Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be 'Neo Gals'

Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be

Pink hair. Ripped jeans. Bling. Meet Japan's "Neo Gals", part Americana, part Tokyo, and lots and lots of bleach. During the 1990s, "gal" (ギャル or gyaru) fashion was in vogue with the nation's youth, with young women tanning their skin, dying their hair brown, and wearing impossible platform shoes. Now, as one of Japan's biggest morning shows Mezamashi TV points out, this generation has "Neo Gal" (ネオギャル or neo gyaru).

Picture: alisaueno/Twitter

Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be

Picture: NxYmg

As noted on screen in the above image, the "pop icon" (ポップアイコン) of this trend is fashion designer, DJ, and model Alisa Ueno. [Photos: AlisaUeno/Instagram]

Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be
Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be
Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be
Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be
Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be
Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be
Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be
Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be
Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be

The trend was also introduced earlier today on mainstream websites like Excite.

Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be

Picture: daaaia0905

According to Naver, Neo Gals mix both foreigner and Harajuku fashion with loud lipstick and accessories as well as purple, pink, or blue hair. Much like the gal trend of the 1990s, Neo Gals are not dressing to impress men, but rather, for each other. However, one of their rules is apparently not to tan themselves like previous generations of Japanese girls did.

Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be

Neo Gal is clearly borrowing heavily from American fashion — or rather, the idea of American fashion. Hell, the first rule of Neo Gal fashion is to take your cues from foreigner-style fashion. (Note that the Japanese clearly says "foreigner-style fashion" and not "foreign fashion" as, yes, there is a discrepancy.) Excite, however, says that many of these Neo Gals are saying they want to be foreign.

Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be

In a segment from this morning's show on Neo Gals, a woman is asked why she admires foreigners. "Because they're pretty," she replies.

Famed Japanese photographer Yasumasa Yonehara, a key part of the 1990s gal boom, told me that around the turn of the century, he asked a hundred girls in Shibuya what they wanted to be when they grew up. About half of them replied, "foreign." (Note: Yonehara told the same thing to Marxy, and you can read that interview in full here.)

Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be

Also from the same show. The woman says it's a big change when you put in colour contacts.

However, Yonehara pointed out that they didn't mean "foreign" as in actually being foreign, but rather, simply the artifice — the idea of foreign. According to Yonehara, they meant that they wanted to live in Japan, speak Japanese, and eat Japanese food. These inclinations, however, do seem to be be cyclical. Some generations of the country's youth are completely ambivalent to foreign fashions, while subsequent gens are very much into them. It really depends.

Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be

"A half-Japanese face!" is exclaimed as the above interview continued.

However, it shouldn't be surprising that one of the most popular celebrities among Neo Gals is Kiko Mizuhara, a Japanese model and actress of American and Korean descent who was born in the US. Her make-up style is likely more of an inspiration for Neo Gal than, say, Miley Cyrus, as she appears in numerous television commercials.

As mentioned above, the big fashion leader for the Neo Gals is Alisa Ueno. Her Instagram is filled with Neo Gal fashion as well as photos of her travelling through the US — and the globe. What's being sold here isn't simply a style, but rather, a jet-setting international lifestyle.

With mainstream coverage in Japan and more buzz on Twitter and Instagram, there's a good chance that the Neo Gal trend will catch on among the country's youth subculture. Online, there are young Japanese women who definitely seem delighted by the trend, saying it's cute and they love it (however, as with the 1990s gal trend, a minority of young women will dress like this).

Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be

Picture: daaaia0905

Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be

Picture: ka_chiiiimu

Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be

Picture: yyyuuukey

Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be


Japan's Next Big Trend Could Be

Picture: p0w_k

Elsewhere online, commenters were less than impressed, saying the style didn't look very fashionable, and won't catch on like gal fashion did in the past. "Neo Gal, huh... It only looks like a worsening of the foreigner complex," wrote Twitter user chocofashion3. "The heck is Neo Gal? Foreigner style fashion does not suit Japanese people," tweeted kntm1019. "It's because the body types are different. Well, there are some [Japanese] people that it suits, so for them, go right on ahead."

Whatever, they're kids. This is escapism before they grow up and settle down, leaving their bleached locks behind them.

進化形ギャル"ネオギャル"が話題沸騰、渋谷に新たなムーブメント「時代遅れな感じが可愛い」 [Excite] 【ネオギャル】進化したギャルが可愛い!植野有砂さん、佐々木彩乃さん、斉藤夏海さんのファッションに注目 [Naver] めざましテレビが特集したネオギャルの特徴wwwwwwwww [すぽにゅー速]


    Japan changes trends faster then Abbott changes promises.

      Yeah, but the Japanese follow through instead of reneging and are generally awesome as hell!

      Last edited 06/06/14 11:39 pm

      Labor = $300billion debt.

        Liberals = Abbott.

        Which one do you want more?

          Those who voted for the Coalition voted for the party. Not the block of wood that is their figurehead.

        Labor = Strongest economy during worst financial crisis the world had seen in generations and the second lowest government debt/capita in the world. Also no right wing bigoted fundamentalist agenda and the Aynn Rand version of every character Jason Mews has played as ruler.

          Abbott = Stopped the boats

            *stopped talking about the boats

              Look up how many boats have arrived in Australia since Coalition won government. Theres no need to talk about the boats.

                who cares about the boats? the coal-ition used fear tactics to misrepresent their purpose

                Last edited 09/06/14 9:00 am

          Labor = Strongest economy during worst financial crisis the world had seen

          Thanks to what they inherited from Howard. If there was another GFC now, we'd fall like the others because the buffer we had is now long gone.

            Thanks to the structural reforms put in place by Hawke and Keating. And then only because Howard sold everything the government owned. Spending was higher under Howard than under Rudd-Gillard.

      Or faster than Labor changed its policies when the heat was on.

      Or faster than the Greens at attention seeking.

      Or faster than Clive Palmer near a salad bar.

        dont be silly.
        clive palmer doesnt eat salad!

      But not faster than you turned this into a political argument ;-)

        There's a gaggle of hot women and you discuss politics?

    It's just a new way to gain attention and set yourself apart, like all fashions really. Before long it will be incorporated as part of mainstream fashion and then they'll have to dress even more strangely to set themselves apart.

    It must be so tiring. Being a very lazy man, I just dress in the easiest, blandest way possible, to maximize comfort and to increase my ability to blend into the masses so that no once notices me. This usually involves beige trousers, brown shoes and a plain old white-shirt and a VERY boring haircut.

    My life so easy.

    the first thing that popped into my head when i saw this pics was "they look like they've come from the 80's."

    seriously, that looks horrible. definitely WTF worthy

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