Archives for March 2011

Gothic & Alternative fashion stores in Osaka

On my last day in Osaka I did a big walking tour from OPA to America Mura and the surrounds, checking out and snapping the various fashion stores there. Below are some of the alternative ones (ie gothic or too wacky for gyaru or mainstream fashion).  If you take the street that runs next to OPA, and walk towards America Mura (with its well known triangle park), a lot of these stores are on the road or just around the corner.

Naoto is further away…I discovered it on my way to see Benny at Chopstick Tattoo (although he is now located at Big Step, so much more central).

1-9-1 Minami-Horie Nishi-ku Osaka


Walking from the south back towards the central area of triangle park & americamura there is a greater concentration of alt shops.  Right opposite the traingle park, there is Qutie Frash, and a few doors down from it, Cheer.


As you can see by looking at them Qutie Frash has an asian cyber feel, while Cheer is much like Super Lovers in its bold use of colour and nu-rave approach.

Just up from these is the Loncourt Building, which houses many of the alt labels you know and love – Dangerous Nude (Kikirara Shoten), Sexpot Revenge, Super Lovers, ..

The shop at the front of it all is “Gross” – yes, I kid you not! It’s a great store though, with Iron Fist shoes and Lip Service USA clothing. Next to it is the arcade entrance – that is, Loncourt is to the left, and Gross is to the right as you face them.



Here’s a map just to help you get your bearings:

I headed straight upstairs to check out Dangerous Nude:


and then Sexpot Revenge:


On the main ground floor is Regulus, Super Lovers, Toxic Star, Deorart etc..great fun to have a wander through.

Further up the road, walking towards OPA, I discovered this great store ‘Speech’, that was obviously very funky & hip & I think frequented by Osaka stylists for styling shoots:

A little further, on the next corner was the amazing Alice Auaa store (same building as the music bar RockRock)

Alice Auaa
Atrium Bldg 1-8-1,Nishishinsaibashi,Cyuo-ku, Osaka


Of course I went in to check out the Alice Auaa store with its amazing interiors and fashion. However, I didn’t get back at night to see what Rock Rock  was like in action. But it’s on the list for next time!


I couldn’t forget Algonquins:


Arriving back at OPA, in the basement there is Peace Now/Black Peace Now and Super Lovers!


And that brings me to the end of the tour for today.

Suffice to say, you won’t run out of things to look at when you’re in Osaka, although you may run out of cash!

Glad News & Heaven and Earth skull overload!

I did SOOOOOO much browsing and shopping in Osaka, covering the gyaru, gothic and fun decora stores.

I noticed that again this season, even more than last, there are so many skulls on items, either beaded, screen-printed. worked into designs on tights…you name it. Very me.  I was extremely impressed with Glad News, and the first thing I bought was this set of long tee dress in black with studded/beaded skull on front, with crazy print tee underneath (see with cobweb top from Topshop and new leggings from Heaven and Earth:


Is there such a thing as too many skulls? Obvs, I don’t think so!! I love how in the leggings, they’ve worked the skulls into the brocade design – it’s almost like a tapestry:

I went back the next day wearing the outfit, and visited the gorgeous shop staff at Glad News – you can also see her on p111 of the April edition of Edge mag, with ther great duo-tone hair.

Check out the links, as these stores both have tremendous ranges for SS 2011 – if you like skulls and bling and dark moody stuff too, you’ll be drooling!

My travelling wardrobe

So I’ve been a dirty rotten stopout for not posting very much…it’s hard when you’re travelling, you know? I thought I’d just post a few fashiony shots, so here is my lovingly merchandised rack of clothes as seen in my Seoul hotel room (click on any to see larger):


The pink vinyl biker jacket is from Seoul, found on Level 5 of the Noon Square mall in Myeong-Dong. And boy, have I been wearing it everywhere!  The orange skirt is from Zara, also in Seoul. Everything else I brought away with me.


Obviously those shoes are just SO WRONG…so I went out to Hongdae and bought a pair of coral platforms that  fall between the orange & pink (& a pair of green ones at another store). Drool at the shoes behind us in the pics…


AS for the shoes themselves…you’ll just have to wait for my haul post, coming soon…

Hangin’ in Hongdae

It’s about time I talk a bit about Seoul, and post a few pics. Where to start? I’ve hit a few major areas now and taken loads of snaps.

I’ll start with the area in which I’m living – Hongdae. It’s right near a couple of universities, so it’s very arty, studenty and social. There are a heap of very creative cool buildings, hip or funny cafes, bars and restaurants, bohemian and funky boutiques, and just lots and lots of young people. A little like Harajuku but without the alternative bent…you DON’T see anyone dressed much out of the ordinary here. I wore an orange skirt with a pink vinyl biker jacket and magenta/purple tights and scarf…and people took photos of ME!

Here are some pics for you (click on any to see it bigger):




Then there’s the establishments with funny names, ahem… (Fuckfake???!!)


And the novelty cafes such as Hello Kitty…


….and the Charlie Brown Cafe


I got a few pressies at this great little novelty store Artbox,  that sells things in pretty colours, again with a hello kitty etc bent..


And how about some of  the thought provoking and/or amusing graffiti?


There’s sooo much more to show you about Hongdae, but that’s enough for now. I highly recommend coming here if you visit Seoul, and even staying in the area itself.

Coming up:

* Creative buildings in Hongdae & Seoul
* An olde worlde Versailles/dolly kei type tea place in Hongdae
* The malls of Myeong-Dong
* Outfit pics and new purchases!
* Fab boutique accommodation in Hongdae
* Gig write-ups & pics (there’s a punk gig tonight, & a paddy punk & folk festival the next 2 nights, both in Hongdae)

Japan trip in doubt; choices & plans

Everyone knows by now of the great tragedy in Japan, with first the earthquake, then the tsunami, then the nuclear reactor problems, the aftershocks, and now the prediction that there’s a 70% chance another big  quake will hit any day now.

I can’t really just write about fashion when this is going on.

Also, those who’ve followed the blog or my twitter will know that I am now overseas, and am due to fly into Tokyo this Thursday. This now looks to be in doubt.

On the one hand it would be incredibly foolhardy to fly into a danger zone, especially as so many people are scrambling to get out. Yes, not only are flights unavailable or rescheduled; train services to the airports have been disrupted/cancelled too. What if the worst happened, and Tokyo was badly hit, and I THEN tried to leave?

On the other hand, what if it DOESN’T happen, and Tokyo resumes to normal, notwithstanding the HUGE amount of work to be done in the hard hit prefectures? What if Japan Fashion Week goes ahead, and the various gigs I wanted to see, and clubs like Tokyo Decadance (already put off by one week) and Midnight Mess? What if the power outages cease and public transport goes back to normal, and trucks resume shipping food to shops, and stores resume normal opening hours?    EDIT: we now know that Japan Fashion Week has been cancelled, and certain other things postponed.

There’s no way of telling right now; that’s the thing.

I am in Seoul, Korea, from where I fly home again on March 30th according to my ticket. As currently booked, I have a flight into Handea on the 17th, and a flight back to Seoul on the 30th with a 7 hour stopover (I was going to stay at the airport transit hotel during that time)

As it stands, I will stay here for now, and see what Thursday brings. Even so, if no quake has hit, do I go ahead? Or do I resign myself now to missing that flight, and looking into my accommodation options here? Or to flying elsewhere, like Taiwan, checking out what flights go from Incheon?

I may just stay a week here, and if nothing more happens in Tokyo, get myself a flight there to stay for one week only. (Eep, so many clothes I brought to wear to clubs & fashion events, that may just be dead weight in my suitcase now!) My hotel here has said I can stay on – and though my single room is booked from Thurs, I can be upgraded to a bigger room that’s available, for no extra cost. Ah, the joys of travel…sometimes it’s by the seat of your pants.

EDIT: As of March 17th, I am still in Seoul Korea, and have cancelled my flight that was to have taken me to Tokyo today. I am looking into flying into Osaka, to at least get to Japan without going near the danger zones. However, I need to be sure I can get the flight from Osaka back to Seoul for my final flight home on the 30th, and also see if Korean air will allow the substitute flight, or whether I need to pay myself. KA said to call tomorrow. Then more decisions…

Anyway, dear friends, this was a bit of a self-indulgent post perhaps, but one that I needed to commit to” paper” to clear my thoughts a little bit.

Tokyo Dandy has a good page of links for current info on the situation (including NHK) and places to donate.
La Carmina has also been providing good info from the gothic and alternative people in Tokyo – see the La Carmina blog.

I will resume posting properly in the next few days…there are great things to share about Seoul, and the Hongdae area in which I’m staying. I even made it to DGBD and caught a live band last night. And this afternoon I will discover Dongdaemun. Meanwhile, we all await news as to whether yet another large quake has occurred, following the point 4 quake earlier.

Those who pray, pray. Those who don’t, *fingers crossed* and *positive thoughts*.