Inspiration from Japan

Japan is an ideal destination should you ever need fashion inspiration. I got the chance to spend a bit of time there. Each time I leave, I can’t help but reminisce over the great clothes. The only sad thing is that I’m too tall to buy most things there.

Implemented with such poise, Japanese fashion is tailored and put together. Most days in August were unbearable with high temps and humidity. Yet, I never saw people flashing too much skin or looking disheveled. I didn’t ask to take pictures of any people I encountered (maybe something I should think about for next time), but have found some images that encapsulate some noteworthy fashions¬†I encountered.

 

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Mesh t-shirt, spotted in Kyoto. The original wearer, had a mesh shirt that was integrated over a white t-shirt. It was really subtle.

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Source: pinterest. I dug up an image of a classic skater boy look. This doesn’t really encapsulate some of the cool skater boy styles I saw around Tokyo. But trust me, they styles were mean.

 

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This image is a shout out to b-boy style and a cool bartender named Kaz who we met in Niigata. I’m still sad that I lost his business card. ūüė¶

 

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Another shout out to bboy style seen in Kyoto, Tokyo and Shizuoka near Mt. Fuji.

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I got the chance to hit the club scene, and saw some cool trends. Mesh, especially black mesh, seemed popular.

 

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So many women were wearing olive pleated skirts. SO MANY.

 

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I got there during the August festival season and saw plenty of nice summer kimonos called yukatas.

 

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Shout out to the hair game of one English teacher I met. This picture doesn’t come close to capturing his fashion and flair and he didn’t have a beard like this….but it’ll do for now.

 

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Lastly, I leave you with this image. Most of the time, I’d see pretty convention styles that were taken to the next level with an unexpected addition or a detail that brought the entire look together.

 

Next time I visit Japan, I’ll take some actually pictures of the fashions I spot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Off Topic] Fashion design for Syrian refugees

RCA students in London design wearable dwelling for Syrian refugees

A team of designers from the UK recently created a jacket that could be used by Syrians refugees as a shelter.

I initially had some mixed feelings about this design, and they were only amplified when¬†I read that it is made out of Tyvek….the same Tyvek used for protective apparel, cargo coverings, and sterile packaging. In other words, a material that does not provide insulation in cold weather.This suit, while not a panacea, would need to be paired with efforts to give refugees blankets and other forms of insulation. Thinking of other weather situations, Tyvek does not breath well in warm weather either.¬†¬†It would, however, be easy to clean after long periods of time.

Lastly, the 3-in-1 design can only be implemented one at a time. ¬†You can’t wear the “shelter” while also using it as a sleeping bag. Who has time to convert this piece of clothing? Who will offer training for this? Is it enough to disseminate a video tutorial? What measures are being taken to prevent potential suffocation?¬†I have so many questions.

By and large, it¬†worries me that this¬†design is being created on the behalf of a population instead of with their consultation, but that’s another debate and not entirely realistic given the complexity of the situation. Even so, it’s hard to label the entire design as ludicrous. As one poster on a discussion forum stated,

“Design” doesn’t need to exist in EVERYTHING. Nor should it resolve EVERYTHING.¬†

Researching a bit, I found this is idea isn’t novel and has been implemented for homeless people in the Netherlands:

Sheltersuit was created by Bas Timmer in collaboration with business parter Alexander de Groot, and was prompted by the death of a friend’s father who had been living on the street..Sheltersuits are made from abandoned tents collected from vacated music festival sites.

In Japan, wearable sleeping bags are available in several forms:

Wearable Air Mattress / Sleeping Bag Suit

 

Gotta love the pop out feet

 

And more designs from around the world…http://weburbanist.com/2012/07/01/padding-around-12-cozy-wearable-sleeping-bags/

The most aesthetically pleasing design goes to:

2012 MPWR Coat….but it’s not waterproof

I’m not the biggest fan of the wearable sleeping bag concept,¬†but something about it intrigues me. There must be a reason why designers are reconceptualizing this idea over and over again…even though it can only go so far. Personally, I think this should remain in the consumer realm and out of humanitarian policy…but that’s just me.

Memory Foam Pants

The high-end fashion industry thrives off of our innate desire to show off our individuality. The higher the cost of the item, the greater the implied rarity. As a result, price points become a way to ensure individuality. But its bigger than that, right? (and bigger than my simplified economic logic…high prices don’t always guarantee sparsity or even quality –> cue the cynic.)

There so many brands on the scene that assure consumers that they have a one of a kind item or that some part of the manufacturing process causes each piece of clothing to have its own flair and differentiation. Its great and scary at the same time. Sometimes people just want what’s in the picture/presentation. Anyway…INDIVIDUALITY REIGNS SUPREME.¬†

I talked this over with a coworker the other day. I was shocked by a rather interesting question posed during the commute:

What if our clothing was made out of memory foam? And it molded into our shape upon contact and just stayed that way?

I chuckled a bit after hearing this. I sleep well because of memory foam, but the material itself is pretty bulky…has a bit of a chemical smell when first purchased.¬†Still… the question prompted¬†me to google “memory foam pants” like crazy. I didn’t find any, but I came across this funky fashion project:

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More about them:

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Their bio is serving a lot of things at once and¬†I really hope I don’t see anyone walking around like these models.¬†But…there’s something about this project¬†that’s worth¬†thinking about.

Apples

I always thought that the story of Isaac Newton was utter BS. There’s no way that this man sat under an apple tree, had a ball of sugar, starch and fiber hit his head, and then not only understand gravitational force but influence the world and generations to come. And it didn’t happen like that. The apple never hit his head. It probably hit a worm or squirrel he was staring at off in the distance. Who knows. But I still can’t believe he saw that and walked away with a better understanding of anything…let alone gravity. Call me a cynic. 

Well…I thought this way until a moment ago. Yes a moment ago. I’m on a business trip in an unexpected location (so descriptive, right?). In the hotel lobby, I saw a boy wearing shorts (Omg. Are you kidding? What a discovery.) Bare with me please. He had two prosthetic legs. That in itself is nothing to gawk at. Shit happens and technology fixes it. But I couldn’t help but marvel at the fact that the prostheses were not the same. One had a circular joint at the knee and was connect to the foot by a simple shaft. The other lacked the ball shaped joint and instead branched in two from the straight joint to the foot. This was a cursory view and I’m not sure if I’m describing each limb correctly.  I didn’t want to be that ignorant weirdo staring or asking basic (look it up on urban dictionary) questions. 

Long story short…I may have had my apple moment. 


Remember…I’m trying to make functional and adjustable pants. Not doing this for kicks and giggles. 
Couldn’t end without a Bechdel Tune. It’s full of sass, sarcasm, and admiration:

 

Competing Interests

Last post of the night. I swear. Yet another post to give this blog clarity. And also explain why there will be gaps as time moves forward. I need to think about applying to urban planning programs and possibly curating a portfolio. What does that mean? Making rough sketches come alive:

 
Okay. I’m outta here.