It might be an impossible task to fully outline someone’s personalities in plain words, then would it be less abstract to describe a person through the items they own? Yoshitomo Nara’s room is full of old toys and rock vinyl records collected from around the world. Seeing this, I almost feel closely connected to him instantly.
Alright, what I would actually like to talk about is my personal items. To kick off the series, I will begin with the wallet that I have been using. This is perhaps the first wallet that I genuinely own. I bought it with the salary made from my first job after my graduation, which was over ten years ago. To no one’s surprise, my wallet is so old that it is almost falling apart. The inner layer of the leather is torn, whereas the outer layer is spotted with small holes. Well, even the stitches are worn and coming off. I did try to mend the small holes and restitched it, but it just broke again.
For some reason, some people tend to make their wallets hopelessly bulky by stuffing all sorts of unnecessary things into it. Stuff like stamp cards, receipts, name cards, memos, or even band-aid that do not belong to a wallet would end up staying there, until the wallet gets ridiculously thick and clumsy. Some others are obsessed with getting as many credit cards as they can possibly obtain. Don’t they find it stressful to keep track of which payment is soon overdue? Anyway, I am not one of them. This is not the way I would like to live my life. All I need is a couple of banknotes accompanied by one or two credit cards, and keep nothing else in my wallet.
Naturally, the only criteria I have for a wallet is its size. I need it to be as small as technically possible. Then one day, I came across this tiny wallet. It is as small as a cardholder or a coin pouch, it is even smaller than a cassette tape. I even have to fold a banknote twice before I can manage to stuff it inside of my wallet. That was the only time when I could find a wallet of this size. I even tried to ask a leather artisan in Japan to remake one, but it did not work out.
Maison Martin Margiela Line11是該品牌於2005年開始的一條飾物支線，看回現在的時裝也真的不及從前有趣，我想有趣的不是來自所謂解構主義，而是我們本來也有的貪玩、叛逆、童心未泯。明明是內衣卻穿在外面，絲巾又可以變成連身裙，擺出半製成品卻跟你說已經完成了。首飾系列也很好玩，一根大釘子彎曲一下便變成手鐲，手錶拿走錶芯便是一條耐人尋味的手帶，把超現實變成現實。也難怪我這個錢包會這麼小了，本來就無規則可言，而我喜歡它聰明地加了一個放零錢的間隔，緊湊得剛剛好。
Maison Martin Margiela Line 11 is the accessories line the brand launched in 2005. Fashion nowadays is far less playful compared to those in the older days, which were simply more fun. By fun, I do not mean the so-called deconstructionism, but the childlike playfulness, the young and rebellious spirit, and the boundless curiosity. There were lingerie-like garments that were designed as outerwear, a scarf that could be worn as a dress, or products that looked like half-finished. Accessories were likewise amusing — the nail bracelet, a watch without a caliber could be worn as an intriguing hand band — Things that were proud to disobey the boundary of the norm, and boldly created a new reality. No wonder my wallet is so small in size. It was born in an era when rules were supposed to be neglected. What made it even more attractive is the coins compartment that cannot be more compact than it already is.
There are many Japanese who love to keep their banknotes as new as possible, so they find long wallets an easy solution. How can it be useful if it does not fit into the pocket? I think there is also a saying that a battered wallet would stop you from getting money in it. Hmm… looking at my worn and torn tiny wallet, I guess I can never be rich. But why should I care? With crumpled up banknotes in a crumpled wallet, I can keep spending until I run out of it. Money is only a problem when you make it so.