Predominantly, the outfit that I styled this time features our new Odyn Vovk products. Their unique characteristic is the lines that are created by the intentionally unbalanced cut, which made it easier and smoother for me to play with the clothing. Especially the [hoddie] is extraordinarily well-designed in a very bizarre and eccentric way. I could probably have the model wear it in ten more different ways.

Oh, and Umi, our RAD Blackbird sales gentleman, helped me and elevated the quality of the outfit! Arigatou!

The outfit includes: Odyn Vovk - Cure Tee, Odyn Vovk - Vovk Tank, Diet Butcher Slim Skin - Alpaca Cardigan, Odyn Vovk - Long Sleeveless Hoodie Nylon, KZO - Deluxe, KIMBERLY BAKER - Deadstock Golden Chain, and Repetto - Johny Chevre Crispee/Vernis

As you may know, I was born and raised in Japan. I have physically and emotionally experienced huge cultural differences since I moved to the United States. Accepting the fact that the standards shared in Japan and the ones shared in the U.S. are never equatable was always more difficult than I anticipated. Nevertheless, it was not necessarily a negative experience. As far as art goes, I was very impressed with how almost everyone in Seattle appears to be artists in some way. Not only do they practice some form of art, but also they are more encouraged to be expressive of themselves in comparison to Japanese people. I do know that generalization is the least thing that can be done when you are in a different country, but that was my first impression of Americans(Seattleites), indeed.

Even fashion wise, I see a bigger diversity of expressions across all generations regardless of how well-coordinated or fancy they are. You might question "what about all the crazy fashion from Japan?", but I am talking about varieties and expressions. Although it is not questionable that we have very extreme fashion scenes happening on a small scale in Japan, they merely appear to be insisting that they are in "the scene". It is notable that social unification is culturally rooted. School uniforms, a color of hair, speaking habits, these things are just a few examples of how much expression of individuals is controlled. I get a feeling that generally speaking, we have such limited and defined standards that expressing ourselves is not highly desired, whereas in the U.S., people are highly expected to express themselves.

It sounds a little extreme, but the idea is that how much individuals care about a paradigm of how to behave in society influences and sometimes oppresses their expression of genuine individuality. It would probably make sense that such extreme fashion scenes in Japan are built up from their opposition to the oppression. However, I am glad to be able to observe the expressive culture and realize the significance of disregarding the paradigm.


Ryuta Iwashita?