Popular Japanese street styles are known to have many different substyles under them, that means that there is a core base of each fashion style then there's the "babies" which adapts the main style with a different touch or theme. One style is Visual kei, which were popularized by VK bands in the 80s. The fashion consists of gravity defying hairstyles, high heeled leather boots and over-the-top clothes and costumes. We have an extensive guide about Visual kei fashion if you want to learn more about it, just click on this link to find out.
Angura kei and its influence
Angura is basically the same with Visual kei when it comes to appearance but with a traditional Japanese outfit twist (Kimono). The Japanese word Angura is used for what they call underground theater or little theater which was known in the 60s and 70s. The similarity between Angura kei and the costumes used by Angura theater actors are visible. Though Angura kei can also have another variety such as doing a mix of Japanese school uniform or seifuku instead of the traditional clothing, so you can add uniform as another sort of influence over the look.
Angura kei’s style is a perfect mix of being elegant, refined, quirky and dark all at the same time which makes this look very unique. It the probably one of the most distinctive fashion statements out of all Japanese street styles and subcultures. It is not necessary to wear full sets of Kimonos, it could be just added elements into other pieces of Visual kei clothing. It is actually often associated or even confused with another Visual kei substyle which is Eroguro kei, which main focus are erotic elements, and this is due to it being dark in color schemes and themes which are mostly in black, but different styles and color palettes had emerged over the years. Some Japanese bands donning this style, specially the pioneering ones, would wear white makeup or Kabuki inspired makeup and would portray looks from the Showa era (1926-1989).
It is basically elements of Japanese traditional outfits (like Kimono) with a touch of Goth or Gothic accents. The overall aesthetic can be quite extravagant and excessive. Looks from Showa era is the most prominent for this style, and you wouldn’t even know that this style under Visual kei if it weren’t for those signature gravity defying VK hairstyles, heavy makeup and other elements. It was previously mentioned above that Angura kei would also consist of modified school uniforms specially for young girls. You would often see the style having most of kimono elements like Tamoto and Obi, but there are added gothic and punk elements like spiked straps instead of a traditional Obi.
Main color schemes for Angura kei are dark ones such as black or dark grey. But other bright colors such as red, blue, yellow, violet and green can be used as accents as well. Some Angura kei bands like Kagrra and Inugani Circus-Dan would use different colors unlik Eroguro kei, which mostly uses dark colors.
Makeup would be the same as any Visual kei substyle, dark with a great emphasis on the eyes. That would mean heavy eyeliner application which have sharp edges or tips, sharp eyebrows and a matte and pale foundation. For Angura kei though, Kabuki inspired makeup is also considered, that would mean white face makeup or Shironuri. A for the hair, it's the same big hairstyles that are often teased. Black hair color is very common for this style but with unusual colors as highlights like blue, red or orange. Fully dyed hair is also an option. Traditional Japanese hair accessories called Kanzashi are worn along with their locks like barrettes, fabric flowers, long hairpins with ornaments such as flowers, ribbons, as well as fabric hair ties. Traditional Japanese hairstyles are worn by both male and female in some occasions since Visual kei and everything else under it promotes androgyny.
Accessories and footwear is what sets them apart from being traditional, usual Visual kei accessories are worn likes studded cuffs, spikes and lots of straps. As for footwear, instead of wearing Japanese Geta (the elevated traditional Japanese footwear that look like a flipflop but it's made of wood), they wear leather boots. Some of their costumes would vary in length, so for the much shorter ones, they would pair it up with knee high or thigh high leather punk boots. If the style is going for the traditional seifuku or school uniform as their look for Angura kei, they would wear platforms or a pair of studded Mary janes. Out of all Japanese street fashions, this one is not really considered as an everyday look by some. Traditional Japanese clothing tend to be very expensive, and having modified Kimonos would be even more costly.