12th Japan Fashion Week Designers announced

Late last week the participants in the 12th Japan Fashion Week were announced, and I’m excited to see gothic and gyaru brands up there amongst the other designers. (See my post on the highlights of SS 2010 Japan Fashion Week here). What are some of the brands we can look forward to seeing, at least in association with JFW?


I’m so pleased that h. Naoto is back! (See my post on Naoto’s Goth night & collection last August)  His various labels are favourites of mine owing to the gothic aesthetic, but I feel he really pushes the envelope when he has a collection to present as part of JFW. Likewise, his catwalk shows are dark & moody, with a mysterious vibe that casts a spell over the viewer.  I already own a lot of his clothing, and am keen to grab some from the newest collection too.


Gyaru brands Vanquish and Liz Lisa will also show.


This label definitely has glamorous classics that I (and many others) love to wear. But as it is a ‘high street’ type brand, will  it hold its own amongst the other designers?  I think the styling will be what lifts the brand above what you see in the catalogues 🙂


Liz Lisa

Overall it’s a bit pretty-pretty for me so far, and I wasn’t fond of the pink/brown colour scheme of the last season, but we’ll see what 2011 AW holds.  LL is certainly a huge fave amongst gals, and yet despite being a “popular” brand, is appearing at Fashion Week. Here’s a few shots from the 2011 Spring/Summer show.


Of the non-brand designers, the ones I’m most excited to see are:

Han Ahn Soon

There was a definite baltic folkloric element to the last collection, partly in line with the Russian princess trend, and possibly also the influence of Dolly Kei? Whatever the origin, I’m intrigued by the layering, the ethnic opulence, the luxurious wearability of Soon’s pieces, and am keen to see more.


Reem Alasadi

I wrote about eco designer Reem Alasadi last February; having seen her work up close I’m impressed with the amount texture she plays with and presents in her work. As I wrote then: “Fabrics of all types, including vintage lace and fur, had been recycled, ruffled, pleated, torn, sequinned, dyed and re-made into couture pieces such as voluminous skirts, exquisite Victorian jackets and multi-layered tops. There are punk, Victorian, vintage and eco elements to her work that I really enjoy”.  Here are some images from her last JFW catwalk:  


Motonari Ono

I’ve also written about Ono before, in my JFW 2010 SS post

See more from Ono here, the UK online shop, or the online Japanese Motonari Ono shop here.

I will talk about some of the others shortly, including G.V.G.V, Theatre Products and FurFur; if you want to see the full list of designers, here are the brands for the 2011-2012 A/W Collection

Which ones would you most like to see?

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?


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!

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.


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!


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:


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.


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