In eleventh grade, my high school Latin class took a trip to the Museum of Fine Arts.
What I remember now isn’t the art or ancient artifacts, but a book I saw in the gift shop: Shiochi Aoki’s Fruits, a compilation of fashion photos from the streets of Tokyo.
Pink tutus! Colorful plastic jewelry! Plaid mixed with leopard print! Parasols! Brightly colored hair! Tiaras! Platform Mary Janes! My punkish teenage self was enraptured.
I loved the over-the-top mixing of styles and cultures. The deconstructing of fashion and putting it back together with a bow on top, a Hello Kitty purse, and ripped fishnets. The glorious, riotous color.
Years later, I still count Fruits (and its sequel, Fresh Fruits) among my biggest style influences.
Here are a few pictures I’ve taken of the books’ pages; I would have scanned them, but my scanner was in a bad mood. They are just the tip of the fruity iceberg, so if you want more fabulous kawaii and punk and Lolita inspirations, be sure to check out the books.