Want to view the latest fashion trends direct from the streets of Japan's major cities to your computer screen? It's an open and clothes case, thanks to Fashionsnap.
Here at home in Canada I enjoy watching a Japanese TV program called Tokyo Kawaii TV. The hosts - male actor Ikki Sawamura, female fashion model Saya and bilingual girl J-pop singer Beni Arashiro (left) - present what's new, cute, hip and cool on the Tokyo street fashion scene. Now I'm no fashionista but I consider watching the show to be a form of research for this blog... OK, that's what I tell my wife; just between you & me I'm a big Beni-chan fan.
Anyhoo, one segment of the show shows high-end fashion designers snapping pics of stylish passers-by in Tokyo trend hotspots like Ginza and Harajuku as a form of research... hey now, that's MY excuse! Whatever: there's a website called Fashionsnap.com that posts dozens of street fashion photos in its StreetSnap section. Thanks to Fashionsnap one can browse through selected fashion plates from a number of Tokyo neighborhoods, Osaka, Kyoto and even London, England!
Above is an example, calling herself DJ Gizmo. Her distinct look is highlighted by bleached blonde hair and goth-glam skeleton stockings.
A word for those visiting the Fashionsnap site: there's a tab at the upper right that allows you to switch from Japanese to English and back again BUT the two versions are not exactly the same. For instance, only the Japanese StreetSnap page allows you to select the city you want via a drop-down menu. Other tabs allow you to sort the photos by (from left to right) Hairstyle, Season, Year (since 2005), Location, Sex (M or F), Height, Clothing Size and Item (such as Glasses, Bags, Shoes and "Enjoy").
While most of the subjects chosen by Fashionsnap's intrepid photographers are female, there's a smattering of men and even the odd child. Well, not "odd" but you get my drift. The dude above does fall into the Odd category, at least for these eyes. I'm not sure what look Mercy M is aiming at but the tire tread leotard and cigarette earrings definitely put him in a league of his own. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Fashionsnap is well worth checking out, and not just for the, er, edgier fashions. North Americans have often been criticized for being poor dressers - you know who you are, Mr. Sweatpants and Ms. Crocs - and a glance at what the more fashionable types are wearing might help you upgrade your own street stylin'.