The Tokyo Look Book
Philomena Keet and Yuri Manabe
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Buy *The Tokyo Look Book: Stylish To Spectacular, Goth To Gyaru, Sidewalk To Catwalk* by Philomena Keet and Yuri Manabe online

The Tokyo Look Book: Stylish To Spectacular, Goth To Gyaru, Sidewalk To Catwalk
Philomena Keet, photographs by Yuri Manabe
Kodansha International
224 pages
September 2007
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Yue and Ruso are dressed for shopping. Yumi is dressed for celebrating Coming-Of-Age Day. Shoto is dressed for his part-time job as a “hunter”, and Masayuki is dressed for his job at the bank. One man has altered his pajamas for an evening out, and Yukinko is wearing a T-shirt he decorated in five minutes using brushes and spray cans. These are just a few of the imaginative people Philomena Keet and Yuri Manabe talked to and photographed while on the streets of Tokyo. Categorized into the chapters "Shibuya Girls and Guys," "Spectacular and Subcultural," "Youth Street Fashion," "The Stylish Female" and "Young Men at Work," the photographs in this book give readers a visual and colorful insider's look at Tokyo fashion. Author Philomena Keet and photographer Yuri Manabe went to several areas in Tokyo to document examples of the different styles of dress in the area. Keet’s observations can be found in the short commentaries accompanying every photograph. Details include location of the shot, quotes from the individuals in the photographs, clothing brand names worn in the photographs, and translations of Japanese words or names that appear in the commentaries.

A variety of hairstyles, makeup applications, accessories and piercings are also captured in The Tokyo Look Book. Rei is photographed wearing multi-colored braids made for him by a friend. Yuki has a silver mane of hair flowing over his shoulders, an office worker with long pink hair is displaying her favorite anime character, and two girls on the Jingubashi bridge are photographed wearing “badges, beads, bangles, hairbands, clips and tiaras…” with lip piercings and mouth patches adding a darker element to their polychromatic look.

In addition to the photographs and commentaries, each chapter contains two or three informational pieces about people in the Japanese fashion industry. Based on interviews, these pieces give readers a clearer understanding of the Japanese fashion culture. Readers can learn about the history of the Mannenya shop and the Theatre Products brand. Interviews with the editor of several popular fashion magazines and fashion designers Naoyuki Ohira, Takuya Angel and Miwa Mochizuki provide further insight into the fashion industry as they discuss their beginnings in the business, their design ideas, and their customers.

A one-page alphabetized glossary of Japanese words and definitions and a directory of stores mentioned in the chapters are also included in this book. Definitions for words such as Comiket, OL and senta guy are provided, and addresses and websites (where possible) are given for stores such as Dog, Glad News, and 109.

Although most of the pages have white backgrounds around each picture and commentary, colors are introduced onto many pages with polka-dotted spots of green, yellow, purple, and blue. These same colors reappear though later in the book as background colors for the interview sections.

Bright in design and playful in tone, The Tokyo Look Book is filled with a unique multitude of styles for readers to admire, study, duplicate, or talk about.

This is Philomena Keet’s first book. When she’s not in Tokyo, she can be found in her native home of London. Tokyo-based photographer Yuri Manabe’s photographs have appeared in several magazines, including GQ and Marie-Claire.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Tanya Boudreau, 2007

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