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    5 year resident, to guide around the local wonders


Japanese Fashion Magazines

Today, we'll touch upon Japanese Fashion Magazines. While we have Nippon Vogue, Elle, Numero, Nylon and some others being published in Japanese, the reality is that the big names stem from the local origin. This makes them more interesting, as instead of being mere copies of the foreign numbers, these have many things on their own.

Here are the most bizarre things about Japanese Fashion Magazines, as I see it:

[1] Senzoku models「専属モデル」are common in Japanese fashion press. Senzoku models appear exclusively in a single publication, as Yu Yamada, Yuri Ebihara and Moe Oshikiri. What do they do this? Japanese are prone to become fans. This makes a follower of a certain model, directly hooked on the magazine.

[2] Clear target audience [REF]. VOGUE appeals all classes and ages in different ways, some appreciate the travel ideas, others the Testino shots or the lengthy articles on varied topics, from surgery through relationships & health trends. Japanese fashion magazines are however divided in age segments (teen, 20-30, over 30) and buying power. Onee-kei 「お姉系」 literally means "elder sister style" and is used in magazines like CanCam, showing brown hair and expensive branded items. Office lady-kei 「OL系」is used for working women older than 23. Last but not least, mote-kei「モテ系」which is the pinnacle of femininity without showing off with sexual appeal or individuality. The idea is to attract the widest possible interest from men, mote meaning ‘being popular with the other sex’. As you can guess, for a woman in their 20s this is very important. The problem is that, it often falls into conservative-kei「コンサバ系女子 」as you can read a reflection in here meaning that, the more old fashioned & demure she appears to be, the better (>-<) this is what we see on the streets and women behavior, unfortunately. Last but not least, the most popular abroad, but not in Japan is girly 「ギャル」or the style that describes the stereotyped harajuku girls (a recent movement is to see teens wearing fake eyelashes, wigs & dressing Harajuku style, as teen tribes in Sweden or Germany, looking like the girls of egg & popteen).

[3] The idea of sister magazines (just like teen VOGUE, but the other way around). For instance, CLASSY. is a sister magazine of JJ. Models often posed for JJ when they were younger. CLASSY. targets working women older than 23, also called office lady「OL系」. Another good example are AneCan & CanCam. The name “CanCam” derives from “I Can Campus”. The idea is that CanCam’s readers will become “campus leaders”. AneCan was launched in 2007, as the magazine for women who have “graduated” from reading CanCam. ‘Ane’ means ‘older sister’ and ‘Can’ comes from ‘CanCam’. Like 'time to grow up, you can' or something.

[4] The use of manga, to illustrate anything from relationship advice, through office situations or spans rationale. 

Here a manga about the mote「モテ」girl in the office. She looks classic but attracts all men's eyes. However, the sexy-looking-girl 「エロ」is having a hard time, nobody cares about her.

I have to say, I like the concept of CLASSY. Instead of portraying models with impossible bodies in impossible outfits in artsy (as opposed to real) situations, the magazine helps the girl on the street to pick some pieces, to combine them in different situations, looking effortlessly stylish.

In this number, they portray a lot of items from high-street giants. ZARA, GAP, UNIQLO.

Here, we see the boyfriend denim. Worn with trench, sweater or perfecto. Simple ideas, for the girl next door. The woman on the picture looks like any other girl on the street. Not taller, not thinner, not wearing boob implants. The shots portray real Japanese girls in common situations. I am not saying that Gisele is not real, just that she's not quite like the rest of us.

Here we see the trench coat. Ideally, the ratio between the coat and the area not covered by it should be 2/3, as clearly indicated in the picture on the right. Then, we see different ways to rock it. With jeans & pumps, pencil skirt or tights with booties. Again, real girls in the streets of Tokyo. I call this low-budget high-return shot. It's not artsy, but educates on timeless style.

The trench is a spring-fall classic. It's always on, versatile & CLASSY.

Next, we get some tips from the store attendants. The girls pictured work in Tomorrowland & United Arrows. They are here to give advice on how to transition Winter items into Spring (i.e. take away the tights, keep the white skirt or swap the black pumps by coral open-toe shoes). Very useful again.

This is about trendy flat shoes and how to combine them (not easy when your style is so classic).

Finally, in the beauty section we see Goro-san (who actually cut my hair once) :P from Natura, Omotesando. Girls ask hair questions (e.g. when I use the curler, I look like Shirley Temple)  and Goro-san gives some tips (even tutorials) on how to fix it. He's not Orlando Pita. I mean. Anyone can call to Natura and make a reservation with Goro-san for exactly the same price as anywhere else in Tokyo.  Again, useful information (as opposed to fake expectations about either expensive items or bodies which are well, not so easy to reach to).

From clothing, we go into beauty. More importantly, into our best accessory: hair. My Best Hair 「Myベストヘア」is all about cut, color & shape (like beauty-box in paper). This is a very useful magazine to buy, when you feel like a change of style. I like this about Japanese magazines, they are specialized and serve a clear purpose.

Headshots. Of street girls, like you and me, who got their hair done by stylist XXX at salon YYY.

Imagine that you liked this one, what a nice hue & waves right?

Let's check the compatibility on "style data" first. 

The upper circles indicate which face shapes are suitable for this cut (round, triangle, square, oval) and then, which types of hair work well with it :
- Hair type 髪質 : Soft 柔らかい Normal 普通  Hard 硬い
- Amount of hair 毛量 : little 少ない normal 普通  lots 多い
- Rebelliousness クセ : straight 直毛  somewhat ややクセ rebellious クセ

Then, refer to styling to understand how to style everyday (i.e. are you willing to use a curling iron on daily basis or not?) and finally, check order to understand what's involved (only cut or also color&perm?) as that will certainly impact the price.

The magazine includes make-up tutorials, so you can look like your favorite celebrity, Nocchi (probably you don't know her, but Perfume is a super famous electropop group here in Japan) as well as hair-cut indications, to follow the style of your favorite girl on TV, like Rola below.

Why would you like to look like Rola 「ローラ」 ? Well, because NOBODY is more mote 「モテ」 than Rola 「ローラ」- lucky her, clubbing is NOK for good Japanese girls, because her dance skills have certain room for improvement.



Lara_Starchic said...

Madre mía qué cuadros de revistas! :S creo que me compraría Classy! la veo la más normalita...alucino con las secciones de beauty!!


Clau said...

Cuadro de comedor que es la Rola, está por todas partes, con sus lentillas del palo.

La verdad que entretienen, aunque sólo sea porque son bastante diferentes a lo que ofrece Condé Nast.

Vogue Nippon no tiene tanta tirada como las revistas locales (rara vez lo ves en la pila que acarrean las chicas sentadas a la mesa del Starbucks integrado en Tsutaya, que es una tienda de libros/revistas) y eso, da que pensar.

Traducidas, probablemente tendrían éxito en cualquier otro lugar. Porque aunque haya freaks que aprecien la fotografía de moda, la mayoría busca "briconsejos" para verse bien a un coste razonable. Lo cual explica el éxito de los fashion bloggers (especialmente cuando empiezan y no van cubiertos de logomarcas).

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