Subcultures never die. If a subculture loses favor it might well become less visible and dwindle, but in a city as vast and sprawling as Tokyo nothing ever truly vanishes. There was a time when the native styling of Goa was ubiquitous with street fashion and with Gyaru-O, the guys on Center-Gai wore Goros over Chrome Hearts and the tans were even darker than in the golden era of Gyaru-O when the men’s brands started appearing in 109-2. Why I am a going on about this now you may ask? Well recently there has been a lot of talk about changes in Japanese fashion especially in the case of the supposed death of Lolita or even the end of Gyaru-O. But this is fashion, trends and popularity are going to change, but that doesn’t mean that it is going to disappear into the ether – hell, in Tokyo you still see fashion tribes popular in the 50s strutting through the streets.
In the case of Goa they weathered the shift towards rhinestones and LA excess in the mid to late 2000s thanks to their devoted customers and have pretty much put out the same collections season on season since they started. Not that that is a bad thing, this is the kind of classic cool that I have gone on about at length in relation to KMRii and 14th Addiction, and I don’t see this kind of ethnic, military styling going anywhere anytime soon. It was popular before I was even born and it may well outlive me.
Continue reading for some of their S/S 2011 collection as well as some of my favorites from their permanent collection.
Lets kick off with a good look at their current coordinates:
The look is mostly made edgy (and popular) by the not-so-guarded reference to the US Military circa Vietnam which is obviously something which carries a lot of meaning in Japan. Outside of the overall slightly loose silhouette and palette of browns, olives and greys, the one thing that always stands out with Goa is their use of mostly genuine organics. You can expect horn buttons, bone beads and an awful lot of fur (all real for the record), but it is those kind of flourishes that keeps the brand edgy as well as continuously cool.
On to some of their better pieces – and even if you are not a fan of the whole look I reckon something from this selection will appeal:
Out of that lot I am definitely on board for the Tibetan shearling bag and maybe the Union Jack top…
Well I hope you enjoyed this little look at this Tokyo institution. You can see more on their site, including their women’s line which is pretty much on the same lines. Personally I am just looking forward to this coming round into mainstream fashion once again, but in the meantime Goa will keep the cause alive.