Australia's Next Top Model Cycle Six took the final four lucky girls on a quick trip to Japan, where they got to experience two photo shoots and Japanese fashion. The episode, "Lost in Translation", also featured them participating in a televised mini fashion show.
The four girls were each paired with a different expert in different subculture fashions of Japan as part of a segment on Tokyo-Kawaii TV, a program "led by girls, and made for girls."
Amanda was representing Gal Fashion with Yunkoro, aka Yuka Kohara, a popular Gyaru model.
"Gyaru is a Japanese transliteration of the English word gal. The name originated from a 1970s brand of jeans called "gals", with the advertising slogan: "I can't live without men", and was applied to fashion- and peer-conscious girls in their teens and early twenties. Its usage peaked in the 1980s and has gradually declined. The term gradually drifted to apply to a younger group, whose seeming lack of interest in work or marriage gained the word a "childish" image. It is now used almost interchangeably with kogyaru." - Wiki
There are many variations of Gal Fashion, but basic of the style include big, curly hair, generally a lighter shade, eyelashes, black eyeliner, circle lenses, lots of leg, crazy deco nails and and overall very girly feel to the look.
Jessica underwent a quick lesson in School Girl Fashion.
Girls will generally hang out with their friends after school without changing out of their uniforms and eventually, those uniforms became a fashion statement. Kogal, which is a version of Gyaru styling, "is a fashion that involves wearing an outfit based on a Japanese school uniform, but with a shortened skirt, loose socks, and often dyed hair and a scarf as well. The phenomenon was prominent in the 1990s, but has since declined. The word "kogal" is anglicized from kogyaru, a contraction of kôkôsei gyaru (high school gal)." (Wiki) It goes to show that different style intersect with each other a lot in Japanese fashion.
Kelsey was introduced to the world of Lolita Fashion by Misako Aoki, Japan's Lolita "Kawaii Ambassador". She got to explore BABY, the Stars Shine Bright.
Sophie was thrust head first into Fairy Kei Fashion with the energetic host of the episode, Yu Kimura, who just so happens to be Japan's Harajuku "Kawaii Ambassador."
Fairy Kei is heavily inspired by the pastel colors and characters of the 80's. Tutus, pom poms, bows, over sized sweaters in soft colors dominate the scene and set it in a slightly different territory than the boldly colored decora fans. Fairy Kei has often been coupled with Lolita fashion to create a fun, child-like sweet dolly look.
The Kawaii Ambassadors are officially with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Not a joke folks! This is serious business here. While it might seem odd, Japan's cute factor is one of the huge draws for youth to the country, so their Kawaii Ambassadors are a nice distraction from the other affairs of the state.
The contestants ridiculed the styles, but that was to be expected considering how outside of the norm their styles are for those in Japan, let alone tall Australian girls who are trying to be models on a reality television show.
Plus, they were asked to do odd things like this:
Upon seeing something like that, the strange factor definitely goes up. (Thanks goes to soweatherish for allowing me to use this screenshot)
It appears that along with all the tears shed by the Japanese fashion guides, the Australian participants might have understood how big a deal fashion and the expression of oneself through said fashion is for them. Either that or little Japanese girls suddenly bursting into tears causes tall Australian girls follow suit.
I always find it interesting to see how people view and react to something I find perfectly normal. Snide comments and looks of disapproval come with the territory for anyone who wears clothing in a non mainstream/trendy manner, but those comments can never get the best of me, nor should they affect you. Almost all of those negative comments come from those not interested in the styles whatsoever or have no experience with them, speaking out from behind of what appears to be a veil of ignorance for looking different. So, to all of you reading this who face criticism based on your fashion preferences, those around you accept you for who you are, including your personal expression through clothing. Don't let passerbys who have no impact on your life make you doubt your creative self expression. Stand tall and stand proud, even if you may look back at photos of yourself in the future and wonder what you were thinking. :]
All pictures (except the screenshot) are thanks to Australia's Next Top Model