Tokyo Visual Kei & Jrock music store in Laforet. Fairy kei, tattoo pattern stockings, Fruits Magazine.
Many readers tell me they first became captivated by Harajuku fashion after the release of Phaidon’s Fruits, a colorful tome of outfit snaps.
The youths in Fruits accumulated a good percentage of their wardrobe from Laforet Harajuku. Today, the department store remains a center of alterna-pop fashion. Shall we take a tour?
I always begin with the basement levels, which hold (quite aptly) underground fashion and Visual Kei music.
Laforet’s Jrock music store has CDs, posters, magazines and memorabilia of your favorite spiky-haired acts. Band members often come for meet-and-greets, or to “take over” a shop for a few hours.
In addition to the usual cute-Gothic clothing, there’s recently been a stronger presence of what some might call “Nu Goth” fashion.
The look: sleek and high-quality black garments, usually layered, and involving leather and copious spikes or studs.
On the poppy side, colorful printed tights are all the rage. Some stockings are quite pricy — $30-50 US and up — but they have intricate designs and limited runs. I’m not so keen on wearing patterned tights like these, but I couldn’t resist the Innocent World x Alphonse Mucha ones.
Hot pink is… hot, at least in this boutique.
Do you know who this “Darling” character is? Would you wear this neon-1980s style?
Satin jackets and full-on prints.
Googly-eyed jewelry, bright bangles and two-colored pastel hair.
Love the “Evil Cutie” shirt, with an earless Ziggy Stardust bunny and bat!
At the entrance of Laforet, I ran into my friend Misha Janette, Tokyo-based stylist and creator of Plumb wigs.
She was helping her friend, owner of Harcoza, during their pop-up event.
Never seen such quirky, squishable jewelry and clothing.
Back to the Lolita levels (the basement of Laforet). Alice and the Pirates is on a pastel kick at the moment.
Atelier Pierrot stays dark and elegant. Their fabrics and shapes haven’t changed much over the years, but their formula is sound — they make some of the best corset-waist ruffle skirts around.
Harajuku girls outside Angelic Pretty. Their coordinates sum up the spooky-cute, fairy-Lolita vibe of these stores.
Eyeballs, brains, and vampire fangs at HellCatPunks. There are quite a lot of eyeball accessories around.
Putumayo’s punky-Loli look always stands out.
One of the most unique and focused shops is Nile Perch: a wistful, pastel fairy-kei dream.
Can’t get much sweeter than scallops, lace, bows and soft rainbow hues. This style is different from Sweet Lolita because it lacks the bell skirt shape and Victorian-Alice styling.
The upper levels of Laforet are a mixed bag. I enjoyed this twee clothing shop, with polka dot retro heels and cats galore.
Kitty-shaped basket purse… twee heaven.
How did you like the clothes in Laforet, compared to Shibuya 109? For more Harajuku Fruits style, check out my Tokyo store guide. More cute Japanese boutique photos coming up — including a Steampunk shop!