September 25th, 2009


Venus as a boy

Japanese magazines are a little luxury I allow myself (with the excuse that they're for my girlfriend, bien sur) when visiting Paris. They simply don't exist in Berlin.

An optimistic Hisae asked me to bring back a copy of obscure Little More mag Mayonaka, but that clearly wasn't going to happen -- Junkudu in Paris isn't Kinokuniy-ahhhhhhh in New York, and even they might not have such an indie publication.

But Hisae also alerted me to the fact that fashion mag So-En features on its cover this month my idol Aoi Yu -- whose hairline, you might recall, is as beautiful as the snowline.

The really nice thing about this shoot is that So-En this month is a Men's Special, but the editors have, with delicious perversity, decided to dress Aoi Yu as a man in order to model various tweedy, golfish ensembles. And so we get "Venus as a boy", in a series of tres gamine pictures (captured here rather shabbily with my crappy Camson camera).

Here, for me, Aoi Yu pulls off the androgynous look very successfully; part Tintin, part Charlotte Gainsbourg. There are precedents, of course, in Japanese culture, including the dashing travesty heroes of the Takarazuka revue, who are really heroines. It's also interesting to see (here and in other Japanese fashion mags) early 90s short, spikey geometric hairstyles returning.

Nevertheless, in the image with the stripey braces that unmistakable snowline hairline peeks out, eiderdown-soft, from the chink in Yu's boyish side-parting.