Chopstick bras and cola frocks: Japanese fashion has pseudo-practicality

Feeling fashionably edgy when you pull that beret from the closet this fall? You’ve got nothing on the Japanese, who have perfected the art of Catch-22 couture. Take, for example, the ultimate push-up power of the chopstick bra, which promotes environmental issues while propping up the issue of lift and separate. Tiny holsters are sewn into the outside of each cup, just the perfect size to slide in a chopstick. Between the cups is a removable chopstick rest; I’ll leave it to your imagination where one might store the soy sauce. If you’re ever gone through your day wearing a past-its-prime wire-supported push-up bra that has metal poking your flesh for eight hours, then you can imagine the comfort of this unique item, which also explains why it’s a concept bra only and will never see the flickering light of a department store. The bra is designed to draw attention front and perky center to the fact that Japanese have a fetish for disposable chopsticks, and are mowing through forests just to nibble their noodles. It’s a marketing concept the U.S. is very familiar with: hey, here’s a nice rack, and why not get some reusable chopsticks?

From the other end of the fashion parade comes the latest in anti-crime, pro-consumer wear. A Japanese designer has whipped up this lovely vending machine dress (if you click on the link and see the photo, look for the feet) to protect women from creepy guys. It looks like a normal dress, until you see a would-be mugger or rapist coming along, then pop out the rest of the ensemble, hit the wall and think Pepsi until trouble passes by. While it might actually save someone from harm, it seems that some pepper spray, a whistle, a year’s worth of self-defense lessons, a gun permit, air horn, pocket taser, or walking with friends could provide slightly more reliable protection. And what if someone walks by and gets thirsty while you’re in Ms. Roboto mode? As far as urban ghillie suits go, it gets points for style, but not for practicality. However, if you’re a performing street artist, get one immediately, find a lens-happy friend, and we’ll look for your Candid Camera episode on YouTube.

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