Meeting Japan Fashion Bloggers in Tokyo

In the past week or so I had the good fortune to meet up with some very lovely people, whom I admire very much for their respective blogs.

Friday saw me meeting up with Hana from Finding Tokyo, who I met previously in January, and Miss Mitsu from Universal Doll. Hana just has this lovely positive sunny energy about her, and Mitsu is an absolute cack with dry, sometimes sarcy wit, so it was a real pleasure to hang out with them. First we shopped, in Alta and Lumine Est, and then we ate.

I wanted to take some proper shots with them, but was a bit shy to ask…and so we ended up with some fun ones instead!

We found this all-you-can-eat-for-3-thousand-yen-yakiniku place in Shinjuku, and it was 4 or so floors up with a most interesting display at the front of it. It was a set of lifesize figures, an old man displaying something on his bike, while a woman with a baby and 3 kids looked on. I had to jump in and see what the old guy was showing them:

Meanwhile Hana and Mitsu got behind the children, and you see their cheeky smiles as well as the startling faces on the kids.

Yes, the girl seemed to have something eerily wrong with her barely open eyes (possibly narcolepsy? or was she having a ‘squint off’ with an imaginary friend?), while the boy had something streaming from his – whether tears or pus, I couldn’t be sure. Creepy! 

And the other child in the red hat, whilst having a pleasant and jolly expression on his face, had snot streaming from one nostril – GROSS!

It was like a Tokyo Village of the Damned, I tells ya.

Not great picture quality, alas, but hopefully the novelty factor redeems them somewhat!

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Anyway, onto the food. Turn away now, vegetarians, for you will not like what you see.

Yes, all manner of meat lay in wait to be grilled, sizzled and delectably charred – and I insisted we put the few vegetables offered, onto the BBQ as well. There MAY have been a few off-colour comments about sausages. Like I said, Mitsu is a comedian, and we all ended up using dirty double entendres, as you do when girls get together :)

To round it all off, what do you think we did? Got some purikura!

Much girly fun.

Then on Monday I met up with Samuel and Rebecca of Tokyo Telephone – and ate and got purikura!!  S & R are a lovely couple who are extremely stylish – as you’d expect. But I was most impressed with their thoughtfulness, as we discussed the suitability or otherwise of some types of posts while the Japan disaster was going on. They chose deliberately to keep their trip low-key, not shouting to the  mountaintops that they love Japan and are doing all they can to save it, or rushing to the Times with Japan fashion scoops.  (Be sure, they DO love Japan). 

After a little wandering in Harajuku, we hit a purikura place (does one EVER get sick of puri?), and here are the results:

It was with real regret that we went our separate ways after, but we’ll be meeting up in London in June for more shenanigans.

I love that through social media like twitter you can form relationships with people that then get fleshed out in the real world. Of course I’ll continue reading all their blogs, for I love them, but knowing the writers as people just enhances the experience manifold.

My outfit, for anyone interested: blue vinyl jacket from Love Boat in Osaka, Glad News dress with beaded skull on front, Chrome Rats from Sass & Bide (the leggings), big plastic cross from Cameron Racy, and boots from Yosuke USA at Marui One, Shinjuku.

Note: if you click on any picture you can see it larger.

Minkpink & Evil Twin sample sale

There’s a couple of aussie brands I’ve seen popping up everywhere in the Japanese magazines Vivi andGlamorous - 

MINKPINK and EVIL TWIN!!

Well, they just so happen to be having a sale, beginning at 7.30am Friday if you’re up in time….

Other labels in the sale are The Lost Girls, Staple, Somedays Lovin, and MinkPink Swim.

I love many of the current looks for summer festival wear especially. How about these fun shimmy-shimmy Wild West fringe shorts? Or the khaki “This Is a Drill” pant?

 

Someday’s Lovin “Rumours” cutout dress is chic for summer, perhaps paired with Staple’s garden print Kimono cape (and killer wedges, not flats!):

 

At 80% off retail, there’s bound to be some affordable and oh-so-stylish samples to nab yourself. GET ON IT, Sydneysiders!!

(Oh, and for others who can’t get to it and want to shop the brands, check out Market HQ).

Trends from Fall/Winter Tokyo – will they take off here?

From my visits to Tokyo both at the start of their Fall/Winter fashion season in August and now towards the end, I’ve seen a lot of the trends there that may well translate into trends here in Australia, as the colder months get closer. 

Some are in line with overall trends in worldwide fashion, which are already being seen; a few are Japanese-led. I’ve checked a lot of the magazines, shopped in popular gal (as well as my usual gothic) stores, and done a lot of people watching, to get an overall view. Here are the ones that spring to mind.

FUR & FAUX FUR

The Foxtail

The foxtail is one of the most widespread items I’ve seen on bags everywhere – girls, guys, goths, gyaru – sometimes in unnatural colours, but often in grey, brown and black, and often with charms attached. This isn’t news for those who know Japanese & Korean fashion, but it’s an interesting trend that’s been going on a while now, and spreading to kids and fashionistas in the west. (Yes, I bought one: call it a guilty pleasure)

 

*Edit: I went to Sportsgirl today (jan 14) and saw mini foxtails in-store!! Had to buy one!

Fur boots

Whether thigh high, knee length or ankle, boots trimmed with faux fur or shearling were EVERYWHERE in stores, and worn by EVERYONE in the younger demographic. Many had a 2-way use, where the fur could be taken off and the boot worn alone (I bought 2 of these myself; one an ankle wedge, and the other mid-calf with high heel). I think those of us in warm Australia might well just take to this trend as it’s a glamour item we don’t normally get to wear – it’s just not cold enough in Aussie cities to warrant even faux fur.

My new fave store is R&E or Rose Essence, and here’s a few offerings from them:

There were also those lace-up khaki or brown boots we’ve seen here with military styling & buckles, & clog booties, but ankle wedges, thigh high and faux fur on any length boot won out in the most-worn stakes. And there were NO GLADIATORS – yaay!

Legwarmers

Yup – they’re back. Worn to simulate boots, they came in faux fur versions, as well as woollen varieties in cable-knit, fairisle and nordic designs. I, erm, already bought some black furry bootcovers…but we’ll see if I wear ‘em or if it was just shopping fever.

Fur collars and coats

Faux fur collars were likewise everywhere, on upmarket coats, puffa jackets/parkas and duffle coats. There were also whole coats and jackets in faux fur, often in leopard, which I found a bit chunky.  Overall, this is another trend that will fly here. These are by Biancheri tutu, Lip Service, Love Boat and Gilfy


Double-breasted wool trenchcoats

These were popular, often in leopard once again, and often with gold militray style buttons and although my fave was Lip Service with a great stand-up collar, I settled for Cecil McBee. Left is by Gimlet, top right coat is the Cecil McBee, and the Lip Service version is beneath.

Aviator jackets with Shearling collar

This has been a trend everywhere, so I won’t mention it further here.

Khaki duffle coats with fur-trimmed hoods

I saw these EVERYWHERE, perhaps because they could be casual or dressy.  Some had wooden toggles, some had gold military buttons, but each brand essentially had their own version. While we’ve already shown an openness to the khaki trend with cargo pants galore this summer, I don’t know that these jackets will be as prevalent here – they’re just not a staple for aussie girls.  And, like me, many may associate them with Mancunian geezers/tossers Oasis, who popularised them back in the 90′s.  The below are by Lip Service, Love Girls Market, Moussy and Royal Party.


A-line coats

Very similar to the trenchcoats mentioned above, some had a pronounced A-line, like a swing coat. These are by Gimlet and RoseBullet.

 

Capes & Ponchos

These were common in camel and khaki, and often in wool, occasionally in canvas. While capes will be huge here too, I’m not sure about the ponchos. Capes below are by Gimlet and Cecil McBee, the crochet poncho is by Snidel.

Nordic Prints

Nordic prints were seen on skirts, legwarmers, tops, jumpers..you name it. I personally didn’t like this trend that much, as I remember it from back in the 80′s the first time round. Fair-isle I can handle, but snowflakes just seem a little hokey and ski-resort for me. Young gyaru everywhere disagree with me, but we’ll wait to see whether aussies go for it.  Below are a Duras skirt, Egoist jumper, Rienda dress and MiiA tights.


Men’s style trousers with suspenders

Often in a check pattern, and often with hems rolled up. Below are pants by Durer and Snidel.

 Brogue shoes

Also known as Oxfords, these are often two-toned shoes or boots with a front “spat” effect. Sometimes these were also trimmed with fur, as below. I’m already on this trend with my black & white boots, and I can see the more neutral toned ones would work well with Dolly Kei looks. I don’t think this is going to be huge here.


Long crosses

Seen here at tutuHA and Glad News in chunky plastic with a big ass chain. No, I don’t think it will take off here (although crosses generally have). But I succumbed and bought the Cameron Racy one.

 

Skeletons & Skulls  on everything

This isn’t just goth shops…this is gyaru. Glad News, Durer, Cecil McBee….perhaps it’s the Ed Hardy effect. I like ‘em and have worn skulls for years. They’re not new in Australia either, so I don’t know that this will become a huge resurgence here.

 

Although of course the goth/punk crossover shops like Sexpot Revenge and funsters Super Lovers never let us down:

Vests

As a foil to the serious, more expensive military coats I saw everywhere, I quite liked the casual appeal of these knit military style vests and cardis, seen here by JSG and Zelos…

(*Edit: saw a great military vest in Sportsgirl 14/1 too…do I need another one?)

…but of course the chart toppers were the fur and faux fur vests, already popular here last winter.

HAIR

Colour dipped hair

There was a lot of hair that was light brown, but with a bright stripe on the bottom of colours such as pink, blue, purple etc (as seen on models in Jelly, Egg, Vivi etc). This has been seen here anyway, so is nothing new. But I got the impression that it was a mark of freedom for some store girls, who would never be allowed to go “all the way” with colour. Several admired my brightly coloured hair, but said they wouldn’t keep their job if they had it!

What I didn’t see that has been trending here:

* Mad Men style retro looks – understandably, since Japan hasn’t been swept up in the series as we in the west have.
* Maxi-length dresses and skirts – japanese chicks like to wear the shortest of hem lengths to show off their legs.
* Double denim (thank god!) or even much denim at all. Also not many denim shorts – leather and vinyl was more prevalent.
* 70′s style pants with flared legs – saw them in the magazines but not on people.

I can’t wait for May/June when it gets cool enough to wear some of these! Although I can wear my grey military vest and big cross and skull jewellery now :) Those of you currently in cold climates – have most of these taken off in your area? Which ones do you wish would? Which do you hate?

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

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?