Style Deficit Disorder

A new book on Harajuku helps you dive deep into Japan’s coolest youth culture district.

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Style Deficit DisorderIf you have ever been to Tokyo style epicenter – Harajuku – you’ll know it’s an intimidating and dizzying labyrinth of boutiques, stores, cafés and people. Fabled and idolized for its influence on street fashion from Japan to the U.S. it can be considered a fashion icon in its own right.

Until now, there has been a conspicuous absence of material about Harajuku, its history and its role in Japanese and global fashion. Creative consultant and Tokyo style aficionado Tiffany Godoy sets the record straight with her excellent new book Style Deficit Disorder. Godoy explains the title in the introduction: “In the scene’s frenetic jump from style to style, there is a consistent lack of complacence – a style deficit disorder driving the relentless hunt for the new”.

Style Deficit Disorder

Godoy, who has worked steadily in the Japanese capital as an editor and style cognoscente, has made great use of her enviable contact list. She comes up with, alongside her own astute commentary, great contributions from people such as fashion expert Take Hirakawa, Kera magazine editor Mariko Suzuki and the editor of hip website Tetsuya Suzuki. She also includes comments from John Galliano and Sex and the City stylist and designer Patricia Field.

Godoy takes us on a kind of tour starting with a history of the area including a useful map, and leads us by the hand through icon stylists and hairdressers, magazine influence from Fruits and Kera to Popeye and Olive, and ends with sections on Goth-Loli, Ura-Hara (BAPE, Under Cover etc…) and the post-Hara movement (The Fashion Ramone and party kids).

The book, which has a dazzling array of images, is the perfect read for anyone with any interest in street fashion. Interviews and profiles with designers and brands ranging from h. NAOTO, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, Visvim, Sophnet and Super Lovers it’s a veritable treasure chest of info about some of the most important players in Japanese fashion.

Style Deficit Disorder

The section on Goth-Loli is fascinating and comes with a must-read introduction from Mariko Suzuki. She expertly describes the origins of Gothic and Lolita weaving a magical narrative explaining the journey from Osaka to Tokyo and the world over. She writes of the importance of visual- kei band Malice Mizer and band members Mana and Gackt, the success of Naoto Hirooka’s superstar label h. NAOTO and its patronage by Marilyn Manson, and other goth-loli brands such as SEX POT ReVeNGe.

If you want to be clued up on Harajuku from the past to the present “Style Deficit Disorder” is an essential buy. More than just a coffee table decoration or image book, it thankfully brings a lot of substance to the elusive subject that is “the living magazine” of Harajuku and Tokyo fashion.

Buy Style Deficit Disorder at Amazon

Photo Credits:
Front Cover Photo: Higashi Ishida
Jingu Bridge: Kai Regan
Pinky-D and Sex Sex: Gallermic Tanaka

Paul McInnes About the Author

Paul McInnes is a fashion and arts journalist based in Tokyo. He is the menswear fashion editor of The Japan Times, the Tokyo editor of Sportswear International, contributes to High Fashion, Dazed Digital, and JC Report.

Recent articles by Paul McInnes:

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