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Fruits Paperback – January 6, 2001
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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 "hat is exciting about [Aoki's] photographs is that he portrays teenagers' desires to express themselves through the way they dress. The originality and non-conformist attitudes they exude show little desire to follow trends. By taking in references as far flung as Blade Runner nihilism, Vivienne Westwood couture and Hello Kitty kitschness, Aoki's subjects pride themselves on creating a personal identity that is instantly recognisable as their own."-Dazed & Confused
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Top Customer Reviews
I love the colors and textures and looks they combine. What makes me happiest about this book is the couples. I like to think of them planing their funky wardrobe, calling, texting, sifiting through stores and closets and the original FRUiTS zines and meeting each other and smiling as they check out what their friend has put together and visa versa. SO many jeans and t-shirts on the street today, comfortable yeah but its safe. All the pretty details from hair ribbons to hats and all the velvets and cottons and tweeds in between are wonderful to pour over. Its also artistically pleasing when you want to see colors collide and patterns mix. All those combos make you smile for different reasons. And even if you want to stay safe in un-eye popping outfits you get a real escape looking at these happy people. Its also nice that these really look like fun OUTFITS not costumes- you know this isn't some Halloween parade somewhere. Some of them are very comfortable looking some look painful! But they are never uninteresting. Combine this book with TOKYO A Certain Style and you feel like you have a great view on these people's lives- where they come from where they live, how they express themselves in fashion that looks like something everyone can have if they can stand the stares :) What a great book- even if you aren't into fashion its a great human view- we are walking this planet and have our bodies to give something to the view of others and these people want to give a lot more than just another person walking by- and since we'd be arrested walking around naked.... You want to say THANKS for the fun :)