Noteworthy

Thoughts On The New Amuro Namie Tour Photobook

‘LIVE STYLE 2011’ Tour Book – Namie News Network

Let’s make it a lazy Sunday afternoon and spend some time basking in the kogao beauty of the Queen of Hip Pop herself, as NNN has some wonderful scans from the souvenir book of her latest tour, Live Style 2011.

What I love is how these photos do a great job of encapsulating different aspects of Amuro’s visual appeal. You can’t tell shit about her music from just looking at this, but she’s also a fashion icon and too damn gorgeous for words. Here we have some wonderful examples of why this is so.

We start off with her and a horse, which of course makes anyone think of Catherine the Great, but also plays between the soft feminine aspects of Namie’s image and the hard disciplinarian (exemplified by the “Hide & Seek” and “Naked” PVs). So we get the long flowy robes (complete with a crown of flowers) as well as the riding outfit with its militaristic accents.

Then there is a nod to her Italian heritage with A Day In Roma and its homage to the classic Audrey Hepburn film Roman Holiday. These photos also show Namie’s fondness for fashion, evoking the retro style found in her “New Look” PV. Again, though, the contrast between hard and soft is played up with a quartet of photos in a darker, more modern look that shows off her signature arm tattoo.

The tattoo plays a role in the final set of pictures, which shows Namie relaxing on a couch, wrapped up in sheets, before getting ready to take a bath. These photos, meant to catch Namie at an intimate, unguarded moment, has her laughing and smiling and looking very much at ease. The bath is time for herself, a chance to enjoy some luxury and bask in all that she’s accomplished.

She’s not only the queen of hip-pop, after all, but a veteran of the entertainment business, a survivor who’s seen peaks and valleys in her career, who redefined herself in a major comeback and hasn’t faded from the public eye since. And that experience, that sense of confidence and self-awareness, can be found in every frame of every shot in this photobook. And that quality is probably what I admire most in her, what keeps her close to my wota heart through the years.