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Pic of the Day: Square Totoro

News, Pic of the Day

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I made this quirky Totoro for a GelaSkin phone cover. Enjoy!

This is the image I used for reference, it’s also my current desktop wallpaper:

Urban Growth: The Work of Marumiyan

Art, Design, Japan

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Marumiyan is a Japanese illustrator and designer known for his beautiful and intricate work. His portfolio is extensive, and the quality of the work so high, that I’ve had to divide it into separate posts. Last month I focussed on his beautiful landscapes, but this time I’m just showcasing some general work from his portfolio.

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Japan Trends: Hime Gyaru

Fashion, Japan

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Hime Gyaru is a new look gaining popularity in Tokyo. Somewhere in between the fashions of Lolita and Gyaru, Hime Gyaru (literally Princess Girls) aim to look a bit like Barbie. The cynic in me can’t help but notice that it’s taken the worst of both looks and combined them: mixing the ridiculous hair and make-up  of the Gyaru with candy-pink and huge bows taken from Lolita fashion.

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Pic of the Day: Kegadol Lolita

Comics, Anime & Manga, Fashion, Japan

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The Kegadol fetish has been around ever since Rei Ayanami managed to turn bandages in a fashion statement. Literally meaning “injured idol”, the Kegadol look features casts, eye-patches and surgical masks, often worn with ironic effect.

The image is by Mihara Mitsukaze from her work Alice Addict via Aethereality.

The Travels of Bad: The Work of Zander Blom

Art, Photography

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The Decision: Fuck Europe and the Disease of Civilization

The Travels of Bad is a multi-media extravaganza by South African artist Zander Blom:

The show documents the travels of an idealist Machiavellian hero, guitar in hand, on a crusade to revitalise the arts of the culture capital of the world. Fuelled by equal measures of blind optimism and hedonism, the search for new ideas and exotic flavours takes our hero to a fictional paradise setting where this bizarre satirical action tragedy literally starts to unravel.”

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Nippon Vogue: Stranger in a Strange Land

Fashion, Japan, Photography, Traditional Japan

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These intriguing images are from the Nippon Vogue article “Stranger in a Strange Land” published October 2008. Although the concept is simple enough, the juxtapositioning of French and Italian couture against traditional kimonos reveals unexpected similarities.

The effect is to make contemporary fashion strange, with the body it idealizes as just as artificial and standardised as a geisha’s mask. The images are also hauntingly beautiful, a paradox which points to the essence of what fashion is: artifice.

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A Lighter Side of Japan: The Work of Ume Kayo

Art, Japan, Photography

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Ume Kayo is a fine art photographer recognized for her playful images of life in Japan. While there is still debate about the value of this type of “vernacular” photography, Kayo has been extraordinarily successful. Her first book Ume-me sold over 110,000 copies and earned her the prestigous Kimura Ihei Award. Since then she’s produced two more books Danshi, about the escapades of schoolboys, and Jichan-sama, about her grandfather.

I’m not sure of the artistic merit of these images, but the real question is whether they’ll make you laugh. Enjoy!

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Pic of the Day: Farewell Alexander McQueen

Design, Fashion, Pic of the Day

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I only learned rather late about the death of Alexander McQueen. While I’ve never been particularly interested in his work, preferring street fashion to couture, I do remember being mesmerized by this image when I first saw it. Even now, years later, my reaction hasn’t changed: it’s beautiful but grotesque. It’s the kind of thing I love, the mixing of cultures with a personal aesthetic. Farewell Alexander McQueen.

Image via PSFK.

I favor street fashion over couture

Designer Karim Rashid’s Candyfloss Home

Design

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I couldn’t resist posting these pictures of designer Karim Rashid’s home. After all he lives in a candy-coated, fantastic-plastic bubble world… with his wife? While Rashid is both loved and loathed for his gaudy style, I can’t help but admire his dedication to the look.

You can check out his official website here.

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Momoji: Adorable Message Dolls

Design, Japan

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Momiji are hand-painted resin message dolls inspired by Japanese Kokeshi, with each doll containing a tiny folded card for your own secret message. Momoji challenged the photography students of the Chelsea College of Art and Design to create beautiful images of Momiji dolls and these photographs are the result. Heidi Coleman and Jacqueline Colley were the overall winners having hand crafted this quirky doll house and then capturing it in film.

Check out the official Momji website here.

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