaRosa became disgusted with the yamaba crowd using their surf wear and closed shop promising to never make another hibiscus print, Cocolulu has be doing the same through so many gal changes. While they may be more considered an Amekaji (American Casual) brand now, I think they’re more just their own style with bits of Amekaji thrown in the more hade (flashier) they’ve gotten. :star:

Some early Cocolulu from Egg magazine (date unsure) Not really different from this year

Randon fact: Cocolulu is one of the only 109 brands popular enough to have its on wiki page

Breaking down Cocolulu Style

webstoreblog | I don’t think it’s official, but a terribly cute mom and daughter Cocolulu blog can be found at cocolulumini

Let’s show how CocoLulu is now…

Now it’s known as being very “hade” aka meaning being flashy and colorful.

I would say this is a pic to show how heels and plaids are also popular and how the prints have gotten “hade”, but well… it’s really just to show how cute Egg Models Hi-bou, Kanako and Romihi are :oops:


One of the great things about Cocolulu is their wide range of sizes. Their pants can go from 24 to 28 (or really a 74 cm low waist to an 82 cm low waist).

Cocolulu 109 to overseas

malignita and I were working on a w*c 109 to overseas collab post, when I asked her if she could help on the Cocolulu one and she yet again proved her gal angel skills by finding some amazing pieces! I’m seriously unworthy, the girl is a genius at this! So if you love this, thank malignita :hearts2:


Engrish trucker cap – Yesstyle – $25.00
Hilarious Engrish trucket cap – Yesstyle – $25.00
Engrish baseball cap – Yesstyle – $25.00


Julius Print Hoodie – Karmaloop – $34.00
Print Hooded Pullover – Yesstyle – $32.00
Letterman Jacket with Hoodie – Yesstyle – $28.00
Track Jacket – Forever 21 – $19.90
Cleveland Hooded Jacket – Forever 21 – $22.90

Bright plaid – Delias – $24.80
Light plaid – Yesstyle – $22.00
Scoopneck Engrish tee – Yesstyle – $14.00
Longsleeve Engrish tee – Yesstyle – $18.00
Raglan Engrish tee – Yesstyle – $22.00
Glitter Graphic tee – Victorias Secret – $19.50
Stars and stripes tank – Forever 21 – $12.90
Heart printed tank – Victorias Secret – $24.50

Baggy Jeans – Yesstyle – $20.00
Levis 501 Rather ripped – Urban Outfitters – $78.00

Multi-colored hightop – Pastry – $49.99

Comic logo belt – JCPenny – $14.99
Or… any of the colored belts by LRG – Karmalopp – $20.00

Babyphat logo – DrJays – $6.99
RocaWear Baddest Chicky – DrJays – $9.00

Phew… so much color :sparkle2:  Not exactly my style, but it’s pretty fun to see when done right :upheart:

Kogal info sourced from several academic papers including:
:star2: The Emergence of Trendsetters for Fashions and Fads: Kogaru in 1990s Japan by Tadashi Suzuki and Joel Best in The Sociological Quarterly Vol. 44, No. 1 (Winter, 2003)
:star2: The sirens of Tokyo. By: Jolivet, Muriel, UNESCO Courier, 00415278, Jul/Aug2001

This is part of the 109 to overseas series showing how you can use a brand’s style with Western retailers.  :idea:
Previous brands: Delyle, OneSpo, Glad News

I hope everyone’s been looking at the staff-chan coordinates and regular people from mixi to see how they can make a Gilfy look. I  searched 3 easy and cheap stores: Forever 21, Urban Outfitters and YesStyle to gather some pieces for looks. I’m sorry users who are in Asia Japan about using YesStyle. I know when I tried to look at the site when I was in Japan I was immediately blocked :(   Hopefully you guys can still use Urban and Forever 21 for looks :-D


YesStyle’s brand IMiusa does a ton of Gilfy-style shirts.

YesStyle – I’Miusa casual tee $19.00

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Delyle: website | webstore | blog

After hitting up Forever 21’s website I started to see a lot of pieces that would transfer well to Delyle’s style, so with further ado…

another brand to abroad post~!

Previous brands:

Glad News

The breakdown of Delyle’s sense of style

These items are key to understanding and imitating the brand’s style.
Delyle started in 2004 (same time as Lip Service) and has etched out a niche with gals who want classic Audrey Hepburn in Paris looks, but want sexy gal styling as well. Just like Liz Lisa or Gilfy, Delyle has a very strong fashion sense and even if studs were BOOMing this season, they were hard to be found in Delyle’s looks. Instead Delyle stuck to structured feminine.
This is a really good look to parody into working hours. Lady Gaga said the key to becoming iconic is taking a theme and repeating it several times. Delyle does the same thing (although not with bodysuits and tiny gloves and kermit the frogs :wink: ). Instead Delyle loves doing cosmetic prints and keeping their font and look as classically Chanel as possible.

Looks by Delyle

Delyle’s popular summer shirt paired with their classic skirt
Cosmetic print
Classic girly stripe dress
More looks below and how to take it abroad.

Glad News website: here
Locations and Tokyo: 109 7th flr for ladies, 109-2 for mens. Machida 109 as well

This is one of my favorite brands, so it’s hard not to talk about them without gushing. Their 109 location has tons of sweet people working there and they’re often all found at the basement of Atom on Friday nights listening to psychadelic trance.

There’s a great article in english about Glad News’ designer Miwa Mochizuki and her influences here.

A designer for hip brand Glad News, her makeup, hair, nails, and figure are flawless, although she is not about being pretty and girly. Instead she is dressed in a leather biker jacket, one of the set pieces of the Glad News repertoire. “The look is based on biker style. Mixing a biker jacket with shorts, or a dress — it’s for strong women,” she purrs in her husky voice, as she explains the concept behind the brand.

…”We are basically a gyaru brand, but there’s more to us than that. We have all sorts of customers — ones who are into rock, into psychedelic music . . . even dads come in to the men’s shop.”

Miwa hits a note right when she discusses her customers. You can find her often at 109 and tell her so ^_^. Many of her designs are also featured in Kera, making it a great outfit choice for those of you who are wanting to transfer out of the j-rock style.

Glad News: Edgy, Sexy and Fun!

Spring 2008, Glad News put out a whole line of shirts, jackets and shorts that had printed all over them “I’m not a whore, I’m just popular.” Knowing English I LMAO, but it’s just the kind of fun and edgy saying Miwa goes for.


Another reason to love Glad News, they’re generous sizing in shorts. Many 109 designers say a medium is hip measurement 89 centimeters or 35 inches. Glad News, however, says their shorts in medium are 93 centimeters or almost 37 inches! Great for girls with booty!

Fun Prints

This summer all of Glad News prints were a runaway success, and their style is instantly recognizable so you didnt have to wear at logo shirt to rock the brand. Glad News is not afraid AT ALL of putting out crazy prints. In 2008 spring their popular print was the notorious “I’m not a whore, I’m just popular” fall 08 was “that’s really shitty!” Others run more rock edged with fuck printed all over dresses or grenades and bright colors.

I’m rock and lazy! Love the airy cut of this


No life no music and I would go crazy, WAHAHAHA!!

Their Kaws-style print, purple highway of angels…wtf?

Ultimate Girly Rock

There are a few other stores in 109 that cater to the rock-kei girls, but IMO no one designs better in girly style than GN.

Nonoka and other Egg chica from her blog. Both in GN
(and more braids!)

They do BOYS!

109-2 has a great GN men’s store with nice helpful staff. We were able to put a whole outfit together at GN Mens for 120 (jeans, vest, belt, shirt). While some of their female prints don’t transfer well to the men’s side, they do have great men’s only prints and hot jeans styles. If your man is more rock/skater-themed he might just find a good home at GN mens.

Super friendly staff

Sometimes this is not as important, but 109 staff can range from snots (Gilfy 109 is sometimes prone to this) to standoffish to downright too helpful (Swordfish often has this problem). GN strikes a great balance, and my old staff chan who has since quit used to stand and talk about anything while she was working.

Tips for taking the GN style and buying overseas

These are just a few things I found from Urban Outfitters that play into GN’s style.

Leather, metallics, pops of color, humor and rock