dinsdag 10 januari 2012

Gyaru Discussion // Goth Gyaru?

Hii everyone~!
I would like to start a sort of new line of topics on my blog, Gyaru Discussions. This will mostly about phenomena I see in the gyaru scene, which I would like to hear your opinions on or get into discussion with you :) Therefore I woud like to introduce you to the first topic of discussion!

Goth Gyaru
Disclaimer: I am NOT trying to invent a new subgenre with this post, I'm just looking for the possibilities of it's existing or not.

A while back, the Gyaru page on wikipedia had a big list of all the Gyaru subcultures (which has now been deleted for the most part), under which was one called 'Goth Gyaru'. At first I thought 'well, this sub genre doesn't exist, I've never seen it', or does it? Lately I've taken quite some inspiration from brands such as TutuHA (soon to be Glavil) and Fernopaa. Which led me to the blog of one of my current inspirations Ami/ Amihamu. I've been checking her blog a lot since then, but I've seen her style change quite a bit. At first it had the most rock style influences, but lately I've been seeing it sightly change into something that is tending to take more and more influences from 'Goth'. Here are some photos for comparison.

These might not look like huge changes, and quite frankly, they're not. They're subtle differences but yet to me they start representing a whole different style. For me the most noticable differences are the Make-up, switch to darker wigs, more heavy chained and spiked jewelery, more black and darker colors. At first I was thinking it might have something to do with the change of brand for her, since she switched from being a TutuHA shop staff (@ 'before' pictures) to being a Fernopaa shop staff (@ 'after' pictures). In Japan in most clothing and accesoires shops (especially for gyaru) most shop staff dress completely in the clothes the shop has to offer, trying to inspire the customers to either buy one of the pieces of clothing or to 'adopt' the style. Most of the staff will also adjust their personalities to the brand they are representing, or atleast these are my own observations to when I was in Japan. You could see that different brands had hired people with personalities that either really fitted the brand, or that have been molded to the brand. Well enough of that, but while I was thinking the switch of brands might have been the cause, I was immideatly thinking that it couldn't be. Since I assumed that another shop staff of both Tutuha and Fernopaa, Morimayu, hadn't changed her style. BUT! As I was going through Fernopaa's micro blog snapshot page, I definetly did see a style change in Morimayu's look as well. To me she was always known for her extremely colorfull outfits while she was still in the staff of Tutuha. But now that she has left TutuHA behind and became a staffmember at Fernopaa, I noticed she also started wearing more black, more spikes, but the brightcoloured wigs stayed. (They even turned pink!) I will also scoop up some pictures to show the change in her look.
 Allthough now I DO believe that the change of shops/ brands had something to do with it, I feel like Morimayu is less 'goth', whereas Ami now has this 'goth' vibe coming from her. Recently I've also been seeing a lot of post on Ami's blog talking about 'Goth Gene Night' and since my Japanese is far from fluent I don't really know what this exactly is but it does seem like it's a party where all the Fernopaa staff are present, and where Morimayu is DJing? If there is anybody knows more about this event please let me know!

Eventhough I am now mainly focussing on Fernopaa and Ami's style change, the topic of 'goth gyaru' is surely not new to me. A while back there was an Egg model called Nonoka Iwata (Non-chan). I'm not too sure wether or not she is still in Egg magazine since I don't read it much but since I haven't seen too much of her recently, I figured she is not in the picture anymore. Eitherway, she also rose up when there was any discussion about goth gyaru, since she was an Egg model, and she had a very Goth like style, even staying away from the stereotype Gyaru hair that time by having either pitch black straight or white blonde straight hair. (I think that nowadays there are less stereotypes binding gyaru hair but maybe that's a new discussion topic?) I even think that she might have been the very first that even started the controversy on goth gyaru, and wether it was a real thing, or not. Though could see a rather clear difference from when she appeared in Egg magazines and the pictures she posted up on her blog. I think that recently she isn't into gyaru anymore regarding her latests blog photos, so I'm speaking about the 'old' non-chan. I'll show you some pictures of her style for those who might not be know her. I don't have a lot of pictures of her in EGG so most of them are just from google~

As you can see she still had a rather own style in Egg magazine, but as I've been looking through these pictures I've noticed that the people of Egg, eventhough they let her carry out a bit of her own style, still put some 'key elements of gyaru' in there to probably pull it back more to the stereo type of a gyaru and to probably to please the audience, do you see them? I spot a TanBig curly hair in the second picture, and some very bright coloured clothes in the 3rd. Whereas in the pictures she puts on her blog, you can really see her sporting a white skin, straight hair and a lot of black clothes (and ear piercings)
So is goth gyaru a real thing? I think I will round this post up as I don't have much more to say, but I would rather hear what you think about it. I've put up the following dicussion questions up for you to think about, or rather comment on! You could either take one of the discussion points or talk about all of them, or non at all!

  1. Does Goth Gyaru exist, or is it just a trend, or are there just a few persons out there with a very personal style coming from gyaru, that are now still called gyaru?
  2. Where do we draw the line in our perception of gyaru, and where is the line between a real substyle and a crossover between styles?
  3. Is it just because these girls are japanese we can still call it gyaru? Or do you think we as western gals could still pull off a look like these while still looking gyaru?
  4. What would be the difference between Rokku and Goth? Or will they more or less still stay the same?
  5. Would you still consider this Gyaru? Or do you think it has been taken to far? 
  6. Do you think this is a style that will grow bigger? or is it just a fast season trend to you?
  7. What do you think about 'Goth Gyaru' in general? Do you like the idea, or do you think these girls just look plain horrible?
  8. And last a question for me, do you like these kind of discussion points?
So I think this is pretty much what I was about to say! Even though the first part of the post is mostly an observation and I have not yet ventilated my own opinion about the topic, I thought I'd post it at the bottom here so you can either read or not read it, it is all up to you! But eitherway, here is my opinion on the topic, keeping the questions posted above in mind.

'I personally feel that Goth Gyaru could become a thing, but taking more of the stereotypical gyaru features in consideration. The black eyeliner drops that Ami currently sports aren't personally my thing, and I think they take away from both the 'cuteness' or 'sexyness' that is represented in gyaru fashion. However, I do have the feeling that unless you are a really really great gaijin gyaru, this is a look that will mostly work for the Japanese, not to put anyone here down (I myself included in the part of not so great gaijin gyaru so there), but as long as this is still a very small style, I think it is hard for someone to recognize you as a 'goth gyaru' and not just as a plain goth with a bit too much make-up. Maybe we could carry this look out to a certain degree, but while taking more of the Gyaru stereotypes on. Because frankly, you may dissagree with me or not, Japanese are easily labeled gyaru, no matter what they are wearing. I personally don't feel that if I were to go out in one of Ami's outfits while having my make-up all gal'd out that anyone would recognize me as being a gyaru, mostly because I still lack enough skills to be recognized as a gyaru eitherway. And as you can see there is just a very thin line between what we call Rokku and that what we might call Goth gyaru, maybe 'goth gyaru' is just an exagerated version of rokku. To me, as long as this is still a very small style that is nowhere to be seen in any magazines yet I will see it as that, an exagerated version of rokku, and not a stand alone substyle. I think it is still gyaru in some ways, but to me this is really on the edge. I know that every style evolves, just like gyaru does. But gyaru evolves in so many different ways in such a rapid time that I sometimes have a hard time catching up with what is currently even considered gyaru, but that would be a whole different discussion. In the end, my conclusion would be that this, if growing bigger, could definetly become some sort of sub genre , maybe under another name, who knows. But I also think that you have to be very carefull as a gaijin gyaru with what you can and can't do, it's a line that you have to look for on your own. I think you have to be very aware of the skills you own and the way people view those, there might be some that could definetly get away with it, but some might just get carried away in trying to create too much of an own style while losing sight on the 'gyaru mothership' haha.'

And that will conclude my post! I hope all of you liked this post, it took me a lot of time to look for pictures and to type out all my thoughts and observations. Please leave a comment if you want to join the discussion! ^^, <3

18 opmerkingen:

  1. i would looooove to see that as a subgene!!!!

    I totally think it would be gyaru fashion. I love goth culture since i was little, and still read goth books, poems and listen to music.
    I think if rock is, why not goth??


  2. First off, this was a great and well written post. I have personally believed that you can incorporate any style, culture, or belief into Gyaru. Its refreshing to see more people blog about the different possibilities with proper reasoning and proof in photos and other media.

    I will be linking this on my blog soon. I hope you don't mind

  3. Ahhh, I love Amihamu! We met her in Shinjuku Alta when we were in Tokyo a few weeks ago! She was super nice and really crazy haha, and her makeup was awesome in person :)! I think 'Goth gyaru' is a really interesting concept, and I hope it becomes a more popular sub-style in the future!

  4. I am always for interpretation and freedom of expression in any style.  Goth of any kind is not my personal style but I know a lot of people who look gorgeous in it.

  5. I like the idea of "goth gyaru", and i was always a big fan of Non-chan. so sad that she isn't in egg anymore, and in fact, egg has started sucking royally in the last couple of months/year if you ask me... Romihi is gone too! there's barely any "fashion" in it anymore, and it's all about the lives of the new models who are 15 and all look the same. not my thing...

    but anyways, i believe we were talking about goth gyaru... lol. i don't think it's really a thing right now though.. maybe if you called it "punk gyaru" and included all the tutuha-esque style of girls, that would include more people... i also like the idea of punk-gyaru, eheh... one thing that i've always found really odd/funny though... is that the girls at visual kei concerts, all dress like Hime gyaru (the ones that are gyaru anyways) and i always thought that it would make more sense for vk fans to dress kinda crazy... but i guess not! lol. i wonder what kind of outlet those goth and punk gyaru would have??

  6. Faniavandewinkel21 juli 2012 om 19:29

    ow mooi,dan moet ik gauw gaan kijken , bij de gyaru magezine ;3

  7. Always loved the darker styles myself, and with more models being dressed in bright cute style, sweet style, or blogger style, why not goth style? Creepers have also been (please excuse this pun) creeping into all different fashion magazines as of late- another sign of styles mixing! I think this style could get really big~

  8. Oh wow I have never thought about this kind of thing! But since you have brought it up it definitely is interesting and I agree with what you've written. I think there is a possibility of it becoming a "real" kind of style! I really love what you're written, thanks to for taking the time to post this! :33

  9. Gyaru in my opinion is just a style, there are no rules and no limits to this style.I think that if this is what you like you should do it!

  10. I always loved the difference in Magazine Nonoka and Personal Nonoka!
    Its shame she doesnt blog as much because I, quite in love with her!

  11. Ahh. In my case, this would be awesome, because I look FAR better and more 'natural' in darker colors.. I have naturally black hair and even without make up, people tell me that looking at me they think dark colors suit me MUCH better. I'm kind of excited to see where this style evolves and how accepted it becomes. *___*

  12. A great blogpost!
    It's super interesting, and yeah I think goth gyaru exists, even tho it hasn't much follower, and yeha it's true, as a gaijin gal you will have problems to be kind of goth gyaru! because we look too different, and some ppl have problems with not asian gals :/

  13. Dat van Nonoka is omdat ze stopte met de egg, en toen voor een winkel ging werken XD

  14. Faniavandewinkel21 juli 2012 om 19:29

    i,hoop that style come,s.
    but i don,t know if exist
    i heart a lot a bout it,but i really hoop it  be comes one of the gyaru styles

  15. I love this post! <3

    As you know, I lean towards goth gyaru myself too. I think it can be done. And maybe it is a bit borderline gyaru nowadays, but so are many other styles which are still considered gyaru, like mode gyaru. Even in the egg and the January issue of Ageha, you see that the make-up is becoming more and more plain too. And like you said "Is it just because these girls are japanese we can still call it gyaru?", not only applies to goth gyaru, but also on the plainer gyaru styles nowadays.

    HOWEVER! That doesn't mean a gaijin gyaru can't do the style at all. I think it really needs more work to get it done right. A common thing for most western goths is that they don't have brown hair. Most of them have black hair, funky colours or pale blonde. So I think if you do goth gyaru with brown hair (any tone, from caramel to the more darker brown seen in ageha), it helps you to look more gyaru than goth.
    Also, I think if you are doing any borderline style gyaru as a western gal, lashes and lenses are a must. They really help you to look gyaru instead of just a normal fashionista.
    Personally I think that if you are dressing with a bit more
    goth/gothrock clothes but still keep you hair and make-up gyaru, you are
    a goth gyaru.

    Would there be a difference between rokku and goth?
    I think it is the same as the western goth. It first started with punk, then it evolved in post punk (musicwise) and goth. Those early goths (and people still supporting the 80's goth look) are often called deathrocker. When you put a handful of deathrockers together with a handful of punks, they look quite the same. Goths generally wear darker colours, but still a lot of deathrockers pop in a bright colour (green, pink), or bleach their hair.
    So I think like deathrock in western goth evolved from the punk scene and style, goth gyaru is kinda like a style evolved from the rokku gyaru. And it is not that there is a strick line, like "here ends rokku and here starts gyaru". The lines are blurred, or they overlap.

    I feel that gyaru these days is changing a lot. There are a lot more cuter styles, more bigger circle lenses, eye lashes, more western oriented styles like mode gyaru, more plain styles in ageha and egg, and also the rise of tutuha style or goth gyaru. But I think it is all still gyaru.

    Lately I have been more and more thinking about experimenting with goth gyaru myself as well.Because as you know, I still consider myself goth, most of all. Whenever I dress lolita or gyaru, I still feel and identify as goth. So I'd love to mix it with the gyaru make-up, hair and pop in some gyaru trends (fake fur <3) and just be creative with it!

    And I must add that I really hate the crying-eyeliner like Ami's after pictures on anyone.

    Do I like this discussion points? Hell yeah! :D

    Also another note on the "Does Goth Gyaru exist, or is it just a trend,"
    Well, everything is a trend. Does manba exist? Yes. Is it a trend? Well, considering that it isn't popular anymore, yes. Does it make manba less gyaru? No. ^_~

  16. This is a really interesting debate!

    I've recently started to like "oraora" style (i think its called), in
    "soul sister" magazine, its sort of like biker gyaru haha - its darker
    but with a more mature feel I find :3

    As for your questions ~ ^__^
    1. Does goth gyaru exist?
    I'm not sure if it completely does atm... But I really think it could :3 which leads to number 2... I think some people have this one image in their mind of what gyaru should look like... But I really think it can be alot more spread out then that :D I think that gyaru is a very vague general term that people need to be more open minded about. ^3^
    As for 3 ... I find sometimes no matter how an asian is looking they seem to get it alot easier then westreners xD haha
    I think rokku would be alot "lighter" then goth... maybe more punky :3 goth as its own fashion is very dark/scary so I think even mixed with gyaru it would be alot more dark then other rock styles (: ... Its hard to explain what I'm thinking haha xD
    I think this kind of style could go bigger - especially in Japan - but maybe not so much for the west as I think alot of people would get crap for it from other D: we do not seem to be very accepting of new/different things mixing with what we know D;
    Also these discussion things seem like a great idea ;D <3 x x

  17. I think that goth gyaru could become a substyle, but that it's very limited to the asian gyaru's, because 'white' gyaru will tend to look just goth since they have naturally lighter hair. Also, for the asian ones, it's neccesary to have dyed hair, not black, because with black hair they'll also look just goth, not gyaru.

  18. Goth Gyaru does in fact exist. Its called Goshikku Gal. :)