Saturday, 22 January 2011

Bags of ancient bushido style...

This weekend we’ve got a distinctly Japanese flavour. I’m not sure if you’ve already seen the unusual handbags by British artisan designer Vivien Hew at ShopCurious? Viv’s latest ‘Bushido’ collection is inspired by the five moral codes of the Samurai Warriors.

“I was intrigued by the contradictions; the image of the ferocious head-carrying warrior in battle with the dignified, artistic, and spiritual, tea-drinking individual. I sought to separate the myth from the reality and to try to acquire some understanding of their conceptions of the world,” she explained to me.

Apparently the Samurai were habitual recyclers of armour; whether this was booty acquired on the battlefield, or heirlooms passed down from generation to generation. They frequently replaced the lacing of their armour to repair, update or personalise their battledress. Vivien also uses recycled materials wherever possible. Much of the leather in her products comes from recycled leather garments.

Personally, I love the funky Samurai tassels, however, probably the most unique thing about Vivien’s highly collectable bags is the woven fabric. Not only are the bags handmade, but the textiles and trims for every single one of them are also individually created by hand. Vivien says, “I drew on the vibrancy, the symmetry and order of the armour for my fabric designs. I used the vertical and horizontal stripes of the armour scales but made them less ordered and less predictable.”

I’ve noticed that all things Japanese are gaining ground over here too, from paper and origami in product design and art, to sculptural folding and pleating effects in fashion. I think we might be even see the rise of more curious fashion sub-cultures here too, like the gothic Lolita trend, featured in my post today at The Dabbler.

Do let me know what you think.

Will you?


Eclectic Mix Knitwear said...

Wow!, I was checking out my blogroll and the picture of the Japenese warrior, really spoke out to me, I had to click on it.

I am intrigued by Japanese cultural
wear, 20th century design talent and their street culture.

The bag truly connects and expresses it's source of inspiration.

All the best.

janettaylor said...

Such an interesting post...and yes bag. So unique!


Style Porn said...

The lolita fashion is just insane. I can't handle all the bows and ruffles, but it IS interesting to look at!

Love the unique look of these bags! They really do mirror the ornate decoration on the old Samurai armor!