We might have already identified Shibuya Girls Pop as the must see destination of the recently renewed floor 6 of Shibuya Parco Part 1, but there is a whole floor to explore, and although it might not all be as culturally significant when seen in isolation, in a sum of its parts it is definitely worthy of your attention. Today you join us for a look around the floor in its entirety that regrettably will not include the members of Denpa Gumi.Inc you see below on your visit.
The choice of Denpa Gumi.Inc is in itself an interesting move for Parco who quite frankly could have got any model they cared for to open proceedings at the opening party, but which other group quite nails the mood of the moment as well? They have a credibility that the quirky Momoiro Clover Z seem to lack in a fashionable context like Parco, something gifted to them by the involvement of Mikio Sakabe and Ai Madonna (who is responsible for the illustrations on their uniforms), and overall are the perfect ambassadors for the otaku meets cool aesthetic that clearly exists and yet that the government sponsored Cool Japan program always seemed to miss the mark on.
At the opening they gave a short introduction to the floor, of its purpose to combine the fashion culture of Ne-Net, Julius, Yasuyuki Ishii, etc that lurks in the floors beneath with pop, internet and otaku culture.
With the girls established as the proverbial face of the floor lets have a look around:
Cospa have always specialised in a form of geek chic that anyone in the west is likely to be familiar with, i.e. knowing t-shirts and expected accessories.
But it must be noted that they are showing more and more flashes of brilliance, and in particular have started to realise that most people wear these kind of clothes for themselves and this don’t appreciate something too obviously anime branded.
The Gundam section,
which continues here and is accompanied by some great embroidered sukajyan and jeans.
Some literal cosplay.
Cospa’s contribution to the floor does stay too far in the comfort zone for my liking, but that is why the designers stocked in Gokai are so ahead of their game in fusing fashion into the clothes rather than presenting them side by side as above.
Elsewhere there is a vast Village Vanguard who were one of the first chains to bring a curated otaku cool to the mainstream in their shops all across Tokyo.
An event area that had girls lining up for rare items whose significance was lost on me.
As a testament of things to come in the increased proximity that anime and manga culture will play in fashion over the next year this floor of Parco is definitely a milestone and a fun one at that giving oxygen to movements like 2.5D that previously have been somewhat niche by anyone’s standards – at any rate, it is worth a visit and I encourage all to do so.