Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Eye See You

Japan is well known for it's more "interesting" inventions & trends. A style that has caught my eye personally in the last few years is something known as "gurokawa". What is gurokawa, you might ask? If you look at the name in Japanese, it's written as グロかわ. "Guro" being Japanese shorthand for "grotesque", and "kawa" being the first part of かわいい--"kawaii" (Japanese for "cute"). So mashed together, you have a new word that is used as a catch-all for things that can be labeled as "weirdly cute".

It's not entirely clear exactly when this term was coined (or who officially created it); but since it's inception, the label has been used to describe everything from the art of Japanese artist Junko Mizuno to the wildy popular Gloomy Bear toys. But gurokawa isn't just limited to art and toys, of course! The idea of gurokawa has also creeped into fashion. And recently, the biggest trend to come from this theme is without a doubt, eyeballs!

Photos from

That's right! Everywhere you look lately, it seems that eyeballs are one of the hottest accessories to add to outfits. Even outside of Japan, designers seem to be taking notice of this trend--even Etsy is FULL of creative ways to add some eyeballs to fashion, from necklaces to fake nails!

So what brought on this strange new love of eyeballs, one might ask? While eyeballs have been used in pop art and fashion before over the years (they're heavily used in biker and rockabilly styles, for example), some people are attributing this recent trend to none other than Kyary Pamyu Pamyu---the Japanese fashion model/blogger turned recording artist. Her break-out single ("PonPonPon") became an almost overnight sensation, thanks to it's over-the-top music video that went viral...complete with eyeball themes throughout!

Screencaps from the video--see the full official music video HERE.

It could be a coincidence, of course, but the steady rise of eyeball accessories popping up everywhere and Kyary's recent popularity seems too close to ignore.

I for one love this recent trend! Of course, I couldn't pull off anything as crazy over-the-top as Kyary. But a pair of eyeball earrings or a colorful broach can add a fun touch of weird to a normal outfit. (And I for one, can never resist adding a little more weirdness to my life. ;D )

What do you guys think? Too over the top? Or do you find eyeballs in fashion to already be a tired theme? What other unusual things do you like to see in fashions? (Bats? Lips? Platipi? XD)

Until next time!