Blabla Hospital Cures 1

Japanese fashion designer Akari is often known as the Blabla Hospital Head Nurse. TokyoMade’s Deanne Tonking recently checked herself in to find out more about the increasingly popular, medically inspired Blabla Hospital.

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The Blabla Hospital Head Nurse began her love affair with the medical world at age 3. These days she spends much of her time crafting cures for fashionably ill patients all over the world.

Blabla Head Nurse
Blabla Hospital Head Nurse creating remedies for fashion illnesses. Photo by K Steven.

Deanne: How did you discover your love for hospitals?

Akari: I guess it all began when, at the age of 3, I climbed up my grandmother’s giant sewing machine (it had its own table, you see). Once I’d reached the summit of Mt. Sewing Machine, I jumped off… into the corner of the TV. I was rushed to the hospital, and I guess that’s where my love of the medical world began.

Most people assume that it’s the actual procedures and the blood that inspire me. In actual fact, it’s the more mundane elements that really grab my attention. What are they scribbling in their notebooks all the time? What is written on those clipboards at the end of the patient’s beds? Why is bandage material so weak looking – It could be better than it is, right? I love it!

Do you know that the bandage material is regarded as one of the crappiest materials to make clothes with? The one material used all over the world to actually fix up people who jump into televisions and get hit by cars (that was at age 6) is hated because it breaks and tears and stretches. I find it wonderful.

As a result of this, I tried to figure out a way to put all these inspirations into my clothes. One of the most important things is that I make everything by hand – a robot can’t perform surgery, can it? The process of healing someone is so intimate and…human. I just wanted to follow that ideal by creating unique things.

Blabla against the wall
Blabla Hospital fashion for the faint at heart. Photo by K Steven.

Deanne: Why is your hospital called Blabla?

Akari: One thing I really hate about clothes brands is the names. I initially wanted my brand to have no name, but my friends told me that no-one would ever be able to find my clothes. As a compromise, I decided to call the brand “blah blah” hospital. The idea was that it’s a clothes label inspired by hospitals, but nothing specifically. It can mean nothing and everything. Without sounding pretentious, I wanted it to be quite universal in meaning.

Sadly, my English wasn’t so great at the time I named it, so “blah blah” got changed to “Blabla.” It was only after about six months of selling my clothes that someone pointed out that it was wrong. By that time, the name wasn’t important any more. The name still isn’t important, I think.

Blabla hospital fashion collage
Blabla Hospital fashion range injecting unique hand made style. Photo by Keven Erikson.

Deanne: When you were a child did you dream of being a nurse or a fashion designer?

Akari: I guess as a result of the trips to the hospital I described earlier, I really wanted to be a doctor. I really respect that they have the power to fix people up. I love that nurses get to care for the sick, but I dreamed more of being able to have a prescription pad, writing out a crazy list of things to make a patient feel better. I think it’s the same for all children though – you pick up one little point and this becomes your life ambition. You could see the neck scarf of a flight attendant and think it’s the most wonderful thing ever. Next thing you know you’re studying hospitality to realize that dream.

The fact that I’m rather clumsy means that I could never be a real doctor. I would probably kill more people than I’d cure! Instead, I guess my love of dressing up and changing my appearance mixed up with my childhood dream and brought me to where I am today. Everything I’ve done with fashion is because I’ve not been able to buy the clothes I wanted to wear. I think if I’d found a designer that make exactly the clothes I wanted to wear, I would never have become a designer. Sadly, or luckily, I never did find the right clothes.

Check out Part 2 of this medicinal interview next Wednesday!

Deanne Tonking & Masao Tamaoki About the Author

Deanne Tonking and Masao Tamaoki connect with independent designers all over Japan to find unique art, handmade treasures and innovative design. They share their stylish discoveries on TokyoMade, offering style conscious shoppers rarely attainable creations.

Recent articles by Deanne Tonking:

Comment (日本語もOK)

“These days she spends much of her time crafting cures for fashionably ill patients all over the world.”

haha amazing, love this article/interview!!

Jul 22, 2009 (4574 days ago)

Thanks Jini! Akari is such a talented fashion designer and she really does take good care of her patients.

Deanne Tonking (author)
Jul 22, 2009 (4574 days ago)

thats really interesting! I like her clothes!! I’d like to see more.

Jul 23, 2009 (4573 days ago)

Glad you like them Joeyoeyannanna. You can find more at or Akari also sells her pieces in Europe and Japan…more details on that next week.

Deanne Tonking (author)
Jul 23, 2009 (4573 days ago)

A lovely article, i look forward to hearing more next wednesday. I love the clothes and the impact they make. Please keep making the world a happier place. :) x

Jul 23, 2009 (4573 days ago)

Very nice article!
I love her clothes!!!
It’s so nice to hear how she started and I can’t wait to hear more about next Wed.

Jul 23, 2009 (4573 days ago)

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