Back to the Forest

"I hope that women become happy with lovely clothes, because they spend very stressful daily lives"

God bless the Japanese. And not just for their strength, fortitude, and kindness in making their way through the cataclysm of the last weeks. But also for their whimsical collective imagination, which pushes the limits of technological advance in one sector while harkening back to the idyllic days of the primeval forest in another.

I am a little late jumping on this bandwagon, so perhaps you are already familiar with the "Mori Girl" style. Mori means forest in Japanese, and this look is all about the revival of peasant, fairy tale, princess frocks and lacy floral feathery accents. Closely related to the Lolita and Dolly Kei looks to be certain, but with a sweet vintage bohemian twist all its own.

Last spring I was at the most amazing vintage/antique/thrift store in Fresno. I found score after score on the racks. But then I looked up and saw dozens of exquisite, spectacular, gorgeous vintage dresses hanging from the 30 ft high warehouse ceiling. I immediately went up to the counter and asked about them. "Sorry", I was told, "They're for the Japanese."

I was perplexed and intrigued, but not surprised (every time I list a sweet Gunne Sax or a dolly dress I think about a darling little Japanese girl wearing it. Which, often enough, does end up happening).

Then, watching this video, I realized that it was probably the very boutique owner profiled here who the dresses were for! At about 4 minutes in they talk about a trip she made to California to get some vintage clothing :-)

I adore this woman, Hitomi Nomura- what an inspiration (an inspiration who was, like me and so many of you, inspired herself by Tasha Tudor). The photos of the boutique in this post showcase her shop Grimoire, which looks to me like the happiest place on earth. This girl is a master of layering vintage with handmade into one seemingly impossible forest-frolicking masterpiece of an outfit.

Here is another video, featuring some killer fashion quotes from some beautiful Japanese women:

I have given some money to Japan in the last weeks, but I foresee more bleeding out of my pockets towards the country ( or more accurately, the Grimoire Boutique) in the very near future...