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).

h.Naoto 
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!

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*.

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!

Grimoire video – take a peek inside the Grimoire store

I realise a lot of people will never get to Tokyo to see the awesomeness that is Grimoire for themselves…so here is a little video just showing a few things in the store.

I took it while in Grimoire last week, where I also got a photo with the Grimoire girls (and one boy!) This is just slightly different from the one I posted the other day 🙂

Interestingly, we’d just talked about how I come back to Tokyo in late March every year for the Paddy Punk festival “Wild Rover”, where Japanese bands like the Cherry Cokes play music  evocative of the Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly and the Pogues, when the store’s taped music started playing Irish folk tunes! Listen and you’ll hear 🙂

For other posts on Grimoire, check out: http://thefashionatetraveller.com/tag/grimoire

Sister and Candy – edgy fashion in Shibuya

Last Thursday I visited the hipper-than-hip store Sister, with Candy underneath. It really is a must-see for any fashionista visiting Tokyo.

You approach it from a laneway just near Parco and Loft in Shibuya…and at first you think, “it can’t be this little laneway…it’s a bit desolate!”. And then you see this:

Yup, a bunch of mannequins with the word “FAKE” emblazoned across their chests. Then you see a bright yellow doorway and hot pink kerb behind them.

 

The telltale spooky lettering of Candy totally gives it away.  You know you’re in the right place.

It’s time to venture in, so up the stairs you trot (gotta be fit!)

Once inside, you’re greeted with polished wooden floors, shiny, almost mirror-tiled ceilings, sumptuous window drapery..and rack after rack of to-die-for, glam-rock clothes. There’s an eclectic yet cohesive mix of cutting-edge designer looks from the likes of Giles, Mark Fast and Marios Schwab, vintage pieces and shoes, tights in amazing designs (as in my post on great tights here), and millinery.

Yes, they stock the designs of the awe-stonishing Piers Atkinson, as well as that of Stephen Jones, UK milliner and tophat maker extraordinaire. You can just see a Christmas card from Stephen on the top shelf in the pic to the left.  Jones’ latest collection is the most modern I’ve seen yet, with that stunning triple tophat a standout:

I think B-grade sci-fi may have been his inspiration for this collection, entitled XYZ : X is for X-Ray. Y is for Yesteryear. Z is for Zombie.

Piers’ headwear is from the Winter collection “It’s Later than you Think” (seen below), and is so punk and gothic in aesthetic that it makes me want to go back to millinery myself! This is the stuff I’d like to make – and wear! What do you think?

  

Back to Sister, the store. There’s distressed leather, jackets with metal panelling (just seen below), as well as exquisite vintage embroidered pieces:

They’re not afraid of print; alongside tartan and spots there’s digi-prints and 70’s psychedelic prints:

Each piece in the store has a very luxe feel; I love the deconstructed zipped leather, leopard dresses and fluffy fur jackets jere.

As you head towards the stairs to head down to sister-store Candy, you’re greeted with this Hannibal-Lecter like concoction that is spooky yet fun. It is a parka-like jacket with lots of black ripped muslin dripping from the sleeves and edges – very Naoto or Stigmata-like, might I say:

 

(and yes, that is a stuffed bear that watches you as you descend the stairs)

I personally found Candy less to my taste…but can easily see where some of the Shibuya and Harajuku hipsters I see around (like S.P. with his blue hair) get their gear from. It is full of nu-rave gear, very bright neon in colour, with lots of paint splatters from the 80’s. There are a few KTZ items as I mentioned in my KTZ post here.

So we came, we saw…and went back back upstairs and bought the Femme Fatale tights, before finally bidding our goodbyes and hitting the street.

Bye bye, Sister and Candy…you KNOW I’ll be seeing you again!

Sister/Candy: Udagawa-cho 18-4, Shibuya-ku, tel: 03 5456 9891

Candy online shopSister online shop