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a new shop is a blank slate, a design opportunity, and Tamago in Amsterdam’s Spieglegraft (number thirteen) have taken it and run with it, helped by Akira Minagawa’s ideas and his experience with the two mina perhonen stores in Japan.

all the garment hanging installation down one side of the shop is wrought iron, a european version of how mina is organised in the Kyoto store. we added wound wool in grey and yellow, to soften some harsh edges.

Akira spent the whole day before the opening drawing flowers in black felt-tip pen on translucent white-waxed paper, which he cut out

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and stuck on the double height wall above the staircase with little strips of masking tape torn up by Saemi.

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the stairs are solid wood, beautifully made by the Japanese carpenter from Kyoto who worked on the store there, the railing a kind of modern art nouveau in metalwork.

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put together on sheer adrenaline, this wall looks perfect, a typical Minagawa touch.

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then working until one thirty am selecting the arrangement of the clothes

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the counter is made from a walnut tree from Simon and Christine’s garden. all the wood in the shop warms the space and echoes the beautiful ancient wood beams in the ceilings. this building is, like all the others in this part of Amsterdam, seventeenth century, and built on ten to twelve metre wood piles sunk into the peat and clay of the tidal basin of the river Amstel.

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starting again at eight in the morning, the decoration was finished by eleven, in time for photos and the party at one. flower arrangements at the same time glamorous and quirky, the signature egg (tamago is japanese for egg)

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eggs as flowers

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a synthesis of the poetic and the sophisticated, just like the clothes.

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revolutionary storm umbrellas by Senz, covered with Mina fabrics. (you can see a delightful little animation advert for them here)

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hats by me (and cardigans too)

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beautiful blown glass vessels by Naho Iino

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taking her turn at photographing the new project

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after the professional photographer has made a record

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shop owners Simon and Christine with Akira

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and Sara the shepherd dog waits in the doorway for the visitors.

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party food

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four hours of intense socialising.

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party over, we finish up the sandwiches.

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the guests leave, and old friends catch up.

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time to relax and recover.

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