I LOVE going into art museum gift shops. I was on a trip with my mom in high school and I came across this book in an art museum gift shop called “Fruits” that was a photo book of Japanese street fashion. At the time, I had never heard of it, but I was completely entranced in that gift shop. I don’t think I even looked up for at least half an hour after I picked it up. She’s a nice mom and bought it for me. And, I’m pretty sure I carried it around from class to class in high school for like a year along with my heavy textbooks. I loved it. So I bought their follow up book, “Fresh Fruits.” Both books are full of color photos taken by Shoichi Aoki in Japan’s Harajuku district which is known for its outlandish street fashion.
I’m kind of a sucker for visual overload, so it’s not surprising that I love these books. The street fashion they showcase incorporates many different styling ideas that I love: layering, excessive accessorizing, over-the-top concepts, pattern-on-pattern, vintage/thrifted garments, handmade/DIY. Since I especially love menswear, it’s always exciting to see guys in interesting outfits. The guys in these books definitely do not shy away from bold ensembles and accessories.
These are two books that I still adore. I keep them in my studio and flip through them all the time. Each time I pull them off the shelf, I know I am in for a visual adventure. It’d be hard NOT to glean inspiration from the looks you see in this book.