today’s ensemble: novelty prints, kitsch, a perfect rose, Japanglish, midrash, incense, etc.

I have a special love for representational clothing. All clothing, as I have mentioned, signifies, but what I am calling representational clothing actually has TEXT or IMAGES printed on its fabric. The PRINK tank top and the t-shirt patchwork skirt I wore recently are two examples, as are these Japanese t-shirts:




Today’s handmade-by-yours-truly skirt features both text and images. The images are nostalgic cartoons, in the style of perhaps the 1930s, but some of the costumes depicted in them evoke the 1890s. The message is old-time kitsch as interpreted by the Japanese. I bought the fabric last summer in Shimokitazawa and have blogged about it before (I’m that into it, this fabric). It’s horrible not to live a few blocks away from that particular fabric store anymore. Note how the text, which is half-lisible (is that English?), half-sensical , surrounds the cartoon panels almost midrashically. (Is that English?)



I love how in this one the be-ribboned (festooned?) puppy is scampering up to get the love letter from the little girl:


It also satisfies (or titillates) my fairly serious (and fairly predictable) passion for roses. This rose is particularly well-formed. Most roses in novelty prints are prissy or blowsy. Not this one. It’s just about perfect:


You’ll note that the themes of the cartoon panels are “days of the week,” calling to mind marked underwear. As I have elsewhere stated my contempt for the quotidian, it may surprise you that I find this not only endearing, but positively transformative of said contempt into, yes, I think so, delight. I’m easy.

Here’s the ensemble, in which I am deceiving myself into thinking I am statuesque (more alchemy here).


But the punctum of the outfit, really, is the hair ornament, bought at a thrift store in Japan and featuring a beautiful camellia (or is it a rose? what do you think?) with red, pink, and silver petals, pink buds, and very traditional, like that on a formal Japanese envelope ornament, gold cording.


I suppose the theme today is “Japan.” I suppose I am missing Japan. I note that at this very moment I am, ironically, burning incense from the Gotokuji temple in my old neighborhood. Gotokuji’s pagoda:


and Gotokuji’s famous maneki neko:

maneki neko at Gotokuji temple

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