These are the slides and information that were presented in the Gyaru Lecture held by Charlotte and Rox at the Abunai Convention. The slides may contain 'spelling mistakes' and numbers, this is because they are screen caps. This is our knowlegde about Gyaru and We hope you will find this information usefull~


What is Gyaru?

For starters gyaru is the biggest subculture among the japanese youth. The main focusgroup of this style are you japanese girls, aging 15 to 25. It’s all about cute and sexy clothes, lots of make-up, and big hair that is properly styled. There are also a select few guys that participate in the stylem which is then called Gyaru-o.
                gyaru as a style started in the 90’s with the styles kogal and ganguro. The mean idea of the style was to look like the calafornian beach girls with their bleached blonde hair and tanned skin, while wearing lots of makeup that made the eyes appear to be bigger. Ganguro girls were mostly found hanging around on the streets because a lot of the time these girls were highschool dropouts. Kogals on the other hand remained in school and were therefore usually seen in their school uniform.Ganguros had a bad reputation in the japanese society, people often said they behaved inappropriatly for a girl, and that they smelled bad. But the kogals were also frowned upon by the japanese society because they had the tendancy to date older guys for money. This was called enjo kozai, which litteraly means compensated dating.
                in the late 90’s the
gyaru culture slowely faded to the background because the bad words the media spread about them.  In the new millenium the gyaru culture made a comeback by using the word yamanba, which was given to them by the media as an insult. The term yamanba, which litteraly mean mountain hag, has resulted in the style manba. The manba’s started dressing according to the name they were given, mountain hags. The style was an even more extreme extraction from the ganguro style. Their tan got darker, their hair got bigger, brighter and more colourfull and they used a lot of hawaiian accesoires. One of the most extreme aspects of this style was the make-up. Extreme droopy eyes, high arched eyebrows, lots of really colourfull eyeshadow and pale lips. Manbas often used white out markers as a part of their daily make-up routine.

During the time that the manba style slowely lost its populairity, other less extreme gyaru styles rose to the occasion. Those girls, using the previous gyaru styles as an example, started dressing up in sexy clothes while wearing exesive make-up for big eyes. And bleached hair with lots and lots of volume was  stil in style. In that time a lot of substyles developed into the styles we know nowadays. Some styles have stayed in the past, and some of the styles have developed themselfs into the popular gyaru styles that we now know in the west. Even though the styles from back then still have a lot of similairities with the styles from now, there are some big differences to be found. 
for example back then the gyarus prefered to buy a lot of cheap items, whereas now the focus lies on expensive brand items and cosmetics that are trending. Another big difference is the skin town, the gyarus started of with really dark tanned skin, but the skintone has graduatly become lighter and lighter to the point that some of the gyarus of these days prefer to have no tan at all. And now, instead of having mostly sexy gyaru styles, a big gap has been created between cute, cool and sexy styles. All of these developements have made the gyaru style to what it is today!

Himegyaru means princess gal which is the perfect description for the style. Himegyaru is a style inspired by the luxurious princess style and Marie Antoinette as one of the main style icons.
The main points of this style are pastel coloured dresses with bows and lace and moste commonly an empire waist or aline. The most common prints are flowers or a baroque print, or even colours. Accessories are made of pearls, diamonds and contain golden charms. They wear shoes that contain lots of roses, bows and lace and they’re never seen without heels. And lets not forget the big mori hair that is also full of huge bows, tiaras or flowers.
One of the main brands is jesus diamante, which is a really luxe and expensive brand. La parfait also carries some himegyaru items that are significantly cheaper but this certainly shows in the quality. Most of the items they carry are more suitable for himekaji.  The himegyaru style is a style that has always been available for a select public and never had too many followers. Therefore its not shown in magazines a lot, there are a few magazines that do show some himegyaru every now and then such as the Koakuma Ageha, the betty and a magazine that stopped a few years back but showed a lot of himegyaru from the early years: Kila Kila
When  himegyaru was founded himeko and keiko were big role models and crusaders of the style.  Nowadays agemo Himena often wears the style, and the staff of Jesus diamante will always dress and live according to the princess lifestyle.

A style substracted from himegyaru is Himekaji, which stands for hime casual. As the name says, it’s a casual form of himegyaru with a lot of elements from the style but really toned down. And as said before the brand la parfait carries a lot of himekaji items.

Agejo style is a typical style that became incredibly popular in 2008 and 2009. Agejo style is named after it’s main style outlet: Koakuma Ageha magazine. This magazine started as an extra in Happie Nuts in 2006, targeting women in their twenties that worked in the nightlife as hostesses. These women had a taste for the expensive and the glamorous and their profession provided them with enough income to blow incredible amounts of money on western brand-goods and sparkly accessories. These women were very taken with the princess fashions from Jesus Diamante, and at the same time they were very influenced by their sexy work attire. The Ageha spread in Nuts became very popular and it grew into a fully fledged magazine that became the most popular gal magazine in 2008. Alongside of the cute hime-style the magazine portrayed a variety of styles from onee style to rock style, but all these styles were accompanied by elaborately blown up hairstyles that have originated among nightlife-workers that had to go to the salon every day to get their hair fixed for another night at work.. All of these styles can be referred to as agejo but one of the styles Ageha portrayed was indicated by “feminine” or “pheromone” style. A style that’s mature and sexy but cute at the same time. This style became the most typical agejo style. In this style the most marking silhouettes include babydoll dresses, empire waist dresses with the bottom tapered in and simply tight dresses. Blazers can accompany these to give that hostess look. The coordinates mostly include black and one other colour, like pink, lavender, blue, mint green or white. Prints include (vertical) stripes and checks. Under the lead of koakuma-brand Ma*rs the chain-print became popular over the last one and a half year. Ma*rs, bringing you sexy and cute OTT agejo wear in mostly black and pink is a brand that hovers between the streets and the bedroom and has really created a whole code of it’s own. Something between hime and pheromone style.
But very typical for the agejo are the pieces produced by Golds-infinity and previously Glamorous Jane, a sister-brand of Ma*rs. Once the most popular gal style, the style is now giving in on popularity, but a remote icon of agejo style is Himena Ousaki.

Amekaji style is a style that seems to have originated from the surf-gal style that has gone hand in hand with ganguro in the early years of the gyaru subculture. Nowadays the style seems to appeal to a younger crowd, as it’s bright and not necessarily sexy, the way many gal styles are. It’s marked by casual hairstyles and bright clothing, baggy jeans and sports jackets reminiscent of American highschool football jackets, as the name amekaji suggests. Beside that caps and hats in bright colours with printed logos or letters, alongside bright sneakers add to the very casual, America-inspired feel of this style.

One of the brands very marking for this gyaru style is the brand cocolulu also referred to as co&lu, previously a surfer-gal brand that was inspired by American beachwear, the way we see surfers wear it. Like nowadays’ co&lu style, it was a more laid-back, comfortable silhouette with room for more masculine factors like baggy pants and sneakers.
Other brands that are distinct for the amekaji style are Blue moon Blue and Buzz Spunky and the magazines that onem up amekaji style to the world are mainly found to be the versatile Egg magazine, and Ranzuki. Girls that are interested in Amekaji style can find their inspiration from models like Kanako Kawabata, who might be one of the greatest pioneers in amekaji style, alongside Emika Kanda and Nana Suzuki.

Shibuhara style is a very recent phenomenon, it combines the names of the neighbourhoods Shibuya, where gals hang, and Harajuku, a place formerly known only for gatherings of teenagers dressed in outrageous fashions such as Lolita and Decora kei, but harajuku’s backstreets are rich of vintage shops and original concepts of more laid back fashion. This last description of harajuku makes the shibuhara style more clear, as it combines gal fashion from shibuya with harajuku’s laid back character. This look is achieved by combining baggy shirts and cute little skirts with eccentric tights and cute heels or sneakers into a kind of cute street mix. Big geeky glasses and woollen hats make great accessories within this style.
Brands that play an important role in this style are W<3C, JSG and candy stripper. And the style is mainly ventilated in issues of Popteen and Popsister, a mature replacement of Popteen magazine. Icons for this style turn out to be relatively mature gals like w<3c producer Chinatsu Wakatsuki and major gal icon Tsubasa Masuwaka.


Gal-brand LizLisa has been popular among gals and Japanese teens alike. With a feminine and cute style it’s been able to create it’s own emporium with daughter brands Tralala and Doll. LizLisa has been a great indicator for trends in Bohemian fashion since this trend has started in 2008. What makes up bohemian style differs every year, but earthy tones like brown and beige in flowy fabrics such as chiffon, combined with brown leather and suede-like accessories always make up a big part of this style. Floral prints, washed denims and straw- hats and bags take centre stage in summer whereas winter-style is dominated by tartan checks, fur trimmings and Scandinavian knits. Over the years the style has gone through difference phases along with regular western fashion trends, a feminine bohemian style made room for country-inspired looks to result in today’s vintage-bohemian style. Bohemian looks appeal to a younger audience and have a more natural and clean makeup look. When Bohemian style first manifested itself it was mostly seen in Popteen, and even though Popteen remains the main stage of bohemian fashion, other magazines have taken up their slice of this style, like Ageha and Egg. But as Popteen remains the commonplace for bohemian style, it’s mainly Popteen’s models that have become true bohemian icons. Like Tsubasa Masuwaka in her younger years, Yui Kanno and Kumiko Funayama.

A style we know as vintage or retro-girly style is a style clearly marked by this year’s emphasis on vintage-inspired fashion on an international level. Outfits are made up of high-waist garments, shorts and skirts alike, paired with flowy shirts that puff over these at the waist. Cute hats and socks, like knee and over-knee socks make great accessories and vintage style shoes like oxford shoes or pumps that look slightly dated are often in dusty colours, greys and browns made of a leather-like material. The whole style hovers over a palette of earthy tones and neutrals. Brands that cater to this style are the very iconic Ank Rouge and Titty & co. The style is mainly portrayed in Popteen though variations of the style that don’t fit under the description “gal” have proven very popular in mainstream Japanese fashion magazines. Inspiration for vintage gal style can be found in Ageha’s Satomin and Okarie from Popteen.

A very popular gyaru style is the style known as Onee gyaru. Onee, meaning big sister, indicates the mature nature of this style. Onee style must have come into existence somewhere over the years 2004-2005 when an increasing amount of gals refused to quit gyaru style after graduating highschool and passing into their twenties. Age isn’t such a big deal anymore among gals nowadays: we see more and more gals holding on to their style after childbirth and even when they’re approaching the age of 30. And there are many more styles an older gal can take her refuge to in gal culture today, onee style isn’t as much an indication of age anymore, but a mature style that gals of any age can try their hand at.
Early onee style was marked by the use of high end western brand goods and outfits coordinated with a lot of black, white and neutrals. This meant a break with gal tradition as gals back then were marked by bright coloured clothing. What used to be typical for onee style, has become part of the basics for a variety of gal styles nowadays, as gal style in general has grown milder over time. Onee gals today might go for a wild vintage rock look, or the very recent ‘mode’ gyaru look that the magazines have been promoting. In both cases we can see how the onee gals copy western trends more closely than their gyaru sisters, with hairstyles that tend towards a, only slightly, more natural look and makeup that aspires to the sexy, rather than the dolly.
Onee gals may previously have gone for the mature and polished look of brands like Cecil McBee, Egoist, and Me Jane nowadays these brands had to share the spotlight with versatile brands like Lip Service, Glad News, Duras and Gilfy that have adapted to the wider scope of gal trends like rock-style. As well as mode brands Emoda and Murua, among many others.
Celebrities regularly feature in the magazines, next to the regular models to bring new onee trends to the masses .Onee gals fix their eye on celebrities from Japan alongside those from the west, like all-time gal idol Namie Amuro, next to western celebs like the Olsen twins and Lindsey Lohan.
Onee gals typically find their inspiration in magazines like Jelly, Happie Nuts, Blenda and formerly Es POSHH! A distinctive onee gyaru magazine that was suspended in 2008 when the popularity of hime and agejo styles prevailed. Since 2010 we’ve seen onee style back in the rise again and as a result we’ve seen iconic gal magazine Egg bring out it’s own onee style counterpart this year: Glia. An onee gal lifestyle magazine targeting a public of gals in their twenties, looking for that mature and wealthy look.


Mode gal style is a style that made way last year, with coordinates consisting from Black or white basics with graphical patterns in bright colours.  The style has a ring of vintage to it and with its loose fitted items basically looks oversized. Bold accessories can be quite essential to spice up an outfit in Mode style. Though the style seems to be somehow related to western fashion, it’s pushing factor has proven to be the promoting and the popularity of the main mode brands Emoda, Murua and Gimlet, that cater to a rather exclusively mode frame. The style is very present in onee-magazines Jelly and Happie Nuts and the inspiration is found from Ena Matsumoto and Momoko Ogihara, ironically these are the producers of the mode brands Emoda and Murua respectively.

Rock gal style a style that has been around for a while, and can be applied to different kinds of gal looks to personal taste. It is usually found a lot in the magazines during winter time, because of the use of lots of leather and layers. Rock style has really gained populairity in the last 2 years.  Rock gals can be recognized by their colourful graphic shirts, ripped jeans and spiked and studded accessories. Big boots can finish the look.
Rock gal items can be found in numerous shops but brands that carry nice typical rock style items are Glad News and TutuHA.
Magazines like Egg and Ageha give the rock code some spotlight and icons for the rock gal style can be found in Ageha model Sakurina and TutuHA’s Morimayu. Sakurina is one of the crusaders of rock style and made the style more popular by the gals of today.
TutuHA has proven to be quite popular and it’s eccentric style has grown to a sub-style among rock gals. It's a new brand that sports a over the top rock look that can either be found in lots of (clashing) colours or black with a vibrant red or pink or blue. Key items of a TutuHA rock look are the cross necklace and the goggles which are really popular amongst followers of the brand.

A style that became popular recently is the OraOra type gyaru. In fact the name comes from the style OraOra kei known for men of the Yankii type. The style is also reminiscent of the origins of gyaru style with dark tans and big bleached hair. Of all the gyaru styles this is probably the one that lays closest to the traditional gyaru look. The clothes are sexy and the accessories are obvious and tacky, like big belts with golden chains. Lots of leopard prints and stripes or big graphical prints with skulls and the like. Very short shorts or long jeans that have been ripped and damaged. 
Brands that cater to this type of gyaru are D.I.A, which is one of the main brands when it comes to OraOra. and rising star Skinny Lip. 
he style has mainly been exposed in Egg magazine and it’s more mature counterpart Soul Sister. 
Style inspirations for OraOra kei are Mipochi and Yayo and various other D.I.A staff members.


Beside girls and women, we’ve seen a vast number of guys take up their stage in the gyaru culture. Since the first type of gals stepped into the spotlight we’ve seen guys follow suit. Alongside of the radical manba, we’ve seen sentaa gais (ironically named after their main hangout, center gai street in Tokyo’s shibuya district). Clad in just as bright and outrageous fashion as their female counterparts. As gal fashion has toned down, gyaru-o, the o simply indicating male as the Chinese character for male can be pronounced as merely o, too have found their new fashion mixture of rock attire, neutral tones and printed shirts in the Onii style, meaning big brother style. Onii guys seem to prefer close fitted pants and tops, and the influence of western fashion on this style are a lot less prominent than they are in female gal fashion. Rumour has it that gyaru-o fashions have come into existence only because it’s wearers felt that to copy their behaviour was the best way to attract the type of girls to their liking. As a result however gyaru-o fashion tends to look quite feminine, because it seems to be based of a female fashion trend. Gyaru-o won’t fret to grab for beauty products, circle lenses and occasionally even makeup to enhance their wild look. Whether their hair is bleached, fairly long and styled according to the latest trends or just black, cropped and spiky, these guys spend just as much time staring at the mirror, plucking their eyebrows and eliminating every flaw, as you and me do. In fact, trends in Japanese male fashion have shown an increasing femininity to the extent that young fashionable men are indicated as “herbivorous” in contrast to carnivorous men that are macho’s and true woman hunters. But looks can deceive as gyaru-o are all but the mellow and androgynous types you may suspect at first sight. As their motives make believe, they intend to become real womanizers, and some of these guys have made womanizing their profession. Since the raise of gals working in Japan’s nightlife, it’s been mostly gyaru-o taking up the profession of hosts. Picking up girls in the streets and taking them to party in their home-club can provide a very generous salary. This enables the host type gyaru-o to spend even more on his looks. With expensive accessories from western brands and elegant two-pieced suits, no gal can resist the charm of these hosts. This might be the reason why the host-style has gained a big following in recent years and host-magazines like host knuckle, host galaxy and men’s Yukai might oneday even outnumber the normal gyaru-o magazines men’s egg, men’s egg teen with a brighter and cuter look for a younger audience and men’s knuckle, a magazine that could fit in the host-category just as well but promotes the yankii-inspired oraora kei.
Gyaru-o magazines target men but seem to be aware of the high number of female readers, especially host magazines have a majority of female readers to please and often feature cute spreads of the popular hosts or models like famous host Ryoma and model Ryo Imai. Men’s egg even released a movie featuring it’s popular models, targeting an audience of girls hoping to see some eye-candy rather than male readers.

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