Rib as decoration: SABA AW 2011

I love knitting, so I’m always keeping an eye on knitwear in the shops. I guess the shops I’m walking past each day would be classified as the Australian ‘high street’ (whatever that term really means) or perhaps contemporary designer? Must say the knitwear I’m seeing has improved, compared to around 5 years ago when I first started taking note. I’m not seeing so many knits stretching and sagging off the hangers, these days.

Clever knitwear always makes me smile. Here, I like the idea of ribbing used as contrast and decoration, not just as utilitarian edging. The ribbing’s curved, even along the shoulders in a kind of boatneck style. I often appreciate fashion ideas that might be somewhat awkward to wear … but this isn’t one of them. The ribbing gives a little more style to an otherwise simple, neat jacket.

The photo is from SABA, about a month ago. The next day they covered the mannequin with an even bigger scarf, so I couldn’t see the knitwear detail anymore. I suppose the jacket’s probably on sale now or even sold out (I can’t see it in their online store).

apologies to BOOKOFF

Because I just didn’t understand BOOKOFF when I first came to Tokyo. And I got annoyed at its small, weird collection of Japanese craft and sewing books … that’s before I realised BOOKOFF is a secondhand bookshop, with gems like this:

Go-Akiue: kimono remake


And odd ones like this:

The Works of Sayoko Mori

ISBN 4-946496-47-5

It must be the special edge-sanding technique, because when I first came here, I thought the books were new.  And it’s true what the article says, the stores aren’t dingy and unwelcoming at all … so totally unlike secondhand bookshops I’m used too.

Oh, and BOOKOFFs carry plenty of fashion magazines, often very current ones … my local has a couple of February 2009 issues already!  And sewing books, knitting books, craft books …

Apparently, there’s a legal reason why you never see books on sale here, so if you’re after half-price Japanese craft books … you know where to shop.  I’ve seen BOOKOFFs everywhere in Tokyo, at one stage I tried to find the biggest (Akihabara?) and best for fashion / design /craft (Shibuya or Jiyugaoka?) but actual my local’s been good to me, perhaps because I visit frequently.

P.S. If you’re after English language books while you’re in Tokyo, I recommend Maruzen at Nihombashi or Marunouchi, or the bookshop in the basement of Parco, Shibuya.