If you grew up in the 90s you’ve probably seen your fair share of Sailor Moon anime and maybe even read some manga. Written by Naoko Takeuchi, Sailor Moon became a pop culture phenomenon that revolutionized the magical girl genre, introducing main female leads who were actually fighting demons and various bad guys. Starring Usagi Tsukino and a bunch of her fellow Sailor Warriors, both manga and anime became incredibly popular – not only due to the twists and turns of the plot, but also thanks to the characters and their cool looks. It turns out most of the outfits in Sailor Moon were inspired by 90s high fashion shows!
Setsuna – Chanel (1992)
Naoko Takeuchi was not only a manga writer, but she was also into modern fashion and art history. Her work is filled with all kinds of references from fashion magazines to classic art pieces. When she was designing Sail Moon characters, Naoko Takeuchi was often inspired by fashion magazines and runway shows of the 90s. Here we can see Setsuna rocking a dress designed by Chanel in 1992.
Serenity – Christian Dior (1992)
The main character, Usagi Tsukino, is a bit of a nerd and a total klutz. And yet, her destiny is to become a fighter, to protect the innocent, and to overcome all kinds of evil. She does it magnificently, showing off her funny and awkward side, and we get to enjoy those marvellous transformations. When she turns into Serenity, Usagi wears a whimsical dress that also has a real-life reference – it looks much like the one created by Dior in 1992.
Wicked Lady – YSL’s OPIUM
Naoko Takeuchi wasn’t just using high fashion references randomly – she was genuinely into fashion! You can see it many of her designs, manga cover spreads, and illustrations. If you think that many of them have a Vogue-esque feel to them – you are absolutely right! Some of the poses, looks, and colour palettes she used were an homage to fashion magazine covers and ads. Wicked Lady has a lot in common with Yves Saint Laurent’s OPIUM ad.
Koan – Thierry Mugler (1992)
Thierry Mugler’s 1992 collection had quite a few stunning pieces that looked like they belonged in a dark queen’s wardrobe. Naturally, Koan from the Black Moon Clan looked amazing wearing the outfit. It seemed like it was created especially for her! One of the reasons Sailor Moon had (and still has) so many fans is that there were cool female heroines on both sides. And bad girls rocked some of the coolest outfits!
Calaveras – Christian Lacroix (1992)
Naoko Takeuchi’s attention to detail is striking, especially knowing how many high fashion inspirations she used to design her characters. You wouldn’t be able to notice these references unless you were a die- hard fashion fan and had an in-depth knowledge of art history. Sailor Moon’s creator dressed all her dark characters in breathtaking outfits that perfectly reflected their wicked personalities. The corset part of Calaveras’ outfit was inspired by a garment from Christian Lacroix 1992 runway show.
Hotaru – Thierry Mugler (1992)
Dark characters weren’t the only ones who got to wear fashionable outfits – Sailor Warriors rocked some stylish garments, too! Sailor Moon’s outer space theme called for exquisite looks and otherworldly fashion and Naoko Takeuchi delivered it to the readers in abundance. Here we see Hotaru (Sailor Saturn) wearing a rare Thierry Mugler piece from 1992 runway show.
Sailor Moon – The Marrying Man (1991)
Naoko Takeuchi’s references go far beyond fashion runway shows from the 90s – her love for art and all things couture is evident in the stylish manga spreads and gorgeous covers she produced. If you’re a fan of pop-culture, 90s groups, Japanese fashion ads, movies, Vogue, and other fashion magazines, you will notice that Takeuchi’s creation is filled with vibrant details that are reminiscent of various art pieces.
Sailor Warriors – Alphonse Mucha
Speaking of art, the western art influences are quite strong in Naoko Takeuchi’s work – you can mostly notice this in manga as it was nearly impossible to use the same style elements in Sailor Moon anime. Here you can see the inspiration behind Takeuchi’s Sailor Senshi panels – they really resemble Alphonse Mucha’s art named Precious Stones. It’s incredible how much work the manga artist put into designing her Sailor Warriors!