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

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!

Street fashion Shibuya & Grimoire

I have had an amazing week in Tokyo, even if very brief. I got to vist some very special stores (as well as the big-name ones), and caught up wth some great people.

Yesterday I met up with a local photographer and blogger and we went on a walking tour of Shibuya. I really wanted to visit the store Sister (& ground floor store Candy), as mentioned in my cool tights blog post.

Well, we went! I will do a proper post with pictures next week, but we did indeed buy the grey lace-patterned tights I’d seen on the dolly kei girl.

Saw a groovy girl in Shibuya, crossing the road, so got a photo with her. I like how she has a mainly black/white/grey palette with a touch of red (a bit like me!).

I also love the playing card pattern on her skirt, the pop of bling in the lurex of her crochet shawl, and the little meat cleavers dripping blood around each of her buns. A bit of a spooky gothic touch.

We then dropped into famed Dolly Kei store Grimoire…and the girls whooped and exclaimed to see us!  I hadn’t seen them since Merry Go Land…when I had blonde & purple hair! It took one or 2 a minute to suss it was me, now with red hair.  They were kind enough to admire my tights (mauve floral from Isetan, brand name “Antipast”, ~2200 yen). Anyway onto a photo!

Lucky for us, the lovely Marie dropped in from her work on the 4th floor – she has really good English, which helps with conversation and jokes!  When I held up a beautiful vintage black collar with jet beading all over it, Marie said it was one piece Courtney Love really liked when she was there. Courtney took all the girls back to her hotel room to party on (for those who don’t know that she dropped in on her last Tokyo visit).

Anyway, though it wasn’t cheap, I did love the piece and knew I’d wear it, so onto the credit card it went!!

Nice to see a guy in the shop doing his version of the look – shall we call it Dandy kei, perhaps? I am in love with Heri’s look here – the coin-embellished wide belt, the bubble skirt, the military hat…I think hers is overall my fave dolly kei look. Kaori and Marie also looked lovely of course, and I noticed that Kaori wore black & white, not the rich colours we often associate with Dolly Kei. Awesome! As I often favour this monochrome look myself. Hitomi was absent, hence not in the photo (sorry to Hitomi fans).

News on the Grimoire front – each of the girls will shortly have ther own indvidual blogs, as well as the combined store blog, so stay tuned for that! I also video’d the store while I was there, so as soon I get home and upload it, I’ll post that too, for your viewing pleasure.

We also visited Virgin Mary, but I didn’t take more pictures…the store looked very much the same as when I was there in September. I did look at some of the little antique dolls to buy, but resisted 🙂

This was meant to be a short post! Now I have to pack, send stuff home, sell stuff to Closet Child and make last minute purchases in the next 3 hours, so adios for now 🙂

Gyaru brand haul from Tokyo New Year sales

So now we move on to the more gyaru purchases I’ve made lately…although this first item I bought, the fox tail, was bought in the gothic top floors of Marui One, as were the tights . The black fluffy faux-fur legwarmers were from Intesucre, a chain which has stores everywhere.

 

My faves are coming up, however.  I bought a funky long jumper wit a big skull on the front in sequins from Durer, which I wore all yesterday.

 

My absolute fave is this gorgeous leopard double-breasted trenchcoat from Cecil McBee. I also got a cute military style vest in a soft grey knit (only 1000 yen) from SwordFish, a brand I’m coming to like more.

 

On the accessories front, though I tried on those Russian style fur hats, they just swamped me, so I got this animal print spotted beret in soft angora….and these glorious boots o’ doom from R & E!

 

Whatcha think, y’all?? Sexy as hell, these…even tho I won’t be wearing them in Sydney until June/July!

Now, in my travels around the various gal stores, I’m becoming quite enamoured of some brands at the rock-chick end of the spectrum – Taboo wth its skulls & crosses and Twisty (acessories) being 2 that remind me of tutuHA. I really liked Emoda, but unfortunately the great abstract print peggings were not in my size.

I originally wanted the Lip Service leopard coat, but the only one I could find, in Lumine Est, was too small. At 109, no leopard ones were left. However, I ducked into Cecil Mcbee in the Shinjuku subnade and nabbed the last leopard coat on the rack – and glory be, it fitted!

I’ve realised that Studio Alta is almost as good as 109, despite lacking a tutuHA shop, and it’s less crowded. It’s here that I’ll return before I leave for any last minute purchases.

Where do you like to shop when you’re in Tokyo, or where would you like to? Which of these items do you heart best?

17mm super big Barbie Korean Circle Lenses

Yesterday my new circle lenses arrived from Circlelens.net. Not only are they larger than ever before, they come in different designs…and still in my prescription!

When I opened the box, I couldn’t believe how cute the packaging was – each order came in a little cute animal or character.

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the little critters. Each came with a little spoon like object that you use to put the contacts into your eyes, and also tweezers to get the lenses out of the bottle or case when needed, without having to touch the lens with your fingers. There’s a little lid on each head that pops up to reveal the bottles of lenses inside. Daww…cute! 

You could, alternatively, pull the head off to get at the precious contents inside. Also, the ears come off and become contact lens cases – awesome idea!

Onto the lenses themselves. I got 2 different designs – the Barbie Eye Diamond, and the Lacie, both in blue. According to the bottle, the lenses are 17.5mm.

         

Here’s how they look in lens cases

What’s the first thing you notice? Well, apart from the designs, the fact that the blue is hardly blue at all. Not like the pictures above , which were taken from the Circle Lens website.

Well, let’s see how they look IN the eye, eh? Firstly the diamond compared to my natural eye.

Then as compared to one of the smaller lenses I have, my fave G&G BT in aqua:

without flash

You can see that yes, it does take up more eye space, and leaves less white of the eye. But man, it looks a bit weird. Here’s the pair in together.

OK, let’s put make-up on so the eyes don’t look quite so scary:

and here’s the Lacies in – they are a very pretty crisscross pattern, almost like a Moroccan or Moorish design.

I think you can see which ones I preferred. The Lacies have a pretty lacy pattern which is far less freaky looking than the Diamond (although freaky could be good at Halloween or in some goth clubs). Since I was going out to dinner with friends, I stuck with the lacies.

Review

Packaging – 9/10
Super kawaii, and super useful

Colour – 5/10
More a pale grey-blue than a vivid blue

Enlargement – 8/10
While they were bigger than my usual ones, they are not noticeably bigger when you see them from afar.

Design – Lacies 9/10, Diamond 7/10
While the diamond was an interesting pattern I wanted to try, I’m not that fond of it when actually worn. It could be good with a space age costume.

Comfort – 8/10
I had no problems with them at all and wore them for about 6 hours. Not as comfortable as uber thin disposable dailies, but fine compared to other circle lenses.

Other comments – I wish the design went further in, towards the pupil, as my own eye colour shows through between the pupil and the design, especially in bright light or a flash, when the pupil contracts. All of them seem to be like this though.

I also got the diamond just in black, and the lacie in violet – will show you these soon. I need to try some of the other designs, I think, such as the Queenie 3T or the Mimo diamond. Since I like lots of colour, my faves will be the ones that are most vivid.

Your thoughts?