Diamond Gal Circle Brings Cute and Sexy Japanese Street Fashion to Los Angeles
See more photos in Shannon Cottrell's gallery "Gal Crazy at Holiday Hot Mess."
Tuesday night, the gals took over Royal/T, the Culver City maid cafe/art gallery, for Holiday Hot Mess. Hosted by Diamond Gal Circle and Tune in Tokyo, the event focused on the Japanese subculture known as gyaru, or gal.
The members of Diamond Gal Circle-- we met with Cici, Mishi, Dolly, Mie, Tricia, Bambi, Valentine and Hiromi-- are raising the profile of gal style in L.A. through events such as Holiday Hot Mess. Like their counterparts in Japan, they've formed a "gal circle" or club based around their love of sexy and sweet fashion.
Shannon Cottrell Diamond Gal Circle at Royal/T for Holiday Hot Mess
Diamond Gal formed in 2008, after several of the members, as Valentine says, "graduated" from another gal circle to do something "more serious." They started promoting events earlier this year-- their first was a party at purikura arcade Kira Kira called "Glamorous"-- to help spread the word about gal in a city where Japanese pop culture aficionados are more familiar with street fashion styles like Lolita, decora, visual kei and gothic.
Gal isn't a new style. The members of Diamond Gal mentioned that many credit J-pop star Namie Amuro, whose career first peaked back in the mid-'90s, with popularizing the style. If you want a magazine reference, Egg is a good start, particularly since it's a staple of Japanese newsstands.
Shannon Cottrell Valentine of Diamond Gal Circle
The style is ever-evolving and can involve many subgenres. Perhaps the best known of these gal offshoots is ganguro, girls with bleached blonde hair, dark tans and bright white eye makeup and lipstick that were gaining a lot of attention in Japan in around 2000. That sort of extreme style isn't very common in the country anymore, the Diamond Gals noted.
They mentioned the style can be further divided with terms like "hostess" or "rocker." Still, there are a few themes that connect the varied gal looks.
"Everything is big, glittery, girly," said Dolly.