About all I knew back in the early 1990s, was that women in Tokyo tended to wear a lot of black, while women In Kobe, Kyoto and Osaka tended to wear more colors, owing to the port activity in the western area, and thus more European fashions hitting the scene, or at least hitting it first.
Tokyoites… they were doing the whole moody U.S. look of black is the new black style.
Me? I like color.
I was pretty clean-cut when I first arrived in Japan. I had grey, and black and navy blue suits that would have fit in completely with male Japanese businessman suit fashion.
I did have paisley ties, however, my holdover from the mid-80s fashion scene from Montreal that picked up on a visit there before it hit Toronto. Obviously paisley was a rebirth from the 1960s, which may have been a rebirth from some other era… Victorian, I want to say…
I did also have a teal-colored men’s jacket I picked up in 1992 during a visit back to Toronto… just before it became a thing. It was more green than blue type of teal.
I also went to Thailand and designed the style, picked the bolts of silk and made two shirts, dark green with purple threads, and a metallic blue with red threads, a red silk jacket that seemed like a good idea, but ultimately made me look like a valet or waiter at a fancy restaurant, and a pair of black raw silk pants.
I would match my hairband with a main article of clothing - oh yeah, I pierced my left ear and grew my hair out really long, and then grew a French-cut beard.
I even took to wearing an eye-patch long after the two-week need to wear one had passed.
When I wasn't wearing an eyepatch, I wore expensive Rayban sunglasses, a retro 50's look I preferred.
I really had no interest in saving my money. I enjoyed my self and my time in Japan.
Pre-Japan, I was even a male model and graduate of the John Casablanca Modeling Agency. I’m still aces at the Christian Dior turn. I know I don't look the part now... and I wasn't pretty then, but I could walk the walk, and like Johnny Bravo, I fit the suit.
I also owned a pair of diamondback rattlesnake cowboy boots with a gold chain around one of them, and had up to four other gold chains, and a silver ring and a 18-k black star sapphire ring with diamonds that I wore in Japan as the mood struck me. Which, if I recall - was often.
This was the 1990s, okay?
I was a metrosexual before the term existed. A clothes horse.
I knew what was hot in fashions - often before it hit the mainstream.
Okay… the eyepatch thing was kindda sad. I also had lousy taste in men’s shoes… or so it seems when looking back with 2016-eyes. It was either a 20/0 vision thing thanks to the eyepatch, or it was simply realizing that my shoes were always just for traveling, and that inside a building I had to switch off to the less comfortable and incredibly gaudy indoor slippers.
As for women’s fashions… while it’s true I used to peruse the retail store catalogues, unfortunately it wasn’t me staring in wonder at women’s fashions, rather it was me ogling the Wonder Bra on various models.
I did know what I liked, and still do. Not a fan of bell bottoms, ripped jeans or even ripped cutoffs. Blue jeans are the best. Not faded. Not acid. Not volcanic stuff you buy… just regular old blue jeans that you wear and legitimately wear out. Those are the sexiest, because you aren’t trying too hard.
I don’t care for ponchos, sarongs and knee-length shorts. Small to medium bags, not oversized. Little to no make-up versus caked-on. Real over fake.
It doesn’t mean I’m right about fashions, merely about what I like.
Today it’s Friday at work, as I write this, and I’m wearing a thin-striped orange and white shirt that looks predominantly orange thanks to the strength of the orange. Blue jeans - faded, torn at the heels… lived in. I’, wearing brown dress shoes that are soft, slip-ons, that look like they could be casual or dressy. Black belt (always, for me… pretty much every day of my life, with the exception of the time I had a reddish brown belt I would wear with my khaki pants in Japan), grey sports socks, and boxer-briefs, because I’m sure someone might wonder, since I’m being so honest.
I really do like yoga pants… on women. I don’t like spandex, lamé, rhinestones (well… not too much on clothing), dislike flags on clothing (it seems disrespectful to sit on a flag, eh, or have it cradling your junk or cushioning your butt).
When it comes to music by the decade, I respect the leather jacket, white shirt blue jeans of the 1950s, the psychedelic clothing of the late 60s, and the thin leather ties of the early 1980s. The rest… .meh. It doesn’t mean I didn’t want a pair of killer platform shoes with a goldfish in them, or some thigh-high KISS army boots, or didn’t appreciate the bandanas of well… pick a person.
You slide right to the base of the bed.
Oh yeah… don’t tuck your sheets in at the base, or your muffled cries for help will go unnoticed for hours.
Anyhow, without much further ado—what sort of writer would I be if I didn’t write?—here’s a five-minute music video from apparel brand Beams featuring 40 years of Tokyo fashion and music culture.
Models are female model Komatsu Nana (surname first) and actor Ikematsu Sosuke (surname first).
Video soundtrack is a bunch of (27) Japanese musicians I do not know such as: Hatsune Miku, Maki Nomiya, tofubeats and Chisato Moritaka—in various musical stylings, performing the song “Scha Dara Parr” (“Tonight is Boogie Back (smooth rap)”.
How the fug the translation of the song title is in screwed up English, I don’t know… but it is.
Enjoy the video: