I've been looking forward to visiting the Undercover store here in Tokyo for a long time and checking out the Graces exhibition...I got to go a few days ago and I'm so glad I did. I wish I had been able to take pictures in the store.
Anyone who follows Undercover or Jun Takahashi is familiar with the Graces by now. Doll-making is an avid hobby of Takahashi's now for many years. They appeared prominently in the Spring 09 collection...
"This season Takahashi notes that he was inspired by white, fluffy creatures with luminous eyes called "Graces." These creatures, invented by Takahashi, keep their distance from humans. A secret organization called Gila, he says, has succeeded in breeding and protecting the Graces. Gila also has played a crucial role in fostering a relationship between both the Graces and the human species. To illustrate this notion, Takahashi made dolls (which looked somewhat like a cross between an alien and a monkey with luminous eyes and a light on the tip of their tails), which rested on the shoulders of a few of the mannequins that were set-up in the center of the gallery space."
I have been entranced by these creatures ever since I first saw them...you can't exactly tell if the Graces are peaceful or hostile beings. In some of the photos taken by Katsuhide Morimoto for the Spring 09 collection, humans and Graces exist in peace (a picture of a young girl gazing peacefully at a miniature Grace in what looks like an open-air terrarium) and in some contexts the Graces are monstrous (an image of creatures atop a building shooting beams of light from their lamp-heads at a crowd of terrorized humans below)
These are not my own pictures, so thank you to a few kind people from Flickr
who have shared images of the Graces in the various exhibits and windows they have appeared in.
Unfortunately I couldn't show all of the photos that I saw in the Undercover store, but if you're in town soon it is definitely worth a look.
Here are some pictures of the Graces in some other exhibitions.
Sometimes Jun Takahashi does live presentations of the doll-making.
Here are some of the beautiful images of the Graces from the issue of A Magazine that Jun Takahashi curated.
I've heard there was an animated film made with the Graces. I'd love to see it some day!