I've been looking forward to visiting the Undercover store here in Tokyo for a long time and checking out the Graces exhibition…I got to go a few days ago and I'm so glad I did. I wish I had been able to take pictures in the store.
Anyone who follows Undercover or Jun Takahashi is familiar with the Graces by now. Doll-making is an avid hobby of Takahashi's now for many years. They appeared prominently in the Spring 09 collection…
"This season Takahashi notes that he was inspired by white, fluffy creatures with luminous eyes called "Graces." These creatures, invented by Takahashi, keep their distance from humans. A secret organization called Gila, he says, has succeeded in breeding and protecting the Graces. Gila also has played a crucial role in fostering a relationship between both the Graces and the human species. To illustrate this notion, Takahashi made dolls (which looked somewhat like a cross between an alien and a monkey with luminous eyes and a light on the tip of their tails), which rested on the shoulders of a few of the mannequins that were set-up in the center of the gallery space."
I have been entranced by these creatures ever since I first saw them…you can't exactly tell if the Graces are peaceful or hostile beings. In some of the photos taken by Katsuhide Morimoto for the Spring 09 collection, humans and Graces exist in peace (a picture of a young girl gazing peacefully at a miniature Grace in what looks like an open-air terrarium) and in some contexts the Graces are monstrous (an image of creatures atop a building shooting beams of light from their lamp-heads at a crowd of terrorized humans below)
These are not my own pictures, so thank you to a few kind people from Flickr who have shared images of the Graces in the various exhibits and windows they have appeared in.
Unfortunately I couldn't show all of the photos that I saw in the Undercover store, but if you're in town soon it is definitely worth a look.
Here are some pictures of the Graces in some other exhibitions.
Sometimes Jun Takahashi does live presentations of the doll-making.
Here are some of the beautiful images of the Graces from the issue of A Magazine that Jun Takahashi curated.
I've heard there was an animated film made with the Graces. I'd love to see it some day!
tracey ellle says
gorgeous.. absolutely gorgeous
whoa! they’re half creepy, half cool. i love the gigantic Grace(?) looking down on the girl. soooooo cool.
also, congrats on your new shoe line!!! as soon as it comes out i’m going to make a beeline to UO and buy at least half your shoes. they are so amazing.
So imaginative and beautiful.
Absolutely A M A Z I N G ! ! !
i love all the photo’s, that would have been amazing to go to :)
you’re right, those creatures are absolutely fascinating.
Amazing…but creeepy! I can’t really decide if I like them or not!
Wow, purely awesome
aren’t they just adorable? i love their names…like some alien, benevolent force. i like the little ones in trees. i wish someone would fill trees near me with them…they could shine little lights on people walking home in the dark.
i think they’d be quite at home in the labyrinth too…
I’d like to have them in my garden
I love the mixed emotions they give off. They make you feel slightly melancholy yet they’re still cheerful and slightly funny with an undertone of creepyness, much like Jun Takashi’s collections.
Sarah A. says
Patricia Ann says
These are fabulous. Although they look strange, they aren’t creepy at all. They’re kind of cute now that I think about it.
James V. says
hey, this is really cool!
wow this is really amazing!!
fashion roadkill says
These are eerily beautiful..the photos are incredible.
Thanks for sharing these, the Graces are truly an entrancing creature…
Absolutely stunning artwork.
Imela Kei says
tottemo sugoi desu nee….Takahashi-san wa honto ni jouzu na hito desu!!
Thank u for this post, Ive been wondering about his work since weeks ago, cuz I just met sum Japanese asking whether Takahashi-san is famous here (in indonesia) or not…hehe and I couldnt seem to find nice pics like urs also….
keep it up Jane, ur blog is very inspiring :)
hey, what happened with your hair? I’m really curious!
Wow I love it. I love how some adults can grow up in the same world as others but keep the imagination of their childhood intact. xx
wow! that’s very interesting.
I wish I knew bout this when I was there -__-
I am sure you will visit more interesting places than me ^^ can’t wait – thanks for sharing
the truth says
Jane is adorable, but please the girl is 17 and owns every new iconic shoe each season? She has a way with clothes, but is obviously a very privileged young lady. What I find more inspiring are the girls and women who use their creativity to make themselves stand out without spending a grand on a pair of shoes! To me, those are the real muses. – taken from nymag.com
God… absolutely haunting and gorgeous.
This reminds me of Doctor Who something..
...love Maegan says
Wow, what a fascinating story. I had to spend a few minutes ‘visiting’ this place, and the Graces (who I can’t tell are good or evil, either), as a way of resting my head from all the noise after reading thru the over 200 comments yesterday (including two of my own: I hadn’t realised the first went thru – I lost it in the shuffle, sorry).
To think that while all these bad (& very genuinely good) vibes were being bandied about your blog yesterday, you and your mom were out having this magic experience. You’ve clearly been well brought up, to have the Grace to rise above all that nonsense yesterday. I felt dirty, just reading it, and looking at these photos feels like diving into a fascinating pool in a cave in the Virgin Islands, filled with mysterious creatures. As Sunset put it so well (and succinctly) ‘absolutely haunting, and gorgeous.’
Thank you for taking the time to source the shots you couldn’t get yourself, and generously sharing that lovely experience with us. With your good manners and restraint not to even dignify them with a response, not to rise to the bait, you’re leading by example.
I love all your photos in Tokyo! Also Congrats on your collaboration w/ UO shoes– they look amazing and so exciting!
I’m a lover of japanese pop culture and its peculiarities…
This is all so weird, cool and cute!
Great post! :-)
This is deliciously creepy.
Those are freaky as hell.
I’m so impressed by you’re blog! It’s AMAZING!!!! Great pictures!!!
I found this site because I was reading an artical about you on a dutch newssite :) I’m glad they posted the link! Bookmarked you’re site imediately :)
Keep up the great work!
Much love from Holland,
Stephanie C. says
What can I say that has not already been said about the Graces? Haunting, eery and “deliciously creepy”, as one comment says. Bottom line- love it. What an imagination Takahashi must possess to create such fascinating and weirdly wonderful things.
After reading your post, I wandered through the internet last night, stumbling upon excerpts about Takahashi and his innovative designs. Love the white clothing he did for S2009RTW…so raw yet ethereal.
cool & interesting pics – BAH :)
the japanese style is so much fun…
have a nice trip!
greetings from Hamburg.
really nice photos.
I love the strange combination, it´s so beautiful.
I will be at Tokyo next week, I love Graces.
Where’s the exhibition, I’d like to visit or live with them :)
I’ve thought these were so cool, it’s one of those ideas I wish I came up with haha. Takahashi is so talented!
I wonder if the Graces have any reference to the greek mythology as painted by Sandro Botticelli’s ‘Primavera’ and Rafael’s ‘The Three Graces’….they were a popular group of figures during the Renaissance. They are three women either depicted in nude or lavish clothing as painted on the Primavera.
Nice and fine post
I want one ! Their so AMAZING I LOVE THEM !!!!! HOW DO YOU KNOW THEIR NAMES?????
They are so cool and yet kind of creepy. They are still AMAZING!!!!!!(:
Haunting,erie but absolutly without a doubt ENCHANTING. WHAT ARE THEIR NAMES?!?!? I LOVE THEM!!!! I really want one esspesialy the last one I love that one the most!!!
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these figures are a bit strange but original! I like!
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everytime you hear the rolling thunder
You turn around before the lightening strikes
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There are so crazy costumes and the lights are interesting too . great effect and now i know how you can make it as well i will try to make me one very easy to make.
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That’s a cool project. You have inspired me to adapt this project for my high school level design class.
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Nowadays, technology makes me crazy. How on earth did they thought about it.
auto glass says
Those are definitely weird but creative works.
I certainly won’t be sleeping soundly tonight with this image in my head. Wow really weird! :)