Traversing through the streets of Harajuku–one of Tokyo’s most iconic fashion districts famous for pastel, lolita, goth, and designer street wear clothing–one would not be surprised to see bright-colored styles in all sorts of unique forms. However, one piece of clothing in particular caught my eye. It was a bright pink sweater with a green dinosaur on it and felt strangely nostalgic:
Upon looking at it closer, the dinosaur had a very unique expression on its face. Its lips were parted in an extremely derpy way, and it looked liked it was trying to say something. Not “roar” like you would expect a dinosaur to say, but perhaps something less intimidating… like “rawr”. When I noticed this, I immediately thought back to the Rawr xD memes that plagued the internet in the early 2000s. And it got me thinking… Is Scene Kid Fashion Forever Iconic in Tokyo? Or does it just coincide with Harajuku fashion?
Similarly to how Harajuku fashion is influenced by music (especially Visual Kei), scene fashion was originally influenced by rock and other subgenres. Both styles feature brightly colorful attire that is sometimes paired with excessive hair clips, intricate makeup, big bows, and sometimes piercings as well. Just like scene lingo exists, Harajuku gyaru lingo exists too. When you compare pictures of the two fashions side by side, they are slightly different but fundamentally the same:
Although Harajuku fashion started in the 1980’s, the gyaru and lolita subcultures started from 99′ – 00′, which was right around the time when scene kid fashion was starting to form as well. Though it wasn’t until the late 2000s when the term “scene kid” was coined, a lot of people were wearing the style before then. Regardless of when exactly they were formed, both fashions express a statement against conforming with societal norms and are designed to express individuality.
Though both styles have received both praise and cringe-worthy reactions from the public, I find that their connections are quite interesting. Japanese fashion continuously uses inspiration from the west, and western countries often import and find Japanese fashion quite alluring. I don’t think I’ll ever be a scene kid or a Harajuku girl, but I can appreciate both fashions for the uniqueness (and weirdness). At the end of the day, I am extremely grateful to whatever influenced my derpy dinosaur sweater!