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Harajuku Girls

Originally uploaded by BeanTipton.
In the immortal words of Eve, "What?" Gwen Stefani has taken a liking to these Japanese hypsters. While that, in of itself, is awesome - I have a slight concern about Gwen's state of mind. I think she's gone over the edge with her obsession.

You cannot avoid the word Harajuku in the whole album, "Love, Angle, Music, Baby." In fact, I think you might enjoy all 3 minutes of the album that do not contain the actual word or reference to Harajuku life, style and catwalks. I mean, please, we get it. Gwen likes them. They have wicked style. They inspire her, they influence her wardrobe... They apparently have something to do with Vivienne Westwood.

My good friend Frances and I were trying to figure it out in the car, and Frances concluded that in "Rich Girl" even Eve (co-producer of the album) doesn't know what she's talking about, since she's constantly asking, "...'juku girl, what?"

I dedicated a lot of time to finding out what this Harajuku thing was about. It's a district/area in Tokyo where all of these people use it as a sort of catwalk to show-off their fashion. Some of it is very theatrical, as I'm sure its intended to be, and some of it pretty crazy-cool. I'm just glad I finally know what it means.

However, I am still unclear how this fashion movement made its mainstream debut in Gwen's first solo album. I gather that Gwen toured Japan and fell in love with Harajuku everything. I hope she realizes that by introducing it to mainstream USA, it will soon go over the edge with the lemmings and lose it's original luster - only to be put back on the shelf next season. We'll hear about it again when VH-1 premeirs "I love the 2000's - 2005." She really gives us no reason to embrace Harajuku style as she has. None of this explains her Harajuku obsession.

I love Gwen - her style, her music, her voice, her man. This album is really upbeat and I like it a lot, save for the Harajuku thing. It leaves me wondering what other fashion avenue we'll be exploring in the next album - hopefully the pronuciation is completely exotic and completely silent, so we don't have to have the word driven into our heads until we're singing it in the shower, while working out, driving in the car, living, breathing Harajuku in our heads all day, every day until we die... Oh great, now I'm obsessed.


At 6/30/2005 9:43 AM, Blogger Jen Left a note...

So THAT'S what she's saying! Fascinating.

It's a documented phenomenon that Asian culture is picking up speed in the U.S., but I don't think we can pull off the style. I just don't. Besides, I'd like a few more months of the natural-waisteded dress fad before we go back to worshipping the stick figure.


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