Nier: Automata takes place in Earth’s far, far future, in which an android named 2B defends the planet from aliens. But she’s also dressed like a girl on Harajuku street, a street in Shibuya famous for its quirky street style.
Illustration: Angelica Alzona
Harajuku street in Shibuya, Tokyo, is home to a vibrant youth culture and exuberant fashion, popularised and documented in the recently shuttered magazine Fruits, edited and shot by legendary street fashion photographer Shoichi Aoki. 2B is dressed in an Elegant Gothic Lolita style. While she shows quite a bit more skin than what you would see in most EGL outfits, she’s still in a heavy black brocade with princess sleeves, making her look both deadly and delicate. It’s a very adult look, while also employing some forms, fabrics and shapes associated with childhood.
Image source: Nier Wiki
While 2B has a slit in her skirt all the way up her thigh, her dress is called a “skater dress”, a girly style that flows out from her hips. The cutouts in her top are also lined with lace, which gives the adult sexuality a more innocent, youthful touch. In a way this reminds me of Rihanna’s most recent Fenty x Puma collection, which was previewed in a pop up store in Shibuya. This collection takes pink nighties and ivory coloured pyjamas and makes them feel very adult and sensual by rendering them in silks and lace.
Fenty x Puma’s Paris Fashion Week Runway Show. Image source: Jacopo Raule / Stringer
That isn’t the last thing 2B has in common with Rihanna. The pop star was the first person to make me think that thigh high boots were a fall 2016 essential. 2B’s boots simply make her legs go on for days, with a bit of nylon stocking peeking out the top. Like on Rihanna, this is a really sexy look that’s achieved by covering everything up. It’s the tiny sliver of skin on her chest, back and her upper thigh that makes it feel tantalising. That, and it proportions her body in a way the slims her waist and lengthens her legs.
People interested in fashion could learn a lot from this robot’s style. It’s bold, it’s sexy without being cartoonish, and it’s dripping with personality. After 20 years of photographing kids in Harajuku, Aoki said that “there were no more fashionable kids to photograph”. Good to know they will be back, thousands of years into our future.