“Ahcahcum Muchacha” is unlike any brand I have ever come across before. It’s sweetly tinged with poison…it’s a bone in your fish there to choke you…it’s a worm in your chocolate-dipped strawberry, it’s a doll that comes to life to scare you into a heart attack.
Seriously. You either love it or it freaks you out and you have to squint your eyes at it like watching a horror movie. In all honesty, it’s really just an innocently cute brand. This polarizing aspect is so incredibly strong that I had this huge wave of nostalgia wash over me when I discovered it. That’s because it reminded me of the late departed Nagi Noda and her equally freakish and imaginative fashion brand with Mark Ryden that had people cooing or running away.
Ahcahcum (pronounced “a-cha-choom”) is based in Osaka with only a few select pieces available randomly in Tokyo, so it flew over my radar forever. If online stats can be believed, the brand started in 1994 so it’s had ample time to build up a fan base. Are you one of them? Check out a sampling of the products out now:
It has a flair for nostalgia and forest girl, like if fur fur dropped bath salts. It’s why I am so entranced by it’s world…some of the things here are so imaginative that they couldn’t even be predicted nor copied by counterfeiters. In the spring collection there are items split into sections… one of them is “ningyo byoin” or “doll hospital” and it features prints, stuffed cushions and accessories of screen printed disfigured dolls wrapped in bandages.
When I was in Osaka, this shop was one that I KNEW I HAD to see. It’s called RoomROOM and it did not disappoint:
I came out with a Snow White knit dress where her expression on the front is one of worry and on the back she’s reaching for the poisonous apple (and the knit is all droopy like it’s rotting. An amazing effect!). I was shown the upcoming collection catalog and I snapped 10 photos of things I want (“if you put it on the blog though, I`ll get killed!!” deplored the super amusing sales guy who acted like he was sleepwalking.)
The designer is Masako Shinya and I bet she’s a hella fun drinking partner. I didn’t get to meet her, but have connected digitally. I am really tempted to send her a list of questions all ending with “dafuq is this?” but I want her to rock on with her bad self and make lots of MORE fun stuff. And then open a Tokyo shop! S’il vous plait!! From Ahcahcum’s FB page:
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu dressed at the famous Ahcahcum cat bag.
Found a pic of designer Masako.
I only know of the brand being available in Osaka, at Usagi Pour Toi in Harajuku, and online at Zozo. But there appears to be an Ahcahcum Taiwan.
現在は主に大阪のみでの取り扱いだが、原宿のUsagi Pour Toiと、ZOZOでもちょっと置いているようなので是非ご覧下
The newest MOOK catalog for SS 2012: