Origami Cupcake

Takuya Angel & The Kimono Rivival

Fashion, Japan, Traditional Japan

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These beautiful images are from Takuya Angel, a relatively small fashion brand with a devoted fan following. Takuya Angel is unusual in that it combines elements of traditional Japanese and contemporary clothing. Pieces are adapted for a modern lifestyle using bright colors and unexpected materials like polyester, velvet and fur. Takuya Angel has also been influenced anime and manga, inspired by a fresh depiction of the past seen in series like Samurai Champloo.

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Pic of the Day: Harajuku Lovers

Fashion, Japan, Pic of the Day

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The subject of Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Lover’s is one that deserves a full rant, but I’m not really able to make up my mind about it at present. For now at least enjoy this sugary sweet image from her ad campaign.

Video Game Spotlight: Ōkami

Design, Japan

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Ōkami is a great action-adventure game developed by Clover and published by Capcom for the PSII and Wii. While sales of the game were poor, it earned praise from critics, loyal fans and the title of IGN’s 2006 Game of the Year.

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Scans: Retro Kimono & Hairstyles

Fashion, Japan, Traditional Japan

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These retro-inspired kimono are a throwback to the large bold prints popular during the Taisho era from 1912-1925. Unfortunately I can’t remember where I got these from, but I did get that link from the Immortal Geisha Forums – always a great resource for anything related to kimonos.

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Pic of the Day: Sweet Lolita

Fashion, Japan, Pic of the Day

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Via Flickr.

The Great (Bamboo) Wall: Architecture by Kengo Kuma

Design, Japan, Traditional Japan

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I love this guesthouse designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. Built in Beijing the design was inspired by the Great Wall, a geometric form which merges with the surrounding landscape. In Kengo Kuma’s design this same effect is achieved through the use of bamboo, which both emphasises the house’s modern lines and creates a sense of harmony with the outside world.

You can see Kengo Kuma’s website here to see his many other designs, as well as floor plans and architectual sketches.

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Featured Designer: Simone Legno of Tokidoki

Art, Fashion, Japan

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I love Japanese Pop Art. But I love it even more when other people also get excited about Japan, and start reinterpreting the country’s rich visual heritage into their own personal vision. This is exactly how designer Simone Legno began Tokidoki, creating a whimsical and happy world with a sophisticated and sexy edge.

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Decor by Kimono Designer Jotaro Saito

Design, Fashion, Japan, Traditional Japan

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I love Jotaro Saito’s kimonos; his work has the restrained, classic style of traditional Japan, while still  being modern and fresh. But when I saw his interior design I was even more impressed. All the hallmarks of his kimono design are there: dark colours, luscious pattern and texture, a perfect mixture of old and new.

Here’s a link to his official website.

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Japanese Street Fashion: Photos by Akif Hakan Celebi

Fashion, Japan, Photography

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Last month I promised you more from photographer Akif Hakan Celebi, after posting his portraits of geisha. Today I’ll skip the introductions and go straight to his series on Japanese street fashion. You can check out his extensive body of work on his official website and deviant art site.

 

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Origami Inspired Christian Dior

Design, Fashion

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I couldn’t resist posting these pictures from Christian Dior’s 2007 Spring/Summer Couture Collection inspired by Madame Butterfly. Here’s a link to the Vogue Catwalk Report, including close-ups of the dresses.

This collection which was both praised profusely, and harshly criticized for its all-pervading Orientalism. While the fact that it’s couture needs to be taken into consideration, I can’t help but feel that these dresses mix the sublime with the ridiculous – a classic example of taking elements from another culture without any of the spirit behind it.

The collection has none of the  simplicity and restraint of traditional Japan, but the dresses are decadent and bold. It’s John Galliano doing Japan his own way, with Japan as the stage for his own fantasy ball. This is what makes it new, and what makes it interesting.

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