2D is the new black. Graphics and illustrations on clothing are the best way to make a piece completely original. It’s a good thing Japan is never short on brilliant artists! Here’s a design firm that really impressed me and compelled me to shop.
I don’t know about you guys, but I tend to be a more adventurous shopper when I’m carousing around with someone else. While in Osaka I had one day to get to about 12 shops so Shuhei was with me to make sure i didn’t get lost. We turned a corner in the nondescript backstreets of Minamihorie where the vending machines are the most colorful things dotting the cement landscape… And passed by a darkish office. In the windows it looked like some hangars and products were on display. One appeared to be a cotton stuffed necklace printed with a giant cartoon-like diamond illustration. Thats kinda cool i thought. We shrugged, and walked in.
“They have tshirts for 1,000yen!” Shuhei was excited.
A woman walked out from behind the partition and explained it was graphic design office “Think Graphics” and the stuff in the window were some products they had developed. The tshirt was on clearance.
“I want to buy that diamond necklace” I said. Usually I would ask if it were for sale first since there was no price on it, but I needed to get it in my possession. Having no price on it was kind of scary… But my mind was set.
“ah, that’s not really for sale….it’s just a prototype,” she said.
Please sell me the diamond necklace. And the skull one here too. How much?
She disappeared into the back and returned with mr Tsuji, the owner of the design firm. I explained myself, and he was kind, showing me a 2006 issue of SOEN where the necklaces were featured. I then showed him my 2.5 Dimension column in the same mag and we had a good chat. But i had a mission. I wanted to buy those necklaces! I was unsure of how flexible Osakans are, since in Tokyo “no” means “no”. I swear, even for some of the most ridiculous things, Tokyoites will NOT break the rules. It has led to some extremely frustrating situations. And speaking in fluent Japanese doesn’t mean anything.
I pleaded, “please sell me those necklaces. I promise to wear them with pride. And while we’re at it, sell me this too.” it was a stuffed snake necklace hanging off the corner of a mirror. Maybe I was pushing my luck. But best to aim high when negotiating.
So now I have three extremely unique rare pieces that I consider an amazing addition to my wardrobe. I didn’t buy them all (I should have!) so anyone in the area would be smart to go over there and pick them up.