Beyond the hype // Shan Shan


I found fashion the clearest form of expression.

Shan Shan is a 29 year old textile artist and online boutique owner from Osaka, Japan.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you live.

My name is Shan Shan. Yes, it is my true name; first name is Shan, last name is Shan too. :) Nickname is Dadaya.

I am a 29 old Chinese housewife and textile artist living in Osaka. I have two online shops (one for crafts and one for clothes) and I sometimes write articles in the fashion and textile magazine. Occasionally I am a translator, and next month I will be a craft teacher in my first workshop. I will teach how to make felt gloves and embroider them. :)

How did you end up in Japan?

I was born and raised in Qintao of China. I came to Japan with my man after I had graduated from the art high school because I wanted to study product design and my man wanted to be a video game creator in Japan. I graduated in Product Communication Design at the Kyoto Seika University, and after studied Textile Design and Art at the Kawasima Textile School. Now I am doing work in textiles while doing the housework.

What do you love about living in Osaka?

I moved to Osaka for my man's work in March this year, so I am not well informed about Osaka. I lived in Kyoto for a long time; I love Kyoto so much! I loved the atmosphere of Kyoto. It is a dignified, peculiar and settled feeling. I loved the autumn tint of Kyoto. Fushimi Inari Taisha is my most favorite though there are a lot of beautiful temples and Shinto shrines in Kyoto.

Your top 3 places to visit in Japan:

Kyoto, Tokyo, Hokaidou. Kyoto has the most beautiful things; Tokyo has the most fun things; Hokaidou has the most delicious things.

How does the Japanese fashion scene compare to the rest of the world?

I think that Japan is the country where the most various fashion styles exist because there are many interesting subcultures in Japan. Besides general fashion there is gal fashion, lolita fashion and punk fashion, which is different from punk-rock style (read a comic named Nana), etc.

Why is fashion important to you?

[Growing up] I wanted to differ from the person of my childhood. I found fashion the clearest form of expression.

Describe your personal style and its influences / inspiration.

Fashion is a means to express my individuality. I have neither beautiful face nor nice body, so I couldn't wear anything that I love! I only choose fashion suitable for my style, not fashion that suits models or other people. Also my style has changed as my knowledge and age grows up. I think it is happy to always change. :) My inspiration comes from anything I can see! Magazines, fashion blogs, comics, movies, streets, music and so on.

Which magazines, blogs, and comics are your favorites?

Magazines: I love a French kids' magazine called Milk, and the Japanese magazines Soen and Fudge.
Blogs: Of course, LOOKBOOK is best! I love MERRY DAILY by TOKYO BOPPER, The Sartorialist and Jak & Jil too.
Comics: Naoki Miura, Akira Toriyama, and Takehiko Inoue are my best 3!

How has your style changed since you were younger?

For instance, 10 years ago, I disliked dresses and high heels and put on jeans and boots only. But now, dresses and high heels occupy more than half of my closet, and there's only 2 pairs of jeans in there! 5 years ago, my choice of clothing were interesting and strange designs. But now, I only want designs suitable for my style! 1 year ago I loved colorful combinations but now, I love monotone and chic combinations too!

Favorite designers and places to shop?

Many many! I love Japanese designers because they are very delicate and the quality is very high. But Comme Des Garcons (Rei Kawakubo and Tao Kurihara) is my most favorite.

Most of the time, I love shopping in vintage shops!

The first thing you look at in another person's outfit is:

Just a kind of feeling. It isn't possible to express in words!

What do you skimp on?

Housework :P I want to become a good wife, though I am not a good housewife.

What do you splurge on?

Footwear! Tights, socks, stocking and shoes! I have a huge collection of about 100 pairs of tights, socks, and stockings!

What do you think is the most recent notable trend to appear/reappear, and what are your thoughts on it?

Fast fashion. By that I mean what is designed and manufactured quickly and cheaply to allow the consumer to take advantage of current clothing styles at a lower price, such as H&M, ZARA and Forever21. I said I loved Japanese designers because they not only pursue the interest of the design but also value the technology, the culture and the tradition of Japan in fashion. I occasionally buy fast fashion. However, I think that this is the same as eating fast food. When I was childhood, my mum said that fast food was unwholesome! I prefer to eat foods made with love.

What is your next "must have" purchase?

I am looking for high-waist pants with two rows of gold buttons.

Are there any fashion icons or famous people whose style you admire?

None! I only choose the fashion suitable for my style.

What's on your playlist / bookshelf / DVD player at the moment?

Music: a lot! now is Ojos De Brujo and Ayaka.
Books: I love Michel Pastoureau.
I haven't DVD player.

What can't you live without?

I can't live without family and making something.

What is your personal favorite outfit on LOOKBOOK by you, and by another member?

I really love harmonise by Fefe Mortsanscafe and Full length by Arvida Byström. I like her expression more. Mine is in the garden—this fantastic dress is my most favorite. Upon glancing I fell in love with the buttons, and I thought the drape and length of that dress looked wonderful on me!

Next place you want to travel to (and why):

Northern Europe. Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. They have beautiful crafts, nature and fashion sense.

In the year 2014 you will be:

Making fashion and crafts with my future children in my vintage shop and cafe :)

What would you say to someone seeking general fashion advice?

Never mimic anyone, though references can be done.

Our last interviewee Peter Galahad asks: If you are a superhero, what is your superpower?

Ohh, I am greedy! I want the superpower to understand all living things' languages: the insects, the animals, and the fish, etc. And…I want the ability to freely transform into them too. :P

What should we ask the next interviewee?

Do you like to lick the candy, or bite it?


show previous comments

Eugene Chen
i'm totally in love with Shan's style.
awesome <3
Shan Shan
thank you fro your love, dear Eugenice:))
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Rose A
i want to go to kyoto more than anywhere in the world! and i also like that your fashion is only for you, and what you feel great in :D
Shan Shan
thank you, miss rose:)
you should go to Kyoto, and I am sure you will like it!
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Guo Jingwen
excellent��brava��很喜欢你自己��的�装,也很佩�你有勇气留在异国,我也刚从米兰回国,之�在米兰��装设计师平时也会�些手工�饰在一些店铺寄�!!�过最�还是决定回国,呵呵,无奈和惊喜总是伴�一生的��希望你和your man have a wonderful life���bouna fortuna��
Shan Shan
其实对我�说,回国更需�勇气�我在日本�年了,无论是工作还是生活,都有固定的圈�和习惯,回国的�等于从零开始,�倒很难� �过我们最终是�回国的,等这边的事业稳定�,我和我先生都很想把好的�识和技术带回去,为中日文化交�作点贡献。
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Elizabeth Major
I adore her outfits!!!
Charlotte Anne D.
unique and lovable! one of my favorite lookbookers.
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So you have one of the best fashion styles I have ever, ever seen. Including celebrities.
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Agung Tresna
we love you shan san! ;D
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Shan Shan
thank you:)
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Camilla A
wow. You have the most daring unique beautiful style.
Yanii M
love your style!!! I would love to visit Japan one day. I am also interested in textiles and fashion illustration
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StarGazer Xxos
my first chinese name is shan too, nice to meet u and i <3 the bowtie and adore the gauzy white ensemble. xxos
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Moimoini_hye M.
so posh!! hype
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she is my favorite among the girls....
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Dara O
I love your style like I love life.
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Rosel Olivera
love all your looks! your my fav here on lb ^.^
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love shan shan!!! She has such unique personal style!
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Frida K.
you're so so cuteee **
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Ruzan A
you're definitely one of my faves on look book! Your style is unique, eccentric and beautiful..
it was great reading this interview, i really admire ur talent!
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By far one of the most unique people on here
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