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Oi, Ayla ! How's the new kidney?

Monday, 19 February 2018 12:45:08 PM Australia/Sydney


Ayla at the recent annual dogstar party


If you have visited our Melbourne boutique anytime in the past year, or been to our recent studio sale in Brisbane, chances are you have probably met Ayla. But what you probably didn't know is that Ayla is now the proud owner of a donated organ.

3 weeks on and she is doing incredibly well. Her friends and family and the dogstar pack have come together and raised several $1000s through crowd funding.

To continue to support Ayla in her recovery - dogstar has created the "Ayla' top. A portion of the profits from the sales of this garment will be donated to her.

We are expecting a speedy recovery because we want her back at work asap.

Available in 4 colours - soon in store and online.

If you would like to help, please visit

Ayla and Caroline choosing songs for the greatest karaoke performance of Caroline's life


She picked a Cher song

Posted in Dogstar By dogstar australia

back to designing

Thursday, 8 February 2018 1:19:19 PM Australia/Sydney

Back to work



I had such a wonderful time in Japan over the New Year period.

It was lovely to see my children spending time with their great Grandmother, cousins and extended family. The contrast from my home town in Fukui to here in Brisbane is striking. The snow is now so deep that my family and neighbours cannot leave their house, some cannot open the front door. We were lucky to get to the airport when we did as the snow storm came a few days after we left.
I am now remembering the feelings of being in Japan and experiencing that climate and culture.
I use those memories and feelings to inspire my designs and help me to choose fabrics and colours and silhouettes.
It is great to be back at work with my team.. but sometimes I wish I was still on holiday, watching children run in snow



Posted in Dogstar By dogstar australia

Goen - lucky coin and vintage string

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 4:15:36 PM Australia/Sydney

Vintage String

Today we made many 'goen' with 5 yen coins and decorative string.

During my recent trip back to my family home in Japan I found this collection of colourful vintage string, rope and ribbon. My 99 year old Grandmother has been adding to this collection for the past 60 years, saved from gift boxes and envelopes. The colours red and white are often used to symbolise luck and prosperity.

First we untangled and cut the string to length then tied it to the hole in the 5 yen coins (lucky coin). Once tied, they are placed inside a paper envelope then into Oiri-Bukuro (good luck bag).
We will be giving these out as part of the gift bag at our studio event this weekend.

Come and see me this Saturday (20th Jan) at the dogstar studio to collect your own tiny piece of Japan. 

We have lots of luck to share


Vintage thread



 5 yen coins

 hand tie coins

completed goen


Small Oiri-bukuro

Posted in Dogstar By Masayo Yasuki

Monju Mountain

Tuesday, 2 January 2018 3:32:45 PM Australia/Sydney

 Monju Mountain

Bamboo Forest

 I went to Monju mountain in my home town with my good friends and my children to celebrate the end of 2017. I did not know what to expect.

As soon as we stepped onto the mountain, the temperature dropped immediately. The snow was knee deep and we were surrounded by mountain forest. It took us to a completely different space and it was beautiful, but also mysterious.

Tengu golblin has been living in this mountain. He is a long nosed Goblin or bird like monster and has been living in this mountain as a protector for a 1000s of years. He is also considered to be a mountain god who can change his form.

When we are walking through the mountain, so many things went through my mind. Firstly, I wondered if Tengu was watching us, and then i thought about all the things I did this year and all the things I couldn’t do... about my family and friends, Australia and Japan.

It took almost 1.5 hours to reach the top, by the time we arrived my mind was completely calm. On the way down however, than calmness did not last long, whenever I trekked at the back of the line, it felt like we were being watched.

Perhaps Tengu was just making sure to grant us safe passage through his forest.

Communal Bamboo Walking sticks

Stone Bridge

Prayers offered to Tengu

Sream and Moss

 Sacred Tree - believed to be 1000's of years old and protected by Mountain Gods

Stone Monument with Jodo-Shinshyu chant engraved

Local Fauna



Posted in Dogstar By dogstar australia

My Grandmother's Hands

Friday, 29 December 2017 11:02:42 AM Australia/Sydney

My Grandmother's hands


Today, my Grandma asked me to help her winding cotton thread. I used to help her winding cotton when I was a kid.
She can't see much anymore but is still winding thread now.
She is nearly 100 years old, so she can’t wind as well now as she used to and the thread can get tangled easily.

I remember my Grandma used to stitch and fix everything by hand when cloth had a hole or was damaged.
She never wasted damaged clothes.

I used to get embarrassed to wear the old fixed clothes that my grandma kept for a long time.

We rarely stitch by hand these days.

I came home in Japan recently and am now wondering if those old clothes are still here in my Grandma’s closet.

It felt like time slipped back to when I was a kid winding thread with my Grandma.


Winding Thread

Ba Chan  (Grandma)


Grandmother's Hands

Posted in Dogstar By Masayo Yasuki

slow life

Wednesday, 20 December 2017 3:22:35 PM Australia/Sydney

Slow Life


 Togo train tracks


 For the past week my children have been experiencing Japanese school in Fukui.
The school that they go is a small school and is located in the country side in a little village called Togo.

All of the school children have been very welcoming to Naima and Taishi and they are exchanging different two cultures.

Togo still has many old elements remaining and somehow that makes me feel invigorated.

The little creek that curves through the main street in the village is home to many fat carp. The train only goes every 1-2 hours.

It is inconvenient for our busy life, but the time stops here in Togo.
I see many beautiful things this morning and feel like I receive lots of energy.

I like the slow life.


 Main Street


Local Carp


Empty Rice Fields


Train Station Garden


 Main Street


 Togo Train Station


Togo School Children


Keeping Dry





Posted in Dogstar By Masayo Yasuki

Home town

Friday, 8 December 2017 12:34:44 PM Australia/Sydney


Home Town



I am about to go back to Japan next week to visit my family. In the past 5 or 6 years I have not been in Japan during Winter.

This year I am taking my children to my home town called Fukui, which is located just north of Kyoto. The children will see snow for their first time in their life and they are so excited to make a snow man! My grandmother turned 99 years old this year and we will have traditional New Year celebration together and it will be the first time with the four generations.

I have been away from Japan for more than twenty years now and it will be good for me to see my hometown with a different eye. I always thought Fukui was a boring town, but now when I return, I see things differently and take notice of the colours and changes in seasons.

I am sure this trip will influence my next collection.

Courtyard Garden




Leaves and moss wall


View from my room


Temple stairs


School children


Leaving school




Posted in Dogstar By Masayo Yasuki

back to the beginning

Friday, 10 November 2017 12:02:11 PM Australia/Sydney

Back to the Beginning

(press play)


dogstar logo

It has been nearly 18 years since dogstar was established here in Brisbane.

Many of our customers are still with us and I feel that we have grown together. dogstar has evolved over the past 18 years but I am now looking back to my roots and rediscovering things once forgotten.

After moving to our Paddington store, I decided to created a new logo for dogstar. This is a Japanese symbol of dogstar and it for me it is a reminder to look back on my heritage and embrace it wholeheartedly. I hand carved the design onto a lino block and pressed it onto paper. We then had that image put onto a silk screen and Alice came into the studio to help print it onto calico noren (Japanese banners). We will place these banners at the entrance to our stores. I am confident it will give the space a unique feel.

A blend of the cultures I call my own.

Hand carved lino block

Alice places ink onto screen while Dani watches on


Flooding the screen - Dani keeps the pressure on








Ta daa !





One Noren printed


Posted in Dogstar By Masayo Yasuki

colours of childhood

Thursday, 2 November 2017 1:12:54 PM Australia/Sydney

Colours from Childhood


Traditional Japanese Candy


Colours of childhood are always in our memory. Often our memories are hidden from the surface only to arise at an unexpected moment.

When I was searching for fabrics for this current season I came across the Neema fabric collection and was immediately transported to my past, where, as a child I would look in glee at the joyful coloured candy sometimes given to my sister and I from a visiting friend or relative.

The brightly coloured Neema fabric is made from the highest quality Japanese cotton.

It looks so nice I want to taste it. At least I know it would be better for my teeth compared to the candy I ate as a child.


Neema Dress


Neema Pants

Posted in Dogstar By dogstar australia

Asa and the Crane

Friday, 27 October 2017 3:08:51 PM Australia/Sydney


 Asa and the Crane


Traditional Japanese Kimono print

Lately I have found myself drawn to things from my past. Japan and its aesthetics have been at the forefront of my creative mind. When we created the Asa print for the papershadow series it came as a strong geometric symmetric  pattern - a representation of the hemp leaf, symbolising strength and good growth. It can still be seen in Japan today. The Asa theme has continued in our Laika range but in a somewhat deconstructed way. Still geometric, but with a softer flow. Placing it on soft cotton silk in bold colours created a more feminine feel. 
The Zahra dress is a fine example of traditional Japanese prints used in a modern garment. It depicts the crane - a symbol of luck and prosperity.
If my Grandmother was to see me wearing this she may not appreciate the clash of cultures and eras.
But that is exactly what I strive for. To combine my two worlds and different lives into a piece of clothing that can tell a story.


Zahra Dress

Chike Tunic

Posted in Dogstar By dogstar australia

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