My manifesto here at Tokyo Telephone has long been to project the credible side of Japanese street fashion which the visual-kei side of things does not usually present. Sure you can strut around the streets of Harajuku in V-kei but go two metres out of central Tokyo and you are going to stand out, leave a city and you are going to feel self-conscious and leave Japan and you are going to feel like you are in cosplay. This is why much as I love the shops of OIOI One I can’t quite bring myself to kit myself out from there, I mean, when exactly am I going to wear one of those outfits – once a year? twice? – I just can’t justify it. That is why I content myself with some key items from the v-kei brands – not a whole outfit.
I love the work of h.Naoto, but I can’t deny that when comparing his bell-bottom jeans with my beloved Tornado Mart’s that the latter’s are the more street fashion friendly. Thus when I am wearing a pair I really do feel the need to tone them down with something a little more conservative (my least favorite word). However I really love being able to wear something pretty extreme as the feature of an outfit – the easiest things like shoes or a bag, but I do long to be daring with a bold statement coat. While I do find that it is the case with some of the v-kei brands that you can only wear their clothes as a complete outfit from that brand – such is the cut of the clothes, if you hunt around and more importantly experiment with your wardrobe, the results are well worth the effort.
In reality the cut of the clothes is not dissimilar from that of the 109-2 favorites and if you stick with the staple of black the coordination should not trouble you. If you are looking to dip your toe (and this is how I started) have a gander over at Closet Child on the net (international shipping is available) and be brave.
So good luck with your forays into the extreme side of Japanese Street Fashion, I really wish I could wear more of this and I dream of the day when h.Naoto’s catwalk collections can grace the streets of not only Japan but the world.