Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Tues April 10th: My dissertation on Gothic Lolita, Tokyo subcultural style from 2002

After a few years of wearing Buffalo platform sneakers and thinking I was an Anime character, I finally made it to Japan in 2002.  I saved up enough for one week to visit Harajuku to research the resident weekend subculture for my dissertation.  The Tokyo teenagers only hung out on a Sunday and luckily it was the only day it didn't rain whilst I was there!  To my surprise the trend had moved on since the published articles I had swatted up on.  Instead of finding fake-tan, panda-makeup Ganguro Girls I discovered the very first incarnations of Gothic Lolitas.  I was gutted!!  But it did lead to a more interesting interrogation for my thesis to try and decipher how the sartorial shift had happened.  Here are snaps of the cover and some of the contents from the final report.  Here are photocopies of my own photos from the day and the socks and makeup I picked up in Shibuya.  I also included the questionnaires I handed out to the girls in a packet of sweets and coloured felt tip pens!  
I can't believe its been a decade since I made this trip!  My style hasn't changed much and the Kawaii culture has come back round in fashion.  Here are a few of my items from the time - the cocktail sticks I stuck in my hair, diamante eyelashes in a sushi soy sauce packet, my ISIC card for cheap travel and a few of my old rainbows..........
For recommended reading on the subject matter, look up Sharon Kinsella and Matthew Thorn.

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