Japanese Dolls: Gumi Chan at Paul Smith

   Although nothing in the world of fashion should surprise me any more (either good or bad), I was rather startled to discover that renowned fashion brand Paul Smith were to play host to a new exhibition of works created by a prominent Japanese doll-maker.

   The collection, named Gumichan , is the latest work created by Kazumi Akao; her meticulously crafted pieces recreate the life of suburban 1960s Japan (although the eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted a Paul Smith store added to the scenery).

   Kazumi's career as a doll-maker began in 1990 with her early works three dimensional recreations of the jazz era of the 1950s and 60s. Her more recent designs have been nostalgia inspired reflections of the artist's own childhood; after the country's economic downturn and the tragedy of Fukushima, Kazumi has sought to recreate a time of greater happiness, neighbourliness and co-operation.

   Paul Smith was evidently inspired by the optimism of Gumi Chan and by the finesse of Kazumi's work, offering to exhibit the work in London. As such, anybody who makes a journey to the 9 Albermarle Street outlet of the designer brand will now be able to see this lovingly stylistic recreation of Japan from an era gone by and enjoy the whimsical marvel whilst they shop.

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