Basics of Boystyle.
page of what "kodona" means versus ouji and whatnot, it'll be hard to give advice. I wanted to start off by saying a few things to keep in mind:
1) boystyles of gothic & lolita are very different than girlstyles. Their evolution in Japan didn't come from boys saying "hey, I really want to be ... X" but evolved more originally as a companion to the gothic & lolita, either as a form of twinning or a co-ordination between girlfriend and boyfriend. Because of its position as a relative minority in the scene and its usual position as an.. accessory? for lolitas, the massive amounts of manifestos and style
breakdowns that gothic & lolita have do not exist for this style (...yet?). However, traumerei and I were discussing that we distinctly see that in how we term different branches of this style there are different looks and that's why I'm posting this. ^^;
1a) so to sum up 1: if you wear ... idunno, a tank top and hawaiian shorts and want to make it ouji, the prohibitions don't exist to tell you that it's taboo or you shouldn't do it. We don't have fashion system rules exactly the way girlstyles do, what's more important is being stylish. Which of course, has it's own fashion systemic forms in itself. Good brands, good lines, and of course finding the right fit.
2) boystyles evolved to a large degree *from* visual kei. While the case can be made that girlstyles did as well, visual kei musicians are ... well, boys, and many g&l girls ideal boys are visual kei boys. See where I'm going here? ^^; A number of boystyle vendors also got their start outfitting visual kei bands. Boystyle is not cosplay though and should never be seen as one in the same. You can take influence from visual kei bands (I think you guys know
this) but streetstyle in Japan is very different from cosplay.
3) ideally, I want this post to serve a wiki-esque function. I have my perspective of boystyle, but I'm not the sole person on this list, so I really encourage replies to this post to create a definitive "guide" to boystyles, prominent influences, etc, etc. As people reply I'll try to encorporate their responses into the original post, and this post will be put in the memories of teddyboys for future reference.
4) and giving credit where credit is due, because of the vast archiving she's done many of these images will be coming from Avant Gauche
initially. They're stored on my storage space and possibly modified though so please don't steal bandwidth (from either of us XD). Massive thanks should go to Avant Gauche XD
Shisen is a DJ heavily involved in the goth/loli/cyber club communities in Japan. Not only has he been photographed a bazillion times by the GLB for streetsnaps, he's also been profiled
several times about his style. I think it's been said he is the original inspiration of oujisama, and certainly there are several Shisen trademarks to the style.
Shisen is also very well recognized in the cyber fashion communities of Japan, and he has his own livejournal community (created by fans, naturally) --> kingofgoth
Maybe not such a huge influence to boystyle, but he is a prominent male dj in the gothic scene of Japan (who I find hot for some odd reason) AND he really has the aristocratic look down.
You'll see him in a lot of street snaps with Genet of Auto-Mod, so he is someone looked on to be fashionable.
Can't say I know all that much about Yukiya, but he gets photographed a LOT in the street snaps and his looks are always completely outrageous. I don't think I would categorize him easily
into any of the styles, but it's very oldschool goth with a dab of Peter Murphy/Kiyoharu in for good measure. @_@; Sometimes he does very aristocratic looks as well, I guess I shouldn't say
he always looks outrageous, but when they ask him what his fashion theme is (see below) he always has some extremely longwinded description.
This girl (?!) has totally fooled me before. You'll see her in streetsnaps in both boystyle and lolita. She really mixes style up a lot and has been photographed with Shisen and others a
number of times as well as a fashion feature being done on her.
Didn't want to put many visual kei musicians in here, but Ryutarou is my exception. In the US the whole reason a lot of us say "kodona" is because of a flippant comment made by him in regards to his style. Ryutarou is the vocalist of Plastic Tree and often wears very childish clothing. Just ignore the fact that I fail at finding "cute" photos of him or his clothing.
Pretty much any lolita clothing company you come across has at least a handful of items made for boys, or many more made for girls that will work stylistically for boystyle. However, there are some brands that are especially recognized for their boystyle and that's what the
focus will be here.
Black Peace Now
Maxicimam (check under MA)
sex pot revenge
Sexy Dynamite London
Today's Fashion Theme (今日のフアション テーム)
In the GLB when you look at street snaps, if you're ever wondering what something is "considered" one easy way is to look at what the person themselves is calling it. The reason why, for instance, ouji is considered the "real name" of boystyle is because so many people
call their theme ouji in the street snaps (or variations thereof: plaid ouji, Mad Hatter ouji, etc, etc). It's also where you find people explaining what the style was meant to remind them of, or what started the outfit ("matching the white onepiece", "a spring garden", etc).
In my experience this is what you'll see the most of for boystyles, because the aristocratic look is elegant, mature and nominally similar to most modern fashion types. Aristocrats are an
"adult" style, the most basic being a sharp suit set with a fashionable hat. Some styles mimic genuine time periods, but an elegant "gothic" three piece also exists. The way I think of
these when I see some of the photos is "^^; someones gothic lolita girlfriend really wanted him to come out with her." Not to say they're bad, but they're not necessarily adventurous.
Dandy I consider another "adult" style to some degree. The distinction I make is that the idea of the word "dandy" is a man of distinction, elegance and class. So the look I think reflects
this and are less reserved than the aristocrats and more hyperbolic in presence.
"Gothic" is what a lot of men say their fashion theme is, and this usually involves a lot of black and some degree of androgyny. It's true, they don't really fall into any other preconcieved notion of fashion besides, well, gothic. h.naoto creates a lot of stuff that sort of fits into this category.
Shisen is the only one who really calls it "oujisama." Most people just call it ouji （王子). Personally a lot of what gets lumped into ouji I consider dandy, but well.. whatever. Ouji means 'prince,' of course, and is the ideal counterpart to the lolita because of it's inherent incorporation of fantasy and a romantic perspective to the past.
Ouji IS the definitive category of g&l boystyle in Japan. If you see it getting called anything, chances are it's either aristocrat or ouji. Ouji is playful and young, most often using a short knicker-like pant and colour/pattern combinations that don't blend well together.
Personally speaking I always associate ouji with a mini crown because, well, that's what princes wear, but I haven't found many crowns. More often you see a full sized hat of some sort paired with a smart suit of some sort (youthfully tacky of course) with a boxy shoe. I've also seen variations with some form of saccharine cute hate (a rabbit or batwing hat, for example) and the boxy shoes.
You'll see a lot of fashion punk. I think we all know what it looks like. Due to Sexy Dynamite Lodon you'll see a lot Vivienne Westwood looking stuff, and due to Sex Pot Revenge a lot of ... I don't even know how to describe that right now. This can not merely be determined by the appearance of plaid, as a lot of the other looks really love plaid, so keep that in mind.
We normally refer to most of these designs as 'kodona'. The word 'kodona' comes into use from Plastic Tree's Ryutarou saying that's what his style was. 'kodona' means childlike in Japanese, so this style really takes a more literalized approach to the counterpart of g&l in my mind, being more of a stripped down, scrappy version of ouji. Shorts/high knickers get paired with knee high socks and shoes. Shirts are simple and paired with childish ties.
Quoting traumerei "one of the most important things about kodona is size balance. like, if your shirt is fitted, your tie would be big. if your pants are short, your socks are long. if your pants are long, your shoes are big, etc... it's hard to sense the essence of kodona without a little imbalance. color coordination is also important."
I think that comment sums up a lot on kodona (and also ouji). The idea is to look like a kid who's outgrown their clothes a bit, so it's very important to examine pieces as they work with the outfit as a whole.
A subculture of London toughs in the 1950's and 60's who wore Edwardian clothes. Not pertinent to anything, but I think worth pointing out that you can find significant influence for boystyle from a lot of sources.
The forerrunner to the necktie, the cravat was a scarf tied in an elegant style around the neck (some people have gone so far as to call them "well tied napkins"). For our purposes, they are
more dressed up than simple neckties, but not as frilly as a jabot.
an abbreviation for 'knickerbockers,' the word knickers (in this context) refers to pants at just below the knee that fasten at the bottom. In case you were wondering, the rationale behind g&l companies selling knickers above the knee is that often children would outgrow their knickers and would sport 1-4 inches of bare knee between their knickers and their knee length socks.
A jabot is an ornamental set of ruffles down the front of a dress or shirt. Some are attached to a garment and some come unattached.
knickers with an additional four inches that were meant to look baggier.
Boys in Prince's Clothing an ouji photo collection.
A few pages of events with boystyle:
how to tie a tie
Historical Boys Clothing