I’m gearing up to be in the Degenerate Craft Fair, which means I’m running around making a ton of things that can be worn/played with/lived with/etc, ie all the things art usually doesn’t do because it’s instead hanging on the wall and being looked at.
All this preparing leads me to wonder what the hell ever happened to the person/entity/company I consider to be the greatest designer of clothing/jewelry/purses ever, Pluto Cat on Earth. When I was in college, Pluto Cat had a store in the East Village; later, they started selling their stuff through this little store on 2nd Ave and about 12th Street that carried various Japanese-y fashion items. Is Pluto Cat Japanese? I have no idea. But their stuff is incredible. Honestly, one of my greatest regrets in life is that I didn’t stock up on more stuff when I could. Both stores that carried their stuff are now gone, and I can’t find a listing for them online anywhere (aside from some listings for a prop company which is probably what they have morphed into, but doesn’t help me).
Ok, so what did Pluto Cat make? Really, really incredible stuff that was cool and funny and weird, and not at all about being either pretty or tough. You could wear one item with a completely boring outfit and it would just make it so much better. Somewhere in my apartment is a cuff bracelet I got from them that has a cat’s face on it and a strange message stitched on the back. Somewhere else is a purse I got that is florescent orange and khaki green; I wore it so many times that the strap broke and I taped it back together with artist’s tape and given the strange color combination, it totally still worked. If my apartment were cleaner/better organized, this would be a better post.
There was just something really genuine about them – genuinely weird and genuinely cool. I don’t normally get all excited about fashion at all, but here was something that wasn’t about trying to be pretty for a boy or trying really hard to be stylish and hip. Thinking in particular of the cuff I have – it’s not a bracelet, it’s an object; it’s a souvenir of a time and a place and of a real life person who made this thing who I don’t know but now have this connection to. That’s amazing. That’s what I want my stuff at the DCF to be.
The only example of a Pluto Cat piece I could find is this pink fuschia hat that the girl in Shonen Knife is wearing in this video. I don’t know 100% that it was by them, but the internet tells me so:
Sigh. Oh Pluto Cat, if you’re out there, I want to buy more of your things. And I want to make you a website so that the world can see your greatness. And I want to spread the word of how amazing you are to all the people of the world, and try and make you millions of dollars. Please get in touch because I really love you and miss you.