Friday, August 20, 2010

The Quirky Side of Kaneko Isao

If you're like me, you've been busy swooning over the Pink House 2010 Autumn Collection:
I want that coat.

But Pink House and other natural kei brands don't always release such refined, elegant clothes. Some of the older prints are downright... strange. I confess that browsing for old Kaneko Isao prints especially (whether they're from Pink House, Wonderful World, Ingeborg, or the eponymous brand "Kaneko Isao") has become an obsession of mine. Here are a few of the most unique ones I've found lately...

1. The Kewpie Doll print: I've seen this Kewpie Doll motif many times in many different colors in older Pink House designs.
2. The Pineapple print: pineapples are the traditional fruit of hospitality... and Pink House, apparently.
So festive!
3. Speaking of festive, here's the Santa Print: Kaneko Isao created a disturbing number of Santa prints, but this version from Wonderful World takes the cake (the Christmas cake, that is).
This under-dress, jumperskirt, and kerchief set is overwhelmingly jolly.
4. The Christmas Tree print: I sense a theme. This Pink House print is a little more sedate than the Wonderful World print above, but still bursting with Christmas spirit.
5. Finally, we have the Kangaroo print: here Pink House-- ever the purveyor of interesting animal prints-- takes a trip down under with a khaki vest and skirt set.
You can see a joey or two peeking out inquisitively.
As random and odd as these prints seem, perhaps the prevalence of these iconic Western symbols demonstrates the romantic view of Western culture that is still a big part of natural kei fashion. Other than that, all I can say is Kaneko Isao must have a fantastic sense of whimsy. :D

If you're curious to see more vintage prints, you can browse auction sites like Yahoo!Japan Auctions and Mbok as well as used clothing sites like Alice + Fururun and Cotton Garden.


  1. I think the Santa print wins. Course O think the kangaroo outfit is awesome. XD

  2. I have a warm feeling about the kangaroo print too! I like the plaid lining XD

  3. Ugh lord, why does everyone love Kewpies so much?! They freak me the hell out. It must be a Japanese thing.

    That kangaroo print is totally boss though. I'd rock it.

  4. Their eyes stare right into your SOUL @n@ Idg the Kewpie Doll thing either haha

  5. The kewpie doll print reminds me of the Mark Ryden / Broken Label collaborative dresses from a few years back, which I would still love to track down (although I'd have to mortgage a kidney to afford one, I suspect!).

    The Santa ones seem especially... odd? Creepy? Deranged? Unusual, at least.

  6. Ah yes, Mark Ryden! I remember those dresses XD

    hahaha It's true. He looks almost suspicious in the Wonderful World print. O_o

  7. is it wrong that I NEED that Kangaroo print?

  8. If you wearing it is wrong, Kelsey, I don't want to be right ;o;