Even though I write about jewelry an awful lot here on Tokyo Telephone, I do worry that sometimes I reflect my own tastes too much and don’t get to grips with what is actually big on the streets and bodies of the Japanese silver fans. Well on this occasion I get a rare opportunity to do both in the form of “anima exists in all creation” which I think does a really good job of reflecting the current state of Japanese made silver. As I have talked about in the past, Chrome Hearts, Bill Wall leather, Travis Walker and many other biker brands were largely responsible for causing the “silver boom” that saw an avalanche of new jewelry brands flourish in Japan in the early 2000s. Out of this wave of silver there was a huge amount that was truly original like Ken Blood’s Holloow, Legio Made and many more that I am a personal collector of, but there was also an awful lot that took very literal inspiration from their gothic inspirations.
Fast-forward to around 2008 and it was becoming clear that those latter brands had evolved and matured into a uniquely Japanese version of the Neo Gothic. They were also massively successful and became the style of choice for young men whether it was in Shibuya, Ueno or Harajuku – this aesthetic was pervasive and clearly quite persuasive to boot.
Thankfully out of that glut there are a couple of real diamonds and one of my personal favorites has to be anima.
The designer hails from the Hiko Mizuno Jewelry school in Harajuku and I even had a chance to buy his graduate collection from their shop Corazon Corazon on cat street a couple of years ago. As it happens I only brought one ring, but I wish I had picked up this magnificent bangle before he started to get popular…
His work ticks all the boxes of neo gothic: feathers, crosses, crowns, skulls and all finished with floral and vine flourishes. You really can’t go wrong.
It is not all to my taste, but a brief glance at the fingers of my male friends reveals that this is clearly the vibe of the moment.
I would say that anima’s particular strength is in building slightly futuristic elements into his work – the kind of neo baroque beloved of Final Fantasy.
I think this kind of aesthetic can work with most men’s wardrobe and would be a great entry point for those looking to start accessorizing (I do warn you that it is a slippery slope!)
Really like this hidden pearl ring – fantastic.
Even though the designer mostly sticks to garnets, he can do most stones on request. I am a particular fan of any use of fire opals like the above, especially in this chunky organic setting.
And like most designers, you have to wait to see their custom work to see them flex their muscles:
Come on, you have to admit that that is an impressive level of detail. This guy has just gone from strength to strength in the last couple of years – definitely one to watch.
And a nice couple of bolos to finish with. If I wear a tie, it is always a bolo.
So there you go, another truly talented Japanese silver designer and a great example of this particular aesthetic.
If you want to see some of his amazing custom work then head on over to his blog complete with links to his stockists. Stay tuned here for more silver in the future, and trust me, I will never run out of silver to share.