Somarta: Machine-Made Fineries

We’ve been going through the Coilhouse Readership Survey responses. They’ve made us laugh, think, and feel incredibly grateful. We’ll be tabulating the results over the weekend, and posting our findings (and maybe even a few choice quotes) early next week.

Some of you made requests in the comments, ranging from “can we have a mailing list to notify us when a new issue has been released?” to “more porn.” Just so you know, we’re all reading every single comment. This particular post is dedicated to the lone responder who requested more fashion. It’s true, with a handful of blogs now doing an incredible job of covering dark/bizarre/futuristic fashion and indie designers (Twisted Lamb, Haute Macabre, Dirty Flaws being my Top 3 faves), we’ve eased up on the fashion coverage here quite a bit. Your comment made me realize that I miss uncovering new designers, so I present you with Japanese label Somarta, the brainchild of designer Tamae Hirokawa. Hirokawa is known for her use of machine-made lace, a common thread through many Somarta collections. “Making full use of advanced Japanese textile technology,” wrote the Japan Times of a recent collection, “Somarta presented designs of which some were made with the aid of specially created knitwear computer programs and devices. Squinting past the blinding crystals, it was possible to pick out exquisite ’20s-inspired black- and nude-lace dresses.”

Some of Somarta’s designs, such as the ones above, can be found in Somarta’s online shop or another store called nuan+. If you have Japanese friends who could help you out with site navigation/shipping, Somarta’s tights can be yours for about $179, and the top for about $200. Pricey, but beautiful. The look for less would definitely be these cute $12.50 “Aristocrat Lolita” tights on Ebay. More favorite images from Somarta, after the jump!

2007 Collection [via]

2008 Collection [via]

2009 Collection [via]

2010 Collection [via]

17 Responses to “Somarta: Machine-Made Fineries”

  1. Mike Says:

    Paul Komoda has been doing these designs for years! Inspired by? I think so…

  2. Nadya Says:

    YAY, PAUL! I hope he reads the comment and sees the shout-out, Mike.

    It’s true, Paul Komoda’s been doing incredible bodypainting similar to the above since at least 1997. But I think Paul’s work was always more about the body, with his focus on making designs that somehow reflect the musculature underneath (although he did also do some face painting). For the uninitiated, some of Paul’s body/face-painting is posted below… these are images of model Pia Kaamos and performer Shikhee of Android Lust:

  3. Zoetica Says:

    I had the same reaction when I saw that single comment! Glad you put this up, their lace is some of the best I’ve seen.

  4. Vivacious_G Says:

    I’m pretty sure I almost drooled just now. Let’s all chip in and get something, then we can share it…

    I didn’t know Paul did body painting like that. Stunning!

  5. Mer Says:

    Yumyumyumyumyum. And yes, I thought of Paul as well.

    Heh, I have those lolita tights.

  6. libi Says:

    I adore lace. She makes a pair of lace leggings that are just lovely-

  7. Jessica Says:

    Gorgeous…COVET!!! Yes, another shout-out to Paul, they seem to have kindred aesthetics, a collaboration would be BRILLIANT!!! :)

  8. selizabeth Says:

    Those gloves…such dark detail, so deliciously delicate. And I love the idea of “specially created knitwear computer programs and devices”…taking such a age old, hands-on craft and not just updating it for today, but pushing it into a gorgeous blingy baroque spiderweb tomorrow.

  9. Trishelle Says:

    Mmm. So pretty. One day, I will be rich, and I will blow all my money on lace.
    Thanks for the links, too. I already went to Haute Macabre nearly on a daily basis. Now Dirty Flaws and Twisted Lamb just got bookmarked. Yum.

  10. Paul Komoda Says:

    These are extraordinary images. There’s an exceptional sense of design in Somarta’s work.

    Thanks for the shout-out, Mike! And of course, everyone else( blushes).
    It’s high time I began exploring body painting again.

  11. Tao Says:

    @Paul There’s a black and white image Nadya’s posted of a vocalist with a backpiece. What’s her band?

  12. Zoetica Says:

    Hey Tao, that’s Shikhee from Android Lust.

  13. Samantha Says:


  14. choklit Says:

    Gorgeous – the lace, the masks, the bodypainting, all of it. Yum.

  15. Jerem Morrow Says:

    Clothes whore lust, right here. That first image, after the jump, is all kinds of post Labyrinth glory.

  16. roseymoss Says:


  17. Анна Says:

    How did I miss this post?

    I’m lusting after one of her bejeweled bodysuits.