athalie encapsulates the legacy of Yoshiko Yamanashi with photos of her fashion and art pieces collection, and opens its pages to the history and aesthetic of the titled store. The book, published in 2006, does not remind the readers the nostalgia of the early 2000s, but a unique new take combining traditional Japanese and Chinese aesthetics with post-modern minimalism.
-The past is new and the future is nostalgic-
At first sight, the photos will please the readers’ eyes – the conceptual crisp white interior design and details of hand-crafted Japanese/Chinese garment pieces match what you would see in a museum. The difference is that the pieces are framed as a lifestyle rather than an object of admiration, and this is precisely what athalie offers to their visitors. athalie is not a boutique that values its self on name value, but a modern take of salon – a place to gather and celebrate beauty.
Yoshiko Yamanashi makes it clear that her aesthetic legacy lives on through athalie’s art pieces, and continues to cycle through anyone who has visited athalie. She challenges the readers however, that to enter athalie’s door one must prepare itself to accept and immerse themselves in beauty. It is aspirational the amount of certitude and discipline she had to achieve the utmost beauty, and just like any great art it can make the viewers feel sublime.
The value of being a collector rather than the artist must be that one’s aesthetic sense can be expressed through multitudes of objects, and is not limited to medium nor time. A space as well as your own body becomes the canvas to curate interior pieces and artworks. As seen in the book, Yoshiko Yamanashi ensured to embody beauty herself too, as we often forget that we can create beauty and aesthetics in the places closest to us – ourselves and our personal spaces.
With the current new owner of athalie Hiroko Hirayama, athalie is molding itself to fit the current times. A collaboration with younger fashion designers and digitizing the platforms have made athalie more inviting and accessible to the current generation. When one steps into athalie however, they can still see and feel the aesthetic legacy of Yoshiko Yamanashi in every corner. The showcased crystals, clean white interior, and high quality of materials in fashion pieces. The future is now, but after delving into athalie’s past and history through the book, it now feels somehow nostalgic.