My response thus far to fashion persuasions like Harajuku has mostly been confused blinking. Then Steve Nakamura, an art director living in Tokyo, sent us his artwork for the impossibly popular 19-year-old Japanese singer/Harajuku model/blogger, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The costumes, make-up and styling is totally extraordinary – playing up to the whole fusion blend of wide culture references, extreme features and voguing jestures – and not just about being “cute.”
When I asked about how he came to work on Kyary’s artwork for her forthcoming Pamyu Pamyu Revolution album, Steve, an LA-born, Central St. Martin’s educated creative, highlighted the strange combination he and one of Japan’s biggest pop stars made. And this is why the label chief of Warner (her representation) brought them together: "Many clients I work for are Harajuku fashion based. But I would never approach them in the same way that Japanese born/raised people do.
“I think if you art direct Kyary in a predictable way, you would take photographs of her in the streets of Harajuku or in a white studio, wearing vivid colours, plastic, cute. To me, that’s not so interesting.” What he, photographer Takeshi Hanzawa, stylist Kumiko Iijima and make-up artist Shinji Konishi have created is a new contrast between her whole image and the way she has been captured that is to say, “gore and fantasy – done in analog fashion.”
It’s unexpected and I still don’t understand it (fashion in general), but that’s nothing to how much I like it.
- Living for the weekend, it's Best of the Web!
- The photographer archiving South Africa’s black lesbian community
- Kirsten Lepore’s creepy clay character is oddly soothing in this brilliant animation
- Friday Mixtape: Grammy award-winning Tinariwen curates a genre-crossing mix
- Designer Kara Zichittella talks about her typographically-led projects
- “Where’s my community?”: Skin Deep and POC on the need for diversity in the film industry
- A new national identity: Smörgåsbord Studio rebrands Wales
- Graphic design gems: Chicago gang business cards from the 1970s and 80s
- Photographer Dougie Wallace captures the super rich spenders of “Harrodsburg”
- “Romance in a sort-of fantasy world”: photographer Molly Matalon's new work (some NSFW)
- Studio Michael Satter’s sophisticatedly simple graphic design portfolio
- Harry Pearce and Pentagram create a new identity for Pink Floyd’s record label