Alternative Fashion

To Japan and Beyond: How The Net Helped J-Fashion

A lot of people in our society is made to feel that…they’re  something wrong with them because of the way they look. The purpose of Rufflecon is really to show that you’re not alone and you’re not a freak. You just happen to like something that actually, a lot of other people in the world are really interested in.

–Christina Gleason Chairman of Rufflecon, an alternative Japanese Fashion Convention.

Harajuku Fashion Walk in Los Angles. Image via

There are several groups in Japanese  Fashion (often shorted to J-Fashion),  ranging fromcute and childish, to gothic, to muted, and to outright zany.The internet has become a hub for newcomers and veterans of J-Fashion, changing the community and connecting others. So, here we are:

  1. Facebook Groups

People within the same interest can create a Facebook group and make meetups to connect with others. Oftentimes the groups are local and members go to a variety of places such as tea parties, parks, cafes, and boutiques. If a group is not available, it can be created at any time.

Facebook groups are not limited to only meetups either, groups where members of the J-Fashion community posts coordinates of their outfits are also becoming popular. The groups are active and members post almost on a daily basis.

There are even sales groups—similar like Ebay, people looking for a certain item or sellers can create posts for buying, selling, and even trading.

Moderators oversee each group, setting guidelines and rules.

2.) Youtube

Himistore 8

In recent years, J-Fashion has been gaining momentum on Youtube. Youtubers such as Abipop, Beckii, and Hello Batty, in addition to companies like Kawaii Pateen spread the word about J-Fashion. Haul videos appear to be popular among the community because of their simplicity and easiness to make. In haul videos, users show the latest fashion products they purchased. People may discover new brands and even get introduced to J-Fashion itself.

3.) Accessibility: Shopping Services

A few years ago, admirers of J-Fashion outside of Japan struggled to get clothing from their favorite brands. J-Fashion was quite elusive and people who did own items needed to visit Japan. Even for people passionate about J-Fashion who did travel, the flight costs and limited space was a major hindrance.

Now, stores are becoming more aware of this issue, and are shipping to other countries. But as for shops  still exclusive to Japan, shopping services are a “middle man” that purchases desired items and ships them for a small  fee. There many shopping services available and clothing can be purchased with just a few clicks.

4.) Fashion Conventions Funded Through The Net

Rufflecon 2014 attendees in lolita fashion pose for a photo. Image via

Rufflecon is a new alternative J-Fashion convention, held in Connecticut every October. It is now moving on its second year this October. Rufflecon came to be because of J-Fashion’s social media presense. Rufflecon events were supported through an Indiegogo campaign that was met with success.

Nightfall's logo via
Nightfall’s logo via

Nightfall is also a new convention, its second year being  held this October, as well.  Like Rufflecon, it is a nonprofit organization and received funds from sponsors.

5.) The Birth of New J-Fashion Categories? 

Girls in Mori-Kei fashion. Image via
Girls in Mori-Kei fashion. Image via

Alternative J-Fashion includes a plethora of different styles. Fairy-Kei appeals to one’s inner child , Lolita fashion gives off an elegant aesthetic, Visual-Kei is known for its punk style and striking (often), spiky hair styles.

Because people online are able to see other’s coordinates,  this encourages J-Fashion wearers to take bigger risks, leading to new categories of J-Fashion. Mori-Kei fashion is a recent example.  Mori-Kei’s look is also known as ‘Forest Girl Style,’ as people wearing Mori-Kei try to wear clothing that makes them appear as if they are living in a forest.

Introduction to Mori Kei.

The fashion appeared to spring up out of the blue on social media within the past year and now girls in the state are branching out their wardrobes, wearing Mori-Kei with pride.

Originally posted on my JfashionandTech blog.

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