Perhaps the cutest of all Japanese kawaii fashion trends in Tokyo is hime, meaning princess, fashion, which celebrates high maintenance, youthful feminine style. A sexed up, rococo derivative of the prim Victorian era influenced ‘Lolita’ style, hime fashion followers revel in pretty pinks, pearls, fur trims, ribbons, cute prints and crystal decorations. One of the most eye catching features of hime girl fashion is the nail art favoured by its adherents, which transforms ordinary polished extensions into Faberge egg like creations, dripping in gems and sparkles. Hime girls frequently opt to dye their hair shades of honey blonde or chestnut, curled into long pre-Raphaelite style rolls or teased into beehive dos. In a further nod to the rococo era, crystal encrusted cell phones, lace parasols and sweetly decorated bags are popular accessories for aficionados of this style. Not just a look for teenage girls, princess fashion has found a following among working women in their twenties and thirties more able to afford the exquisite handbags and outfits found in princess fashion boutiques, which can run into the thousands of dollars. Hime style is said to have originated in Kansai, a region where women are reputed to be particularly feminine. ‘Jesus Diamante’ boutique began producing unique Japanese kawaii fashion styles for women who often found that imported western designs didn’t suit their more petite curves.
The dresses soon caught on, and a slew of competitors including Tralala Lisa and La Parfait began churning out princess styles of their own. Princess fashion is often considered to be a form of escapism for harried young women whose daily reality is a far cry from a romantic Fairy Tale life. In a country where the average age of marriage is continuing to rise, with increasing numbers choosing not to marry at all, it’s perhaps no surprise that so many embrace the excitement of unlocking their inner fairy tale heroine through hime fashion.