Do you ever wish you lived inside a Japanese pattern book?
The settings are austere and zen-like. The rooms are flooded with natural light. The expressionless models are the embodiment of simple chic. Despite the absence of anything remotely suggestive of sex, I find it very seductive.
Nearly all the clothes have a home-crafted look to them (bordering on Mennonite). If you're a fan of smocks, A-line housecoats, baby doll dresses -- and the layering of same -- you'll find a lot to love in these books. If you're built like a boyand project a gamine quality, you're in luck. If you're more Marilyn Monroe or Oprah, move on. This is a world of unadulterated twee.
As I mentioned earlier in the week, my friend Johanna lent me seven Japanese pattern books she owns.
I was interested in making either unisex wrap pants or some sort of work apron for my February Mood project, and there are some strong possibilities in these books, like the project below.
This pattern reminds me of these Yohji Yamamoto men's pants shown for Spring/Summer 2014.
Looking through the actual diagrams in these books, there's a lot of repetition of silhouettes, but you could say the same about Big Four patterns (and many of the independents as well). What I find most attractive about these books is the presentation and the fabric choices: primarily delicate cotton prints (of the Liberty of London sort) and linen.
The shapes are simple. The sizing is small. There's no room for broad hips or a bounteous bosom. But for those who fit the patterns, there's a lot to love. Or is there?
Readers, what's your take on Japanese pattern books of this type? Do you admire the art direction but not fit the target audience? Do you like the styles and want to wear them, or are they just too twee for most Western women?
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!