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If you ever wondered where the catwalk got its claws, then the portraits gathered in photographer Shoichi Aoki's book Fruits, from the streets of Harajuku in Tokyo, point the way to an extraordinarily imaginative and invariably stunning glut of mongrel fashion heists. A best-of collection from the fanzine of the same name, and published for the first time outside Japan, Fruits keeps its style clean: front-on, razor-sharp images, ranging from the deadpan to the manic, of the sharpest collages of sartorial influence that, usually, little money can buy. From off the peg to off the wall, kitsch to bitch, each person bears a combination and philosophy as distinctive as DNA. All shades of aesthetic are raided, with exquisite, scrupulous attention to detail. Punk is a favorite, as is, appropriately, Vivienne Westwood, alongside Milk and Jean-Paul Gaultier, and the occasional Comme des Garçons. Many of the outfits, though, are second-hand or self-assembly, such as a skirt drooping petals of men's silk ties, Wa-mono, when tradition Japanese clothes are topped with, say, an authentic bowler hat, EGL (elegant gothic Lolita), and a swathe of tartans, pinks, and turquoises. The most malleable feature, unsurprisingly, is hair, with dreadlocks, mohicans, back-combing, and crops dyed an irradiated spectrum. While the eye is drawn, obediently, to the mannequins, the background is often worth a look, either for the vending machines against which a number are shot, or the ubiquitous Gap store and bags, a constant reminder of the global mass market.
One enterprising man wears a genuine British paperboy's delivery bag, and, to pick but one profile, Princess, 18, is trying to be a doll and is currently preoccupied with body organs. Mmm. All the subjects are asked the source of their clothes, as well as their "point of fashion" and "current obsession." The scope for sociopsychological discussion is vast, particularly with the preponderance of infantilization, through dolls, bonnets, pop socks, and Barbie, but this is a joyous documentation of the innovative, celebrating the inspirational polytheism of street fashion, captured with provocative, political zeal. Best let the street cats prowl. --David Vincent
"... a funny, funky look at Tokyo's street fashion ... Guaranteed to give you that happy-all-over feeling." Elle " ... fascinating ... inventive" i-D " ... will delight all dedicated followers of fashion." Glamour 'teen styles ... which have to be seen to be believed.' Daily Telegraph 'frivolous and fun. ...street photography at its finest. Compelling, addictive and original.' Far Easter Economic ReviewSee all Product Description
Fruits purports to be photos of people picked at random from the streets based on their unusual outfits. In my opinion, all the subjects are models, dressed by a designer. Read morePublished on April 20 2004 by R. Porter
This book rocks the crazy street styles. Great source for design for anime or comic book characters.Published on March 22 2004
This book is really great. These Japanese folks have the most interesting and eccentric sense of style, and I'm so glad that someone thought to capture it and make a book of... Read morePublished on Jan. 28 2004 by Zoe Kingson-Gray
Ah to be young and colourful again!
This book is absolutely delicious! No unnecessary commentary, just pages after pages of full-length colourful pictures of the fashion... Read more
What else can I say but every time I look at this book I see something new. The outfits are crazy, beautiful, colorful, amazing. It's a great coffee table book. Read morePublished on Nov. 7 2003 by Sherry Koyama
I carry this book with me all the time. I love looking at the photos whenever I feel like it. The clothing and people themselves are so colorful and creative. Read morePublished on June 30 2003 by Eryn
this is one of the few books i own that i would call a treasure. it's filled with original fashion that is definately a far cry from what you see walking on the streets, of say,... Read morePublished on June 25 2003 by claire_quilty
I am in the same age category as the people who are photographed here (16-22) and I find myself so impressed with their daring and creative imagination, so mature at so young an... Read morePublished on March 16 2003 by Jeanine
Inspiring, Hypnotic, Beautiful, Hyper, Physco, Loveable, Radiating, Ever~changing, Japanese fashionPublished on March 3 2003 by Moko-chan