Thursday, 26 June 2014

Trend: NeoGal



Whichever term you prefer to call it by, there's no denying that it's been firing up the J-Fashion community recently and lead to all sorts of discussion. Some people love the style and others loathe it and believe it's ruining gyaru and everything it stands for. To some people gyaru is still the tanned skin, the over dramatic eye make-up and big hair.

To me, that is the gyaru style that I first saw online a few years ago and developed a crush on.

The current gyaru is weird to me.

Ever since NeoGal first made a mention in ViVi last year, the popularity of the style is increasing and starting to make more of an impact. With the recent demise of Ageha, etc. the magazines that fashionable girls have in Japan is narrowing down, leading toe extra exposure of styles such as NeoGal.

The 'rules' of NeoGyaru as stated by ViVi are:

1 A girl who models her fashion after Western trends.
2 Gal who uses Instagram and other social media to catch overseas trends.
3 One who bleaches her hair to white blond or purple.
4 Isn't trying to impress boys with fashion but a popular yet stoic type of gyaru.

Alisa Ueno, producer and designer of FIG&VIPER, is one of the biggest NeoGal leaders out there. Other brands inspiring the trend are SLY, Murua, Emoda, etc. Basically a lot of the old mode gyaru leaders!

Some of the current gyaru trends such as chokers, etc. have snuck their way into NeoGal but it feels oh so toned down. There's no big hair and over dramatic eye make-up leading to bigger looking eyes.

My personal opinion on NeoGal?

B o r i n g !

What attracted me to idolising and admiring gyaru in the first place was the sense of fun their outfits had, their hair and make-up. Slapping on a pair of false eyelashes and circle lenses doesn't make you gyaru - if that really was the case then you could argue that Kyarypamyupamyu is gyaru. Spoiler: she isn't.

If anything, NeoGal is the lovechild of the 90s and Shibuhara fashion. It's soft grunge and Tumblr incarnate and with the recent exposure of online fashions I can see why some people would love this. The toned down hair and make-up make NeoGal feel a lot more accessible than Hime, Agejo, Rokku... even loli! It feels like some people crave a J-Fashion substyle to fit in and with this being inspired by Western clothes it's easier than ever.

In the past, gyaru brands seemed to pick up on trends before the Western scene (trust me; I remember desperately trying to get my hands on an usamimi and a year later they popped up everywhere in the UK). Recently they've been coming out at the same time. With NeoGal taking hints from the Western scene it feels like the tables have turned and I personally dislike it. In my opinion, Western fashion is boring.

A lot of Western gyaru are unhappy at the rise of NeoGal and are wanting to 'Gyaru' it up; wearing the clothes but with over the top hair and the top and lower lashes that previously graced the pages of Ageha (Rest in Peace). It seems a little extreme. NeoGal might be the 'next big thing' but there's no use in biting at it.

Let it happen. Let it go.

I predict NeoGal won't have a long life span, even with the most natural look of gyaru.

What's your thoughts on NeoGal? Yay or nay?

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1 comment:

  1. I definetly agree with you that NeoGal is the next Shibuhara. Maybe it's even just another name for hipster fashion. And it is not gyaru. Ueno herself said it is not gyaru! But despite this, that doesn't mean there isn't any crossover in clothing, hair and make-up. There are definetly some clothes NeoGals wear that would also be perfect for gyaru. Maybe NeoGals and gyaru could use the same lashes, but while a neogal wears 1 pair, gyaru might stick on three at a time. I can understand how some people are confused about if neogal is gyaru or not. Gal make-up is definetly much heavier, but clothing wise there are a lot of things that also work for gyaru (not all, there are also a lot that just don't). Same goes for hair.
    I don't really think NeoGal is the next 'big thing', or even 'a thing' at all. It's just following trends. Be it western or not. I think this is how I differ it from gyaru best: gyaru is and has always been a full-blown youth movement. It's becoming weaker as we speek, but it will not die down and maybe even rise again, while some subcultures are extinct but never forgotten. NeoGal on the other hand, probably forgets about purple hair in a year and a half and feels like blonde x red hair is the next big thing idk. In Neogal there aren't such 'eras' as the ganguro or the kogal. It's just trendwatching and following.