Japanese artist Chinami Mori weaves vibrantly colored and textured scarves using a technique called Saori, which eschews rigid rules, allowing the weaver to incorporate colored yarn, string, and fabric in a freeform way. Her 93 year-old grandmother Emiko stops by her studio regularly, and in a delightful twist, often models her creations for Chinami’s Instagram feed. The combination of Emiko’s joyful personality with the playful, multicolored weavings is enough to snap anyone out of a bad mood.
I love how this challenges the convention of models having to be pre-teen and sour-faced to be fashionable. There are many times when I want to feature clothing on this blog and then think twice, because the expression on the model’s face is so grumpy that it seems to undercut the whole thing. Seeing these photos, it makes me wonder why more brands don’t use smiling models: don’t they want us to believe we’ll be happy when we buy their stuff?
Chinami says of Emiko, “She’s my favorite person in the whole world. I make grandma happy, and that’s just so much fun for me, too.”