There are many Japanese street fashion that are uniquely their own where people across the world choose these styles to influence them for their own fashion choices as well as their lifestyles. But there are also styles in Japan that came from the Western fashion scene, and one of them is the Japanese punk fashion.
The Punk culture originally emerged from the United States and the United Kingdom in the mid of 1970s, the wide array of this movement includes fashion, music, lifestyle, art, and even literature. Punks are known to be greatly value freedom, loud and aggressive music and fashion that is very awesome and distinct. When it comes to the fashion side, Japanese people had picked up western punk style but they were able to make it distinct as their own. Japanese punk fashion is often confused with Japan's Visual kei subculture, but if you have a good eye and try to look closely, they are a lot different than you thought.
Japanese Punk culture in the 80s. Photo: Reddit
Punk fashion 101
Offensive or statement shirts are often used as base for the style and the main colors are either black or white, then accents of different colors are seen. Styled shirts are also a thing, like strategically ripped or cut in places, some of them occasionally stitched together or being held together by safety pins. DIY patches and buttons are also one way to customize the shirt. And what's punk fashion without leather jackets? The most commonly used type of jackets are biker jackets, and most individual are doing some kind of modification like adding in some patches or button pins, some even painted with their music preferences, band names or other beliefs and views. Denim jackets are used and customized the same way, either with sleeves or no sleeves.
Punk bottoms is all about bondage pants, ripped jeans, acid wash and heavy belts. For those who don't know, bondage pants are those which have random zippers, chains, straps, buckles, studs, rings, sort of a BDSM style. The pants do not limit itself to just skinny or baggy, it goes both ways, there are also ones that are shorter in length. Aside from the black base color of these pants, there are also different color schemes and patterns (plaid is the most common). Denim jeans is also an option for a more simpler look, be it either the default which is plain, or modified with patches and rips or an acid wash one. For women, there are skirts that came out to go with Japanese punk fashion and it has the same aesthetics as the bondage pants, with plaid patterns, straps, chains, rings, etc, and some cases, a black petticoat underneath which is also used in another style subculture called Punk Lolita.
Accessories for this look is usually composed of leather, straps, chains, studs, and some symbols like a cross, or skulls, just like the rest of the clothing style. Studded cuffs is probably the most distinct punk accessory there is, but it doesn't just limit itself to just those studs, chains and other punk elements can be seen on them as well. Black leather chokers are a thing too, it can be also studded or with other elements incorporated to it. Necklaces with pendants such as a cross or a padlock are also a very common choice. Fingerless gloves goes so well with the aesthetics that a lot of varieties of it have been appearing over the years, they also wear some studded belts or ring belts, and never forget about those biker chains which we commonly see hanging around their pants or skirts. If you're familiar with the all the Japanese street styles, you would notice that they all have distinct way of wearing makeup (even boys). Western punks don't normally wear makeup or if they do, it's very little, to really none at all. In Japanese Punk fashion, makeup is an added element to the overall look, though it is not too much like Visual kei. Eyeliner is often used for males and for females, they do dark gothic style makeup to go with it.
Hairstyle can go from something simple or they take it to the extreme. The mohawk has always been punk fashion's signature look, it's just many ways to spike up their hair upwards with the side of their heads shaved. The extreme ones often dyes their hair into really bright, sometimes neon color. This iconic hairstyle is so timeless that even in modern times, there are styles inspired by this classic punk look. Modern mohawk is worn even with any casual clothing, as well as a fauxhawk, where they imitate a classic mohawk without shaving the sides of their head, they braid that portion of the hair instead and bring everything else up into a mohawk style up-do (this a hairstyle is most common for women). If they're not up for the extreme punk hairdos, a simpler, messy style with subtle to big spikes are worn in the punk culture.
Punks have a distinct kind of footwear, these are leather boots with straps, studs, chains and the like. Some are also customized with patches. As you can see, every single piece in punk fashion have the same elements and overall same in terms of the visuals. Other types of footwear used in Japanese punk fashion are platform shoes (this is the same type of shoes worn in Lolita Fashion) and rocking horse ballerina shoes that was created and popularized by the known brand and designer Vivienne Westwood.
Japan's kawaii twist
Among teenage girls in Shibuya and Harajuku, a new kind of Punk fashion emerged with all the classical punk elements but with a kawaii twist. Kawaii punk fashion has made its way into the Japanese street fashion scene and has became quite popular with a lot of young girls. The look still includes every punk elements like skulls, studs, biker jackets, studded cuffs, but with all the additional cute elements like kawaii cartoon characters, some bright girly colors like pink and cute, pastel colored hair. Kawaii makeup is also a must! Pastel eyeshadow, bright lipstick and some blush. The great contrast of the dark and pastel accents is what makes this style so appealing.
Anime and Manga
I personally got to know about Punk fashion when I came across a manga and anime called Nana by Ai Yazawa years. One of the main characters is a member of a punk rock band, so naturally they would be wearing beautiful Japanese punk fashion, the said manga even pays tribute to a world famous Biritish designer Vivienne Westwood (who uses punk elements to her creations) as some of her most popular pieces be seen being worn by the one of the main protagonist Nana Osaki, and the rest of her band members as well.
Punk culture and fashion had been around for so long with such a vast history, and it is still one of the most popular styles that never really died down. The style can be easily spotted in the streets of Harajuku and Shibuya in Japan.