Gyaru (more likely agejo or hostesses) modelling Gothic Lolita brand dresses in their own style, taken from Vanilla Girl August 2008 issue, through CherryPop.
Thanks to this post and this post, I couldn't resist writing this reply of sorts.
When I was younger my style was casual, but when I partied I was dressed in many ways similar to gyaru past and present. My friend's dad managed a big band and we'd go to the bars they played at wearing backless halter tops and short skirts and had thick make-up and danced on the bar countertops, hahaha ... and all when I was only what, 16? XD;;; (Sorry, no pictures! :P)
Then when I was in college I first went through a street fashion phase and a bit of a decora phase. Later on I decided I wanted to try lolita style, but with the sweltering heat and my allergies to lace resurfacing, it was with a heavy heart that I decided it wasn't quite for me. (I still own a few lolita dresses though which I plan to wear gyaru style.) Through himegyaru -- which is definitely better suited for my country's warm climate, though not exactly for most of the population's conservative temperament -- I finally (re)discovered gyaru style while working at my 9-6 job as a marketing professional.
The problem with me is that I love all sorts of styles, and I really, REALLY love mixing styles up a bit to see what I can come up with. I hate having to follow only a single style. I have the uncanny ability to pick up what makes styles similar, and not what makes them different. Besides, the nature of my work (public relations) and the nature of my budget (which is meager for myself, since I need to pay some bills at home) simply won't allow for me to stick to any one style. I need to be able to dress up or dress down anything if I want to be taken seriously as a professional, while I need to be able to walk comfortably when I'm touring around with family and friends, or running errands at work!
I will also admit that in some ways, I'm a local trendsetter, especially in this age of globalisation where styles mix and match like never before. I've discovered that some of the styles on the magazines now are stuff I'd actually done before, but will now at some point or other not be able to do again -- partly because some of the style councils thought that when I'd originally done it, I was doing the style all wrong. =_=0 It's annoying! >0<
But what can I do? At the end of the day I decided to not be too bothered, to just follow my own style basing it from my own life while borrowing bits and pieces of the others. There is no way I can please everyone; with what I have to work with, I'll never look "fashionable enough." But you know what, that's fine. I am at least comfortable with my own skin (with my BODY, though, it's an entirely different matter... =_=). If I keep making use of precious time and money getting worked up trying to keep up with the Joneses or Satous or even the Santoses, I'd burn out faster than a candle burning in the middle of a hot noon. So sure, I'll follow the look as best I can, and I will still try to style my clothes in a manner very similar to what I see on the telly or the magazines, but I can't and won't get too worked up after someone tells me "You're doing it wrong!"
So do I follow a lifestyle? No, not really. Do I follow a life style? Yes, my own -- inspired by others, but still fully mine.