Decochan : whipped-cream your gears!

I wrote this for Jpopexpress…and here is the link.

whipped-cream here!

whipped-cream there…

whipped-cream here as well!

whipped-cream everywhere!

(photo credit: Dolce-deco from Japan)

Are they edible? From a famous chef? No….
These are not desserts, but delicious ipod nanos, NDS cases, cell phone cases and ashtray covers! This is a delicious, sweet deco trend going on within the decochan culture.

“Lately, pastry decorations have been deliciously popular. And after fantasising about the sweet covered ketai (cellphone), it will leave you shocked to find a real dial pad underneath. Using molds that appear to be realistic looking whipped cream, fruits and all sorts of other ingredients, you can have your mobiles transformed into your favorite sweets. How fabulous that toy maker Takaratomy just released DECOTTI, a do-it-yourself kit they developed with a famous pâtissier (!) With this kit, realistic sweets can beautify far more than just phones…” – by pingmag

Any of these sweetly decorative cellphones in Japan are called ‘decoden,’ short for ‘deco-denwa’ (decorative cellphone), and this art movement/fashion trend is called Decochan.

What is Decochan culture?
The origin of the name Decochan is an abbreviation of “Decorative a change.” It is a practice that briliantly decorates your personal belongings and changes them dramatically.

The term Decochan was invented by Satsuki Hiraoka (平岡さつき), the first decodenist (Japanese decochan professional) in Japan before 2005. Decodenists have to acquire all kinds of skills and knowledge to be qualified by the Japan Decodenist Society. There are many schools teaching this art form, and the Japan Decodenist Society has licenses for you to apply.

Decochan is a culture, a trend that comes and goes. It is not so popular in Japan now but was a couple years ago. Recently the first decodenist Satsuki Hiraoka had her first exhibition outside of Japan in New York City, the first world-wide decochan exhibition. She explains how decochan influences our lives: “Being buried in everyday life, people like to lose himself. I’m working hard to produce Decochan wishing people to be cured innocently by wearing something beautiful and glittering. I will keep trying to create a new Decochan and to find further possibility of Decochan. I would never stop working on decochen until it catch the every heart of charming girls in the world. I believe there is no border in the feeling Decochan is kawaii (lovely) or beautiful. I wish the global peace and everyone be able to live happily through Decochan.”-stylish-web

Decochan is a new style to many foreigners, and there are many social networking groups sprouting up about it. There is Deco Den on Facebook, Deco den on livejournal, and there are now books about decochan. Many of the books talk about how to decorate your gear, and offer tutorials on basically anything from bicycles, golf bags, cellphones, NDS, and PSPs to jewlery cases and necklaces, nails or rings. Anything you can think to decorate can be decorated.

Read more about decochan
Dolce-deco in Japan
Chiara store at 109
Decochan store Glam Baby since 2002

Online tutorial
whipped-cream tutorial
chat-noir Polymer Clay Tutorials
Facebook decoden tutorial

Strapya (if you live outside of Japan)

Chinese tutorial

Look for inspiration
on flickr
Crystalicing from NYC
Be and feel in Toronto
At crunchyroll decochan group album

About the writer
In 2006 I founded my own graphic design company Skinniwini, a design firm that designs objects and graphics with a smile and a focus on Kawaii style. Also, there is research about random cuteness which I write about on my blog. I opened my Kawaii store Skinniwini to sell my version of Kawaii goodies. As a Chinese girl who was forced to soak in Japanese popular culture in the 80’s, the cult of cuteness dominated my childhood and teenage years. Because the economy was flourishing in the 1980s, many countries around Japan were the target market of the cuteness. Hong Kong was one of them.


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