Category — Fashion
Would I like to wrap niime’s shawl around my neck? Why yes, yes I would. Tamaki Niime is a Hyogo-based artisan who hand-weaves the most delicate shawls in the banshu-ori tradition. Characterized by a technique known as saki-zome (pre-dying the thread before weaving) the tradition dates back to as far as 1792. Niime uses vintage looms to create one-of-a-kind shawls out of cotton and a mix of silk or wool, depending on the season.
Earlier this year New York-based fashion writer Akiko Ichikawa stumbled upon the luscious shawls. Wanting to learn more, she made a trip to Niime’s studio in Nishiwaki City, a town that once prospered from its fabric industry, supplying to the likes of western fashion houses like Burberry and Brooks Brothers.
The meeting blossomed into a working relationship and resulted in Niime’s luscious shawls becoming available in the U.S. Current stockists include the New York-based online shop La Garconne.
December 8, 2011 1 Comment
photos by Kozo Takayama | click to enlarge
Here’s a recent project by the talented interior design firm Wonderwall, headed up by Masamichi Katayama. After supplying their popular fashion line to select shops around Japan, Beautiful People, the budding line of apparel, finally decided to get their own brick-and-mortar shop. And where better to list themselves than the snazzy center of fashion that is Aoyama?
Lead fashion designer Hidenori Kumakiri sat down with Katayama and laid out the essence of his clothing line. Katayama took that and created what you see here – a mesmerizing field of hundreds of white flowers that is at once both beautiful, surreal and slightly off balance. It’s as if you chased Alice through the hole and ended up in a wonderland of fashion. There are even little white bugs camouflaged in the flowers!
Read some of our other stories on Wonderwall.
The shop opened at the end of August. You can check out their lookbook here.
December 6, 2011 1 Comment
Ribbonesia is the art project of illustrator Baku Maeda who, entranced by the often under-appreciated beauty and simplicity of ribbons, decided to launch a product line completely around the art of the ribbon. Combining his love for animals, Maeda set about creating a zoo of creatures – an offshoot being this twitter bird (below) which I got a kick out of.
In case you’re wondering about the man behind the twist, we featured Maeda and his moustache back in 2009, before the launch of Ribbonesia. Now that his modest project has garnered domestic and international acclaim, he has launched a photobook of past and future endeavors. Here are some shots from the book, The World of Ribbonesia, which went on sale December 1 (1,575 yen).
December 5, 2011 2 Comments
Looking to tie the knot? Balloon artist Rie Hosokai and graphic designer Takashi Kawada, whom together form Daisy Balloon, have launched a new balloon bridal project. With services that include balloon wedding gowns, bouquets, bags and other ornamentation, Daisy is guaranteed to inflate that special day with happiness and a whole bunch of surprised faces.
I wonder if they offer a special “helium” package… to plan your escape in case you get cold feet!
check out our other stories on Daisy Balloon
To commemorate, the two have released “4 Apples of Happiness” (3,000 yen), a picture book that features their iconic Apple Bear as a matchmaker, guiding fellow-animals to find their soul mate.
November 25, 2011 Comments Off
It doesn’t get much sweeter than this! Japanese designer Dan Tomimatsu has designed a brand new line of jewelry inspired by rock sugar. Much in the same way that the designer recalls those sweet childhood memories of cradling a crystal between your teeth, the rings are intended to invoke fond memories, whether it’s your mother giving you a crystal to suck on, or those sugar crystal experiments you did in science class.
November 24, 2011 Comments Off
Haven’t figured out what to be for Halloween yet? Take a cue from Japanese fashion designer Mihara Yasuhiro. Although best known for his footwear, Mihara is also an avid kaiju collector. Taking his obsession with the occult a step further, Mihara presents a preppie ghost costume that incorporates a clothes hanger through the head.
“The ghost of preppy style can usually be found in the back of the closet, in the darkest corner, where things are forgotten,” says the designer.
Source: NYT Style Magazine
October 24, 2011 Comments Off
Featuring 10 of Japan’s most cutting-edge fashion designers, a new exhibition in Tokyo has just opened. “Feel and Think: A New Era of Tokyo Fashion,” now on display through Christmas (details below), is a dynamic investigation into the contemporary Tokyo fashion scene through the unique lens of an equally unique group of designers.
images courtesy japan-architects
The exhibition space was designed by architect Ryuji Nakamura, who decided to compartmentalize the different works not by walls but by steel pillars strategically placed at eye-level. The thick white lines create an almost artificial boundary between the different spaces and also force visitors to exert a certain amount of physicality in order to proceed through the exhibit.
(read our previous stories on Ryuji Nakamura)
October 19, 2011 Comments Off
Masamitsu Kimura, an art student at Musashino Art University (Musabi), created this outstanding series of delicate and haunting apparel in a fashion design course. Using Mino Washi, a type of washi paper indigenous to Kimura’s hometown of Gifu, “1876.2011” is an ode to his local artisans. Washi, says the artist, is simply an eloquent and masterful form of fabric.
By merging an ancient Japanese craft with contemporary western fashion, Kimura has not only made a significant step toward local revitalization but has also reminded us of the arduousness and beautiful possibilities of handmade craftsmanship.
I found Masamitsu Kimura’s work while exploring the nominees of the 2011 Mitsubishi Junior Designer Award. Winners were announced on October 5, 2011. You can read our previous coverage on this award HERE.
October 13, 2011 Comments Off
Yesterday, September 1st, marked the opening of Costume National Aoyama Complex (CNAC), the new flagship store of the “Edgy Chic” Italian fashion brand, Costume National. The new complex is, in a sense, a homecoming for the brand, which was founded in 1986 by Ennio Capasa, fresh from working in Japan as an assistant to Yohji Yamamoto. Along with a retail shop, the complex includes 2 other spaces – CNAC LAB and CNAC WALL.
CNAC LAB is a dedicated art space that will begin showing video artwork in October. But from now through the end of the month the space is encompassed by “Costume National: 25Years,” an exhibition designed by Ryuji Nakamura to showcase various archival looks that the brand has produced.
(check out all our posts on Ryuji Nakamura)
For the event, Nakamura has used over 4000 meters of polyester ribbon that functions like a lenticular print. Depending on where you stand, the ribbon can appear to be translucent to the point of non-existence, or it can appear to be opaque as a wall. As you approach the exhibition a curtain appears to close on all surrounding work so that, up close, you can only view a single piece at a time.
The other space – CNAC WALL – is a bar and terrace with a green wall created by Patrick Blanc. The vertical garden is reportedly his largest piece to-date in Japan and is comprised of over 100 species of plants that fit neatly together in 12 x 3 meters of lushness.
September 2, 2011 1 Comment
Japanese graphic design duo MUTE created this lovely project for VOGUE Nippon’s July 2011 issue. In an attempt to reformat a traditionally one-way, 2-dimensional media, the designers created origami rings out of the beautiful pages of VOGUE. Even after you’re done reading the magazine you can double-dip on some of your favorite images.
client : Only Free Paper
material : paper, rubber, VOGUE
size : w22 × d19 × h6
August 19, 2011 Comments Off