Advertisement

A Dream Dress for Girls: Milk, Fashion and Shōjo Identity

  • Masafumi Monden
Chapter
Part of the East Asian Popular Culture book series (EAPC)

Abstract

The image of shōjo is largely conveyed through visual cues of dress, gesture, and appearance. With the exception of the now well-documented Japanese Lolita fashion, however, theoretical analysis of the association between shōjo and dress is still a rarity. Paying particular attention to fashion brand Milk, and romantic ballerinas and Victorian girls as underlying inspirations, this chapter aims to uncover significant meanings behind shōjo fashion. It contends that fashion aesthetic is crucially intertwined with the process of crafting and sustaining the image of shōjo, and further that this aesthetic subverts the stereotypical equation of girlish (shōjo) femininity with derogatory sexualization, values denounced as passive and unfavorable in many Euro-American societies. The shōjo fashion aesthetic, this chapter argues, inverts these negative associations into positive and empowering ones.

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am very grateful to D. J. Ellis for his careful reading of and feedback on this chapter.

Bibliography

  1. Akita, Kimiko. “Cuteness: The Sexual Commodification of Women in the Japanese Media.” In Women and the Media, edited by T. Carilli and J. Campbell, 44–57. Lanham: University Press of America, 2005.Google Scholar
  2. Alderson, Evan. “Ballet as Ideology: Giselle, Act II.” Dance Chronicle 10, no. 3 (1986): 290–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. an an, May 20 (1973): 207.Google Scholar
  4. Aoyama, Tomoko. “Transgendering Shōjo Shōsetsu: Girls’ Inter-text/Sex-uality.” In Genders, Transgenders, and Sexualities in Japan, edited by M. McLelland and R. Dasgupta, 49–64. London: Routledge, 2005.Google Scholar
  5. ———. “The Girl, the Body, and the Nation in Japan and the Pacific Rim: Introduction.” Asian Studies Association of Australia 32, no. 3 (2008): 285–292.Google Scholar
  6. Aoyama, Tomoko, and Barbara Hartley, eds. Girl Reading Girl in Japan. New York: Routledge, 2010.Google Scholar
  7. Asahi Weekly. “Rōzan’ne 2i Maeda Sae ga tokkun shita igai na basho towa?” [The Unexpected Space Where Sae Maeda, the Runner-up at the Prix de Lausanne, Practiced?] February 16 (2014). Last accessed May 16, 2016. http://dot.asahi.com/wa/2014021300066.html.
  8. Bardsley, Jan. “Girl Royalty: The 1959 Coronation of Japan’s First Miss Universe.” Asian Studies Review 32, no. 3 (2008): 375–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. ———. “Miss Japan on the Global Stage: The Journey of Itō Kinuko.” In Modern Girls on the Go: Gender, Mobility and Labor in Japan, edited by A. Freedman, L. Miller, and C.R. Yano, 169–192. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013.Google Scholar
  10. Brooker, Will. Alice’s Adventures. New York and London: Continuum, 2005.Google Scholar
  11. Bookservice.co.jp. “Interview: Yamazaki Madoka.” Last modified June 2005. Accessed January 30, 2015. http://www.bookservice.jp/layout/bs/common/html/interview/int0506_23.html.
  12. Chazin-Bennahum, Judith. The Lure of Perfection: Fashion and Ballet, 1780–1830. New York and London: Routledge, 2005.Google Scholar
  13. Chrisman-Campbell, Kimberly. Fashion Victims: Dress at the Court of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2015.Google Scholar
  14. Davis, Fred. Fashion, Culture, and Identity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  15. Dollase, Hiromi Tsuchiya. “Kawabata’s Wartime Message in Beautiful Voyage (Utsukushii tabi).” In Negotiating Censorship in Modern Japan, edited by Rachael Hutchinson, 74–92. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2013.Google Scholar
  16. Duits, Linda, and Liesbet van Zoonen. “Headscarves and Porn-Chic: Disciplining Girls’ Bodies in the European Multicultural Society.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 13, no. 2 (2006): 103–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Entwistle, Joanne. The Fashioned Body: Fashion, Dress and Modern Social Theory. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2000.Google Scholar
  18. ———. “The Dressed Body.” In Body Dressing, edited by J. Entwistle and E. Wilson, 33–58. Oxford: Berg, 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ewing, Elizabeth. History of Children’s Costume. London: B. T. Batsford, 1977.Google Scholar
  20. Frederick, Sarah. “Not That Innocent: Yoshiya Nobuko’s Good Girls.” In Bad Girls of Japan, edited by L. Miller and J. Bardsley. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.Google Scholar
  21. Furmanovsky, Michael. “A Complex Fit.” Kokusai bunka kenkyū 16 (2012): 43–65.Google Scholar
  22. Galbraith, Patrick W. “Idols: The Image of Desire in Japanese Consumer Capitalism.” In Idols and Celebrity in Japanese Media Culture, edited by P.W. Galbraith and J.G. Karlin, 185–208. Hampshire and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gautier, Théophile. The Romantic Ballet as Seen by Théophile Gautier. Translated by Cyril W. Beaumont. New York: Books for Libraries, 1980 [1944].Google Scholar
  24. Godoy, Tiffany. Style Deficient Disorder: Harajuku Street Fashion Tokyo. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2007.Google Scholar
  25. Gundle, Stephen. Glamour: A History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.Google Scholar
  26. Holland, Samantha. Alternative Femininities: Body, Age and Identity. Oxford and New York: Berg, 2004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Honda, Masuko. Ofiiria no keifu: Aruiwa, shi to otome no tawamure [The Genealogy of Ophelia]. Tokyo: Kōbundō, 1989.Google Scholar
  28. ———. “The Genealogy of Hirahira: Liminality and the Girl,” translated by Tomoko Aoyama and Barbara Hartley. In Girl Reading Girl in Japan, edited by Tomoko Aoyama and Barbara Hartley, 19–37. New York: Routledge, 2010 [1982].Google Scholar
  29. Imada, Erika. Shōjo no shakaishi [A Social History of the Shōjo]. Tokyo: Keisō Shobō, 2007.Google Scholar
  30. Iwashita, Hōsei. “Sutairu ga to sutairu” [Style Illustrations and Styles]. Eureka 637, no. 45–16 (2013): 195–202.Google Scholar
  31. Jones, Jo Elwyn, and Francis J. Gladstone. The Alice Companion: A Guide to Lewis Carroll’s Alice Books. New York: State University of New York Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  32. Jones, Meredith. Skintight: An Anatomy of Cosmetic Surgery. New York: Berg, 2008.Google Scholar
  33. Kawasaki, Kenko. “Osaki Midori and the Role of the Girl in Shōwa Modernism,” translated by Lucy Fraser and Tomoko Aoyama. Asian Studies Association of Australia 32, no. 3 (2008): 29–306.Google Scholar
  34. Kilpatrick, Helen “Envisioning the Shōjo Aesthetic in Miyazawa Kenji’s ‘The Twin Stars’ and ‘Night of the Milky Way Railway’.” Portal: Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies 9, no. 3 (2012): 1–26.Google Scholar
  35. Kinsella, Sharon. “Cuties in Japan.” In Women, Media, and Consumption in Japan, edited by L. Skov and B. Moeran, 220–254. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 1995.Google Scholar
  36. ———. “What’s Behind the Fetishism of Japanese School Uniforms?” Fashion Theory 6, no. 2 (2002): 215–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kirkham, Pat. “Dress, Dance, Dreams, and Desire: Fashion and Fantasy in Dance Hall.” Journal of Design History 8, no. 3 (1995): 195–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Koga, Reiko. Kawaii no teikoku [The Empire of Kawaii]. Tokyo: Seidosha, 2009.Google Scholar
  39. Koizumi, Kyōko. Panda no An-An. Tokyo: Magazine House, 1997.Google Scholar
  40. Kuramochi, Kayoko. “Nakahara Jun’ichi to shōjo manga” [Jun’ichi Nakahara and Shōjo Manga]. Eureka 637, no. 45–16 (2013): 203–210.Google Scholar
  41. Kyoto International Manga Museum, ed. Baree manga: eien naru utsukushisa [Ballet Manga: Leap Above the Beauty]. Tokyo: Ōta Shuppan, 2013.Google Scholar
  42. McNeil, Peter. “The Appearance of Enlightenment: Refashioning the Elites.” In The Enlightenment World, edited by. M. Fitzpatrick, P. Jones, C. Knellwolf, and I. McCalmn, 381–400. Oxfordshire and New York: Routledge, 2004.Google Scholar
  43. McVeigh, Brian J. Wearing Ideology: State, Schooling and Self-Presentation in Japan. Oxford and New York: Berg, 2000.Google Scholar
  44. Milk. e-Mook: Sparkling Girls Change the World. Tokyo: Takarajima-sha, 2011.Google Scholar
  45. ———. “Look Book.” Last accessed January 30, 2015. http://www.milk-web.net.
  46. Miller, Laura. “Japan’s Cinderella Motif: Beauty Industry and Mass Culture Interpretations of a Popular Icon.” Asian Studies Review 32, no. 3 (2008): 393–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. ———. “Cute Masquerade and the Pimping of Japan.” International Journal of Japanese Sociology, 1 (2011): 18–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Monden, Masafumi. “Contemplating in a Dream-Like Room: The Virgin Suicides and the Aesthetic Imagination of Girlhood.” Fashion, Film and Consumption 2, no. 2 (2013): 139–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. ———. “Being Alice in Japan: Performing a Cute, ‘Girlish’ Revolt.” Japan Forum 26, no. 2 (2014a): 265–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. ———. “In Praise of Sheer Perfection: Ballet, Clothing and Japanese Culture.” In Dance and Fashion, edited by V. Steele, 309–351. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014b.Google Scholar
  51. ———. “Layers of the Ethereal.” Fashion Theory 18, no. 3 (2014c): 251–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. ———. Japanese Fashion Cultures: Gender and Dress in Contemporary Japan. London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2015.Google Scholar
  53. Nakamura, Karen, and Hisako Matsuo. “Female Masculinity and Fantasy Spaces: Transcending Genders in the Takarazuka and Japanese Popular Culture.” In Men and Masculinities in Modern Japan: Dislocating the Salaryman Doxa, edited by J.E. Roberson and N. Suzuki, 59–76. New York: Routledge, 2002.Google Scholar
  54. non-no, April 20 (1973), Vol. 15–6 (2010), May (2015), February (2016).Google Scholar
  55. Olive, February 18 (1985), April 18 (1986), May 3 (1986), March 18 (1988).Google Scholar
  56. Peers, Juliette. “Ballet and Girl Culture.” In Girl Culture: An Encyclopedia Vol. 1, edited by M. Mitchell and J. Reid-Walsh, 73–84. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2008.Google Scholar
  57. Roach-Higgins, Mary Ellen, and Joanne B. Eicher. “Dress and Identity.” Clothing and Textiles Research Journal 11, no. 1 (1992): 1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rose, Clare. Children’s Clothes Since 1750. London: B. T. Batsford, 1989.Google Scholar
  59. Smith, B.G. Ladies of the Leisure Class. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981.Google Scholar
  60. Sō-En. “Arisu o sagashite” [Looking for Alice]. October (2007): 26–47.Google Scholar
  61. Spoon. September, vol. 95 (2013), December, vol. 97 (2013).Google Scholar
  62. Steele, Valerie. Fashion and Eroticism: Ideals of Feminine Beauty from the Victorian Era to the Jazz Age. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985.Google Scholar
  63. ———. “Appearance and Identity.” In Men and Women Dressing the Part, edited by C.B. Kidwell and V. Steele, 6–21. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989.Google Scholar
  64. ———. “Letter from the Editor.” Fashion Theory 1, no. 1 (1997): 1–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. ———. Japan Fashion Now. New York: Yale University Press, 2010.Google Scholar
  66. Stevens, Carolyn, and Shuhei Hosokawa. “So Close and yet so Far: Humanizing Celebrity in Japanese Music Variety Shows, 1960–1990s.” In Asian Media Productions, edited by B. Moeran, 223–246. Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2001.Google Scholar
  67. Takahashi, Yukiko. “Roman-ha baree ni okeru josei no imēji ni tsuite” [Female Images in Ballet Romantique]. Gakushūin daigaku jinbunkagaku ronshū, 21 (2012): 185–209.Google Scholar
  68. Twigg, Julia. Fashion and Age: Dress, the Body and Later Life. London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Utsukushiku ikiru: Nakahara Jun’ichi sono bigaku to shigoto [Live Beautifully: The Aesthetics and Works of Jun’ichi Nakahara]. Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1999.Google Scholar
  70. Watanabe, Shūko. Shōjozō no tanjō: Kindai Nihon ni okeru “shōjo” no keisei [The Birth of the Images of Shōjo: The Construction of Shōjo in Modern Japan]. Tokyo: Shinsensha, 2007.Google Scholar
  71. Welker, James. “From the Cherry Orchard to Sakura no sono: Translation and the Transfiguration of Gender and Sexuality in Shōjo Manga.” In Girl Reading Girl in Japan, edited by T. Aoyama and B. Hartley, 160–173. New York: Routledge, 2010.Google Scholar
  72. Wilson, Elizabeth. “Fashion and Postmodern Body.” In Chic Thrills: A Fashion Reader, edited by J. Ash and E. Wilson, 3–16. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  73. Yoshida, Miyako. Isshun no eien [Moments Preserved]. Tokyo: Sekai Bunkasha, 2011.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masafumi Monden
    • 1
  1. 1.The Faculty of Design, Architecture and BuildingUniversity of Technology SydneySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations