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The Tokyo Look Book

Philom­ena Keet (Kon­dan­sha, $39.95) BRI­TISH an­thro­pol­o­gist Philom­ena Keet did her PhD on Tokyo street fash­ion, so a book on the Ja­panese cap­i­tal’s quirky style tribes seems the log­i­cal ex­ten­sion. Un­sur­pris­ingly, the for­mat is zap-pow and ul­tra-groovy; pho­tog­ra­pher Yuri Man­abe has cap­tured a crazy cross-sec­tion of fash­ion fads and vic­tims, from the dec­ora-kei ‘‘ dec­o­ra­tion’’ look (think: lip pierc­ings and weird hair adorn­ments) to gyaru teeny­boop­ers with false eye­lashes and clown-wig curls.

Keet in­ter­views some of Tokyo’s hottest de­sign­ers, in­clud­ing Takuya An­gel whose look is ‘‘ old ki­monos re­cy­cled into re­con­fig­urable, shapeshift­ing gar­ments, ac­ces­sorised with PVC in clashing colours and furry clawscarfs’’. Rather re­dun­dantly, Keet tells us th­ese clothes are ‘‘ de­lib­er­ately made in or­der to stand out of the crowd’’. In fact, if the Toky­oites fea­tured in this snazzy book are rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the city’s true streetscape, the way to get no­ticed here would be in a white shirt and a dark coat. Susan Kuro­sawa

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