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November 11, 2007

Portable Hidding Places

So my first blog entry doesn't exactly have anything to do with fashion, per se, but I couldn't help but to bookmark this headline article that was featured on my homepage a few weeks ago. It was titled, "Fearing Crime, Japanese Wear the Hiding Place" and it was posted on October 19th, 2007. The article addresses an on-going phenomenon that has been taking place in Japan- an experimental designer’s emphasis on the practicality of a wardrobe. Hitting stores soon will be Aya Tsukioka’s clothing line that features makeshift hiding places that are disguised as actual-sized photographs of vending machines that fold out from underneath your clothes.

This idea isn’t unique, however. There has already been a recent development made in Japan called the “manhole bag?, which is a purse can stow your valuables away on the street by unfolding to look like a sewer cover. Also, there is a knife-proof uniform line that is made with the same material as Kevlar. This clothing line comes complete with a book of tips on how to dress even the nerdiest children like “pseudohoodlums? to fend off schoolyard bullies.

These developments reflect not only the Japanese assertiveness in developing unique inventions, but also the cultural differences between our two worlds: “It is just easier for Japanese to hide,? Ms. Tsukioka said. “Making a scene would be too embarrassing.?

Japanese culture has always contributed to the North American fashion scene. The crazy colors, patterns and fabrics that seem so outrageously ridiculous to don outside of the house always seem to quickly find their way to American streets within 1-2 years on average. So, who knows? Maybe you'll be buying a pseudo-vending machine fold-out skirt within the next couple of months...

Posted by lwtse at November 11, 2007 10:09 PM

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