My fashion inspirations are many and varied. The key for me is not to re create a literal, paint by numbers version of what I love, but to take the elements that appeal and work them into my own unique style. Yes, there are times that call for true to era vintage reproduction, but that is not usually in the course of my day to day life. Having the freedom to dress the way we want is one of the great benefits of living in 2009. There may be some restrictions in your attire given your employment, but for the most part, the restrictions we place on ourselves come from us alone and our notions of what is practical and acceptable for our position. And while there is an entire string of posts I could devote to this topic, instead I’m going to present you with a showcase of my many and varied inspirations.
Welcome to the world of the Japanese Hime Gyaru – or Princess Girl. Not to be confused with sympathetic Japanese street styles Sweet Lolita or Gyaru Style, Hime Gyaru is what has been referred to as “Lolita Grows Up”. Trust those innovative Japanese girls to come up with this one. A fashion based on the real and imagined stylings of 17th century France, Marie Antoinette and her infamous style, Hime Gyaru relies heavily on pastel coloured ornamentation, big hair and sparkly embellishments. And for someone into Kawaii for all its kitsch and happy value, this is one look I love.
The Hair – The bigger the better. Teased and pouffy, with long tendrels to curl dreamily around your finger while you wait for your BFF to SMS you back on your bejweelled and bedazzeled iPhone. All that teasing leaves plenty of canvas to adorn with roses, pearls, tiara and even a small bird or two.
The Nails – Princess Girls should never have to work a day in their lives. While waiting for Prince charming to whisk them away, they can while away the hours making each finger tip a different work of art, creating a 3D sculpture of flowers, pearls, glitter and the odd Hello Kitty head to add to the drama. It is completely OTT, totally impractical and stunningly crazy in a way that I adore.
The Dress – Fully skirted, to the knee, preferable in a pastel floral and with layers of petticoats. It has a heart shaped or square neckline to better show of the string of pearls with Swarovski bow adornment attached.
The Shoes – Generally mules with a lady like heel, nothing too clunky or heavy, and adorned with large rosettes across the bridge. Even the winter weight enclosed toe styles will come complete with large bows, more Swarovski, commonly seen with an ankle strap to draw the eye to those fine, delicate Princess proportions and a lady like heel height.
Shop – The two most famous Himegyaru labels are Jesus Diamante (no idea where they came up with that name!) and Liz Lisa. If you plan to shop these stores you will have to both read Japanese and have some serious cash to spend. Jesus Diamante caters to the more full on Princess look, where Liz Lisa carries a range of what is termed ‘Casual Hime’ style. That is taking the key elements of this intense styling and paring it back somewhat, to be able to work it with denim and a more day to day friendly look.
Play – I have already whiled away a good hour our two playing this dress up game. A clever fan of the Himegyaru style designed this game piece to allow you to dress and style you own little Princess Girl, giving her new hair, outfits and accessories. This one is a popular after breakfast game for my girls.
Watch – There is loads and loads of himegyaru information on You Tube, but this has to be one of my favorite videos. (Sorry I can’t embedd it here). It sees the hosts of a popular Japanese television show explore the style first hand. Meeting and greeting some real life Hime girls on the street, then heading into Jesus Diamante for a makeover. I wish I knew what the hosts were actually saying!
It may not be your cup of tea, but there is no denying the fun to be had with this one!