Punk Rock Glamor and Kawaii Overload in NANA – THE YESSTYLIST – Asian Fashion Blog

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Tales of female friendships don’t come more heartbreakingly real than the 2006 anime series Nana. At its core is the instant bond between two 20-year-old girls who share the same name but couldn’t be more different – from their taste in men to the way they dress. Nana Komatsu, otherwise known as “Hachi,” is a typical girly girl who falls easily and madly in love. Her closet is full of hyper-feminine dresses that are a teen magazine editorial come to life. Nana Osaki, meanwhile, is a seemingly tough-as-nails punk rocker whose love for leather jackets and studded collars hides a streak of vulnerability a mile wide. From their first fateful encounter on a Tokyo-bound train, the two Nanas’ friendship is as unlikely as it’s golden, threatened only by the encroachment of the glittering rock world and the darkening of their love lives.

Although the two Nanas possess wildly divergent wardrobes, both show an equal commitment to high style. For Girly Nana, whose calling card is her kawaii factor, this means an indulgence in frills, ruffles and vintage-inspired wear, all rendered in pretty pastels. Even her aprons and nightdresses come fully embellished and in candy colors. It’s doubtful whether she even owns a pair of pants! Her endless parade of accessories, from cute hairbands and beaded bags to crystal drop earrings, provide exquisite how-tos on unleashing your girly side without veering into Lolita-lite territory. As her world is increasingly rocked by difficult romantic choices, her style is never less than perfectly on-point.

At the opposite end of the sartorial spectrum is Punk Nana, who’s all about goth-rock edge and spiky glamor. With her love for the Sex Pistols and Vivienne Westwood, her style is a mix of tough, uncompromising elements – think distressed fabrics, leopard print and studded cuffs, as well as sudden detours into sleekness and seductiveness. Typically, she stomps about in camis, ultra-minis and combat boots, cigarette dangling from lips. But she’s also been known to dial it up with high-drama ensembles ranging from slinky dresses and tutu-ish skirts to statement blazers, as well as going daringly low-key with tee-and-ripped-jeans combos. As the series progresses and her “one of the boys” persona starts to reveal hidden pockets of tenderness, we witness a softer side to her wardrobe, from more feminine cuts and simpler silhouettes to less abrasive accessories.

All images taken from Nana

The Two Nanas – A Style Guide

What would the two Nanas wear should they have access to the YesStyle selection? I imagine Girly Nana would have a field day assembling her own sweet, sassy and dreamily colored ensemble, complete with sparkly accessories. Punk Nana, meanwhile, would have equal fun replicating her signature look – heavy metal with romantic undercurrents. Read on for the low-down!

Sweet and Girly – How to Dress like Nana “Hachi” Komatsu

Go for enduring kawaii appeal with this 2020 update on Girly Nana’s sweet style! Inspired by the pink-and-white palette of her favorite outfits, I’ve selected this checked button-up cami and paired it with a mermaid skirt in raspberry – a direct riff on Nana’s dusty rose version. Extend the dreamy vibes with some of her favorite accessories! This girlishly patterned satin scarf, whether tied around the neck or the head, will imbue your outfit with old-time movie-star energy, while these rhinestone-encrusted stud hoops straddle the fine line between daytime chic and midnight glam. And who can forget her heavily embellished hair clips, a different (but equally cute) version of which pops up in almost every other scene? This gold-toned specimen, featuring ivory flower embellishments, is sleek enough for work and adorable enough for weekend tête-à-têtes. Complete the look by slipping into these block-heel, pastel-hued slingbacks before you head out for that post-midnight rendezvous.

Hard-Edged Romance – How to Dress like Nana Osaki

Channel Nana’s fierceness and scene-stealing charisma with this old-school punk-rock ensemble that works equally well in 2020 as it did in 2006. For sheer drama, layer this furry leopard print coat on top of a cropped lace cami and a red plaid mini in a direct homage to some of Nana’s favorite items of clothing – the skin-tight, low-cut black top and thigh-skimming mini with a casually thrown-on statement jacket.

Put a spin on her staple buckled choker with this layered version, which combines a faux leather choker with twin tiers of chains dripping with letter charms. If you’re looking to smuggle some gothic Lolita vibes into a tough-gal persona, go for lace knee-highs and a studded garter, before sealing the deal with chunky, faux patent leather combat boots embellished with hints of heavy metal. Swipe on the burgundy lipstick, apply a top coat to your wine-red nails, and you’re more than ready for that encore.

“I’m Here Waiting for You”

Nana is all about chasing dreams, whether it’s that elusive record deal or the perfect boyfriend. Things get tested along the way – this is a story about growing up after all. But on top of that, it’s also a how-to on stubbornly sticking to your own style, whether that’s extra frills and ruffles, chains and studs, or finding that grown-up balance between hard-edged and romantic.


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