*This post also appears on the Brighton Fashion Week blog*
Deco (the Japanese shortening of decoration), the art of decorating items with tiny rhinestones and charms, has been an exponential trend for many years – and who wouldn’t want to cover everything they own with sparkles?
(Deco & Deco magazine)
Read on for my trip into the kawaii world of deco…
I came across deco on my first trip to Kobe in Western Japan; confronted with a shop bursting with tiny diamantes shining back at me from every surface, I watched in genuine teenage awe as a young girl sat at the back patiently decorating a mobile phone case with a pink glittering Hello Kitty. It was love from the word go, and since then I’ve become a hardened deco addict covering every phone I’ve owned in the past seven years with a variety of designs in little stones.
Mobile phones & Pucci-style hearts
By far the most popular item to decorate in Japan is one’s mobile phone, giving us the phrase deco-den (i.e decorated keitai denwa, mobile phone), and the common sight of high school girls toting intricately decorated cases, often laden down with a huge number of dangling charms too. But the deco doesn’t stop there! Mirrors, cameras, tissue boxes, pens, cases, photo frames… the list really is endless: if it’s a rigid surface, you can deco it. Amazing.
Cute and chaotic sweets deco
Popular for a while now is sweets deco: Japan clearly has a massive style crush on all things French and Parisian, and this also extends to deco subjects too. At one point you couldn’t see the wood for the pastel pink maracon trees, not to mention tiny cakes, fruit and faux-whipped cream. It’s almost enough to bring on a sugar rush just looking at it.
Nails in Egg magazine
False nails are also popular with Japanese deco lovers, particularly in gyaru fashion. Although nail trends have been edging towards toned-down this winter, there’s still plenty of sparkle around! From expertly crafted 3D acrylic hearts and flowers to hand painted designs and patterns, there’s a nail to match every outfit. If you feel like indulging yourself with some fabulous deco nails, I highly recommend Brighton’s very own Chou Chou Nail Salon: as well as regularly taming my own Wolverine-like nails, they specialise in beautiful Japanese style nail art and sculptures too.
Of course, all this minute decoration does require patience and an eye for detail. If I had a penny for every misplaced or dropped stone, every errant blob of glue, every time I changed my mind halfway through a design… well, I doubt I’d be a millionaire, but I’d be a fair bit richer and Samuel probably wouldn’t have to put up with my periodic busts of rage and flinging rhinestones across the room (they do end up in some odd places!).
If you’ve been inspired to take up the deco challenge, then I’d love to see your creations! The Brighton Fashion Week logo would look fab done in true sparkly deco style, right?
For more articles on all things sugary sweet and cute, take a look at our kawaii tag.
Ja, mata – until next time!
For my previous BFW articles, please see the Brighton Fashion Week blog