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- Trend Press vol.5 -
Men's Fashion Spring 2007
Background Information
Men's Fashion Styles
A style that takes in the latest designs from name, designer’s brands. Also referred to as high-fashion-kei. Most times associated with clothes that appear in various collections of luxury brands. Distinctively on the refined, elegant and classy side as compared to other styles.

Urahara-kei (Street)
Urahara-kei is a generic term that covers a number of street and casual fashion that can be seen in town. It could be considered as part of the extreme fashion (see bottom) but the most characteristic point about this fashion is probably the coordinates with layers (“layered” is the fashion term) similarly to women’s Urahara fashion. Many people especially men enjoying this style like to mix clothes from casual brands with secondhand clothing. It is considered to be the base of the recently established styles including kireime and salon-boy.

Salon-boy(s) represents the style enjoyed by hairdressers in the making and students of beauty colleges located around the Uraharajuku area. The fashion coordinate itself is on the stylish “kireime casual” (refined yet casual) freely mixing sport, casual to high brand clothes with the base of secondhand clothing solely by their own fashion sense. More decorative than other styles and many times loose as well. This style is believed to have derived from the so-called Urahara(juku)-kei which share common elements but covers a wider selection of styles.

The immense popularity of salon-boy among the younger half of the fashion generations (teenagers) is even being featured on women’s fashion magazines as the hottest and most fashionable guys today, and is said to have huge influence to the mass (kireime).

The mass fashion style these past couple of years particularly among men in their twenties, which is basically simple and neat. It takes in the latest trend elements to some extent but not in a way that they stand out too much, and because of its emphasis on tidiness the style appear attractive to women. “Kireime” meaning neat or tidy is a generic term that can be added to the other fashion styles as seen in kireime mode and kireime street, and the genre also covers conservative-kei described below.

Conservative (aka Onii-kei)
As explained above this style is included in the larger bracket of kireime, and is a style which is neat, soft, natural and mature (as the term “onii” comes from the word “oniisan” meaning older brother) all at the same time. Men’s fashion appearing in women’s fashion magazines such as CanCam and JJ is of this style (women’s fashion of those magazines are called “onee-kei” = older sister fashion). Though this style may be referred more commonly as “onii-kei” it is nothing like the other “onii-kei”, a new style emerging from the “gal-o fashion” below.

Onii-kei (“gal-o” as opposed to the female “gal”)
”Gal-o (gya-ru-o; gal - men)” is a name for the male version of the Shibuya gals (tanned skin, dark make-up, light-colored hair, sexy and decorative fashion) of which their fashion (from head to toe) was casual and inexpensive, vivid-colored and decorative. This original gal-o fashion is gradually fading, and rising instead among the gal-men from around 2006 is this new category called “onii-kei”. Onii-kei men retain the gal-ness of the previous style yet present a little more matureness and tidiness by taking in name brand items. Specifically, they have wolf-hair (asymmetry, slightly jagged, slightly long) hairstyle, wear tops that have a fairly wide opening around the neck, and wear leather shoes that have pointy toes. The coordinate is based on black and is hard as well as tight, some consider it to be part of adult rock fashion rather than a part of the more immature gal fashion.
The 5th and 6th floor of 109-2 is said to be their fashion mecca.

The terms “rock” and “sexy” appear relatively frequently in men’s fashion magazines especially for this Rock style of which the fashion is basically black, hard and tight. This style is said to be rather picky about the brands it chooses which are most times on the more expensive side. Kind of like a combination of high fashion and street casual with a hint of rock (music) look.

Extreme (aka Street)
Hard and simple, also known as street fashion in general. Includes skater-fashion, outdoor-mix and B-kei (hip hop) fashion. Slightly loose and active silhouette. A good portion of men of these fashion favor short sporty hair than the trendy hairstyles.
Spring 2007 General Tendency
Many of the Japanese people especially ladies have always been keen on the latest fashion and is conscious most of time what they wear or are wearing when appearing in the public. Men’s fashion trend tended to move slowly as compared to that of ladies’ because there are not as many fashion parts like women’s, nonetheless the shift of men’s fashion trend these past couple of years is becoming both faster and more visible.

Until a few years ago, the fashion style on the relaxed, loose and baggy side tended to be more popular among men belonging to the age bracket of middle school to thirties, but increasingly popular for the past several seasons (be it spring, summer, autumn or winter) is the skinny style.

Skinnyism was a fashion key word for women’s fashion autumn/winter 06 continuing to spring 07, but the men’s skinnyism seem to have started a little earlier though not as conspicuously. Not as many men wearing oversized hoodies and “koshipan” (extremely baggy pants worn very low at one’s hip = koshi, do not show the silhouette of legs, make them look very short), and instead men wearing figure-hugging tops and pants have increased conspicuously. Fashion styles called Mode-kei (kei meaning line) or High Fashion-kei have existed for a while, and probably the boosting attention on these simple and not-so-decorative but refined and mature styles generated the skinnyism boom.

Therefore the key words and items for men’s fashion trend for Spring 2007 in a nutshell can be described as the following:
skinny, mature, shibu-me (kind of like a mixture of tough, rough, cool and mature), vintage, high casual, mode, kireime (refined, classy), skinny hoodies, tailored jacket, military, rider jacket, leather (accessories), border T-shirts, hats, caps, watches, belts, chains, design shoes/sneakers, bags (esp shoulder bags), sheen, etc.
Like women’s fashion, men’s fashion trend is greatly influenced by showbiz celebrities, popular TV dramas, fashion models, shop staffs and very importantly the hair salon staffs as the hairdressers at the mode hair salons regardless the gender are especially and constantly stylish from head to toe and are great mode models for people to follow.
All kinds of combinations of jackets with skinny silhouette and white collared shirts lead the men’s fashion scene this season. Representative styles are “tailored jackets” which won public popularity around autumn/winter ’05, “military jackets” with studs scattered as accessory-like accents and “rider jackets” namely leather skinny silhouette jackets which people wear when riding motorcycles. Key points for the outers are “naga-me (on a little long side)”, “hoso-me (skinny side)” and “not black”. Specifically, the trendy silhouette is skinny and sharp with the jackets going down either just enough to cover the hip or down to just above the knees, in lighter colors like beige, light gray as well as vivid colors like red and sky blue. Sporty and military styles before were not so linked with skinnyism through the past seasons but fashion brands are coming up with skinny sporty and military for the new season.

Hoodies tend to be associated with more casual and sporty fashion worn fairly loosely around the body, yet lately it is considered fashionable to wear them more slim be it furugi fashion (secondhand clothes fashion; very casual street fashion) or kireime (slim, simple and refined). This spring a growing number of “parka-danshi” (lit. “hoodie guys”) dressed in many styles with their own twist of fashion coordinate will appear in the townscape.

No matter which kind of outer to wear, the hottest inner is white collared button down shirt in contrast to the carefully designed, patterned and colored button down shirts before. White allows the whole outfit to look bright and fresh, and the collared button down – though not too different from office wear – enhances matureness. White shirts can be worn independently only combined with whichever jacket mentioned above, but can also look trendy with casual ties, accessories and hoodies, another hot fashion item continuing from the previous seasons.
Most of the popular fashion magazines read by young men in their teens and twenties feature skinny jeans or skinny pants for this season’s trend. As mentioned earlier, skinny pants are not as fresh to the fashion scene as compared to women’s (maybe because the variety of bottoms are smaller than women’s) but one can see quite clearly that the trend has shifted from the cargo pants that were still pretty big a year ago to pants with lean straight silhouette.
Although the shape is somewhat restricted, the materials can very from denim to chino and the styles from rock, elecasi (elegant-casual; casual but refined), salon-boy to kireime.
For coordinates leaning towards the casual side, sneaker-like lace-up shoes seem to be in the trend. These shoes look like sneakers but are slimmer and stressed more of fashionability rather than sport function. The other kind of lace-up shoes in the trend are casual leather shoes that look like a mixture of thin sneakers and formal leather shoes. These too are easy to wear together with most of the fashion styles.

Another kind of trendy shoes for early spring while the air is still chilly are spring boots. In case of men’s boots the length is neither long or short but the hem comes up to the middle of the shins and the trendy style especially for the Urahara and Salon-boy styles is to tuck the skinny pants into the boots, loosening the laces a little bit.
Men's Fashion Resources
(all only available in Japanese)
Fashion Magazines
BOON: http://www.shodensha.co.jp/boon/ CHOKi CHOKi: http://www.naigai-p.co.jp/chokichoki/
cool trans: http://www.cool-trans.net/ BiDaN: http://www.indexcomm.co.jp/bidan/
FINEBOYS: http://www.hinode.co.jp/public/fb/fb.html
JOKER: http://www.kk-bestsellers.com/magazine/mj/ 109MENS: http://mens.109-2.jp/webshop/main
MEN’S NON-NO: http://mensnonno.shueisha.co.jp/ Marui Men: http://www.0101.co.jp/stores/guide/
POPEYE: http://popeye.magazine.co.jp/top/
smart : http://tkj.jp/smart/index.html Street Fashion-Watch Blog: http://www.fashion-j.com/gen/