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JUN TAKAHASHI’S GRACES

Show Window Shinjuku Isetan
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.
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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.
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Sometimes Jun Takahashi does live presentations of the doll-making.
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Here are some of the beautiful images of the Graces from the issue of A Magazine that Jun Takahashi curated.

JUN TAKAHASHI GRACES

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I've heard there was an animated film made with the Graces. I'd love to see it some day!

Leave a Comment

54 Comments

  1. gorgeous.. absolutely gorgeous

    6.24.09 · Reply
  2. Jane wrote:

    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.

    6.24.09 · Reply
  3. maria wrote:

    So imaginative and beautiful.

    6.24.09 · Reply
  4. Brigadeiro wrote:

    Absolutely A M A Z I N G ! ! !
    xx

    6.24.09 · Reply
  5. alyse wrote:

    i love all the photo’s, that would have been amazing to go to :)
    xx. A

    6.24.09 · Reply
  6. yilin wrote:

    you’re right, those creatures are absolutely fascinating.

    6.24.09 · Reply
  7. Lily wrote:

    Amazing…but creeepy! I can’t really decide if I like them or not!
    Lily xxxx
    http://throughthelookingglass44.blogspot.com/

    6.24.09 · Reply
  8. Noelle wrote:
    6.24.09 · Reply
  9. Belle wrote:

    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…

    6.24.09 · Reply
  10. Fr.Holle wrote:

    I’d like to have them in my garden

    6.24.09 · Reply
  11. Gabriel wrote:

    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.

    6.24.09 · Reply
  12. Sarah A. wrote:

    Wow!

    6.24.09 · Reply
  13. These are fabulous. Although they look strange, they aren’t creepy at all. They’re kind of cute now that I think about it.

    6.24.09 · Reply
  14. James V. wrote:

    hey, this is really cool!

    6.24.09 · Reply
  15. Zarna wrote:

    wow this is really amazing!!
    -zarna
    http://zarnasrunway.blogspot.com/

    6.24.09 · Reply
  16. These are eerily beautiful..the photos are incredible.
    http://fashionroadkill-halifax.blogspot.com

    6.24.09 · Reply
  17. Christine wrote:

    Thanks for sharing these, the Graces are truly an entrancing creature…

    6.24.09 · Reply
  18. Mona wrote:

    Too cool

    6.24.09 · Reply
  19. KD wrote:

    Absolutely stunning artwork.

    6.24.09 · Reply
  20. Imela Kei wrote:

    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 :)
    ganbatte ne!
    see ya!

    6.24.09 · Reply
  21. Moa wrote:

    hey, what happened with your hair? I’m really curious!

    6.24.09 · Reply
  22. Caitlin wrote:

    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

    6.24.09 · Reply
  23. xAZD wrote:

    wow! that’s very interesting.

    6.24.09 · Reply
  24. Francesca wrote:

    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

    6.25.09 · Reply
  25. the truth wrote:

    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

    6.25.09 · Reply
  26. Sunset wrote:

    God… absolutely haunting and gorgeous.

    6.25.09 · Reply
  27. Rienn wrote:

    This reminds me of Doctor Who something..

    6.25.09 · Reply
  28. INSANELY FABULOUS

    6.25.09 · Reply
  29. jC wrote:

    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.

    6.25.09 · Reply
  30. Chelsea wrote:

    I love all your photos in Tokyo! Also Congrats on your collaboration w/ UO shoes– they look amazing and so exciting!
    <3 Chelsea'sGirl

    6.25.09 · Reply
  31. Wendygital wrote:

    I’m a lover of japanese pop culture and its peculiarities…
    This is all so weird, cool and cute!
    Great post! :-)

    6.25.09 · Reply
  32. Bri wrote:

    This is deliciously creepy.

    6.25.09 · Reply
  33. Isabel wrote:

    Those are freaky as hell.

    6.25.09 · Reply
  34. Regina wrote:

    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,
    Regina

    6.25.09 · Reply
  35. 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.

    6.25.09 · Reply
  36. Britt wrote:

    cool & interesting pics – BAH :)
    the japanese style is so much fun…
    have a nice trip!
    greetings from Hamburg.

    6.25.09 · Reply
  37. Sara wrote:

    really nice photos.
    I love the strange combination, it´s so beautiful.

    6.26.09 · Reply
  38. CAGRI wrote:

    I will be at Tokyo next week, I love Graces.
    Where’s the exhibition, I’d like to visit or live with them :)

    6.27.09 · Reply
  39. Cruz wrote:

    I’ve thought these were so cool, it’s one of those ideas I wish I came up with haha. Takahashi is so talented!

    6.27.09 · Reply
  40. Mercury wrote:

    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.

    6.28.09 · Reply
  41. Danial wrote:

    Nice and fine post

    7.6.09 · Reply
  42. Anna wrote:

    I want one ! Their so AMAZING I LOVE THEM !!!!! HOW DO YOU KNOW THEIR NAMES?????

    1.30.10 · Reply
  43. Jordan wrote:

    They are so cool and yet kind of creepy. They are still AMAZING!!!!!!(:

    1.30.10 · Reply
  44. Anna wrote:

    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!!!

    1.30.10 · Reply
  45. What are some general facts about sea animals? It is for a 1st grade report and she needs some ideas. Thanks.

    4.27.10 · Reply
  46. these figures are a bit strange but original! I like!

    5.3.10 · Reply
  47. I like this technology I would like to watch this
    movie. I wish to make such a nice movie.
    keep posting more about such movies.
    ….Alex

    7.13.10 · Reply
  48. Jordans 4 wrote:

    everytime you hear the rolling thunder
    You turn around before the lightening strikes
    does it ever make you stop and wonder

    7.18.10 · Reply
  49. Seeing your post come accorss in the online,form it remind me a large number of languge knowledge.Thank you.

    7.21.10 · Reply
  50. Viagra wrote:

    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.

    7.29.10 · Reply
  51. That’s a cool project. You have inspired me to adapt this project for my high school level design class.

    8.21.10 · Reply
  52. Nowadays, technology makes me crazy. How on earth did they thought about it.

    3.1.11 · Reply
  53. auto glass wrote:

    Those are definitely weird but creative works.

    4.19.11 · Reply
  54. kamagra wrote:

    I certainly won’t be sleeping soundly tonight with this image in my head. Wow really weird! :)

    2.27.12 · Reply