Arguably the most well known Japanese fashion trend outside of Japan is the Harajuku trend. Brought into the mainstream Western media by Gwen Steffani in the early 2000. The phrase ‘kawaii’ was also introduced.
Due to Harajuku being one of the first Japanese fashion trends recognisable in the Western world, I thought it was an appropriate area to begin.
Firstly I did a simple Google search of Harajuku fashion and came across this image:
This is from the subculture of Harajuku fashion, called Decora. I could easily fall down the rabbit hole in researching JUST Harajuku fashion, but I will just focus on Decora for the time been.
So let me backtrack for a moment. Harajuku fashion is defined as being youthful, mixed with high end fashion and boutique clothing along with individuals expressing their individual tastes. Basically it is wild, colourful and a form of self expression incorporating high and low end pieces. While Decora is a type of Harajuku fashion where one ads as many decorations to their outfit. The end result ends up being like the above image. The idea is to be cute, while wearing as many variations of the one accessory at once. Shades of pink are especially popular for Decora fashion.
Because the main aspect of Decora fashion is cute (kawaii), pink (usually) accessories, I believed that they would be easy to find. Well not so much. Decora accessories are easy to find online, but finding a Hello Kitty headband that does not cost $50 plus shipping to Australia is not so easy. That is if the site even posts to Australia.
Things were not looking very pink and glittery.
Cutesykink.co.uk was one of the first online stores I looked at. Filled with Decora accessories that looked suspiciously what one gets inside a Christmas cracker, for around the same price, I was skeptical as to whether these would remain intact. If the goal of Decora is to wear over sized banana and lemon earrings with pink leather garter belts, then this site IS BANG ON trend.
KawaiiGoods.com was the next site I looked at and seemed a lot more promising. Firstly they have an Esty store, so I knew with the ratings on service and products would tell the truth for whether they were worth purchasing or not. With a 5 star rating from almost 300 people I was impressed. The prices were in Australian dollars and not cheap, meaning the products were of good quality. The only downside was that the store is based in America, meaning there are shipping costs, but so far the best site I’ve looked into. Not just Decora accessories are stocked either, made to order clothing is also an option. I would even wear some of the T shirts, lots of great colours and patterns!
I could go on and on about all of the Decora available to purchase online, but instead I shall suggest if people are willing to pay a little extra for some Decora styled accessories, to invest in credible Esty stores.