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Nippon Fantasy: Illustration by Yamamoto Nori

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Inspiration, Japan

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Yamamoto Nori‘s illustration combines anime-style characters with traditional Japanese motifs. Swirling clouds of cherry blossoms, and girls in kimono with long dark hair mix alongside school uniforms in surreal and dream-like works. Enjoy.

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Candyfloss Pinups by Olivia De Berardinis

Art, Design, Fashion, Inspiration

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Cotton candy boas, silk stockings, and pink satin bows are hallmarks of Olivia De Berardinis’ deliciously sweet pinups. Sheer fabrics play against naked skin in a visual striptease. It’s pure cheesecake: beautiful girl in the girliest of lingerie. Enjoy.

Check out my previous post on Olivia’s artworks of Bettie Page.

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Bettie Page by Olivia De Berardinis

Art, Design, Inspiration

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Olivia De Berardinis is a master (or should I say mistress?) of the classic retro pinup. And one of her favorite models is the Queen of Pinups, Bettie Page. Olivia captures Page in moods ranging from smiling to seductive, teasing and playful, full of the personality and charisma that made her an icon.

Look forward to Part 2 featuring more of Olivia’s work.

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Vogue Italia: The Poetic Spirit

Art, Fashion, Inspiration, Photography

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Paolo Roversi photographed Tiiu Kuik for this photo-shoot “The Poetic Spirit” for Vogue Italia, September 2003. More art photography than fashion spread, these decadent sepia images seem to recall romantic vintage postcards.

Pics via Fashion Spreads.

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Sweet Nostalgia: Milkbbi by Justin Wallis

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Inspiration, Japan

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The work of Milkbbi aka Justin Wallis is a sweet mixture of naive art with kitsch 90′s imagery. Using a pallette of summer-saturated colors like aqua, watermelon and sunflower; it’s an instant rush of feel-good nostalgia.

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Buttons and Thread: Cute Illustration by Hiromi Sato

Art, Design, Inspiration, Japan

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The illustration of Hiromi Sato resembles the cutest scrapbook you’ve ever seen. Full of textiles, buttons and wool, Sato layers patterns to create collage-like images with fairy tale themes. I love the sweet mori girl aesthetic of her work. Enjoy.

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Mod Pop Punk: Contemporary Kimono by Modern Antenna

Fashion, Inspiration, Japan, Traditional Japan

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Modern Antenna creates amazing contemporary kimono designs. Their simple and bold graphic prints are incredibly versatile, and can be styled in fashions ranging from chic to cute. J-pop group SCANDAL rocked these Brit-punk inspired co-ordinates for their album SCANDAL SHOW.

Check out the official Modern Antenna site here (all Japanese unfortunately).
SCANDAL pics via Comtrya Sugoi.

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Textile Landscapes: The Kimono of Itchiku Kubota

Art, Fashion, Inspiration, Japan, Traditional Japan

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Itchiku Kubota is an artist recognised for his unique contributions to the art of kimono. A master of traditional decorative techniques, he attempted to recreate the lost tradition of tsujigahana. After decades of experimentation Kubota eventually merged modern innovations with ancient tradition to create his own unique decorative technique. Kubota’s planned masterpiece was a series of eighty kimono called the Symphony of Light, in which vast panoramas, flowed between kimono. While Kubota was unable to finish this work before his death, his son and daughter continue their father’s work today.

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Doll Portraits: The Work of Emma Mount

Art, Design, Inspiration, Japan

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Annie: The SweetheartBlythe White
Riiko: The VivaciousValentine: The Celestine

Emma Mount‘s portraits of Blythe and Pullip dolls, walk the line between cute and scary. With bobble heads and big eyes, these dolls are definitely a matter of love or hate. Although plenty of enthusiasts have come to love their exaggerated proportions and quirky expressions.

A large part of these dolls’ appeal is their almost infinite customizability. Creator go to extraordinary lengths; re-rooting the hair, re-painting the lips, replacing the eyechips, repainting the skin, and sand-matting or spray finish matting the faces. The result are dolls that are truly unique, and serve as a form of self-expression for their owners. In this way Emma Mount’s works are not only a portrait of the dolls themselves, but a reflection of their creators.

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Daicon IV Opening Animation

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Inspiration, Japan

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I was blown away when I recently watched the Daicon IV Opening Animation.  Somehow I’d manage to miss this crucial piece of otaku history.

The Daicon III  and IV animations were amateur works done for the 1981 and 1983 Nihon SF Taikai conventions. This group of amateur animators would go on to form Gainax, and the Daicon animations show the genesis of imagery that would be repeated in projects like Evangelion and FLCL.

As an animation it’s a testament to the beauty and visual power of traditional  cel animation. There’s something timeless about these videos, and incredibly after almost thirty years they can still compete with some of the best animation being produced today. Unfortunately these works have never been officially released, and never will be, so watch it now.

Pics via Daicon and Daicon III and IV Opening Animations.

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