Recently, I spent four days in Tokyo and had the opportunity to check out what was happening on the streets with young Tokyo women. Many were proud to show off their sartorial sense despite the sweltering humidity of a Japanese summer when energy consumption has been decreased due to the nuclear disaster of Fukushima.
I walked through Takeshita Street in Harajuku, which is teeming with little shops full of character–and characters. It is a very popular shopping spot for teenagers and young people.
The layered look was in, despite the hot and humid Tokyo summer. Long, wavy caramel hair dominated. Smokey eyes, round pink doll cheeks, pale pink lips, and heavy powder for the painted doll look was common. Mini skirts and mini shorts were paired with knee highs, leggings or tights (in black, gray, and occasionally white). Tops were loosely constructed in solid dark grays and black, or they were frilly, lacey, ultra feminine blouses. Crocheted or large knit boleros and short cardigans topped blouses and sundresses. Maxi skirts and dresses skimmed wedges and espadrilles. Short gladiator sandals in black and shades of brown from tan to taupe to sand were de rigueur. Layers and layers–how do they wear them without breaking a sweat in that heat, especially since air-conditioning temperatures have been raised to 25 – 26 degrees Celsius (that’s 78 – 80 Farenheit) to conserve energy? The fair skin look dominated, and yes, there were young gals sporting parasols to maintain their peachy complexions. One other note I made: no bare shoulders. I don’t know if it was about modesty or fashion but the only bare Asian shoulders I saw were those of foreigners like me. The must-have accessory of 2011? Hand-held paper or cloth fans, either the flat “uchiwa” or classic folding style. It’s absolutely necessary when standing on the open platforms of the subway systems.
Last but not least I think my favorite creature in all of Japan was this daring lass: