Girls Fashion Talk #1

Real voices about real fashion
01 May 2008
We threw a low-key focus group to discuss how real girls feel about today's fashion
On April 17, MEKAS assembled 13 Tokyo women in their late 20s and early 30s working mostly in the design profession to talk about how they feel about the recent Japanese fashion market. Although this group cannot be taken as an "average" sample of the popular at large, there was great diversity in personal tastes and favorite brands. Here is what we discovered:

What do you think is the most obvious spring trend for this year?

Ms. G: Maybe vests, related to the "Bohemian" thing. Wait, what does Bohemian mean? Indian-like?

Ms. H: It's like "hippie," right?

Ms. M: I don't really see anything Bohemian that's doing well other than flower dresses. The magazines keep showing girls wearing Native American leather headbands, but no one wears those in real life.

Do you need to share a Bohemian philosophy do wear Bohemian fashion?

All: No, not at all.

Ms. G: You should just wear what you want.

Ms. U: Like wearing a cross around your neck, it has nothing to do with your beliefs.

Ms. Nak: They aren't "hippie clothes," but hippie-esque clothes.

Ms. M: Yes, even conservative OL magazines like CanCam picked up the style and did their own version of "Bohemian."

Lately, the buzzword in the fashion industry is "yuru nachu" (relaxed natural). What do you think that means?

All: I don't know!

Ms. G: Maybe it's like the actress Yu Aoi.

Ms. U: I think it's like the model Shiho.

Ms. Ko: Compared to before, the actual silhouette of recent clothing is much more relaxed. Until last year, it was a very tight silhouette. Now it's much more comfortable to wear. Even dresses — you used to have to worry about whether your stomach is sticking out but now you don't have to.

Ms. U: But women with big stomachs can't actually wear dresses like that, right?

Ms. Ko: Because you'll be confused with being pregnant! (laughs)

Ms. C: The select shop Journal Standard is very popular right now, because they use natural materials like linen and organic cotton. It's related to the LOHAS trend.

Do you need to be LOHAS in spirit to be interested in eco-friendly clothing?

Ms. Ko: If the item is cute and you like it, the eco-friendly aspect is a nice bonus on top. But I don't think being eco alone really means anything.

Ms. O: It still comes down to actually liking the item or not.
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