There are plenty of standards and expectations around attire, from what you are expected to wear at work – no exposed tattoos, colored hair, and earrings – what is decided to be “feminine” attire versus “masculine”, what types of bodies can wear certain types of clothing, etc. Fashion is so much deeper than the clothing. Fashion, historically, is around dividing. Who can or should wear what. These standards have been built into our system, and have been relearned time and time again. The standards we are raised with differ depending on our environment, culture, and age group. As I will dive into later, this is evident in Rikarin’s (Rika) discussion of the expectations in Japan in our newest release, Everybody Can Be Kawaii. Even when today’s young people tend to appear to have a more open-minded acceptance to bolder fashion and styling choices, it does not mean it is not still met with outside pressures and resistance.
Our creative drive, the way we want to represent ourselves is what should drive our style. Fashion is also not only clothing, itself, but it’s in how that clothing is surrounded – the haircut and color, the added accessories, shoes, even socks and undergarments. It’s the attitude we wear with that outfit. It is about what makes us feel good, happy, confident, and like ourselves. When we mold into a fashion melting pot or have outside pressures subconsciously informing our choices, our identities become at risk of being trapped creatively and independently. This is why our magazine release, Everybody Can Be Kawaii, is powerful. It features a variety of creators from a variety of backgrounds who decided to take on the world of Kawaii (See how Rikarin defines Kawaii) fashion, disowning and rejecting the expected style standards. This is a theme discussed throughout the magazine.
In my younger years, I wore what I saw others wearing. I wanted to create myself a “frankenstein” style identity that was a combination of everyone around me. Although there is nothing wrong with that form of exploration, it came with a lot more fear of scrutiny and with a presence of perfectionist energy. Now that I am older, I can not only appreciate the freedom to explore my own attire and play around with style, but I can appreciate those who are bold enough to step out into the world everyday in their most vulnerable state – as themselves. Or those who step out in the world everyday with the courage to explore their style.
If Allen & Houston magazine has taught me anything, it is to take risks and follow my creative energy. Release after release I have found inspiration to be an artist that stands out and an artist that is not afraid to step outside the box. When we say Everybody Can Be Kawaii, we mean that literally – anyone can step out of their comfort zones and dive into an entirely new and unique style no matter who you are or where you are from. Discovering a style that fits us, at least for me, is one of the most difficult tasks. I am someone who can go from wearing sweatpants and an old hoodie, to wearing professional chic, to trendy high waisted jeans and crop tops. I’ve learned that sometimes we don’t fit into a specific style range, or are still exploring what fashion is to us. Clothing and fashion seems to pose a never ending identity crisis for me, and that’s okay. That’s what Allen & Houston is all about – encouraging exploration in who we are and who we represent. This release is no different in its encouraging of us to expand our fashion – to take a little fashion risk here and there.
Check out our print magazines here: https://www.allenhoustonmagazine.com/order-now/
Click here to purchase a print of Everybody Can Be Kawaii:
Click here to be taken to our Volume 2 Digital releases (including Everybody Can Be Kawaii):