Friday, October 25, 2013

Fashion Inspiration: Maison Ikkoku

Personal style is not something you are born with. It is something that grows and changes.  It develops over time.  Sometimes inspiration comes from some interesting places.

My personal style today is more heavily influenced by the past than by modern trends, specifically the 1930 through 1950’s; but American vintage isn't the only source of inspiration for me.

From Korean television shows to Barbie dolls, what inspires me most is pretty eclectic. But I think one thing has influenced my style over time more than almost anything else, and it comes from a very unlikely source.  Comic books.  But of course!

Comic books and graphic novels have influenced me in important ways throughout my life.  I even count comic books as the major source of my own personal morality code. Comic books can be about so much more than punching and fighting.  They are often about tolerance (X-Men), justice (Batman) or always doing what is right (Superman).  They can teach that being different often means being extraordinary and that if you are strong, it is your responsibility to look out for the weak.  I would say that comic books are almost a religion for me.

But I was writing about personal style right?  And as much as I love super heroes, spandex is not for me. That's where a not-so-well-known manga series comes in.

Maison Ikkoku is a wonderful romance comic series written and penned by Rumiko Takahashi.  I was already a fan of Takahashi’s work for many years when I found this wonderful series about a broken down apartment building full of crazy characters.  The series takes place in 1980’s Tokyo and centers around a young man who is in love with his apartment manager Kyoko.  Unfortunately (or fortunately for story development purposes) Kyoko has a tragic past she needs to get over before she can let someone new into her heart. It is a wonderful love story, where the main characters learn and grow throughout the series, and it is one of my favorite things on the planet.

But, beyond the wonderful stories, these books are full of the most adorable clothes in the world! Kyoko’s whole wardrobe is a darling mix of sexy, cute, and super 80’s (but somehow in the best way possible) fashions. In essence, she has my dream wardrobe.

Silly as it sounds, Kyoko's style has not only influenced my personal style, but also my sewing. I love her big collars, wonderful prints, and blousy shapes, and now that I can sew, I can make versions of them for myself!  Yay!

It may sound silly to say a 1980’s comic series inspires my style, but truth is truth. It really did, and still does.
What, or who, has influenced your personal style?  Can't you totally see my style in these adorable illustrations?  :)

Full skirt,with a peter pan collar on a shirt with a strong print.  

Silky looking puff sleeved boat neck black dress.  

Beautiful cocoon coat.
Lovely cheongsam dress dress.

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