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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Worn Out: Japan's Culture of Cute

Posted by on Tue, Jul 16, 2013 at 10:54 AM

So many strawberries.
  • So many strawberries.
Happening now, Seattle Art Museum's tremendous Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion contains so many styles in so many shapes, so many fabrics, and by so many talented designers, like Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo, and Jun Takahashi, that it's easy to get overwhelmed, I know. But you've got to pick something to start with. Perhaps you're super into soft, round, puffy, huggable things? Because who isn't! Come to the "Cool Japan" gallery, and I'll show you around.

This part of the exhibit investigates Tokyo's street-wear aesthetics, and a pair of Lolita fashion gowns by Kumiko Uehara of Baby, the Stars Shine Bright rests near the entrance. The cute just rolls in. A confectionary of lace, ribbons, embroidery, bows, ruffles, some more ruffles, Victorian cuffs, stockings, aprons, pinafores, pochettes, bonnets, pendants, and garters—these ensembles pair well with nursery-rhyme celebrities, or video-game heroines, or girls who live in small, tidy rooms suffused in rainbow vapor, with plush toys everywhere arranged in rows.

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