A Story: The Dark Side of Tokyo Fashion
A Story, the steampunk themed store is a franchise located in various locales around Tokyo. Now you might be asking yourself what steam punk is, and allow me to explain. Steampunk originated in literature as a subgenre of science fiction. It is basically a world in which the combustion engine never took hold and instead everything was powered by steam. There are majestic creations in this genre with some even describing it as retro-futuristic, a world much more advanced than ours, yet so very antiquated.
The mind behind the madness, Mantam.
The fashion from this style is usually styled in the Victorian era or even the "wild west" setting of the United States. Clothes ranging from very elegant dresses to cowboy hats and boots can be incorporated into this type of dress. The clothing is usually accompanied by a variety of trinkets and accessories which can be something as simplistic as cogs from a watch to the skeletal remains of an animal steampunk as mystifying as it is alluring to those with dark tastes.
A Story caters to those gentlemen and ladies who want to partake in the style, and in order to satisfy the demands of their customers, they craft their own products. That is correct, no middle-man in required in this amazing store, they produce their goods right there on the spot. If you ask for permission from Mantam you can even witness them in the middle of the creative process. I actually partook in this as when I arrived, he was in the store and actually allowed me to take a picture of him!
Mantam is one of the main creative minds behind this store. Almost every product in the location I visited had his name on it. He was quite the gentleman with an imagination for the macabre and dark, he is the perfect mixture of creativity and functionality; some of his darkest creations were wearable remains of animals fashioned into guitars, watches, and even a little cart that can be driven by a small toddler. The rest of the workers at the store also have their own creations and you can see their names in a little card attached to their works. A Story places some serious emphasis on giving credit where it is due. Which in my opinion is a practice that encourages the growth of all employees.
I would say that a lot of the practices in these stores need to be more wide-spread: creating their own products, giving credit to their specific creators and encouraging the sort of creativity which is required for this type of job. In fact the only complaint that I could possibly have about the stores was that they were small, and very expensive. The locale was very small and as such it's almost like walking in a china shop. But, the good news is that you can't take a few steps without finding a new and amazingly beautiful product. A Story is also not a place where you can go with a hundred dollars and expect to come out with bags filled with goodies. Their products are on the very expensive spectrum. You can easily buy one piece of jewelry for a few thousand dollars in this store. There is also clothing; I saw a few very pretty dresses in the clothing rack along with a couple of shirts which include Mantam's face. All of this make A story a very intriguing place to visit!
As I said before the store is a franchise and it has various locations from which to choose from (this is important because their inventory varies in each store due to being handmade). Their stores are located in Harajuku, Shibuya and two in Shinjuku which you can find on the map below.
Now that you know the location of the stores, you have no excuse to miss out on A Story! If your pockets are feeling a little bit too loaded and you're looking to explore your own dark side this store is a must visit spot in Tokyo. Who knows, you might even find yourself enraptured by the allure of steampunk fashion?
If you're still not convinced allow me to share the following with you: