Gyaru Fashion

Introduction to Gyaru Fashion

Gyaru Fashion is a distinctive and vibrant style that originated in Japan during the 1990s. This unique fashion subculture is characterized by its flamboyant and exaggerated looks, reflecting the rebellious spirit of Japanese street culture.

The word “gyaru” itself comes from the English word “gal,” which refers to young, fashionable women who embrace a bold and daring approach to fashion. The origins of Gyaru Fashion can be traced back to the streets of Tokyo’s bustling neighborhoods like Shibuya and Harajuku.

It emerged as a response to traditional Japanese societal norms, challenging conventional standards of beauty and femininity. The movement quickly gained popularity among young women who sought self-expression through their clothing choices.

Definition and Origins of Gyaru Fashion

Gyaru Fashion is an eclectic mix of various influences, ranging from Western glamour to street fashion trends that were prevalent in Japan at the time. The style emphasizes self-confidence, individuality, and making a bold statement through one’s appearance.

Gyaru Fashion is known for its big hair, heavy makeup, flashy attire, and eye-catching accessories. The influence of Japanese street culture on Gyaru Fashion cannot be overstated.

In the late ’90s and early 2000s, Japanese youth developed a fascination with American hip-hop culture, which significantly impacted their fashion choices. This cross-cultural exchange birthed unique styles such as Ganguro (where individuals sported tanned skin tones) within the broader realm of Gyaru Fashion.

Influence of Japanese Street Culture on the Style

Japanese street culture served as both an inspiration for and an outlet for rebellion against societal norms within Gyaru Fashion. Young people sought refuge in this subculture where they could freely express themselves without fear or judgment.

Gyaru Fashion became a symbol of empowerment, providing an opportunity to break away from the traditional image of demure femininity that prevailed in Japan. Furthermore, the rise of Gyaru Fashion coincided with the emergence of street fashion magazines such as Egg and Popteen, which played a crucial role in popularizing this distinct style.

These publications showcased the latest trends, featured style icons, and provided comprehensive guides on achieving Gyaru looks. With their vibrant visuals and fashion-forward content, these magazines became essential sources of inspiration for aspiring Gyaru enthusiasts.

Evolution of Gyaru Fashion over the Years

Gyaru Fashion has undergone different phases of evolution since its inception. In its early years, it was characterized by dramatic tans, bleached hair, and flashy outfits inspired by Western glamour.

However, as time passed and social preferences changed, these extreme features gradually gave way to more subtle variations of the style. Today’s Gyaru Fashion has diversified into various substyles such as Hime Gyaru (Princess Gal) and Kogal (High School Girl).

Each substyle embraces its unique elements while still holding true to the overarching spirit of boldness and self-expression that defines Gyaru Fashion as a whole. Gyaru Fashion is a dynamic subculture that challenges societal norms through bold fashion choices.

Its origins in Japanese street culture have influenced its evolution over time while maintaining its core principles. As we delve deeper into this fascinating world of self-expression through clothing and style, we will explore key elements such as hair and makeup techniques that define this unique fashion movement.

Key Elements of Gyaru Fashion

Hair and Makeup

Gyaru fashion is known for its bold and attention-grabbing hair and makeup styles. When it comes to hair, Gyaru girls go all out, aiming for big, voluminous styles that draw inspiration from Western influences. These hairstyles often involve the use of colorful extensions, allowing for limitless possibilities in terms of length and color variation.

From cascading curls to intricate updos, the emphasis is on creating a dramatic look that complements the overall aesthetic. In terms of makeup, Gyaru girls embrace a heavily accentuated eye look.

False lashes are a must-have accessory to achieve those wide-eyed doll-like peepers. Colored contact lenses are also popular among Gyaru fashion enthusiasts, allowing them to experiment with different eye shades and elevate their look further.

Additionally, trendy nail art is an essential part of the package. Elaborate designs featuring embellishments like glitter, rhinestones, or even tiny charms are common choices.

Clothing Style

Gyaru fashion embodies a youthful and trendy clothing style that constantly evolves along with new fashion trends. The emphasis is on staying up-to-date with the latest fashion pieces while maintaining an air of playfulness and individuality. Popular brands such as Liz Lisa, Cecil McBee, and MA*RS dominate the Gyaru scene with their unique designs specifically tailored to cater to this particular subculture.

The clothing style within Gyaru culture strikes a balance between feminine elements like frills, lace details, and girly prints while incorporating edgy components such as leather accents or unconventional silhouettes. Mixing contrasting styles creates an intriguing blend that stands out from mainstream fashion trends.

The result? An outfit full of personality, exuding confidence while making a statement about self-expression.


To complete the Gyaru look, accessories play an integral role. Oversized sunglasses are a staple, adding a touch of glamour and sophistication while contributing to the overall doll-like appearance. Chunky statement jewelry pieces like necklaces and bracelets are chosen to draw attention and add visual interest to the ensemble.

These oversized accessories are carefully selected to complement the clothing style and enhance the overall impact. Handbags in bold colors or patterns serve as both functional accessories and fashion statements.

The bags are chosen with care, ensuring they harmonize with the outfit while providing a necessary pop of color or pattern. Whether it’s a cute pastel-hued purse or an eye-catching animal print tote, handbags help tie together the entire ensemble, amplifying its allure.

Substyles within Gyaru Fashion

Hime Gyaru (Princess Gal)

Hime Gyaru, also known as “Princess Gal,” is one of the most iconic substyles within Gyaru fashion. As the name suggests, Hime Gyaru draws inspiration from European royalty fashion, incorporating elegance into its aesthetic.

This substyle often features elegant dresses adorned with lace detailing, bows, and ruffles that exude femininity and grace. Tiaras are frequently worn as symbolic headpieces to emphasize the regal vibe while heels complete the polished look.

Ganguro (Black Face)

Ganguro is perhaps one of the more unconventional substyles within Gyaru fashion due to its distinctive characteristics. The emphasis here lies on dramatic tanning with dark foundation applied generously all over the face and body to create an intense contrast against neon-colored clothing choices. Unconventional hairstyles featuring bright hues like pink, blue, or green further accentuate this bold style statement.

Kogal (High School Girl)

Kogal is a substyle that gained prominence during Japan’s late ’90s to early ’00s era. It draws inspiration from Japanese high school girl fashion, with a touch of rebelliousness and playfulness.

School uniform-inspired pieces, including short skirts or loose socks, are common elements within this substyle. Kogal fashion embodies a youthful energy characterized by mix-and-match choices that reflect the vibrant spirit of Japanese street culture.

Influences on Pop Culture

Impact on Japanese Music Industry

The Gyaru fashion movement has had a significant impact on the Japanese music industry, particularly within the realm of J-pop and idol culture. Many popular J-pop stars embraced the Gyaru aesthetic as part of their image, influencing their fans to follow suit. The vibrant and attention-grabbing style became synonymous with youth and rebellion, creating a distinct visual identity for various music genres and allowing artists to connect with their audience on a deeper level.


In its journey through time, Gyaru Fashion has showcased an incredible range of styles and influences that continue to captivate enthusiasts worldwide. With its emphasis on bold hair and makeup styles, trendy clothing choices from renowned brands like Liz Lisa and Cecil McBee, as well as attention-demanding accessories, Gyaru Fashion has carved its place in pop culture history.

This unique subculture’s impact can be felt not only through fashion but also in music industries where it created visual identities for various genres while embracing individuality and self-expression. As we look ahead to the future of fashion trends, let us celebrate the spirit of Gyaru Fashion’s creative evolution while encouraging fearless expression in our own sartorial choices.


What is Gyaru fashion?

Gyaru fashion is a Japanese street fashion subculture characterized by bold and glamorous styles. It often includes tanned skin, dramatic makeup, flashy clothing, and accessories.

How did Gyaru fashion originate?

Gyaru fashion originated in the 1970s and gained popularity in the 1990s in Japan. It was influenced by Western pop culture, including American and British fashion trends.

What are the different substyles within Gyaru?

Some popular substyles within Gyaru fashion include “Gyaru-o” (male Gyaru), “Hime Gyaru” (princess style), “Ganguro” (extremely tan and colorful makeup), and “Onee Gyaru” (mature look).

Is Gyaru fashion still popular today?

While Gyaru fashion’s popularity has declined from its peak in the 2000s, it still has a niche following and continues to influence Japanese street fashion and some international trends.