Big In Japan | Teeny Manolo

Big In Japan

By Glinda

Sometimes I wonder, how are other countries dressing their kids?  I decided to check out Japan, because the Japanese are no slouches in the fashion department.  After a few minutes hours of research, I found the Narumiya Company, a popular high-quality clothing manufacturer in Japan that produces a couple of European-inspired clothing lines. Upon first glance, I fell in love with them.

I mean, how could I not?

Pom PonettePom Ponette

Pom PonettePom Ponette

The designs are so cute, I want to have a daughter, like right now, so that I can buy these for her.  The above are from their Pom Ponette line for toddlers.

But then I went to a different portion of the website, and found these from another one of their lines, Mezzo Piano.

 Mezzo Piano

I adore these looks, they are a bit over the top, but I love them just the same. I mean, it’s a photo-shoot, right?  Things are allowed to look a little different in a photo-shoot.

Mezzo Piano

Now we are getting into really artsy territory with the hat o’flowers, but look at that ribbon! I can ignore the headdress because of that brown ribbon.

Mezzo Piano

Erm, I’m starting to get a little uncomfortable here. I keep reminding myself, photo-shoot, things are allowed to be, uh, different.  She’s depressed about her grades or something, that’s all!

Mezzo Piano

This photo is definitely not ichiban in any way.

Mezzo Piano

But do you see the embroidery on the skirt of the blue dress? I’m almost willing to forgive the fact that the two models look like the black-sheep cousins of Alice in Wonderland, ready to smack her around a little if she doesn’t meet their demands to give up some of that mushroom stash. 

Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, these clothes are not available here in the US and have limited distribution in Europe.  At an average of 12,000 yen, these clothes are a bargain.  That’s about 100 US dollars, and listen, I thought of the idea to get on a plane and buy them and bring them back here already.  My finder’s fee is about ten percent if you beat me to it.

But I’m just not sure I can get past those Lolita-inspired pictures.  What do you think, are those exploitative or are you willing to look past the advertising because the clothes are so fab?

12 Responses to “Big In Japan”

  1. Suzanne Says:

    The last few pictures turned my stomach — definitely exploitative.

  2. gamma Says:

    The Lolita look is very big in Japan as a fashion statement for teens, typified by frilly dresses and tights, considered cute and sweet rather than sexual. Lolita is also a manga (Japanese comic) theme, in which a prepubescent girl is dating a twenty-something guy. In one comic, she’s engaged to her teacher. In another comic, the main character is actually named “Lolita;” she wears the look and has the boyfriend.

    The ads are creepy.

  3. Awesome Mom Says:

    Those last pictures are way creepy. I probably would not buy the clothing but some of the dresses are really pretty.

  4. raincoaster Says:

    Those clothes are fabulous, and I agree; the hat is felony-worthy! I’d steal it off the head of Condoleeza Rice, even if I went to Gitmo for it. I’d be the most fabulous prisoner in the compound!

    I didn’t find the Italian pictures that creepy except for the hands-on-chair-butt-out one, but I’d trace the lineage rather differently. Those kids aren’t being sexual; they’re being put in sexual poses by a photographer referencing the “sexy schoolgirl” look that adults wear, not sexy schoolgirls themselves. Does that make sense? I think this photographer is just showing off his limited range: can work with heroin skanks, cannot imagine what to do with children.

  5. Chris Says:

    The Japanese clothes were cute. In a neat and tidy sort of way. Didn’t care much for the Italian ones. Sheesh, too many frilly things.

  6. Atasha Says:

    Lovely dresses but the second to last one and the one before that is disturbing particularly the one of the little child with hands on the chair. It’s like she is “waiting for something” and we as adults know what that something is. Look at the shoes too!
    Bad taste if you ask me.

  7. J Says:

    I like the first picture, with just the four dresses. The rest look like “Pretty Baby” hookers.

  8. Glinda Says:

    Suzanne- Firmly on the side of exploitative!

    Gamma- Yes, I saw lots of similar looks for teens and tweens, very school-girlish.

    AM- I agree, a bit creepy.

    Rain- I’m not sure I dig the flower hat as much as you do!

    Chris- I like all the clothes, just not all the pictures!

    Atasha- Yes, the hands on the chair picture was way too much for me.

    J- Even the first and last picture of the second set? I really like those.

  9. raincoaster Says:

    I’m not sure anyone could love the flower hat as much as I do. If The Manolo ever starts a hat blog, I’m first in line.

  10. Glinda Says:

    Oh, and just to clear up what seems to be a bit of confusion, all of the clothing above is made in Japan by the Narumiya Company. I’m not sure how the Italian thing got in here!

  11. benvenuta Says:

    I don`t know much about fashion photography. I knew about some scandalous Stephen Meisel photoshoots, but wouldn`t expect seeing anything remotely similar in pictures of children. How naive…
    The clothes are cute, I guess, but most photos are just disturbing. Blech.
    Am I overreacting? I don`t think so. Perhaps these photos look so bad only when a European like me looks at them. But then again, perhaps some European brand used similar photos in their ads and I just don`t know.
    I really hate those photos.

  12. raincoaster Says:

    I thought the second lot were Italian, although where I got the impression is a mystery; probably just because they look like typical shots in European fashion magazines, even the children’s ones. I’ve been meaning to do a post on how creepily sexual the models are made to look.

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