It’s been a while since I’ve talked about Shibuya 109 but Collabo Mignon is interesting enough to get back and it means PURIKURA IN SHIBUYA 109. Shibuya 109 which I used to think of as the Tower of Power has really lost its hold as the main mall (as I blogged about here in the Fall of Gyaru post).  However I think the Collabo Mignon store is a really cool idea and there’s one more store (BAD Store) to talk about below.

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Collabo Mignon Purikura in Shibuya 109

Collabo Mignon (コラボミニョン) is from the Purikura chain Girls Mignon. They’re all across Japan from Niigata to Nagoya to Nagano. The Shibuya 109 store will be their first Tokyo store. First of all this finally means PURIKURA IN SHIBUYA 109! It’s about damn time!!!

It opens March 12th.

Nicole Fujita aka Nikorun: Popteen’s newest Queen

Their first collaboration will be with Nicole Fujita. Nicole Fujita (藤田ニコル nicknamed Nikochu にこちゅう or Nikorun にこるん blog twitter) is currently the face of Popteen and her fame is rising. Even though she just turned 18, she’s also got a very big variety tv show gig, you’ll often see her on group panels. She’s half. Her father is Russian and Polish and her mother is Japanese. Nikorun started modeling for Nicola in 2009 after passing a heavily contested model audition. She modeled for Nicola from 2009 to 2014 as a senzoku (専属) or paid exclusive model. In 2014 she moved over to Popteen as their senzoku model and has graced a ton of covers.

She’s got a divisive personality. With people thinking she’s cute or dumb. Nicole Fujita often says some ditzy things, but her fans think she’s just being playful. She pretty much makes news everyday on modelspress. She just graduated from a high school for talent that requires only a few classes a week.

I’m a fan because she’s got such cute cheeks. I love full cheeks.  I’m simple.

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This is how the purikura collab with Nicole Fujita works. I don’t know if it’s cute or creepy that you get to pose with Nikochu. Get your stalker shot with Nikochu March 12th to April 15th then it will be a new person or character.

Purikura evolving once again.  :hearts3: Finally purikura in Shibuya 109!

 Shibuya 109 other news

 

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I tweeted about this earlier, but this Shibuya 109 for Spring needs to be talked about. Those are some sad ass people in some meh clothes. Shibuya 109 I’m happy you got rid of your weird pageant looking white model, but still…

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The only other new store to talk about is BAD Store. The Sanrio and Wego stores are just replacing stores that sold Sanrio and Wego goods.

New Neogal BAD Store

http://badstore.jp/shop/html/

BAD Store stands for “B’klyn All Day” Store and it’s a new Neogal street store. It was created by DJ Amo (blog) and won the Shibuya 109 stage contest.

DJ Amo lived in Hawaii for 6 years and got into DJing there. She started to DJ in Japan in 2011. In 2013 she became a regular to DJ at Club KT in Shibuya 109 (Now the Sanrio Vivitix store). DJ Amo was in the #N Neogal magazine, you can find her in the scans.

BAD STORE Spring Summer Looks

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Some basics but I do want the Audrey sweat. Although this is a Spring/Summer collection there’s a lot of sweatshirts and heavy things. This feels more street influenced than Fig & Viper and should get a lot of different types to purchase. It also reminds me a little of Ora Ora style.

 

Here’s the video for their Spring Summer collection

 

With Fig & Viper quietly shutting stores, they’re down to only three, no thanks in part to Alisa Ueno not really repping it as much and a few weak collections. I do wonder how much of the Neogal movement is still firing. Although I think BAD Store by DJ Amo seems to be a more street style store and wearable for a lot of styles.

Is DJ Amo and Bad Store the new face of Neogal?

 

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Evris shop staff are exceedingly nice. The Shibuya 109 group of ladies are stellar all around, but in particular Marin Matsuzaki (松崎茉鈴). I do gush often how shop staff are nice and good at their jobs, but Marin takes the cake. Marin is both stylish and kind. I met her first when I was shopping with Alanna and she was so friendly. The next time was 6 months later and she still remembered both me and asked after Alanna. She also asked after my man and my cats, since we spoke about both… 6 months ago!

Marin has excellent personal style and she’s doing well in Evris for it, working as a blogger for the brand. She’s recently gotten snapped in both #N and Jelly and I’m really happy she’s flourishing in print, too! For those looking for short hair inspiration she’s definitely got it.

Her blog: http://ameblo.jp/marin-matsuzaki/

Her instagram: http://instagram.com/marinmatsuzaki

Spring 2014 Marin’s looks

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Such a babe! I love her blue contacts with her blue necklace and the subtle nose shading. Did you notice her ring. I don’t know how anyone else gets to see the jewels, but it’s cool!

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I don’t know if I’d consider matching a bold necklace with a top that’s impact is around the neck, but it really works.

Her wonderful spring hot pink lip keeps her from looking too simple. If I remember right it’s YSL. The whole staff was required to wear it as it was Evris’s color for the Spring.

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Always showing off her brand. She looks both adult and casual at the same time. Love the skirt and top combination.

In my previous Evris snap post I took a picture of a different shop staff in the same shirt and shoes.  But the style is different, always cool to check two girls making clothing their own.

Marin and Staff from Fall 2014

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There was a Rockabilly theme for Fall and Winter and the leopard and tortoiseshell print shoes are great pairings for plaids and furs. Both girls look cute stylish and casual.

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Close-ups. It looks like Marin changed her contacts for the season, as did the other shop staff. Possibly to Evris producer Ayano Sasaki’s new produced lens Cidina.

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 Flipped out short hair and bobby pins were the big hair trends of Fall and Marin is rocking both. Creative and interesting bobby pins will be popular for Spring 2015 as well! Her cateye line is so stellar!

Marin for Spring 2015

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And from Marin’s instagram her style for this Spring. One year of Marin  :loveword: Her key for this Spring is orange.  I really like the orange, yellow, blue popularity of Spring 2015.

Bonus Jelly snaps!

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Bonus! Her shot from Jelly January issue talking about denim wearing all Evris. She’s also in the #N Neogal magazine photos last post.

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And Evris producer Ayano Sasaki in the coat Marin was wearing in her Fall snap.

Ahh this was a fun post. I’m an obsessive person and my obsessions have obsessions within them. So my obsession with Japanese fashion has gyaru within it and another is personal style. Another obsession within an obsession for me is style change, or evolution. How a singular girl goes through gyaru and changes. I really love the ones over time through many years. However this short year also shows how one girl, Marin, tried out a lot of style choices for herself  :smiley:


Emoda’s Ena Matsumoto retiring

Other news of note I posted on my twitter is that Emoda creator and producer Ena Matsumoto has decided to retire from Emoda.  She’s thus far not spoken of future plans. She acknowledges how much Emoda has changed since it’s inception (Summer 2010 post on Emoda coming to Shibuya 109). She said she’s also grown a lot during that time. She wondered if maybe she should create an older sister brand to focus on or even a completely new brand, but in the end she decided she just wanted to retire first.

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Speaking of style change. WOW! Ena Matsumoto 2010 and 2015.

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I delayed on writing a post about #N the new Neogal magazine for reasons. I was exhausted from being sick, and more importantly I felt that there have been a lot of rants on this blog lately. Rants coming from positive places, but well it seemed this blog had gotten negative.

My whole belief system is if you put positivity out into the world you’ll get positivity back. This boils down to what I like to call “bitch karma”. If you’re a bitch it’ll always come back to you, so best stay positive and nice. Not saying I deserve a halo, but I’m trying. But there’s going to be a rant in this one, or at least me calling out stuff, so be warned.

#N the new Neogal Magazine Introduction

#N is the new NeoGal magazine that came out in November 2014. I thought it was a one-of or what the Japanese like to call “mooks” or magazine-books. However they are now doing shooting for #N issue two so I guess it’s official as a magazine now. NeoGal is a new genre in clothing in Japan and I’ve talked extensively about it since it’s creation in 2013.

Most first issue magazines in Japan show up in bookstores and if they’re successful they trickle down to the impulse purchases of conbinis. Instead I actually found #N at a convenience store right near my Tokyo hotel for 650 yen (same cost of AneAgeha, more expensive than Larme and Sweet). Being in a convenience store first makes it have some distribution weight to it. It’s published by Million Publishing (ミリオン出版株式会社) which is an arm of Taiyo Tosho which publishes Larme.

#N contents

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#N at first glance is quite different than other Japanese magazines. Its size is actually 2 CM shorter and 4 CM longer than other magazines. And unlike all other Japanese media which is read from right to left with the binding on the right. #N uses the Western style of left to right with the binding on the left. Personally it feels a bit gimmicky, but that the magazine thought deeply about size and way of reading is commendable.

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NNight promoting the magazine featuring appearances by the three heads.

On the cover is former Ranzuki model and current Neogal icon: Natsumi Saito aka Natsumin. She strongly identifies as Neogal so she’s a perfect girl to put on the cover. She’s embarked on a pop music tour lately and currently derives her income from producing all sorts of teen consumed products. Natsumi Saito along with Fig and Viper producer Alisa Ueno and Evris producer Ayano Sasaki are the three current main models/heads of #N.

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Really loved this street snap page in particular. I felt it shows a lot of the variance of Neogal in one page. Harajuku-FnV-Evris-Sly

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Special shout out for Shibuya 109 Evris shop staff Marin who is the nicest shop staff. I have two shop snaps of her to come.

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This girl Tokine got a full page spread. With good reason. Wow!

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The magazine content itself feels half Western style and half Harajuku Fruits magazine style. There’s not much gyaru magazine influence in it. There are no brand highlights, make-up tutorials or coordinate tips. If anything the clothing is so far down the list, it’s actually more the real style of people that make up the majority. Or the it girls like the three heads who push Neogal.

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Advertising clubs where there will be club snaps, but it’s really just native advertising and clubs paying.

The Western feeling is the enormity of ad space but done more sneakily Japanese style with native advertising pushing music or other consumables.

 

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Two of six pages in the magazine that compromise just talking about clothing, hair or make-up.

A final review on #N

The magazine did feel a bit like instagram and used several model’s shots of instagram even. Maybe it reflects the more digital age. But instagram gives moments or pips of information, but doesn’t drive you to go back to your feed and look again at old photos. Instead it’s all about the new. #N left me feeling the same way, a magazine that’s easy to flip through but nothing that makes you open it again.

And thus far it’s only been an information and semi critique of #N and that’s all fine and good. But there’s just one little thing that I can’t ignore and #N highlights more for me about Neogal.

 

 

…and here’s where the calling out starts…

 

Neogal can be problematic and #N magazine only highlights that more

Neogal starters have always said they’re influenced by overseas, particularly Los Angeles in their style, or vintage. Alisa and Natsumi especially feel Neogal is LA looks with the Oakland booty Tokyo foundation. And LA street style has been rooted in Black and Hispanic heritage, because Los Angeles street fashion is on the streets those streets have color. A lot of what Neogal likes has been in the Hispanic and Black communities for a while. Evris is a bit different (more Americana /Vintage) and Harajuku mixing is not as influenced but Fig and Viper and #N are definitely looking to LA.

And to say that Neogal is the only one poaching from these communities would be a lie, but it feels like they get a pass and it’s not a pass they should get. Especially not with the evidence below.

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Inside #N magazine. Alisa Ueno appropriating and fakin’

She posted this on instagram and has since deleted. My favorite comment was: “She’s not about that life”

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#N and Neogal brands and trend creators are just using that style and making cash. And worse using that style without any representation from the Black or Hispanic communities. Alisa Ueno goes to LA to shoot her catalogs. She’s been in Los Angeles and all over. She sees the population, the multiethnic population. She’s not ignorant, she’s just playing dumb. Her current catalogs including “Good Girl or Nah” aka popular Black slang featuring all white models.

Edit: While I’m on the subject her Desi appropriation isn’t cool either. Bindis and desi-style nose rings aplenty.

Shima Hair salon a NeoGal salon and being appropriating x 1,000.

Shima Hair salon is a big hair salon chain in Tokyo and closely associated with Neogal. Working on the heads of all 3 #N head girls regularly and putting out some of the hair trends used by Neogals. They are the Neogal hair salon and they are featured in #N magazine.

They do a big hair show each year and for 2014 they decided to choose “Unity” as their theme. It is a huge event held at a concert hall and sold out for 2014.

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thug? really…. Check your racism. (Still on instagram)

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All Japanese models in black hair styles. Alisa Ueno also posted this with #thug.

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Do-rags, dreads, braids and baby hair.

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On Shima official blogs I did not see any photos of this part of the hair show. There were only two parts, and this was the bigger part. Even though it featured big names like Alisa Ueno, Wei Sun, and Ellie Rose. That’s some serious model cash to pay out and not feature. Also on Shima youtube they’ve shown every hair show on their official youtube but no 2014. My guess, someone called out their bullshit.

Sadly #N magazine uses two icons for their Hair shoots in the same way.

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Shima why are you making my fave problematic?

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Other popular hair salon ISM gets in on the action.

A side note on BGyaru:

BGyaru has been spoken about different ways overseas when people see it. It literally means black gyaru. And some gals that love it will say they want to be black. Which would cause so many side eyes overseas the earth’s axis could shift. However B-Gyaru has been positive about black (American) culture. BGyaru lovers want to do hip hop dance. BGyaru I’ve met are knowledgable about old school hip hop and consider some of the icons as gods. They mostly praise a 90s aesthetic and strive to keep it alive. The love of hip hop especially has grown a very strong Japanese hip hop movement and on the dance side while breaking has lost its fun with American youth, Japanese youth are still into it. The reggae love is also strong in Japan and reggae artists have done collaborations with Japanese artists.

I know of one Black American girl who worked for Shibuya 109’s BGyaru brand Baby Shoop. They even helped her secure a Visa to stay and work. So while I would in some respects consider BGyaru to be problematic, there’s many examples where it’s celebratory. But no matter the positivity Ellie brought up a good point of “my race is not a trend”. Appropriation vs appreciation. Your call.

Again this it just one white American girl’s opinion, please feel free to insert your own.

My skin color is white and it’s one of the reasons I’ve put off this post for a while. I’m speaking from a place of privilege and my race does a lot of shitty things. But it is worse to ignore when appropriation and poaching is occurring instead of speaking out.

EDIT: I would love to hear the opinions/critiques and personal thoughts of Black and Hispanic girls about this. Although it’s a subject I’m bringing up I’d rather push the voices of those appropriated to speak on this subject into the forefront.  :loveword:

EDIT 2: Please read comments below. Lots of different opinions and lovely comments across the globe about these feelings.

 

I really hope parts of Neogal and N magazine clean up their mess, because it could be a good magazine.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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

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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.

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Alisa Ueno from 2010

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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.

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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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