October 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
By 1998, Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood overflowed with thousands and thousands of high-school girls adhering to kogyaru-inspired trends, who shopped at Shibuya 109, read the magazine egg, worked increasingly with marketers from large companies, and dominated the sexual fantasies of men’s magazines. The female subculture spent most of the 1990s tarred by the enjo kōsai schoolgirl prostitution panic, but with so much kogyaru-driven media in the marketplace in the late 1990s, the group was finally moving closer towards mainstream acceptance.
Full social integration of the style, however, was not to be. At the end of the decade, the gyaru subculture made one of the most radical shifts of any Japanese fashion subculture ever, embracing an eccentric and shocking personal style that frightened and disgusted wider society and turned away regular high-school students who had once looked to the gyaru for their fashion cues. The kogyaru had entered into the era of ganguro — and there was no turning back. read more
PHOTOGRAPH: Wing-Chi Poon