Indigo Child: Japanese Boro

boro-3036-1I would like to introduce you to a new friend! Their name is Boro. Sure, the literal translation may be ‘rags’, but to me, they are a beautiful folk tale–and some of my favorite fabric!

Oh, it also encompasses an aesthetic and methodology of repairing and mending clothes and household textiles. Vintage boro quilts and work wear garments have become collectors’ items (ugh of course $$$), but that’s because they are revered for the intricacy of their mending and scraps of fabric used in their repair (often antique indigo-dyed kimono fabric scraps). The fact that the entire garment could then be disassembled and returned to its original form as a bolt of fabric is pretty remarkable in terms of sustainability! It begs the question: How can we maximize utility and minimize waste?

boro-3032-30verygoodoldboro22222_1024x1024In pre-industrial Japan, only the upper class dahlings were permitted to wear silk clothing. In contrast, commoners dressed in humble garments made from homespun coarse hemp and cotton fabrics. These same unrefined, handmade textiles were also employed to create utilitarian articles for the home.

boro-3036-10boro-3036-11From very ancient times until the 1600s, Japanese peasants wore clothing made from common hemp. Rural Japanese craftswomen spun the hemp and handloomed the fiber threads into usable fabric which was turned into everyday farm field clothing and household articles. The Japanese did not distinguish between linen and hemp, the two have similar fibers and appearance and are referred to by the same Japanese word, asa. One time, I madeout with a boy named Asa–and this is now cooler. Hemp fabric was the only material available for general use in Japan until the introduction of cotton.

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Beginning in the Edo Period, seafaring Japanese traders sailed up and down the coastal waters trading in used, discarded indigo cotton cloth. This cloth was acquired in Western Japan and then sold into the poorer Northern rural and seaboard communities. Japanese farm women purchased these used fabrics and gave them new life by remaking them into boro field clothing (noragi), futon covers (futongawa) and other useful household textiles.


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In the Northern Japanese islands industrious Japanese women worked with used cotton indigo dyed fabrics to perfect several sewing techniques in order to give renewed life to the secondhand cloth. They created new uses for these discarded materials by layering several pieces of cloth, attaching each together with sashiko stitching and then, if needed, boro patching them. Subsequently, these patchwork textiles could then be reassembled into warm clothing, futon covers and other common household items for the family’s use.

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Sashiko is a traditional form of Japanese hand sewing that uses a simple running stitch sewn in repeating or interlocking patterns, usually piercing through several layers of fabric. From the 17th century onward, creative rural Japanese seamstresses discovered an important feature of sashiko stitching. If the layers of fabric were held together with sashiko stitching, home made hemp and cotton clothing provided much better protection from the elements, lasted longer and even added a creative and individual flare to their handmade garments. As a result, sashiko grew into a widely favored sewing technique and quickly became established throughout Japan for use as a utilitarian and dramatic embroidery.

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The Japanese discovered that cotton was a difficult fabric to dye except with indigo. Consequently, organic indigo dye was widely used throughout Japan as a coloring and designing agent for cotton textiles. Kasuri, katazome and shibori patterns were popular and were often incorporated into the fabrics’ design. These patterns enriched the fabrics, evoking a feeling of joy and sometimes mythical significance, thereby helping to alleviate the routine drudgery of farm life.

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At the time when Japan was struggling to recover from the devastation of the Second World War, the Japanese regarded boro textiles with great shame in that these utilitarian textiles served as an open reminder of Japan’s impoverished past. Today both Japanese and international collectors regard boro textiles as striking examples of a bygone and lost folk craft. These same textiles are cherished and collected for the stories they tell and the windows they open into Japanese folk culture and history.

boro-3122-8shikimonoboro2_1024x1024boro-3122-1I think it’s really special how this style was so looked down on, and now it’s regarded as some of the finest stitchwork and sewing in our history. I always preferred rags to riches, anyway! Hehe.

boro-3120-1I hope you enjoyed this post about being an Indigo Girl!

Historical text and photos from: Kimono Boy and Sri Threads

SumikkoGurashi Style

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I am pairing some sweetheart outfits along with instagrams by adorable blogger-boo Rainbowholic! Particularly- her visit to the pop-up cafe Kissa Sumikko (Cafe Sumikko Gurashi) Since I SO VERY SADLY could not be there to experience this blissful interior myself, I am of course creating my own visit there virtually!

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Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 2.53.28 PMcoffee shake!

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Reality Studio, Mira Trouser

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Rachel Comey, Slim Legion Pant

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Kurt Lyle, Olivia Suspender Jumpsuit

Pants and jumpsuit are on sale at one of my favourite shops, Mr Larkin!

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57-1-600x600Sumikkogurashi is a character by San-X and touches upon how shy Japanese people can be. All the character friends have some issue in their personality which makes them like hiding in the corner.

She Had Daydreams

On repeat!
(ᵔᴥᵔ)

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Reading this memoir by Lidia Yuknavitch several times over. Her stories serve as a pill of truth that I’m quite content with overdosing on.

As expected, her LENNY Interview was extraordinary.

I will also note that her TED Talk has become my bible, and continues to kick my limbs into GO.

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Ever since I found the poems of Rosmarie Waldrop, I’ve felt found. She makes me see that there is place for my words and my experimentation and lack of confine.

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Revisiting this shaky-voiced gem.

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Also pretty obsessed with the Fluid station on Soma FM. They play instrumental hiphop, future soul and liquid trap. I don’t even know what those mean, but the soundscapes are really magical and create special worlds of their own. What is Soma FM, you ask? Why, I’ll tell you? 1) It’s one of my top favorite earthly things 2) Soma FM is over 30 unique channels of listener-supported, commercial-free, underground/alternative radio broadcasting. All music hand-picked by SomaFM’s award-winning DJs and music directors. There are stations such as Secret Agent, Leftcoast 70′s, lots of interesting outerspace inspired stuff, loungey beats, soul/jazz fusion/underground 80′s, and way more. The best thing about it is that it’s all music that I’ve never heard or would have found on my own.

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IMG_0255If you’re a part of the fan club, you know Stranger Things is a throwback marvel- addicting as sugar. It was also so beautiful to see child characters that had such conviction and the full spectrum of human emotion. The casting is so great! I couldn’t stop watching! -BARB 4EVER-

La Haute Bourgeoisie with Gucci

643306_in_pp714643_in_ppI am loving the expansion that’s taken place over @ Gucci, thanks to Alessandro Michele! You know, less stiff-faced, stick-assed, Upper East Side snobism, and flirty, fresh, playful modern romance. The runway referenced bourgeois Renaissance, ‘70s sport and ‘80s Italian couture.  This might just be one of my favorite RTW collections ever  (~˘▾˘)~

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I’d do just about anything for these shoes  !  (ಥ﹏ಥ)
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The print details remind of one of my favorite artists (Peter Max)’s artwork

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Peter Max “design for a paper airplanes book” (1971)

643493_in_pp682445_in_pp682467_in_ppPhotos from NET A PORTER

Kiwis and Snowdrop Anemone

Spring is swinging our way- I can smell the Jasmine blooming as I walk through my neighborhood. Spring is my favorite season, it’s whimsical enough without the extremity of summertime heat. Fauna and foliage are at their best, avocado, grapefruit, lemons, and pineapple at their smoothest, and the breeze is just right.

As we shed our fall and winter armor, it’s time to take advantage of a Spring wardrobe. My favorite online spot for fashion, Shopbop, is having their last day of a fantastic sale. Take advantage while there is still time!

main_20160305_tiered_lastday_01_1-0Here are some of my favorites pieces @ Shopbop:

Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 8.58.17 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 8.58.28 AMTemperley London

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A.P.C wallet

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Marc Jacobs


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Anime Mini-Backpacks

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When my best friend Kasey was in town visiting for the holidays, we went on a day trip to Little Tokyo in DTLA. We’re both big fans of kawaii, Japanese food/fashion/beauty products, and karaoke, so we thought this would be ideal! We found a huge anime megastore called Anime Jungle, which is located in the Little Tokyo Mall. While we were browsing, we happened upon two of the most adorable creations to have ever graced the world! Plush, mini-backpacks featuring some of the cutest anime creatures I’ve seen (“Tony Tony Chopper”, and “Soel”- the “Mokona Modoki”). Kasey gave me Tony Tony Chopper for my Christmas present and kept the Mokona for herself. They are best friends just like us. We didn’t know the backstories of either character, so I went hunting for information on Wiki!aaaGE5648-2Tony Tony Chopper is the doctor of the Straw Hat Pirates in the manga/anime series One Piece. Chopper is a reindeer that ate a Devil Fruit called the Hito Hito no Mi. He came from Drum Island. He is the sixth member of the crew and the fifth to join Luffy, as well as being the youngest member on board. He has a bounty of Beli100[6] due to being mistaken for the crew’s pet.

Most of the time, Chopper is a toddler-sized human/reindeer hybrid, but his Devil Fruit abilities allow him to change his appearance depending on the situation. Chopper’s left antler is braced at the base by a metal plate because it was reattached after being broken during his search for the Amiudake when he was younger (where he thought the Amiudake can cure Hiluluk’s disease) and ran into the leader of his old herd, who severely injured him. He usually wears a large pale red/pink fuzzy top hat with a sideways medical cross (given to him by Hiluluk) and a maroon pair of shorts. He also sometimes wears a blue backpack that has the same sideways medical cross as his hat. He also has a remarkable blue nose.

A running gag is that various characters in One Piece think Chopper is a tanuki (raccoon-dog, often simply translated as “a raccoon”) while in his Brain Point or hybrid form. The word “tonakai”, which is the Japanese word for “reindeer”, is where the “Tony” in Chopper’s name is derived from. His Heavy Point or human form is likewise mistaken for a gorilla (or an abominable snowman on his home island).

He loves cotton candy.

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Mokona Modoki is the name given to the two rabbit-like creatures from Clamp’s sister series Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle and xxxHolic (Also appearing in one of their earlier works, Magic Knight Rayearth). The name Mokona Modoki (or simply Mokona) refers to any or both characters, as they are never called by their real names. The Black Mokona’s real name is Larg while the White Mokona’s real name is Soel.

History:

Larg and Soel are copies of the original Mokona, who appears in Magic Knight Rayearth (another Clamp series). The two were created by Yūko Ichihara and Clow Reed (who appear to be aware of the existence of Sakura Kinomoto and all of the events in her world). One day, Yūko and Clow encountered the original Mokona, who was traveling through different worlds, and Mokona provided Yūko and Clow with the knowledge of alternate dimensions. After learning that one day a Sakura and Syaoran from an alternate world would come to their world to ask for help, Yūko and Clow created the two Mokona, basing them on the original but with slight differences, such as difference in size and the ability to talk (whereas the original Mokona would only say “Puu!”). Each Mokona was also given an earring which matched the color of the gem on its forehead, the blue earring seals magic power while the red earring boosts magic power.

In Chapter 133 of Tsubasa, Yūko explained to the TRC group that the two Mokona were created in order to stop the plans of Fei Wong Reed’s wishes.

The full story of the two Mokona is told in Clamp’s Soel to Larg: Mokona=Modoki no Bouken (Soel and Larg: The Adventures of Mokona=Modoki).

We also learn in the Drama CD provided with the first Kei DVD that the Mokona chose the 14th of February for their birthday.

White Mokona (Soel):

+ Good at Drawing
+ Likes sweet food
+ Gem in the forehead.earring: Red/Magic

White Mokona is the manju-bun -like creature from Clamp’s Tsubasa Chronicle that possess several astonishing abilities, such as traveling to different worlds, teleporting objects from one world to another, and sensing strong auras. Mokona was what Yûko gave Syaoran and the others in return for the prices they paid, enabling them to go to different worlds in the search for Sakura’s feathers, and as we later find out, without Mokona they wouldn’t be able to communicate (except for Syaoran and Sakura, as they are from the same world) because they all come from different worlds and speak different languages. With the help of Black Mokona, Mokona is able to stay in contact with Yûko, and in the manga there is an illustration showing Mokona talking to Black Mokona in the background.

Mokona is also responsible for locating Sakura’s feathers, and whenever one is around it goes ‘mekkyon’ (scary face) for an instant, which alerts the others. Mokona is a very cheerful, optimistic and energetic being, and loves to tease Kurogane, who occasionally uses violence to get back at him. Similar to Larg, Soel has a strong fondness for alcoholic drinks. The name Soel comes from the rune Sôwilô meaning sun.

108 Secret Skills include:

Voice Imitation
Translator
Acting
Super Sneaky Entry
Travel Between Worlds (White Mokona only)
Clever Disguise
Understanding Lonely People
Super Suction Power (able to vary the strength)
Super Aspiration
Drawing Capabilities
Time Traveling
Feel the Feathers’ Wavelength
Clairvoyance
Flirting
Singing
Tease
Writing kanji (Black Mokona is good at it)
Communicating Between Different Worlds (as seen in Tsubasa Chronicle)
Making Friends
Super Strength
Super Transformation (as seen in Tsubasa Chronicle)
Inhibit Magical Curses (White Mokona’s earring can do so as seen in the manga)
Teleport items between the Mokonas
Immune to bad luck
Drink alcohol
N’CHA Cannon (a reference to the manga series Doctor Slump)
Play Chess
Knit
Know when someone is sad.
Super Deductive Reasoning
Eating Apples Whole
Dramatic Performance

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