6%DOKIDOKI Designer Sebastian Masuda Celebrates the Work of Illustrator Rune Naito at Royal/T
See more of Shannon Cottrell's photos in "Rune Boutique World Debut Party @ Royal/T."
Shannon Cottrell Sebastian Masuda on stage for the 6%DOKIDOKI fashion show at Royal/T.
Rune Naito was a Japanese illustrator whose depictions of cute, fashionable girls during the mid-20th century made him a legend. Sebastian Masuda is a fashion designer and art director whose brand 6%DOKIDOKI has helped define Japanese street fashion since the 1990s. Stylistically, the two artists are quite different. The Rune aesthetic is steeped in 1950s and '60s fashion and beauty trends, where 6%DOKIDOKI embodies the colorful, hyper-cute style of the present day. But, despite the differences, Masuda explains that the two have quite a bit in common.
"[Rune] wasn't just drawing pictures or just making cute stuff, he was making things that could be a part of girls' lifestyles and girls' lives in general," says Masuda through a translator.
Masuda does the same thing. His line 6%DOKIDOKI, a longtime favorite amongst the fashionable youth of Harajuku, has amassed a large following in Los Angeles since he first appeared here last year as the fashion guest for the 2010 Sweet Streets event. Now, certain 6%DOKIDOKI accessories -- like the metallic star pins -- are ubiquitous at parties and conventions across the city. It seems like an obvious choice to have Masuda work with the late illustrator's archive for Rune Boutique, which opened a pop-up shop at Royal/T last Friday.
Shannon Cottrell Art by Rune Naito
However, the popular fashion designer was hesitant to take on the assignment. Taking on the work of such an esteemed artist is certainly a daunting task. Then Masuda took a look through the archive and noticed not just lovely illustrations of young women, but pictures that he says conveyed the girls' personalities.
"When I saw these works, I thought that these works really could be translated into a modern context," he says.