Harajuku Sunday

by Erin on January 15, 2006

smart clothing store

Sorry, no pics of the wonderful amazing Harajuku kids in their astounding outfits, you can get plenty of those on Google–all the westerners taking pictures of them like they were zoo animals (that phrase always makes me think of the "Zoo Animals on Wheels" episode of genius Chris Elliott's Get a Life) kinda made me feel oogy. I mostly ended up taking pictures of incongruous signs, anyway. Like this one. What I wouldn't give for a REALLY smart clothing store! I'd want it to be smart both ways — in the 1950s sense of "well-tailored, appropriate, elegant" and the modern sense of "adaptable, technologically advanced": my "smart clothing store" would make me a 1950s day dress from a tabletop fab (for 'fabrication', but also 'fabulous') machine, adjusted to my exact measurements, in fabric worked up from my rough sketch. It would be dirt-repelling, have built-in ubiquitous computing (an off-the-cuff email would be literally OFF THE CUFF), and tell me the time and temp in eight languages. Plus the collar would morph into iPod headphones.

There's nothing like Japan to make you want the future, NOW. It feels so much closer here, like you'd just turn a corner and all of a sudden you'd see Cory Doctorow and William Gibson sitting at a sidewalk cafe table, being served tea by robots. You'd see Harrison Ford chasing a couple of replicants while a "take us to your leader" ship lands down the block. Utopia, dystopia, I don't care. Just hit fast-forward for me, 'kay?

One funny thing I will report to you: while waiting for our new glasses (yes, in Tokyo you can buy new glasses in a hour, start to finish, for $75 — my new ones are ORANGE and they ROCK) my co-worker marvelled that women here dress up in a "skirt and hose to just wander around on a Sunday …" here he trailed off, laughing, as he had just noticed my pale pink wool skirt and pink fishnet tights (which I wore with a yellow tee and teal cardigan sweater, paisley belt, and flat loafers).

Oh, and for all of you that asked, here's the scary mannequin from Shanghai. Don't think about it coming to life, or you won't sleep tonight:
scary mannequin
Although, I guess, looking at it again, the most it would do is say something scathingly catty, turn on her heel, and walk away. And then come back and kill you later.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous January 15, 2006 at 9:19 pm

OMG. Except for the blondie blond hair, I’d swear that’s the 3D model for Michael Jackson’s face. Oh, man. I can feel the nightmare brewing in my subconscious already, waiting for the dark and sleepy hours.

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Ada January 15, 2006 at 9:58 pm

You should post pictures of yourself! You sound really cute in your really…psychedelic outfits! Seriously. I wish girls would dress up more funkily as opposed to wearing everything that everybody else wears.

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Gidget Bananas January 15, 2006 at 11:04 pm

She looks just like the golden robot woman from “Metropolis”.

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jilli January 16, 2006 at 1:09 pm

So, SO envious of you being in Japan. I wanna go back!

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Anonymous September 9, 2007 at 3:36 pm

Keep up the great work. It very impressive. Enjoyed the visit!

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David MacPhee & Margaret January 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Hello! My terrific Wife has a fantastic vintage mannequin that bears a great similarity to the image you show. I am trying to determine its age. It is in rather great condition except under close examination. Minor cracks and knicks

I am attempting a Restoration for the small details but am worried about tampering with an antique, such as repainting, sanding and finishing.

I could be making a big mistake but she will not be selling it.

Can you please give me your best guess on how old yours is?

I am sure that they are from the same era and that is a long time for a complete vintage mannequin to survive.

My gut feeling is 40′s

Thank you

David MacPhee
Dr.Ohm@Hotmail.com

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David MacPhee & Margaret January 20, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Well, I guess I was over anxious and was thinking you owned the one in the over-narrow image but what is your guess on the one on your page, anyway please.

I can send you some images of ours if you desire…
David MacPhee
Dr.Ohm@hotmail.com

P.S dr.ohm has a period and is considered invalid by your filter so My Wife has no period. {At least not any more}

She is Coralqueen53@Hotmail.com

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vivian vigil October 4, 2013 at 6:37 pm

I think this is the ugliest thing I ever since I was a small girl until now I personally these things should be stopped being made plus quit making the facial appearances look so dadgum evil and menacing and intimidating!!

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