Bedrock – hidden Tokyo Fashion boutique; Harajuku purikura

It was 2 weeks ago that I popped my purikura cherry. Yes, really! I had never before gone into one of those japanese styled booths to get cutesy pics taken, and it was so much fun!

I met Hana from Finding Tokyo at Harajuku station and we grabbed a coffee and got to know each other a little bit (and she’s an absolute sweetheart). This is what I wore to meet her, and a pic of us together:

 

Before I get to the purikura though, I have to talk about Bedrock, an uber hip boutique on Omotesando.

 Bedrock, owned by the Maniac Corporation, is one of those open secrets like Dog in the Kita Kore building, where they don’t publicise the store, but prefer to keep it hidden and unique. So hidden, that you have to enter via a coffee shop called the Forbidden Fruit Cafe - though I don’t think anyone actually goes there for coffee.

 

Once you’ve entered the swanky looking cafe, you head down the punched-hole steel stairs into a darkened space that is like a gallery. The floor is polished concrete, gleaming but industrial. Everywhere there are sculptures, a diamond-encrusted skull here, an ornate mirror there, a huge bison’s head on the wall, huge glass chandeliers, and various eclectic artefacts.  But the thing that hits you when you walk in, is the glassed tropical area to the back of the store, where cacti, ferns and a riot of greenery lay gleaming beyond a wall of glass.

The clothing itself is very glam-rock with a bit of glam-goth - definitely my cup o’ tea – although some of the prices are out of this world. 

 There were new and pre-loved designers pieces from the likes of Rick Owens, Nina Ricci, Givenchy, John Galliano and more. I spied these stunning ponyhair beauties with ankle strap from Givenchy, but didn’t dare try them on for fear of losing my mind and my credit balance:

The inhouse brands are If Six Was Nine, and LGB (Le Grand Bleu). LGB is more concerned with jeans and pants, If Six Was Nine with great leather jackets, exotic fabrics, bling and rockstar looks generally.  There was a lot of python print, sometimes metallised. I tried on a pair of silver faux-leather pants…but alas, they were too small.

There’s a lot more stock and just interesting things stuffed into the space than these photos (from their website) show. But this is just a taster, to let you know not to miss the opportunity to visit if ever you get to Tokyo.

 

 

 

(For more info, Misha Janette has written great articles “5 craziest hidden Tokyo fashion boutiques” and “the coolest store no-one knows of” – check them out! Also, Jane of Sea of Shoes wrote a really informative post with photos back in ’09, referring to it by its corporation name in Maniacal about Maniac, and Carly from Chic Steals wrote a richly descriptive post here )

That was an exciting enough experience, and quite enough for one day. But more was to come….

Onto the purikura! Hana led me down Takeshita Street, towards the end, and again we had to descend stairs to get to the action. The place was packed with giggly teenagers queueing for booths,  sitting at the machines that decorate the photos or standing to admire the results and just chat. The walls were plastered with posters of popstars and if it weren’t for Hana, I might feel way too old and way out of my depth there. But girlfriends + purikura = silly fun, and I highly recommend it.

I won’t pretend to be an expert, since I’ve been the grand total of once. For the whole process, I’ll refer you to the excellent posts by Sara Mari in Moments Like Diamonds, and also La Carmina. Mitsu of Universal Doll shows some great places in Shibuya “for all your puri needs”.

The fun thing is, models pop up on the screen in front of you, and give you ideas of cute ways to pose (god knows I wouldn’t know how otherwise!) And after you’ve done all your various poses and time has run out, you wait at a machine outside the booth to spit your photos out…and you have to laugh! The technology is such that your skin, eyes and teeth are whiter, your eyes are larger, and generally, you’re made to look like a teenager again!  So cute!!

(For those interested, I’m wearing a leopard top from Nasty Gal, a tutu skirt from Sheike, and the fabulous leopard coat from Cecil McBee).

 So that’s 2 fun things to do in Harakuku…but for purikura..you can really go to any major suburb in japan, and elsewhere. Have you had a purikura experience? Kept the pics?

Bedrock

Omotesando Hills West Building
B1F, 12-10, Jingumae 4-chome
Shibuya-ku Tokyo

Open: 11am – 9pm.
Ph: +81 3 3423 6969

Sex Pot Revenge store in Harajuku

I mentioned in my last post how I visited Ryo, who manages the Sexpot Revenge store in Harajuku. Ryo I’ve known for quite a while now, and we’ve partied at events like the Tokyo Decadance White Party, and at the Decadance Bar.  Sex Pot Revenge is a brand I like and wear a lot; last year I posted about the Sexpot Revenge Spring/Summer 2010 collection. It is a really good place to go for cool and casual alternative gear, especially if punk is more your thing than Visual Kei.

We do seem to feel the need to pull faces in photos; this was the last time I saw him in September at the Decadance Bar:

Onto the store itself: as always, it was full to the gills with punk & gothic clothing, jewellery and accessories.

There were some fantastic fake fur coats, and tartan jackets

The black jacket above has a bottom section that is detachable, so it can either be a more casual punk jacket, or an EGL type coat.

For more items you may be tempted to buy, hit the Sex Pot webstore

Again, back to the real store. Everywhere there are things of interest, like the skull on the table, posters, flyers for gigs, hair falls…

I also spied some silver and neon jewellery in various spooky designs, and settled upon this shiny skull ring for myself

Another point of interest is the gruesome critters in places like the ceiling – so remember to look up when you’re in the store!

So do pop in when you’re in Harajuku or Osaka. In Harajuku, the stores are just off the main drag of Takeshita Street; in Osaka it is near Parco in the Shinsaibashi area.

And here is my ring, when seen with 2 rings I bought in Closet child – a bony hand one, and one with an eye

Have you been there? If you go, do make sure you say hi to Ryo!

Gothic Military outfit of the day; Takuya Angel; Kabukicho parties; leopard lenses

I had a packed Wednesday the week before last: first I met Hana of Finding Tokyo in Harajuku (post and pics of purikura coming up), then I visited Ryo at the Sexpot Revenge store (post and pics coming up), then I bought some gorgeous coats at Closet Child (post and pics…you get the message), visited Takuya Angel at his newly redesigned store, and then later met up with Takuya at a gig/party in Kabukicho.

To backtrack a little…the Takuya Angel store is now about half the size it was. You can enter it directly from the side stairs (and through a short corridor, knocking on the door to check it’s open), or through the rockabilly store in front. I didn’t take photos when I went as it really is quite small and there were 5 or 6 people in there, one of whom was trying on clothes and getting the others’ opinions.

Takuya said he was DJing at a friend’s party/gig in Kabukicho…just around the corner from my hotel, as it happened! He said he was playing til 10pm and we should go for drinks after. Cool!

I went home and chilled a bit, then threw on my Gallery Serpentine corset, my years-old Lip Service Jacket in the fabulous Napoleonic military style (one of my all time faves), along with some gothy make-up and my piercing blue leopard print contact lenses.

The jacket you can see best in the photo to the left, but below shows the lenses better. I got them from Colourvue.  I’ve also recently started wearing orange blush, as seen on some gyaru models - I like that it’s slightly unnatural, but still gives a healthy glow. The blusher is a very intense orange one I picked up at Okadaya – brand is Nyx – and I’ll write more on this and the dazzling range of coloured glitter shadows they offer.  The pinky-purple lipstick is Airborne Unicorn from Lime Crime (also one my my all time faves!)

There was such a cosy feel in my hotel room at Hotel Vintage, and you get that in this photo, I think. (BTW, I recommend this as a great place to stay in Shinjuku. The rooms aren’t big, but they are spotless, there’s a non-smoking floor, 24 hr reception, in-room LAN internet access, and it’s in the heart of Love Hotels and Host Clubs, Kabukicho).

After a short time of waiting outside Wizard 7 – a host club – and watching one of the boys practicing his ballroom dancing moves, I plucked up the courage to ask if they knew where the party with the DJ was. Next building – ah.

The event had had a number of bands playing, and I saw quite a few pretty alternative looking boys packing up drum kits and taking out guitar cases to their vans. Maybe I should have got there for the gig itself. Never mind :/

The event was a birthday party for an art director who was turning 29 – “you are YOUNG!” I told him, to his smiles. After all, I’m more than a decade past that date, and my life’s pretty good, so I knew not to be scared of hitting 30. He’s on my left, below.

To my delight, Mee was also there. She’s a friend of Takuya Angel’s who always wears his clothing (and who you saw in my post on celebrating Hanabi with Takuya Angel, although she had pink hair then). She’s a walking advertisement, you might say. She’s a lovely girl, although she has little English and I little Japanese. Seeing that her red Takuya bear claws matched my hair, she threw them around me for this pic:

And then a group shot by the bar was in order:

So if you drop by to say hi to a friend, you never know where you’ll end up that night! I dragged myself away around 1ish, as I was meeting Valerie of Tokyo Arts factory the next day, and visiting a heap of stores in Shibuya. But it was another colourful and unplanned night, as often happens in the great city that is Tokyo :)

Fukubukuro pictures, Part 2

Now I’m back home and can upload pics from my Sony, here are some more pictures from January 2nd – the day the New Years lucky bags go on sale in Japan.

The excellent site Tokyo Fashion has already done 3 fab articles with loads of photos on Fukubukuro here, here and here.

As for me, I went to Marui One first, as I wanted to get gothic gear. I was there about 10.30 but there was no queue out the door or anything. It was only when I got inside that I saw masses of people looking at the sales and the various bags. Here’s a quick pic I took on my way out:

I was there primarily for the shopping, not to take pictures, so there weren’t that many. After all, I had THREE major centres to hit! I passed Studio Alta around midday also, and there weren’t too many girls out the front, although it was very crowded inside. Many had the rolling pink floral cases by Liz Lisa, I noticed.

Had I but known, I should’ve just stayed there, as between Alta and Lumine Est, most of the major gal brands are covered, and I wouldn’t have been swept along in the seething mass of people that was Shibuya 109. But, to Shibuya I went.

It didn’t look too bad from far away…

 

But you could only see the madness when you got up close!

Everywhere were people jostling, clutching multiple lucky bags…some TV company was even filming it, as you can just see here…

lucky bags Shibuya 109

gyaru lucky bags Shibuya 109

lucky bags Shibuya 109

You can see the familiar brand names Cecil McBee, Vanquish, Ank Rouge, Rose FanFan, JSG, and one that might be Manalove…everywhere girls were opening their packs and swapping with girlfriends nearby (as items are not always the same, even in bags from the same brand).  I took these pics as I was carried along by the crowd. Once inside it was little better; again the crowd just surged along taking you with it like a raging torrent, and you had to try to get out of the crowd to enter a shop you liked. One – Emoda – had quite a queue to even get in the store, such was its popularity. And then there were the queues at the tills.

I decided just to buy particular pieces I liked rather than lucky bags, as I’d already bought 2 naoto bags in the morning, and the ones where I could see the contents, were not that appealing to me.

I then went to Harajuku, visiting La Foret for the the gothic punk underground floors, before proceeding along the street past Forever 21, where you can see girls spruiking the bags outside:

 

Here’s what they sounded like: Girls at Harajuku Forever 21 spruiking lucky bags

And here’s how slow it was walking in the crowd from La Foret to Takeshita Street: Harajuku on fukubukuro day, Jan 2

Takeshita Street was, of course, crowded to the max as well:

SO great were the crowds out that day, that as I was waiting for the Yamanote line train back to Shinjuku, a very strange thing happened: the  trains stopped to let people OFF on the other side, but wouldn’t let people ON.  This just doesn’t happen on a normal day, no matter how busy. Two trains passed in this way, and I despaired of ever getting home, when a third train finally arrived and actually opened its doors to the ravening hordes. PHEW!

January 2nd – Naoto Fukubukuro Day!

Well, I had an epic shopping adventure today!

I decided to start off with my first love – gothic fashion, namely, at Marui One floors 6, 7 & 8.  There was no queue, as I did leave it til after 10am to go…but boy were there shoppers once inside!

I bought 2 lucky bags from h.Naoto – although the choice from his various ranges was vast, including Gouk, Gramm, Heaven, Peace Now, Sixh etc,  chose Black Peace Now and Anarchy.

Here’s what was inside:

Black Peace Now

I chose the purple bag which was “cool”, the red BPN bag was “pretty”

Four good items were inside:

1) an assymetrical hem t-shirt dress, value 9,030 yen 2) assymetrical hem skirt, value 14, 280 yen (I can only just get it done up and it’s a medium)

  

3) A great black jacket with zips and buckles, value 22,050 yen

 

4) a white blouse with matching ruffled collar (not in picture), value 14,90

So you see, the value of any one item made up for the 10,500 fukubukuro charge (or was it 10,000?) 

Then there was the Anarchy bag for 10,500 yen, which had 6 items.

  

1) t-shirt type dress with elasticised drop-waist & 2) purple tank top

 

3) Warm wool jacket and 4) jeans

 

5) a hip length fleecy hoody with pockets, and 6) a check scarf. I have to admit, these I wore all day.

You see, the goodie bags weighed so much, and I left my credit card back in my room, so I decided to go back to my hotel and dump it all before heading out to Shibuya. I changed my vinyl jacket I’d worn for the hoodie, and wrapped the scarf round my neck.

The jeans will have to be sold, as I don’t wear them and they’re too small. The warm wool jacket is a bit too big…but maye Dom can wear it. Not sure if the dress with the drop-waist is really me…will have to wait til I put it on. I have to confess it made me cautious of buying more goodie bags. I only have so much unwanted stuff I can take on the plane!

After this I went to Shibuya 109, then La Foret and Takeshita Street in Harajuku, before hitting Lumine Est back in Shinjuku and then the subnade. Bought more things, but all separate; no bags. Alas, the pics are on my little camera, and I failed to pack the uploading cable for it…so pics of girls with their fuku bags will have to wait.  I think this is enough for today, but I’ll show the rest of my haul tomorrow.

What items did you like best in this stash?