Just a quick update on my previous post about so-called “Mori girls”. It’s a new trend in Japanese street fashion that moves the focus away from the flashyness of Hime-gyaru and similar, with their lengthy make-up routines and cans of hairspray.
Mori girls follow a similar vein to the natural-kei style. It’s all about knotted things, knitted things, wool, cotton and things that feel soft and/or slouchy. Perfect much?
Anyway, amongst watched j!doramas, I found Honey & Clover (which I’d read before a la its original manga form). To me, Hagu is a perfect example of the “mori girl”, and from other ‘net sources she seems to be somewhat an icon of the trend. I remember first reading Hachikuro (the Japanese nickname for it) way-ay back, and thinking how awesome this character’s wardrobe and style was – it was all long hair, floaty dresses, accesorised with suprising things like flowers or felt bird brooches.
The series itself I highly reccommend for its realism in storytelling. There is no plot, rather than the following of the tangled love lives of four art school students. But don’t think Honey & Clover is all mushy and predictable – love often strays the course, and sometimes people don’t get the happy ending they so want. But more than that, the manga also looks at their relationships in general with each other, and with their art. Maybe more than romance, its simply about four people growing up, but told in such an enchanting way.
^From the Honey & Clover movie. NB: Morita is exceedingly hot, with perhaps the deepest, manly voice I have ever heard from a Japanese actor under the age of forty.
Mori in Japanese means “forest” and a Mori Girl (森ガール) is a girl who looks like she lives amongst cedar and pine trees. She’s part Little Red Ridinghood (although she prefers dark blue, dark green or bordeaux brown to bright red), part Marie Antoinette pastoral fantasy, part Alice in Wonderland.
…these figurative forest dwellers are colonizing an area of cyberspace with profile pages and blogs devoted to their yarui (loose and relaxed) lifestyle. Considering that Mori Girls are, by nature, somewhat loners and prone to solo leisure activities, this online component gives the clan a unique cohesiveness…
Fashion wise, there is an affinity for floaty a-line dresses, an admiration of lace, puff sleeves, and retro prints, a fussiness over natural materials, and a preference for warm, earthy hues and deep traditional colors like navy, wine red, and forest green. Oft-spotted accessories include leather satchels, fur stoles, tights, round-toed shoes, pocket watches, and handmade jewelry.
More than meeting a fashion requirement, however, Mori Girls exude a certain aura of a dreamy slow life. Picture them strolling one of Tokyo’s few remaining bohemian neighborhoods, like Shimokitazawa or Koenji, analog SLR camera in hand.