Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I frequently chat to my dear cousin in London who has just completed her fashion degree, regarding tailoring clothes, 'in' colours, hair styles and what not.
Lately she has been talking about this new trend called the "onii-kei". Until recently, trendy young men with brown dyed hair and tanned skin were a prominent fixture on the streets of Shibuya. They were known as gyaru-o ("gal men") - meaning male versions of the girls with a similar look who dominated Shibuya street fashion a few years ago. But now many of these men have graduated from the gyaru-o look to a new style that has been dubbed onii-kei (literally "elder brother style"). Whereas gyaru-o tend to dress down in surfer attire or casual sports clothing, onii-kei men prefer a slick look characterized by white tailored jackets, low-necked tank tops, imported jeans, and pointed leather shoes.

Onii-kei Essentials:
Onii-kei combines the styles known in Japanese as Ame-kaji ("American casual") and Ita-kaji ("Italian casual") with rocker touches to create a glamorous, sexy look. Onii-kei men are designer label fanatics who complete their outfits with belts, waist pouches, watches, sunglasses, and other accessories from world-famous brands. Also essential to the onii-kei look is the teased shag haircut known as "wolf hair," fastidiously groomed and complemented by scented products.

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