by Inna, our Ukrainian Connection
Hosiery in Japan’s Harajuku District
Can you imagine a whole nation to be infatuated with mystical charm of tights and stockings? Let me assure you the one like that exists. And if you ever had a chance to travel to the Japanese capital, you’d get striking evidences first hand!
A Place Where Hosiery is Inborn
You probably would never find such a chic-filled and style-savvy place on the entire planet as Harajuku district. This Japanese centre of street fashion is located between two Tokyo subway stations. Its style went through a lengthy time line of transforming traditional oriental attire into a modern look.
Historically, kimono costume would be worn with Japanese socks, so one could conclude that covering their legs with pantyhose is inherent in Japanese girls and women. By the same token, tights and stockings were never dealt with as an insignificant accessory in Tokyo culture, but rather the substantial part of dressing, and the showy one too!
Lavish of various teenage fashion styles, streets of Harajuku are glowing with vivid colours, exquisite adornments and thoughtful combinations of young girls’ ensembles, representing innocent Lolita, moody Gothic, multi-layered and glorious decora, cosy sports mix, and extravagant cyberpunk just to name a few. As we have highlighted before, garments consisting of skirts and dresses are generally more preferable than those with pants, although shorts are widely accepted by the younger generation.
Depending on the chosen style, hosiery is matched accordingly to the outfit. Whether it will be above the knee length socks with red hearts to compliment playful girlie look or skin-tone pantyhose with spider-on-the-web prints to highlight Gothic disposition of the wearer, Japanese girls give their leg wear as much attention as to the rest components of outfit.
Due to numerous fashion shops and malls at the Harajuku district, there is no lack of textured, patterned, coloured, and of various thickness tights. Every type you could only wish for is there.
Lolita Style Outfits
What clothing element could more gracefully polish the tender Lolita appearance if not a pair of matching pantyhose?! Burgundy checkered tights decorate one Lolita’s hussar-style uniform outfit and kissing angels print on white tights highlight the holiday spirit in another Lolita’s attire. These are just examples of two different forms of Lolita style that is featured by abundance of frills, lace, bows, ribbons, etc.
Short Skirts are Balanced With Oversized Tops
As you can see in the accompanying photos, the determining factor of Japanese street fashion is experimenting with and mixing the styles for the sake of fun solely. No matter how short are the skirt hemlines, Harajuku fashion can never be called lewd and meaningless. Yes, girls show a lot of leg, but it is combined with flowing silhouettes of loosely tailored clothing that is quite often waist-concealing and voluminous on top. Even with such omnipresent hosiery to boot, the style overall doesn’t come off as provocative. Tokyo teenage fashion is always fresh and fun, akin to its trend setters and trend bearers.
Cosplay Fun Outfits
The similar rule is also applied to another prominent counterpart to Harajuku regular style shows, called cosplay (what literally means don the costume and play). Major Motoko Kusanagi’s disguise from Ghost in the Shell animated movie is one of the examples (the film which handles nudity in the most chaste way possible). Such cosplay enthusiasts usually dress themselves as fictional or iconic characters from renown band, game, feature film, manga or any other mainstream release, creating for this purpose actual piece-of-art costumes worthy of being exhibited on high fashion catwalks. And the tendency to plentifully use hosiery in cosplay outfits prevails here too.