Who needs a baseball cap when you can shade your face with a paper lantern instead?

Japan is known for its unique fashion scene, which isn’t afraid to take traditional elements and turn them into something new, with items like samurai coats, sakura berets, and kimono parkas turning heads in recent years.

Now it’s time for chochin, or Japanese paper lanterns, to take centre stage, thanks to Whole Love Kyoto, a Japanese fashion company that aims to make old things new again. Their newest release breathes new life into the traditional Japanese lantern by refashioning it into a cap for everyday streetwear.

From a distance, the cap looks like any other, but up close, it’s an entirely different story. Instead of being made from cloth, the hat is made with wood and paper.

Proving that this isn’t just designed to be a gimmicky fashion accessory, the cap is actually made by a respected chochin lantern-making business called Minori, which was founded during the Edo Period (1603-1868). Each item is handcrafted by local craftsmen, using wood and Japanese washi paper, in order to help promote Kyoto handicrafts and keep their traditions alive in today’s modern era.

▼ The hats remain faithful to the original shape and design of a chochin.

▼ Each cap comes with an adjustable crocodile leather strap.

The shape of the hat and the use of natural materials give it a great amount of breathability, making it cool to wear on summer days.

It took approximately ten months to create the new Chochin Cap, shaping it with paper around a wooden frame, in the same way lanterns are made.

Now that they’ve adapted their lantern-making skills to headwear, the company is ready to add new shapes and sizes to the product line in future. Currently, the smaller Chochin Cap is on the market, retailing for 12,800 yen (US$118.86), plus tax.

The Chochin Cap can be purchased online from Whole Love Kyoto, where you can also complete the outfit with a selection of geta sneakers, perfect for running about in with your tyre-print yukata.

Source: Whole Love Kyoto via Japaaan
Images: Whole Love Kyoto

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