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Fresh Fruits Turtleback – June 1, 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Fruits Series

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Editorial Reviews

From The New Yorker

In 1997, Aoki, a Japanese photographer who specialized in capturing street fashion in Paris, London, and New York, turned his eye to Tokyo's Harajuku district. There young people swarmed the streets in a playful riot of candy-colored, eye-catching ensembles, creatively blending hand-modified designer-label items with T-shirts and thrift-shop finds. Fruits, the magazine Aoki founded to feature his Harajuku photographs, went on to acquire an international following. A previous volume of Fruits pictures appeared in 2001, and in this follow-up the eclecticism seems inexhaustible. The portrait subjects, asked to explain their outfits, are drolly laconic ("boring feeling," "like Snow White"). And though recognizable types-punks, hip-hop kids, jocks-regularly appear, the over-all effect is less that of a tribal identity than of a super-cute costume party.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker

Review

'scrupulous attention to detail ... a jolly homage to innovation and the teen dreams of Japan.' The Daily Telegraph 'bright, wild and eccentric' Amateur Photographer 'vibrant and fascinating' The Guardian 'a playful riot of candy-colored, eye-catching ensembles, creatively blending hand-modified designer-label items with T-shirts and thrift-shop finds.' The New Yorker
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Product Details

  • Turtleback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press; 1st edition (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714845108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714845104
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #414,653 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Wallis Davenport on March 19, 2006
Format: Turtleback Verified Purchase
I got this book after getting "Fruits" for Christmas last year, and I just love it. The fashions, are sheer inspiration for those of us who sew or knit for fun. The Japanese teens and young adults simply seem to be trying to out-do one another in terms of daring eye-candy. One things that I love is that each page is unique and outrageous. No two pages repeat.

One disappointment over the first book, "Fruits", though is that there doesn't seem to be as many truly outrageous fashions as the first book. The styles seem less over-the-top in this one. Still, subdued has to be put in the context of this eye-popping culture.

An interesting feature of "Fresh Fruits" is that it includes more men in its collection - something I enjoyed seeing this time around. Also, there seemed to be more animation amoungst the pictures with more people posting instead of just standing there with their arms at their sides, as in the "Fruits" book.

Still this book is filled with stunning photographs which are sure to inspire the aspiring designer.
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Format: Turtleback
When I recieved Shoichi Aoki's first book, Fruits, I was amazed and awed by what I saw---fashion in overdrive! Crazy colors, big personalities, funny little profiles...a great and entertaining book. When I heard about 'Fresh Fruits' I was greatly excited! I expected something new and different...what I got was a rehash of the first Fruits book. It seems as if most of the fashions were just repeating themselves. I wanted to see new and different styles...not the same ones I had seen in the previous book, and even on the previous page.

'Fresh Fruits' is simply not so Fresh.
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Format: Turtleback
i enjoyed the first fruits book very much. this one wasn't as good as i anticipated it to be, however, the clothing and geeky poses are still fun. i'd still reccomend this book to see the styles and if you just like japanese style in general. maybe the way people are dressed in the last book caught my eye more. if you have neither book, i'd get the first one over this one.
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Format: Turtleback Verified Purchase
Another amazing collection of eye candy fashion. I love the full page color photos and the brief descriptions. It is interesting to see how a sub-culture of fashion in itself fractures off into seperate catagories. Like L.O.L.A., european punk, goth, hippie, couture, et cetera. All amazingly creative free spirits. This is a great buy if you like cultures and community, fashion design, or interesting coffee table conversation starters. I love the book "fruits" as well, they are like twins, something to be kept together. I would love to see what changes in style another ten years has brought to Japan. Hopefully I'll run accross that book next. The only irksome bit was the bubblegum text color. It was hard to read at times. And my eyes aren't too bad.
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Format: Turtleback
Manga, anime, and Tokyo street fashion have a devoted following here in the States, and fans of the above should find this volume entertaining/fascinating. The ensembles displayed in Aoki's book range from super cute (supaa-kawaii) to imaginative to outrageous. Some of the teenagers look almost intimidating, but the funny thing is that if you get lost in Tokyo (easy enough to do), you can walk up to one of these apparitions and ask for directions. In almost every case, they will probably bow, smile, and respond in the most polite and respectful manner imaginable.
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Every time I go to Japan, I buy a copy of the magazine "Fruits". I sometimes detour through otaku-town in Osaka to see what's new on the videogame front, and to see what some of the kids are wearing. Aoki's magazine and books (which are best-of collections from the magazines) are immensely interesting and enjoyable when we divorce ourselves of our American mainstream prejudices and see these young people defining their own fashion and developing their own aesthetics, appropriating high and low and non fashion to express themselves. What happened that American youth are generally so homogeonized, everyone essentially wearing the uniform of their declared social group? It's no fun, really, not compared to these kids.

Sadly, the 'Fruits' in Japan are also slowly disappearing, being choked out by conformity and a changing local landscape. A sign of the times, for sure, and not an encouraging one.

Well, borderline expat digression aside, this is a wonderful book. It's a semi-hardcover, real cloth binding, so with care it should last for a long time. There is no text to speak of (aside from some of the kids' names and what they're wearing) so it's an accessible book for - well, literally for anyone. I gave a copy to my eight year old niece last Christmas and she loved it, as did her parents. I have both "Fruits" and "Fresh Fruits" (as well as about ten different copies of the magazine) and they are equally good. If you have lots of books, the bright colors on the spine stand out nicely when these books are shelved, if that matters.

'Bright colors standing out nicely' just about sums up the spirit of these books.

By the way, a few years ago I showed the magazine to a professional fashion-designer friend of mine in New York and he fell in love with it immediately. You'd have to be pretty stodgy not to enjoy this book, highlights of the magazine, and document of a gradually fading, colorful and inventive subculture.
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