Exhibit Press

Harajuku Fashion Exhibit @ The Honolulu Museum

Written by John Woo

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I had a special chance to visit Sara Oka’s beautiful exhibit in Honolulu while visiting my family last Januaray.

I was sad that I did not get a chance to meet Misa Aoki

“After two years of planning and research, textiles curator Sara Oka has organized a playful look at a whimsical world that has had a serious effect on fashion—influencing designers, merchandisers, and other industry leaders around the globe. Hawaiian Airlines Presents Harajuku: Tokyo Street Fashion is a snapshot Harajuku’s alternative modes of dress, lifestyles and blends of cultures—resulting in a transitional world of fashion colliding with fantasy that continues to evolve.”

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Here is a description of some of the looks that were available on display at the exhibit :

The looks:


Lolita: The princess-like Lolita look channels a Victorian doll—with ruffled dress, a bonnet, ribbons, and flat shoes accessorized with a feminine handbag. A small umbrella is often hidden under a blonde wig. Highly influenced by such British cultural touchstones such as Alice in Wonderland, Lolita followers spawned the establishment of brands like Jane Marple, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, and Angelic Pretty that are mainstays of this fashion genre. Darker variations include Gothic Lolita and Steampunk Lolita, which will also be included.

Mori Girl: “Mori” means forest, and this genre has its followers looking like they live in a sun-dappled glen with Bambi. They wear a natural, woodsy assortment of vintage earthy colors and layers, often integrating elements of crochet, knit and lace. Dolly Kei, an offshoot of the Mori Girl mode, incorporates the flavor of Eastern European folk costumes in jewel tones. Mori Girls rifle through vintage boutiques, second-hand stores, thrift shops and flea markets on the hunt for elements to create the battered, worn, yet elegant look.

Kawaii, Decora and Fairy Kei: These are another major aspect of Japanese culture encompassing entertainment, food, fashion, and toys that affected personal appearances and behavior. Kawaii means “cute” or “pretty,” while Decora, short for “decoration” is dominated by the use of pastels or bright colors in an array of hair clips and bows, in an excessive application of layering accessories including furry toys and plastic jewelry. Unicorns and rainbows are cherished motifs and, not surprising is the inclusion of trademarked American products such as Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Pony.”

And finally, more images and video stills of the exhibit.

I wish I had more time to spend there!

About the author

John Woo

John Woo is a Los Angeles Photographer that specializes in fashion, cosplay, travel, and food photography.