Ray - The Beautiful, Heavy MagazineI went to Mitsuwa today. The Mitsuwa Marketplace is a Japanese marketplace located in Arlington Heights, Illinois that houses a Japanese bookstore (Asahiya), a travel agency, grocery store, and a huge food court (which you can never find good seating in, but that's beside the point). The Asahiya bookstore actually had some old magazines from this year (July, August, and September) on sale for three dollars a piece (or approximately 359 yen).
Not just any magazines, though. We're talking about the very expensive ones for the twenty-something set - Ray, JJ, and ViVi. The brand-name dropping, super-feminine magazines that seem to be very popular in Japan. So, I just had to pick them up, considering they would tell me more about the trends going on right now.
I haven't gotten to looking at them yet, but there is something about Japanese fashion that has bothered me for a while now.
If Japan has some of the most interesting and unique fashion in the world, then why is it most Japanese women seem to adore the same brands that everyone else does.
Go and pick up a copy of the more high class magazines (or even Teengirl, Cawaii, S-Cawaii, and possibly Seventeen, and you'll see what I mean), and you won't go five pages without seeing the big brand names strewn all over the pages - Louis Vuitton. Gucci. Versace. Prada. Here I am, a westerner influenced by Japanese fashion, reading about Japanese women influenced by Western fashion. In magazines made for the teen girl set, you'll see Adidas, Abercrombie and Fitch, Puma, and the Gap. All of the Western brands get top billing at the beginning of the book, while the Japanese-only brands, like Cecil McBee, Auntie Rosa (?), Jassie, Pinky and Dianne, which I absolutely adore, wait for their time to shine in the back, just before the ads on losing weight and breast augmentation - yet another practice of the west that seems to be big in Japan right now. (But that's another post altogether...)
I remember back in the summer how agitated I became when I saw Britney Spears on the cover of teengirl as well as Paris Hilton, and Avril Lavigne, how I usually leave the hell alone, also receive a steaming rant from yours truly when I saw her on the cover of S-Cawaii. One issue of Ray (Or was it JJ) had me screaming because they had a tabloid like segment on the Olson Twins, Paris and Nicky Hilton, and others I didn't really want to read about. I mean, I have Life and Style Weekly and Us Weekly for that, right? A nice Japanese woman who was browsing around the bookstore that day told me that Japanese women are influenced by western celebrities, hence them being so religiously covered in the magazines. I guess I'm rather sick of it by now because I already hear about them enough, and I don't think they have Access Hollywood in Japan (thank the lord).
I think Japanese models are really gorgeous, and I look forward to reading about J-idols every month more so than Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. It's just really dishearting to see all of that in the mags. I guess that's why I stick to Cutie and Pichi Lemon because they haven't been "tainted" yet. Japan, listen to me! Your fashion sense is awesome because you don't conform to anyone! Please don't change! To me, your fashion sense will always be refreshing.
You don't need Britney, Paris, or anyone else but your own.