Forest Mori Girl (Mori Kei)

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The Japanese are Topping the Charts with Bunny Rabbit Mania... But Why?

You only need to take a short walk round the main shopping areas of Japan, and the Tokyo Flea Markets to see that the Japanese really have a thing for rabbits...

Japanese Window Rabbit Mannequin

Rabbits are featured in almost everything, from school bags and accessories to ladies socks and dresses.

And just recently, the bunny mad trend has been to feature rabbits in a way you wouldn't normally expect... as a rabbit-headed fashion mannequin in shop windows.

Read more about Mannequin Madness...

The earthy tones within the window display above are exactly what the window dresser was going for.

The 'Forest Girl' look is very popular, not only in Japan, it's making it's way around the globe... and it has a name...

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The Rise of Mori Girl

In 2007, Japan saw the rise of Mori Girl fashion or Mori Kei - Mori means "forest" in Japanese, and Kei means "style or system". The overall style concept is "a girl who looks like she is living in the forest" so the complete look is natural & earthy.

The fictional archetype was the character of Hagu from a well known Japanese animee.

Hagu from Honey & Clover

Honey Clover is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Chika Umino. It is also known as HachiKuro.

It is published by Shueisha, initially serialized from June 2000 to July 2006 in the magazines CUTiEcomic, Young YOU, and Chorus, and collected in ten bound volumes.

The series depicts the lives and relationships of a group of art school students.

Little Forest Mori Girl

The 'Mori Girl' developed not only as a unique style, but as a lifestyle as well.

There are certain rules and guidelines that a Mori girl must adhere to in order to fully carry the status of Mori Girl. These quirky girls love vintage clothing, earthy makeup if any at all, pocket watches, layers of frills and flowers, tea, moss or going snooping for antiques to make in to jewellery.

See the Mori Girl collection in the Just Rabbits Shop

Japanese Window Rabbit Mannequin

Mori Girl Influences

I personally believe that the true inspiration for Mori, especially considering the use of particular vintage accessories, comes from 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland), written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who used the pseudonym Lewis Carroll in 1865.

If you have been living underground in a rabbit hole yourself for the past 100 years, then you may not know that the novel is considered to be one of the best examples of the 'literary nonsense genre' and tells of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.

The weird and wonderful characters, narrative course, structure and imagery have been enormously influential  in both popular culture and literature and continues to do so, to this day.

The Japanese may have been influenced by the pocket-watch wearing white rabbit, rushing to the Mad Hatter's tea party. The frills and layers of Alice's dress are probably the inspiration behind the overall 'frilly' look of the Mori Girl and her layers of undergarments.

The lovely frilly image on the right, has essences of that whole theme and comes from the Japanese fashion display at Wonder Rocket in Harajuku Tokyo, from

I think the whole genre of Mori is the influence of the earthy, woodland scene that Alice first finds herself in and in the fact that Alice is indeed having her whole adventure, underground, down a rabbit hole, that exists on the edge, of what looks like, in the mind of a small girl, an enchanted forest.

What Does a Forest Mori Girl Wear?

Japanese fashion has really embraced the chichi bunny rabbit in Forest Mori Girl art and displays. This is because the rabbit symbolizes outdoors. We picture woods, greenery and nature when we see a bunny rabbit, which is the message of a Forest Mori Girl.

Forest Mori Girl with rabbits.

A forest Mori girl will wear soft, loosely fitting layers of garments such as floaty dresses and cardigans. There is an emphasis on the use of natural fabrics such as cotton, linen and wool.

Undergarments are important too as most of the natural frills of lace and layers are on show for all to admire.

Just as important are the accessories, which are usually hand-made or vintage but all with a natural, nature enriched theme.

The colours tend to be neutral with lots of light pastels, but patterns such as gingham and florals are used to add accents of colour and uniqueness.

A Forest Mori Girl has long flowing, natural hair but sometimes has curled bangs and braids.

The aim in the whole overall image, is to create a 'doll-like' appearance, but in a more casual, earthy manner. I think this photo captures all that perfectly!

The 'doll-like' forest Mori girl

So popular is the Forest Mori Girl culture that a whole online community built up around it on the huge Japanese social networking site called 'Mixi', and was launched in August 2006, by a girl calling herself 'Choco'. In 2009 the group had over 38,219 members.

But it also has more than 60 rules...

To be allowed in and earn the label Mori Girl, one needs to follow these rules:

  1. You like loose fitting dresses
  2. You always wear dresses and skirts
  3. You prefer slightly quirky clothes over simple ones
    (but you don’t like loud and flashy clothes)
  4. You look natural, but with your own style
  5. You are particular about fabrics
  6. You like ethnic clothes, too
  7. You wear A-line clothes
  8. You like wearing dresses that little girls would wear, too
  9. You like smock-like dresses and blouses
  10. You don’t like super sweet fashion
  11. You like deep colors like Burgundy, Fukamidori (dark green, #00552e), Koniro (navy blue, #223a70) and Chairo (dark brown, #965042)
  12. Warm colors look good on you
  13. Short nails feel more comfortable
  14. You like fluffy hats made of knitwear or fur
  15. You like ear muffs
  16. You like ponchos and boleros
  17. You want to have leather bags
  18. You use pochettes for everything
  19. You prefer gold accessories over silver
  20. You feel attracted to old things
  21. You like pocket watches
  22. You like necklaces with magnifying glasses or large designs
  23. You like designs featuring animals, especially rabbits!
  24. You like designs featuring sweets
  25. You like plaid and polka dots
  26. You like old-fashioned flower patterns
  27. You like lace
  28. You like tights and leggings
  29. Your shoes are basic and flat soled
  30. You like round toe shoes
  31. If you wear sneakers you wear them like loosely fitting cute slip-ons
  32. Instead of regular buttons you like hand-made buttons
  33. You want to wrap your stole or muffler around yourself
  34. In winter, a turtleneck design is your basis
  35. You like layering garments
  36. Puff sleeves make you feel emotional
  37. You love fairy tales
  38. You are quite fair-skinned
  39. Your hair is loosely permed
  40. Bob cut x straight bangs
  41. Straight bangs x long loose perm
  42. You are girly
  43. You like FELISSIMO
  44. Of FELISSIMO, you especially like the brands Syrup and & Sloe
  45. You like the feel of Q-pot “sweets”
  46. You enjoy chilling out at cafés
  47. You like walking with a camera in your hand
  48. You unconsciously end up at variety stores
  49. You can’t help starting collections of things you like, you are a collector
  50. Finding cute books at the book store makes you happy
  51. You get excited when you visit a furniture store
  52. You like making things by hand
  53. Autumn and winter are your favorite seasons
  54. You’d like to visit Scandinavia one day
  55. You like to have round cheeks
  56. If you use perfume, you prefer faint flower scents best
  57. (You long to be) a girl that exudes a soft mood
  58. (You long to be) an uncomplicated girl
  59. You have been told you come across as laid-back
  60. You consider Hagumi Hanamoto of Honey and Clover to be a Mori Girl
  61. Shizuru Satonaka from Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru is also a Mori Girl
  62. You have been told by a friend that it looks like you are in a forest

If all this applies to you, you might just be able to join but remember, if you go by all those rules above, it's a lifestyle not just a fashion.

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Of course there are many different ways to be a Mori Girl and you have to find your own 'Kei', but one thing is for certain ...

... if you rescue a bunny and give them a forever home, you'll be half way there - no Mori Girl is complete without a rabbit close-by!

Have you seen any beautiful Forest Mori Girl influences around and about?

Have you noticed any window displays in your area that deserve a posted image shared on here?

Share your discoveries of the Forest Mori Girl with us and join in the discussion!

Have a Browse...

The Just Rabbits shop has a cute collection of Mori Girl Accessories, bags and dresses...

Peter Rabbit Vintage Print Mori Girl Summer Dress Bronze Vintage Antique Style Alice in Wonderland Pocket Watch
Perfect Mori Style Inspired in design by Alice in Wonderland
£19.99 £6.99
JOHNFashion Just Rabbits
Peter Rabbit Applique Vintage Print Cotton Mori Girl Cut Out Sleeves Summer Dress These beautiful floaty Summer dresses are very popular and fit perfectly with the growing trend in Mori girl fashion.... Bronze Vintage Antique Style Alice in Wonderland Pocket Watch This beautiful antique style pocket watch has been inspired in design by the popular Alice in Wonderland book by Lewis Caroll. It has ...

Retro Vintage Style Oval Gem Pendant Chain Necklace Round Alice Style Rabbit Print Cross-Body Handbag
Beautiful Detailing Three lovely colours
£5.99 £20.00
Just Rabbits Isos
Retro Vintage Style Oval Gem Pendant Chain Necklace This beautiful antique style oval pendant details a lovely silhouette of a rabbit and a little rhyme. High trend Mori girl vintage design. The ... Round Alice in Wonderland Style Rabbit Print Cross-Body Handbag These Alice in Wonderland inspired cross body handbags are an ideal accessory for the chic and trendy Mori style look. They are beauti...

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Get the Revolutionary iRabbit READY System...

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