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The end of World War II gave the world fashion industry a new breath of style. Harajuku street fashion has created many new trends. The most famous of them were Kanwaii and Gothic Lolita.

Even though Gothic Lolita sounds very provocative, it has nothing to do with sex. Instead, ‘Lolita’ was used to underline the cuteness and beauty of this name. The cultural significance of this style is to have a perfect blend of childlike innocence, romance, and absolute freedom. The dresses are mostly black and are decorated with white laces and frills. They are ruffled knee-length and adorned with head-bands.  The alternative to the dress is a blouse with a bell-shaped skirt, long socks, and pretty shoes. The main accessories are an umbrella, a necklace and a little bag. Gothic ‘Lolitas’ wear light natural make-up in order to achieve the childlike porcelain doll look. Some claim that the style was taken from Alice in Wonderland, others – that from the Victorian period. However, it has nothing to do with the counterculture movement, since it only tweaks the traditional style. Another Kawaii style became a contrast to the traditional fashion that was geared towards women generation. The word ‘Kawaii’ means ‘cute’. The style makes the accent on the prettiness of the person. The cultural significance of the style is to wear childish things in raffle, pastel or bright colors. The clothes are not pleasing to the eye and can be conspicuous to most men. The basic elements are to dress in layers, to wear many accessories, and have wild make-up and hairstyle. This style is indeed the product of Japanese culture; however, it is very far from being a counterculture movement.

To conclude, Harajuku is a great example of how the popular culture of Japan has very good imagery without any content. It has superficially and accurately taken on cultural phenomenon with much motivation, though without any irony. The interpretation of Harajuku is nothing more than women infantilizing without any criticism. Harajuku tends to be imaginative because it accepts the changes made to the traditional styles and transforms the reality in the street. Therefore, Harajuku is more of a performative mode of consumption rather than a counterculture movement.

Code: Sample20

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