Last month I was honoured to take part and model for an interesting, unique and colourful project – the Harajuku Fashion Concept.
Many or most of you have probably heard of the term, harajuku, before and for the majority, upon hearing the term, thoughts of bright colours, neon, patterns and pretty Japanese faces probably come to mind. To me, these were the images that always flashed to my mind. After taking part in this project, fascinated by all the garish and wild colours, fashion statements and diverse senses of style I decided to research further about harajuku, it’s theme and the significance it holds for so many people around the world.
To begin with, harajuku is situated in Tokyo, and represents a specific geographic area that spreads from Harajuku station to Omotesando. Harajuku is known internationally as a center of Japanese youth culture and fashion. Shopping and dining options include many small, youth oriented, independent boutiques and cafés, but the neighborhood also attracts many larger international chain stores with high-end luxury merchandisers extensively represented along Omotesando. Okay so you get all that, and you are now wondering to yourself, well why is Harajuku so famous, don’t we have small areas like this specifically for the youth in every city in every country all over the world? Well here is the secret behind it…Like the vast majority of the Earthly population, Japan is filled with a population diverse with unique people, however, as we all know too well, the pressure of civilisation, peers, jobs and every day life pushes us all to act the same, be the same, dress the same, hiding our imaginative creativity behind closed doors where very few people will ever discover the real us. For the people of Japan, Harajuku changed this. Every single Sunday, at the same time, all the youths will get together dressed in all sorts of creative, funky, and colourful ways to celebrate and reveal an artsy side which we are unable to portray in our every day lives. Harajuku became a worldwide symbol of uniqueness from this tradition onwards and for that reason holds a great significance to many people around the world, especially the greater fans of Harajuku, it’s lifestyle, fashion, themes and concepts.
Now let’s talk about this project, The Harajuku fashion concept, my part was the easy part, I had my hair style, make – up applied, dressed and finally all I had to do was pose for the camera. The hard part of my look was achieved by 3 important people. The hairdresser, the make-up artist and most importantly the head of the project – the designer.
ABOUT THE – H A I R
The morning of the shooting started early with the hair – simple, flattened and scraped down into dreadlocks, bright coloured plaits and lego…yes that’s right, LEGO! Intricately weaved into the dreadlocks, by the nimble fingers of Razwan Sabau, a hairdresser new to Cluj-Napoca. I truly admired the skill he had in transforming my plain straight locks into something so colourful, yet rugged and editorial in a classy coutoured way, not overdone, yet a style that is classical with unique touches, just perfect for the project we were working on…well you’ll see for yourself the harajuku inspired hair do in the shots below.
ABOUT THE – M A K E – UP
The make up, may seem seemingly simple, however, it was a bit of a mental debate for the talented make – up artist Ioana Malai, in charge of achieving my look. The look, had to be bold, daring colours, of course…that gave an abstract feel but without stealing any limelight from the facial features. If that didn’t sound hard enough, then my chocolate skin colour also had to be taken into consideration when achieving this look. For all you dark skinned girls out there, you know the what I’m talking about. So let’s recap, bold, daring, extravagant, yet simple, editorial, yet at the same time contrasting…to the other colours and my chocolatey skin. Did she do good? She did awesome. Enhancing and darkening my skin tone for contrast, then, using mostly pinks, oranges and the complimentary undertones, she managed to achieve a highly editorial look, that bought out the most dominant features; eyes, lips and jawline. Ioana is a well known make-up artist in Cluj, that works on contract as well as freelance and has worked with many known faces throughout the city. If you don’t know her, then you can find her and check out her work on both facebook and instagram.
ABOUT THE – DESIGNER
Arabela Sim, if the name sounds familiar, there’s a great reason why. An upcoming fashion designer, studying at the heart of Cluj, Arabela has already had mentions in BAZAAR, COSMOPOLITAN and GLAMOUR magazine, ro. A true talent in her chosen department and passion, she was the mastermind behind the project and basically threw it all together. She completed the look by choosing bright items of clothing for the model (me) to wear and arranging them in a way that added a subtle European touch of elegance to the original Harajuku inspired theme. Her aim was to combine her fashion knowledge and discpline with a given theme, and she did exactly that. A designer with true talent and an awesome personality to work with!
So there we had it, bright colours, contrasts, funky hair, European hints mixed with Harajuku inspiration…Look complete!
This project took a combination of great personalities and great talent to put it all together and it was a wonderful experience throughout, below are some shots of the final look, enjoy!
Hair – Răzwan Săbău
Make Up – Ioana Malai
Designer + Head of Project – Arabela Sim