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'Japanese Street Style': New Book Showcases Extreme Fashion (PHOTOS)

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If you've ever been on the internet, then you know street style has exploded in the last few years. But there is street style and then there is Japanese street style.

British photographer Pat Lyttle, who has been studying Japanese style for over a decade, traveled around the country shooting the most interesting outfits she could find. "The young people of Japan have a wonderful energy," Lyttle wrote in the introduction, "I love seeing it expressed creatively in a way that is rare in the West." Creative is one way to describe the outfits in this book. Wild would be another.

While many of these outfits don't seem entirely wearable from an outsider's perspective, Lyttle wisely points out the ways in which Japanese street style are present in western fashion, "Next time you're commuting into work, or watching a music video TV channel, see if you can spot a badge or T-shirt from Bathing Ape, or a Hello Kitty bag... Chances are you'll spot a few wherever you are." And, she's right. Traces of Japanese have filtered into Western popular culture, and are visible on both celebrities, Helena Bonham Carter and Gwen Stefani who favor the "Gothic Lolita" style, and on the city streets. Now the question is: as American street style subjects have to work harder and harder to get noticed, will we someday be dressing to this extreme? Time will tell!

See a preview of the Lyttle's "Japanese Street Style" below, which is available for $20 on Amazon.com, and then tell us: would you wear any of these ensembles?

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