What is the NEO GAL?
Also known as Neo-Gyaru ネオギャル in Japanese derives from English word Girl (Wow whatta’ Gal she was!). The Neo Gal trend originates from a fashion trend back in the 1900s called Gal, (Or Gyaru ャル). Gyaru style took the concepts from foreign fashion, mostly American, and put it on steroids! Taking the typical Florida/California beach babe style consisting of; Tanned skin, Ripped Jeans and dyed hair typically blond or brown hair and a lot of glamorous makeup.
Since it’s been a long time since the 1990s, a catch up to the new Western look was in order, this brought forth the Neo Gal.
The Old 1990’s “Gyaru” Style
By Beyond My Ken originally posted to Flickr as Glam, CC BY 2.0,
How Neo Gal Style is put together
The style takes a mix of both foreign and Harajuku fashion trends as the Japanese and has made it their own style. Using bright lipstick, eyeliners and fashion accessories to stand out from the crowd. Hair colour comes in an array of Blue, Pink, Purple, Blonds and anything that makes you think ‘Neo Pop’! – Us Nakama can compare it to walking into Top Shop or HNM down on Oxford Street, these pop trends are fairly up-to-date with even the fashion trends in London!
There is, however, a rule not to tan themselves, as their predecessors – the Gyaru did! In our opinion, this makes the Neo Gal trend appear far more socially soluble than the Gyaru style.
Rebellion or Expression?
Underneath the Neon Lipstick, The Neo Gal style is likely another movement against a fairly conformist Society of Japan. The individualist mindsets of the western world – (Especially America ‘Land of the Free’) would likely appeal to young Japanese people. Following their own hearts and standing out of the crowd is a difficult act to follow with the traditional Japanese saying “出る釘は打たれる” translates to “The nail that sticks out will get hammered back in”.
South Korea however, have been able to get away with outlandish fashion styles which are similar to the Neo Gal. Thanks to the music industry with KPOP bands like 2NE1 have been representing these type of fashion trends for years.
Fashion Leaders of the Neo Gal Trend
Every trend has its major influences, and Neo Gal is no different! Have a look at the photos from famous Japanese Actress Kiku Mizuhara (Editor: “My future wife, no seriously”) and Social Media influencer, Fashion brand owner / DJ – Alisa Ueno.