London-based fashion brand Eley Kishimoto was founded in 1992 by Japanese-born Wakako Kishimoto and her Welsh husband Mark Eley, and has since earned a global reputation for bold print design and collaborations with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen and Jil Sander. We were lucky enough to pin down co-founder Wakako to find out which publications have most inspired and influenced her on her trajectory thus far. Her response? A beautiful old Japanese/English dictionary, a Jean-Charles de Castelbajac-clad Snoopy, and an old old issue of the National Geographic and all of the treasures inside it.
Sanseido’s New Concise English/Japanese Dictionary
This is what I used to use when I was learning English at school. I decided to underline all the words I looked up in red, and I wanted the whole book in red one day. It is now more sentimental rather than practical – it is a lovely object with a leather cover and super thin paper. The smell of it reminds me of my old school days.
Libro Port: Snoopy in Fashion
A catalogue of an exhibition that I visited in the 1980s. I loved Snoopy as a child and in the mid-1980s I started to have an interest in fashion, so this book was a double bonus for me. Though I wasn’t intending to take fashion as a career at the time, I could imagine what a fun job it would be to design for Snoopy.
Encyclopaedia of Food and Cookery
I bought this book in a book shop on Charing Cross Road for a bargain price when I was at Central Saint Martins. Back then, food and cooking information was in no way as accessible as it is now, but this book had everything from basic roast to Chinese tea eggs, and from Christmas pudding to Russian piroshki. I tend to use cookbooks for inspiration when doing my own thing, but this book has helped me a lot and still does particularly for baking.
The National Geographic Magazine
I bought a box full of magazines from the 1940s to 1960s for £5 many years ago. I love the colours, graininess of the photographs, graphics and layouts.
John M. MacGregor: Henry Darger: Dans les Royaumes de l’Irreel
This book is full of pretty pictures of girls and flowers at first glance, but the paintings become darker and eerier the longer you look at each one. It almost feels wrong – even illegal – to look at them, but they have an arresting charm that draws you into a strange world.
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