Are you bored of dressing like everyone else? Enter Decora fashion – the wildest, wackiest, and most wonderful style trend to come out of Japan. With its candy-colored clothing, mountains of accessories, the Decora style is a perfect way to express individuality and turn heads.
Join us, and let’s open the ultimate handbook of Decora fashion!
What is Decora Fashion? What is Decora Kei?
Decora Kei (デコラ系) is the Japanese term for Decora fashion or style. The term “Decora” comes from the English word “decoration,” and it certainly lives up to its name. Decora fashion involves wearing multiple layers of clothing and accessories in contrasting colors, often including pastels and neons. Think oversized hair bows, plastic jewelry, and all manner of trinkets and baubles. The Decora Kei style aims to create a playful look that expresses the wearer’s creativity.
Also, Decora fashion emphasizes DIY elements, with many enthusiasts creating their own clothing and accessories.
When did Decora Fashion Start?
Decora fashion first emerged in Japan in the late 1990s as a response to the country’s conservative fashion scene. One of the key figures in the movement was Sebastian Masuda, credited with popularizing the style through his fashion brand, 6%DOKIDOKI, in 1995. The name 6%DOKIDOKI refers to the excitement and joy that comes from buying one of their dashing pieces. Masuda hopes each item will make his customer’s heart beat 6% faster out of sheer excitement.
6%DOKIDOKI quickly became a hub for the Decora subculture. As Decora aesthetics gained popularity in Japan, it also caught the attention of fashion enthusiasts and designers worldwide. In 1997, the Japanese fashion magazine FRUiTS featured a spread on the Decora trend, which helped to spread the style beyond Japan’s borders. Today, Decora fashion continues to evolve and inspire new generations of fashion lovers around the world.
Popular Anime Characters in Decora Fashion
Anime characters have played a significant role in the Decora style’s scene. Many Decora enthusiasts incorporate characters from popular Japanese anime and manga series into their style. To name a few, popular characters include:
- Hello Kitty
- Sailor Moon
- My Melody, etc.
The inclusion of anime characters in Decora fashion can be traced back to the style on Harajuku streets, where Japanese pop culture always blends with fashion. The bright and colorful outfits of Decora fashion perfectly match the aesthetic of many anime characters, making them a perfect fit for this style.
Decora Fashion Artists
Besides the Sebastian Masuda we introduced above, many other artists have contributed to Decora fashion. Each of them has developed a unique style.
Takashi Murakami is one of the most notable contemporary Japanese artists. His work has been featured in global exhibitions, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, and the Palace of Versailles.
He often incorporates elements of Decora fashion, including bright colors, cartoonish characters, and creating an overall whimsical aesthetic. For instance, some of his famous masterpieces like “727” feature characters popular in Decora aesthetics. In addition to his paintings and sculptures, Murakami has also collaborated with major fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton, 6%DOKIDOKI, and Vans, creating unique product designs.
Murakami’s influence on Decora fashion can also be seen in the increasing popularity of his artwork within the community. Many Decora enthusiasts proudly wear clothing and accessories featuring his signature smiling flowers. In turn, Murakami has recognized and embraced the subculture, opening a cafe in Tokyo called “Bar Zingaro” inspired by the Decora aesthetic.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, originally named Kiriko Takemura, is a Japanese singer, model, and fashion icon. She was born on January 29, 1993, in Nishitōkyō, Tokyo.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s unique style and quirky personality made her stand out in Japanese music and fashion scenes. She began her career as a model, appearing in various fashion magazines and on runways. She gained wider recognition after releasing her debut single, “PonPonPon,” in 2011. The song’s colorful and eccentric music video quickly went viral, attracting millions of views on YouTube.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s music and fashion style are heavily influenced by Decora fashion. Bright colors, bold patterns, and an abundance of accessories characterized her outfits. She is known for mixing different elements, such as toys, flowers, and ribbons, to create her unique looks.
Where to Buy Decora Fashion Items? Online & Offline
If you’re looking to add some colorful and playful Decora fashion to your wardrobe, you’re in luck! There are many brands and stores specializing in Decora styles.
Several online marketplaces and retailers offer a wide range of fashion items inspired by Decora Kei. Some popular options include:
Official Website: https://shop.6dokidoki.com/
The flag of Decora Kei styles. Besides their own designs, you can also find a variety of artworks inspired by Decora Kei aesthetics on their website.
Official Website: https://acdcrag.com/en
ACDC Rag is a popular Japanese fashion brand that offers a unique and edgy take. Founded in the 1980s, the brand is a pioneer in the street fashion, known for its colorful and bold designs.
Official Website: https://angelicpretty.com/
This Japanese brand specializes in lolita fashion but also offers Decora-inspired accessories such as hair clips, bags, and jewelry. You can combine their sweet dresses and accessories, like a real Decora DIY expert!
Official Website: https://kawaiination.com/
This retailer offers a range of cute and colorful clothing and accessories. Sometimes, they will provide selected Decora-inspired pieces.
As usual, you can find anything you want from Amazon & Etsy! There are tons of sellers offering handmade and unique Decora fashion items.
Besides the brands that offer an online shopping website, there are some good stores hidden on the street. In the following part, we will introduce some popular options in Tokyo and Los Angeles.
6%DOKIDOKI’s flagship store is in Harajuku. The store is a colorful wonderland filled with rainbow-colored walls, neon lights, and playful decorations. They also have some pop-up shops in cities like Los Angeles and New York.
ACDC Rag has several stores in Harajuku, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Osaka, and other cities in Japan. You can experience the vibrant and amiable atmosphere in their little stores.
Sayuri Tabuchi, aka Tavuchi, is a renowned figure in the Decora scene in Tokyo. She has been the driving force behind Spank!, an influential store and brand in Tokyo’s Koenji neighborhood. Spank! and its sister store, Spank me!, are the go-to places for those seeking colorful and playful aesthetics.
JapanLA is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to add kawaii and Decora style to their wardrobe. The store is jam-packed with colorful and playful clothing, accessories, and stationery that will transport you straight to the streets of Harajuku. If you happen to be in Los Angeles and love Japanese styles, be sure to stop by their brick-and-mortar store in Little Tokyo for an immersive kawaii experience.
With its rainbow style, Decora fashion perfectly represents Japan’s kawaii culture. Whether you want to stand out in a crowd or add a pop of color to your phone case, Decora Kei fashion is the way to go.
With a wide range of fashion examples and brands to choose from, you can easily get started on your Decora Kei journey. And don’t forget to accessorize with hair clips, stickers, and other kawaii trinkets to truly capture the essence of the style.
If you want to know more about Japanese styles, welcome to our Japanese channel! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or ideas about fashion ~ We are always here to exchange brilliant thoughts!