Young Japanese people may be known for their style, but did you know that "crafts" are just as style driven?
(Aren't they just devastatingly chic? Both book covers from Buzzville)
When someone comes home from Japan, everyone wants to ask, how was the food, did you eat sushi everyday? Was the fashion just to die for? Did you ride the bullet train? But does anyone ask, did you check out the craft stores? (Room comes to a screeching halt)
Yeah, I mean the crafts, DIY stuff. It's not just about folding paper cranes and hand made paper, you know. Japan has an advanced approach to DIY.
I met a Japanese girl when I was staying at a friend's flat in London. I felt that she was terribly stylish. She wore this beautiful floral skirt. I found out later that she has made it herself. No, she's not a fashion student, she studies set design, not quite the same thing... but maybe it is?
Handicrafts are an essential part of the Japanese tradition. Though the traditional crafts are better left to amuse tourists, today's "craft" is relevant and shockingly desirable. This is where you can say, Martha Stewart, eat your heart out.
Hundreds of Japanese craft book series are available in bookshops, even in those non-specific to crafts. Books are beautiful styled, with precise attention to detail, no styling prop is an accident. They take European influences in their approach. They are often more French than the French. You can find books to specific to making clothes, accessories, supercute dolls and not to mention the countless titles for knitting and crochet. In many cases, you will find yourself standing in the bookstore, how many of these can I afford to take home.
Okadaya in Shinjuku is a craft supply shop in Tokyo. The store houses everything from craft books to faux fur for teddy bear making, to wigs and costume make up (This is wear Harajuku girls stock up on gear fir their next costume).
One last note about Japanese craft books. Don't fret if you aren't going to Japan any time soon. You can find a lot of them on eBay or other bloggers offering items up for auction. And though books are written in Japanese, they come with very detailed diagrams or schematics. The books are already a worthy buy just for its pictures!
This post is a part of The State of the Fashion Union blogging carnival. It's a countdown to New York Fashion Week, and you can find out more about this event through Almost Girl or FashionTribes.