fashion

Katakana is cool: Designers take inspiration from Japan’s least popular writing system

Remember the Chinese character phase? Back in the early 2000s you could see Chinese characters everywhere from T-shirts to tattoos. While the trend still continues to some extent today, once people started realizing that you should probably double-check the meaning before going out in public, it has definitely slowed down.

Maybe Chinese symbols have a sort of stigma now, but that is not stopping major designers from branching out into the other styles of Japanese writing, namely katakana. This new trend is being used by brands all over the world, from Adidas to Stussy.

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Cozy kitty pullovers are the perfect outfit to snuggle up in for your next catnap

Between their furry coats and ability to stake out the warmest spots in the home, cats seem to be pretty skillful at warding off the cold. But while you can probably squeeze in next to your pets in front of the space heater, you can’t really borrow their coats, can you?

Of course, you won’t need to if you have a cute, cozy kitty pullover of your own.

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New Guess ad campaign features Japan in all her stunning glory

If you’ve ever visited Japan and fallen in love with its beauty and culture, prepare to be swept off your feet again with the latest ad campaign from Guess.

Shot by famed Chinese photographer Chen Man, the photos take us on a journey through cherry blossoms and tea houses, featuring girls with samurai swords and parasols.

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Korean idol unit trots on stage in matching skirts and what look like pseudo-Nazi armbands

Creating costumes for idol singer groups can’t be an easy job. If you’re going for cute, designers already hit the limit for the number of frills a single item of clothing can hold sometime around October of 1986. Hot pants are an easy way to achieve short-term crowd-pleasing sexiness, but that might interfere with the girl-next-door image the most successful acts cultivate.

So instead of sweet or sultry, you might settle on snappy. That’s what the four members of Korea’s Pritz have been doing in some of their recent appearances, where they’ve shown up in matching black skirts and crisply pressed black shirts buttoned at the collars. Oh, and to add just a dash of attempted systematical genocide to the ensemble, what look like Nazi armbands.

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Knock ‘em dead on the battlefield with this cute military cosplay corset

Girls, have you ever been put off from the army because their uniforms just aren’t cute enough? Well here’s your answer: a KanColle-inspired corset that’s made–to–order!

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Mayo: Just as good for shiny, healthy hair as it is for sandwiches, say Japanese beauty tips

Which is worse, hair in your mayonnaise or mayonnaise in your hair? Assuming you haven’t actually eaten any, hair in your mayo is actually a pretty easy problem to rectify. You either toss the jar out, or you make lunch for any of your sworn enemies who’d accept a surprise sandwich from you despite your less than friendly relationship.

Mayonnaise in your hair, on the other hand, means you yourself are dirty though, and you’ve got to stop whatever you’re doing (such as crafting diabolical plots against your aforementioned enemies) to go and shampoo, right?

Actually, you don’t, according to people in Japan who say spreading a little mayo on your hair is actually good for it.

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Barbie head shoes: the new craze making heads turn in Harajuku

Barbie, the popular fashion doll from America, has been a style icon ever since her creation back in 1959. Now, at the age of 55, the controversial bombshell is hitting the streets of Harajuku – quite literally - this time inside the clear soles of some amazing, if kind of creepy, shoes.

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Animals, cars, and anime: Japanese salons give kids the VIP treatment

As an adult, I never really find myself attached to one particular hairstyle. Every time I get a cut, that’s a one or two-month commitment at best before I get to change it around all over again. But for kids, the barber can apparently be a pretty harrowing experience. After all, especially for younger kids, they’ve been rocking the same ‘do for almost their entire lives. Also, it probably takes some learning to overcome the instinctual aversion to sharp objects being brandished near your face.

Not that I have kids or anything, but I’ve heard taking them to the hair salon can be… let’s just say a bit of a handful.

That’s why many Japanese salons have decided to go the extra mile and give kids the VIP treatment:

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Glowing skirt lets you cosplay Hatsune Miku, show off your sexy thighs

Hatsune Miku has been portrayed in nearly every way imaginable, from highly detailed Final Fantasy-esque character model to gorgeous anime-style re-imaginings. She’s also one of the more popular characters for cosplaying, with results that range from the adorable to the slightly insane, so if you want to show your love for the animated singer, you’ll need to put in a bit of extra work to stand out. But don’t worry, we have just the thing to help the next time you plan to don a teal wig: A glowing Hatsune Miku skirt!

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Lifelike lion and tiger backpacks from Japan will make everyone who sees you say, “Oh my!”

There are two important things to bear in mind regarding Japanese fashion. First is that, since so many people use public transportation, they almost always need some kind of a bag or backpack to carry their stuff in when they go out. Second, after spending all week wearing a mandated uniform or bland business suit, come the weekend, some people are overcome with the urge to express their individuality to the fullest with their clothing and accessory choices.

With that in mind, just about the fastest route away from your button-down Monday to Friday look is to slip on a backpack that’s the exact shape and size of a tiger’s head.

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Who needs scissors? Stylist in Vietnam slices customers’ hair with samurai sword

About a month after I moved to Japan in college, my hair was getting pretty shaggy, so I asked my host dad where I could get a trim. The place he took me to was an old-school barbershop, and I remember being surprised when instead of using electric clippers on the back of my neck, the barber used a straight razor.

Still, that wasn’t nearly as big as the shock some customers get when they walk into this hairdresser’s in Vietnam and see the stylist slicing people’s hair with a Japanese sword.

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This male model is better at looking like a lady than most ladies

Here at RocketNews24, we’re no strangers to stories that involve guys who look like girls. Heck, we just ran that story about a whole school full of boys who annually dress as girls for a genuinely impressive beauty contest. In other words, we spend a lot of our waking hours looking at pictures of dudes who could pass for attractive girls.

So, we believe our radar for picking out the difference between a very beautiful boy and an actual girl has gotten pretty sensitive over the years. But now, there’s finally one gorgeous young model who totally managed to fool us (at least in certain photos, anyway).

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Survey of Japanese men’s bra unclasping skills suggests they need to up their game

For a young, hormone-addled teenage boy, the art of the one-handed bra-unclasp is a sacred rite of passage that, along with shaving and, you know, like, actually having had sex, is one of the telltale markers of having transitioned from being a “loser” (or, worse yet, a “weenie”) to being one of the “cool” kids.

It’s too bad then, that according to a recent Japanese survey, the majority of Japanese men apparently never progressed into the realm of the cool kids because they still can’t unhook a bra one-handed.

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11 things Japanese women want men to know about their breasts

Let’s say you love looking at the moon. You’re enchanted by its beautifully full and round shape, and sometimes you find it so enticing you’d like to reach out and touch it (with its permission, of course).

But all that ardent admiration still doesn’t mean you actually know anything about the moon, does it?

That’s not too far from the relationship some men have with women’s breasts, according to this list of 11 things Japanese women wish more men understood about their chests.

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Close Sisters Bras: The Frozen-inspired lingerie that changes color when you’re near a friend

Once a year, lingerie manufacturer Triumph designs a special bra that highlights social trends in Japan. The company shows off each year’s version at a press event, which always has two models, despite the fact that the bras they’re wearing have always been identical.

This year, though, the two-model system is more than just a way of upping the glamorous eye-candy quotient, since the patterns and color on the 2014 bras miraculously change when they’re close to each other.

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Do you dress like Tokyo or Osaka? Study creates one outfit for every Japanese prefecture

Japan isn’t that big geographically, but it’s still divided up into 47 different prefectures. Even though it’ll usually only take you a couple of hours to pass from one into the other (and even less if you’re on the Shinkansen), each has its own unique feel to it. Depending on where you are, people eat different foods, celebrate holidays in different ways, and even like different clothes, as shown by a study that reveals how Japanese women like to dress by prefecture.

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Pretty Indonesian sisters share everything including good looks and sweet style 【Photos】

Sisters Elle and Jess Yamada from Indonesia do everything together, and that includes making a name for themselves on the fashion blogosphere. The lovely ladies are in their early twenties and have a combined total of nearly 250,000 Instagram followers, write for their popular blog on their website, and run a clothing line called Gowigasa. They’re also apparently really awesome at hulahooping, and won their high school’s hula hoop competition.

But we know what you really want is to get a good look at these two beauties, so read on to find a selection of photos after the cut.

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Real China dolls! Lolita fashion turns Chinese in a fusion of East meets East【Photos】

Lolita fashion is one of Japan’s most famous cultural phenomena. And lolita style, characterised by intricate, lace-adorned dresses and a doll-like look, has an off-shoot sub-genre for almost every day of the year. There’s gothic lolita, punk lolita, ‘sweet’, classic, princess, even pirate…and coming full circle, “Japanese-style” wa lolita, which incorporates elements of traditional Japanese dress such as kimono fabric, long sleeves and obi sashes.

But what happens when you mix lolita with Chinese cheongsam dresses? You get ‘qi lolita‘, a sub-genre which looks not to Japan or Europe, but to China, for its inspiration. It’s bold, different, and seriously cute.

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Become an ultra-cool Ultra(salary)man with these limited-edition neckties

In Japan, black suits are as ubiquitous with salarymen as uniforms are with high school students. Usually, though, the look is pretty unremarkable: black suit, white shirt, subdued tie, black shoes, black belts…and the same thing every day. Suit and menswear chain Aoyama, however, is looking to not only spice up the old suit look, but also help salarymen channel their inner space alien superhero (or villain).

For their 50th anniversary, Aoyama has collaborated with the Ultraman franchise to create a line of Ultraman neckties. In an announcement from Tsuburaya Productions, the company that produced the original Ultraman TV series in 1966, it was revealed that there will be eighteen unique Ultraman inspired designs available for a limited time.

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Japanese high school holds annual contest to decide the prettiest “girl” in school

The whole concept of an all-boys high school is kind of cruel when you think about it. You take a bunch of young men who have only recently hit puberty and are practically oozing hormones out of their pores and lock them in a prison-like environment filled with nothing but other males for the majority of their teen lives.

So it’s understandable that at least one Japanese all-boys high school, faced with an utter lack of girls to ogle, chose to get a little creative… by holding an annual beauty pageant to determine the prettiest “girl” in school.

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