I’ve browsed at the BareRose Tokyo shop before, but must confess this is the first time I’ve taken something home.Â These new Daruma Tanks by designer June Dion caught my eye, though, andÂ I was really curious about how the whole outfit would go together for me, so I grabbed them and ran.Â I was also curious about the name “Daruma,” so I did a little research (Google is my friend).Â Daruma is the Japanese name for Bodhidharma, the founder and first patriarch of Zen.Â A tradition still observed today is that of Daruma dolls, also known as dharma dolls.Â These are round, hollow Japanese wish dolls with no arms or legs, modeled after Bodhidharma, who is said to have lost the use of his arms and legs after meditating, seated in a cave,Â for nine years.Â The Daruma has come to be symbolic of optimism, persistence, and strong determination.Â A Daruma doll is traditionally given to someone starting a new venture, celebrating a birthday, or at the beginning of a New Year.Â At the start of an endeavor, one of the doll’s empty eyes is painted in with black and a wish is made for good luck. The other eye is painted when the goal is reached.Â Hey, I bet you weren’t expecting a cultural history lesson today!Â
The Daruma Tank set includes jacket-layer tankÂ shirts in Blue, Green and Grey with artwork on front and back and charcoal-grey canvas pants.Â The tank colors are muted and subtle; the artwork features a stylized Daruma doll in bold black brushstrokes alongside more delicately drawn flowering branches.Â Nicely done shading suggests realistic wrinkles and folds in the shirt fabric.
Another black tank with front artwork is provided as a shirt-layer item.Â It has wider shoulder straps and a more shallow neckline, so it isn’t lost when worn under the jacket-layer tanks.Â It can also be worn on its own, as shown here,Â to striking effect.Â This also lets you catch a glimpse of the belt, studded with shiny metal grommets and an elaborate but not oversized buckle.
In the picture at top, I’m wearing the skirt-layer piece that creates the illusion of a trio of straps, similar to the belt, encircling your upper thighs.Â Although I personally prefer the cleaner look of the pants without the extra straps, this does addÂ some visual interest, and I do appreciate designers who go the extra mile to not only provide a variety of wear options but also do something unusual and interesting.
Because everything included so far just isn’t enough, the set also includes prim side and waist pouches accented with dangling flexi straps and metal rings.Â These are textured in canvas to match the pants and can be worn separately or together, as shown here, for the full effect.
And here’s the kicker–you get all this for just L$100!Â Call me crazy, but that price seems more than reasonable for the shirts alone.Â Add in the pants and prim accessories and it’s all but a complete outfit, just add your own shoes.Â Go get yours now, before June reads this and realizes that there’s been a tragic pricing error.Â
Available at BareRose TokyoÂ (Bare Rose 146, 12, 30).
Styling and creative consultation provided by Aidan Recreant.Â Photographed on location in the Hinode Shima sim.