Stylish Japanglish: J-fashion collections with names as funky as the clothes

Japanese fashion labels – from a bunch of sub-genres – give their clothes and their collections some unusual names. A Bathing Ape is only the start of the weirdness.

Fashions for women, like lolita brands, girly-kei and dolly-kei, can be the ‘worst offenders’ for weird collection naming. They’re usually food-themed, always cute, and often leave you seriously wondering who came up with them.

Dreaming Tropical Juice (Liz Lisa)

We wrote about the Dreaming Tropical Juice collection earlier this year. It followed spring’s Innocent Dream Flower line-up. We say that. It basically came out in mid-spring, when it’s already hot enough in Japan to be mid-summer in Europe.

If you ask us, the cocktails, juicy fruits, and tall glasses on those Liz Lisa dresses and skirts were designed to make us thirsty. The wicker handbags had ice cream motifs, and the bright white wedge sandals were covered in cherries.

The brand’s doubling down on naming trends this autumn by calling their A/W ’17 range Royal Sweets Labyrinth. Clearly the ‘dreams’ theme is gonna last all year.

Fancy Paper Dolls (Angelic Pretty)

Sometimes, it feels like Angelic Pretty picks words out of a hat every season. We’ve recently seen collections called Milky Pony Carnival, Ribbon Berry Bunny, Memorial Library, Daydream Bed, and Brilliant Princess Story.

Dresses from the Fancy Paper Dolls range are covered in… well, not dolls.

Pastel-coloured bunnies, teddy bears, and polka dot spotted accessories like hairbrushes and ribbons. They do look paper-ish. Like you could cut them straight off the dress. (Hint: yeah, uh, don’t try that.)

You can tell this is a summery collection, because one of the main dress (jumperskirt? JSK? you tell us) styles is a backless halterneck. Angelic Pretty often chucks a dress in that style into their ranges.

Nostalgic Candy Bar (Metamorphose temps de fille)

We had a hard time choosing a Metamorphose collection name to feature. They’re all so crazy. Dreamy Egg? Dim Light Holy? Marching Toy Soldier? Grapy Sweetie Fox Cub? What the hell even is that last one?

In the end, it had to be Nostalgic Candy Bar.

Putting sweets, cake, chocolates, and candy on dress patterns is really common, especially for lolita and girly fashions. Maybe you’d already figured that one out by now.

The pattern on this collection’s more subtle than most. We can’t find even one full candy bar on this dress. Candy bits, yeah, we can see those, but a whole bar? No chance. That must be where the ‘nostalgic’ bit comes in, because we still want candy bars after checking those pics and writing this sentence.

Orange Swan Choux (Emily Temple cute)

It’s easy to recognise an Emily Temple cute print, because they’re so hard to miss. Even the lighter-coloured dresses tend to have brighter (or just plain vivid) accents.

The Orange Swan Choux pattern does in fact include oranges and choux buns. So this is a style that lives up to the name. With a bunch of chocolate chucked in for good measure.

The orange bits are super bright – almost zesty! Fresh and fruity for summer. Just like the lemon prints on some of the brand’s other dresses. Food is as much a recurring theme in Emily Temple cute designs as the bold colour schemes.

Regimental Carousel (Alice and the Pirates)

At the less sugary end of the fashion scale, lolita style often takes inspiration from military designs. Lots of brass buttons, dress shirts and crisp blouses, and belt buckles everywhere. When we saw that Alice and the Pirates had put out a Regimental Carousel range, that’s exactly what we expected.

It’s not 100% what we got, though.

The ‘carousel’ part’s visible in the pattern for sure, less of the ‘regimental’. Those crowns and dead straight vertical stripes might be it, though. And one of the dresses there is very buttoned up. It’s harder to see those buttons on the other, more open-necked dress, but rest assured they’re there.

Fondant Chocolat Nounours (Baby, The Stars Shine Bright)

This is the newest BabySSB collection, on pre-order from early August 2017. Going with some fancy French-style naming this time around. ‘Nounours’ is French for ‘teddy bear’. You know it’s getting super weird when they start using French words in the mix.

There’s honestly no denying that these clothes come from Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. It’s written all over every piece, from the ribbons to the hems. Over and over and over. Not sure if any other range has made it this painfully clear.

Notice the chocolate theme again? Dark brown does go with a bunch of other colours. It sure stands out against the light fondant pinks and blues here. So do the many, many bears everywhere. Yeah, we had to include 2 BabySSB pics just to show you the bears.

Bears and bears and bears, oh my! You can relax knowing you’re getting that much nounours for the money. Well, as much as anyone can relax when they’re fully dressed in lolita fashion…

What are we gonna be treated to next?

New collections for autumn/winter 2017 from all of the Japanese fashion brands above are either fresh out or soon to be released. Time to get excited for the new clothes and the weird names that come with them.

Ever feel like you’ve missed out on a collection? Well, maybe you haven’t. It’s always worth checking Yahoo! Auctions Japan listings for second-hand fashion items.


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