By Yumi Unita
It has been a while since I’ve written a “Quick Reads” post, or even a manga article for that matter. I’ve been swamped with other things, but don’t worry I think I will catch up to everything by the end of September. 😛
Anyways, let me introduce the manga, I’ve recently read, Itohen. Nanako is about to graduate college, but has yet to find a career path or a stable job. One day, she finds a beautiful dress displayed in front of a tailor shop’s window. She tires it on, and instantly falls in love with it.
The skilled tailor, Hirata-san makes adjustments to the dress for her, assuming that she is going to buy it. Yet after the adjustments were made on the dress, Nanako realizes she is unable to afford it. Handmade clothing from tailor shops are quite expensive in comparison to retail, store brand clothes. Hirata-san compromises with Nanako. He makes her into his assistant at the shop in order to pay off the dress. While working there, Nanako finds a new hobby and interest, tailoring.
I think this manga is geared towards enthusiastic hobbyists and cosplayers. I don’t have any background on sewing and tailoring concepts and terms, but Itohen mentions them. For example, Nanako and Hirata-san talk about how to do a French seam on clothing. Now I am no expert, but the sewing and tailoring concepts they talked about is pretty informative that I think many cosplayers and sewing hobbyists would appreciate. As a reader, it made me appreciate the fine detailing and care that goes into the clothes I wear as well as the amount of time and effort that goes into making cosplay outfits. It isn’t just a hobby, it is a lifestyle.
What attracted me to this manga is the simplicity of how the characters and settings are drawn. It is interesting to note that the dress that Nanako fell in love with is so simply drawn that there isn’t any intricate details that one would assume makes the dress, “special.” This kind of makes me wonder what kind of statement the author is trying to say in regards to art and fashion. I interpreted it as simplicity in art gives off greater appreciative value and beauty. This is just my opinion though.
Anyways, this manga is a fun read. If you are interested in learning a little bit about fashion, check it out.