Carry Winter nails

My butterfly nails were my favorite, but sadly too long to write papers with at the end of this term, so I went to Ikebukuro Carry for some nail love. My nailist and I lamented over the length. Long nails, when done amazing just look so fabulous and extreme and wonderfully gal. …but sigh papers to write (which I am procrasting over >_<)

My nailist working on my nails.
Her fabulously long winter nails. Check out that giant snowflake!
My kirakira snow nails posing on an Osaka train platform
Simple lame, stones, snowflake stickers, and bows and snowflakes
Close-up of the other hand with gold snowflake and bow
I like these, but they are not feeling amazing. I can’t wait til two more weeks and then no papers and more fabulous nails!
Temp Heart hair
After coming home from Osaka, but extensions were just shot. My number one rule about extensions is to know when to say when and give them up. But I had 2 weeks until I was going for another set, so I decided to do a temporary set with my hair as well.
Heart-o!
I went to Column in Harajuku (blog). It’s incredibly close to the station. Their website has tons of great pics of cornrows. It was 4000 yen (around $43) to get them done and it took around 30 minutes. They supposedly last 2-3 weeks.
Back in Kira Kira Hair magazine I was in love with the heart cornrow look. Cornrows are just considered a technique and have no connection to racial or socioeconomic labels as they do in America. However it used to be just for b-boy gyaru (B-kei) who imitated their hiphop icons. Now fake and actual cornrows are showing up with Rock and Agejo gals who want and edge to their look and an accent to the side volume styles that are popular lately.
I was thinking of just getting the cornrows and not bothering with extensions, but well. I need long hair. I want glamour! So I spur of the moment headed to Yu House for a small set. We ended up doing 40 extensions with some dark brown and blonde mix into the extensions (messhu is what they call mix).
Mid-styling in a hurry >_<
Bad angle, but cornrows + exte.
Short exte this time with a simple cut.

Exte + cornrows was around 15000 yen ($170 ish). It feels a bit expensive for two weeks, but I’m happy to try out a new style. It is a small world in Shibuya and at YuHouse I met two big Ace fans, and we promised to meet up for his next event. Too bad I’m leaving soon :/

The Rebel Hummer – deco
While I was walking to YuHouse I noticed a giant Hummer parked next to 109. It took me a while to recognize it was the Rebel Hummer. Jesus this car is so tricked out. I thought my bike was hella awesome, but damn…a Hummer decoed!
Rims for days
Close-up of the DECO (!!!) all over it.
A blue DECOed front grill. Oh lawdy!
The newest edition of SOUL Japan is the car special featuring the Rebel Hummer, but damn the mag pics don’t show the DECO!
Owner of the Rebel Hummer on the left: Cool-J. He owns (expectedly) two Rebel-related tanning salons called Black Zero with stores in Kawasaki and Shinjuku.
At the tanning salons they offer Rebel clothing. Man, they sell a lifestyle.
Next a post answering all the questions asked earlier. Keep them coming and I’ll try to keep my answers as thorough as possible!

I’ve been wanting to talk about OraOra Kei for a while now. Actually my first post on the Doll mentions it, but I guess I need to dive deeper into it. OraOra-kei has kanji attached to it 悪羅悪羅系 the kanji has a nonsensical meaning of evil smooth. However it’s more the pronunciation that’s important since Ora is the manly sound used by yanki to say “hey” or “look here”.

OraOraKei is a continuation of yanki culture with the addition of Onii-kei gyaru styling. I know after seeing some pictures you might think, hey this is not gyaru. But it is, and many 109-2 brands are latching onto it. Soul Franky is opening it’s own OraOra side brand on 2010/1 and hunting for models currently to be the face of its brand.OraOra has risen for a lot of reasons. Mekas blog has another contestable article about them here. I will agree it has come from outside Tokyo, but its headliners are Tokyo based.”

OraOra Style is characterized by

  • Black
  • Track suits, construction wear, or suits with a black and sometimes black+ gold theme
  • Extremely tan skin
  • Short cropped hair, often with Atsushi-styled lines shaved in (see below)
  • Sunglasses or fake glasses, worn either on the eyes, forhead or behind the neck
  • wa tattoos such as yakuza-styled sleeves or back pieces
  • high brand accessories such as D&G sunglasses and Louis Vuitton pochette gange bags
  • A group, OraOra boys are extremely group oriented aka they travel in packs
  • Cars or bikes especially those that are monstorous or bosozoku culture.
Even Joy rocks some Oraora
Wa-style tattoos + glasses
The second most popular brand below Rebel according to Soul Japan readers is Natural Nine, a more street-wear Stussy looking brand.

The rise in OraOra I think has happened for four reasons.

– The lowering economy does lend itself to yanki styles.
– The sharp rise in Hosto-kei last year with 109-2 brands putting out suits for the first time, tends to support a backlash to a manlier side of gyaru: currently that’s OraOra-kei
– With the Game network headlined by Dj ACE, they have been like prophets preaching as they travel.
– OraOra is supportive of a wide range of ages, Soul Japan was featuring an 18 yr old and a 43 yr old.

I think it’s impossible to not look at the Game network when looking at OraOra-kei. Ace began the Game website earlier, offering OraOra clothes along with psychedelic trance cds. In essence he was beginning to sell a lifestyle. A further extension of that is DJ Ace’s Rebel clothing line that he sold off the Game website. Rebel clothing has grown into a wildly popular brand (the top rated by Soul Japan viewers), with Men’s Knuckle noticing the fad in August 2008 and Ladies’ Egg in October 2008. Both within the gyaru/gyaruo circle, but focusing on what is a yankii fashion.

Under the Men’s Knuckle umbrella, Soul Japan came out in May 2008, focusing solely on OraOra culture.

The first issue with Game members on the cover and all sporting Rebel wear.

Now another yanki culture is born. However, that is not to say Bosozoku have died out. Last time I was in Osaka I could hear roar their trade-marked capped engines made circling Osaka every 30 minutes, and I was on the 28th floor ^_^;; If anything Soul Japan tries to latch onto 3 markets at once Bosozoku/car freaks, K-1 hopefuls, and new manly Gyaru.

Oraora has two main idols. The names people repeat when saying they love OraOra.

Atsushi from Exile

The lead singer with the velvet voice and looks that attract a manly guy to say hey… I love you, not in that gay way, just I love you man.

DJ Ace who is designer of the Rebel clothing line, DJ, Producer and model.

Ace in the Center

Ora-ora is here to stay for 3 reasons.

It’s not just Tokyo
The Mixi group of Soul Japan and in its introduction thread people have said they’re from Shizuoka, Kanagawa, Saitama, Ibaraki, Chiba and Tokyo to name a few. Soul Japan 4 did it’s release party in Fukuoka to spread the word.
It’s has its own music style
Now psychedelic trance (and Goa) used to be supported by clothing makers Goa (of course) which does a loose khaki hippy style and Shanit which is full on tie-dyed hippiness.
Men’s Egg model Daichi Tanaka rockin’ the Goa
Sexy DJ Ace rockin’ his Rebel brand
However with many of the psychadelic trance DJs actually more manly and into the then-yanki style, now OraOra-kei. The people who go to the clubs are OraOra now. When I was at the Gataka event, it was impossible to see anyone dressed in Shanit, instead they were all OraOra-kei.

It’s supporters can wear it and still have a job
This was one of the big reasons Mamba died. Handing out tissues or trying to work Izakaya catch isn’t a steady job, but most of the people in Soul Japan are making good wages. Buffalo Bobs, Xfrm and Vice Fairy’s chief people are all OraOra-kei. They can therefore continue the fashion easily. DJs, K-1 figthers, car customizers and such are some of the good jobs OraOra boys can get. There was even a salaryman featured in Soul Japan 4.
OraOra girls
Now this has been a harder fashion to take off than for guys, mainly because it’s very visually easy to group this style for women into the Rock-style genre combined with a mannish look. Brands like tutuHA, Barak, DIA and Heaven and Earth support this look.
A girl from the mixi Soul Japan doing full on mannish-Oraora-kei

This is not as a common as the looks presented in the October and December 2008 issues in Egg

As you can see there’s a lot of animal prints, black, texture, and mannish looks. You’ve probably seen this look in a lot of magazines or walking around in Shibuya, but you might have said it’s rock or simple gal. Oraora girls are usually not group oriented. You’ll often see 1 or 2 with a bunch of Oraora boys.
Note: Although this look is made to seem tough and deliquent-esque, in my experience OraOra boys are very nice and polite and are often the most welcoming in clubs. They like to turn around or to the left and make sure everyone is raised up and excited for the music or hand over a free drink.

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who commented on the previous post. I hesitated on posting it because I worried how my statements would be taken, so I really thank the positive and constructive response everyone gave. <3

Yay Thanksgiving

So those of you in the States are winding up to the family pigfest that is Thanksgiving. But, sadly there is no Thanksgiving in Japan, so 20 expats are forced to huddle together and eat a potluck Thanksgiving in honor. It’s downright impossible to find turkey in Japan unless you’re ordering on-line, so we dealt with chicken surrounded by all the goodness of cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatos, and pumpkin pie. A German, some Japanese, a Canadian Native and two Swedes also came to the event.

Blurry but there’s me in the back
In my local 7-11 on October 31 started stocking Christmas cakes. Tokyo Disney World already had Christmas trees up when I went on Halloween. It’s surreal, the fall holiday season is unknown here, except for MARON gentei items. Which is chestnut (thanks Anon!), and gentei meaning seasonal.

Saike Saikou!
After the Thanksgiving celebration I headed to the Tokyo Next Gen psychedelic trance event featuring Gataka and Zikimoto as well as Ace. Ace decided to schedule a dj week where he played Friday his usual Rebel night at Atom, then take a plane to Fukuoka and dj at the Soul Japan release event, and then fly back Sunday and dj at the Tokyo Next Gen. I saw him play both Friday and Sunday and all I can say is the man looks like he’ll be having a massive hangover for a week.
Sigh Ace is awesome, I will miss hearing him play when I head back to the states. Sunday was my last time >_< More on Ace on the OraOra article coming up, so stay tuned!
I didn’t know cameras were legal at the event, so you have to settle for LQ camera phone pics >_< The djs were great, I got pretty drank, and everyone was nice and sharing their alcohol. I was the only foriegner that I could spot other than the djs and 2 of their security. It was quite surreal. ^_^;;
The crazy venue which had a giant screen playing psychedelic videos and the half-circle the djs played in.
DJ Ace in the center of Zikimoto. *happy sigh*
Half of Zikimoto working the tables
Gataka rockin’ out. If you haven’t listened to them, they’re recommended!
Me and a girl I was drinking with. It was 5:00 and we were both suitably gone.
Tokyo Guide: Centaagai – McDonalds

Throughout the month I’ll be working to be your tourist guide around gal places and fun things to do in Tokyo. Hopefully if you make a trip you’ll be thoroughly informed where to go.
The big crossroads on a rainy day
The Sentaagai McDonalds is centrally located in the big crosssection. So of course it’s a destination for gals, but more than that it’s a great place to people watch. The 2nd floor smoking area is where you’ll find most of the gyaruo and gyaru. Mostly they’re highschool age, since McDonalds is of course cheap. On the 2nd floor there’s a great row of seats where you can look down at Centaagai and people watch to your hearts content.
The great view.
Since you’re in Japan and at a McDonalds, try the Shaka Shaka Chicken. It’s on the 100 yen menu and delicious!
The smoking area closes at 8:30 so be sure to get your watching on until then ^_^

Hey ladies from Tokyo

Since even the most recent magazine scans and such can be a month late here’s my current info on what’s trickling into the stores for Fall.

Since 109 just ended its Summer Sale on 7/31 finally new stuff is coming in. I’ll break it down by stores and then talk about general trends.


Stores (with recent buys)

Gilfy:
Jeans are getting more studded and the train conductor stripes are back in stores with more colors (green, blue)
Jackets are in and some are redux of last year with saggy non-buttoning jackets mixed in with puffy windbreaks covered with the grey and black Gilfy print.
The new truckers caps are pinstriped and there’s fedora showing up in stores.

This came new this week. September Egg has it featured in Blue which the shop staff girl said they didn’t have (only now in grey, dark grey and green). Suspenders keep coming up in gilfy’s stuff, but this is a new color for fall. Their slouchy jackets came in this, mustard, grey, blue, and black.
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Glad News:
Barely anything for fall has come in, but they’re doing slash hems on knee-length skirts and dresses. There’s a tight to the body silhouette on all clothes for fall thus far.

A slashy skirt that came in this week with a comic print insert that says motorcycle heavens club and god save the queen. The owner of Glad News says she’s obsessed with Hells Angels and Punk.
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Cecil McBee:
Has jumped so high on the punk/rock trend its kind of scary considering what they usually do. Lots of black/white/red/purple combinations. They have both leggings and jeans in plaid and dots.
On the more OL side there’s cute matching flowy sleeve and frilly short pants matching sets along with flowy sleeve sheer dresses.

Their more frilly side with dot print and sheer. This came with matching frilly shorts.
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Their punk side is all about plaid, wordy t-shirts, and sparkle hints
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JSG:
seems to still be keeping with the 80s vibe
lots of comic prints and bold, black patterns on neon colors

One*Way:
Echoing the plaid leggings along with newsprint shirts and rhinestone shirts.

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General Trends
– sets (short pant and flowy top combinations, vests and tshirts, tshirts and scarves)
– scarves (every store has its own or will)
– preppy (plaid, funky fake nerd glasses, fake school emblems, letterman’s jackets, skinny pants)
– rock (lots of black, studded and monotone, trucker caps, more of a punk style plaid, expect things to say ROCK or PUNK on them)
– purple (it’s big everywhere in fashion this fall, 109 is no exception) along with green and grey
– leggings (in plaid, black shiny, dotted, newsprint, zebra) any print seems to be the vogue
– sparkle (on tshirts, watches, pins, the bling is on)
– girls on shirts (either headshots or full body)

Here are some recent buys to illustrate:

Gilfy chunky plaid scarf
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Gilfy preppy pin
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Cecil McBee Sparkly Rock Style with a Girl on it
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Gilfy Sparkly Accessory
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Gilfy Sparkle and Preppy together on their Trucker Hat
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Glad News Pop Print with Slash skirt
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Nuts is saying these trends:
rock and folklore will be the big trends
inside these will be: vest (tailored for rock, fringe for folklore), print leggings, animal print (meaning leopard), chunky shoes (boots with sheepskin edges, tall knee to over the knee styles), plaid, gladiators with open socks (doubtful), jumpers, backpacks, sheepskin items (boots, shawl, vest), school style

Egg says these six trends are coming:
Adult (lace edgings and neutral), preppie (more of the schoolgirl trend), preppie rock (gilfy and nerd glasses), surf (uhhh i question this), 80s (neon, sneakers, mix and match colors), girlie rock (glad news dress and engineer boots)

Trends that seem to have died

Sugar – everything that said sugar and sweets is dead dead dead
Pastels – especially pastels on denim
Smiley faces – all went on sale
Bohemian Hippy – the skirts have all sold out therefore it’s worthwhile to drop the trend (heh)
…then again expect some of these back next summer

Fall trends coming back from last year

Leopard – Probably not to the insane extent, but it’s showing up on scarves and tops
Engineer boots – A modified form with a heel is showing up on Gilfy’s new shoes
Scarves – They kind of left for summer, but they’re already back in most stores
Print – but mostly in accessories
Knit caps – Gilfy already has theirs in and shop staff are wearing them (it’s 88F and humid btw)
Stars – never left with Gilfy, but other stores seem to be adding them in


Shoes

This is the least amount of info I have about. Only Gilfy and Cecil seem to be stocking their new shoes. Gilfy’s shoes are a lace-up b-kei style boot with a thick heel (such as their summer gladiator heels) and a short heeled booty with sweater trim and preppy emblems and straps on it both seem to be in grey, black and green. Egg is pushing thick strapped pumps and to the knee boots. Cecil has so far only put out a pump in grey and black, sticking with their adoration of Chanel in their accessories.

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Make-up

Seperated eyelashes, nude or red lips, lots of eye shimmer but not glitter, also hints of green, red, and blue pop-style eyeliner.


ORA ORA

Egg this issue talks about the rise in ORA ORA kei (悪羅系) which is originally a guy’s fashion trend. Usually I see it on guys who love Psychedelic Trance. ORAORA guys have short, spiky hair blonde-ish / black with shiny word shirts (REBEL) or psychedelic shirts / super tan skin (it’s a good combo).

ORAORA Gals EGG defines in similar way but girls

Wear: Mostly black, with monotone colors, skinny ripped jeans, Guys big buckle belts with lots of gold or spikes, trucker caps, hints of leopard and gold

Hair: Sleek, pulled back ponytail, fluffy curls with the bangs in a poof pulled back, deep side part and waves, curly ponytail

Make-up: Extremely heavy black smoky eye with lots of mascara combined with a nude matte lip, a brownish blush to echo the tan

Egg talks up the guy side of it, but their ORAORA date style (with sexy Ace) falls apart and just looks gal. However they do list good examples from DIA and Mitsumaru Heaven and Earth (both on 1F of 109) and they also show good examples from the monotone and sparkle GLAD NEWS and using male accessories from Vanquish and giving one girl a make-over with VANS and game’s REBEL shirt.