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 🙂

Celebrating hanabi with Takuya Angel

Sometimes co-incidences make for the best times, don’t you think? After seeing H Naoto and his autumn collection, I thought I’d drop into Takuya Angel’s shop, having been disappointed to find it closed the day before.

It was 6.30 by this time, and I had somewhere else I was suppposed to be, but I thought…just a short visit, and then on my way.

As I got to the doorway, coming at it from the other direction was my good aussie friend (and photographer) Brendan! Who I hadn’t seen since April when I was last in Tokyo. He’d only been doing a shoot for Takuya that day with some lovely customers being the models. I’d spotted them in front of me in Takeshita St, and wanted a picture, but didn’t want to annoy them. It’s a small world. B said he wasn’t really surprised to run into me, such is the smallness of the alternative scene here too.

So catch up chatties were had, a few pics of the store taken…

…and then Takuya announced it was hanabi and we all had to let off fireworks. I have to admit, I hadn’t done this before, but I LOVE fireworks…and I love how they make people like little kids again.

(OK so hanabi season has been going for a month, and the big events are huge outdoor fireworks displays like the Tokyo Bay Big Fireworks Festival whch is held on the 2nd Saturday in August..but it’s all about participation, innit?)

Out onto the balcony we trooped with our little bowl of water in case of mishap…and started lighting up! Check out the intense and mesmerised looks on everyone’s faces.

Aww….while they were a bit like sparklers (and smelled like them!), they actually set off little tiny explosions like fireworks in the sky – like sparkling fizzy flowers of light.

It was somehow a bonding experience, transcending language and age barriers. Like hanami parties, you just get a sense of the good part rituals have to play in japanese society, and mourn the passing (in Australia anyway) of the old fireworks nights that used to bring joy to kids’ and adults’ hearts alike.

Then it was time for a pic outside the shop, before we headed off to a little izakaya round the corner (joined by DJ Chihiro; photo coming later).

So I headed home happy with my day – and not much poorer, at only 2000 yen for the meal and drinks!! Bargain 🙂

Takuya Angel DJ Bar opens tomorrow!

2 weeks today, and I’ll be in Tokyo!!

And there’s a brand new development I’m fully intending to check out.

From tomorrow night, February 26, Takuya Angel is hosting DJ parties at his store in Harajuku, from 8pm til 11pm. Entry is 500 yen, but drinks will be provided – however, you can bring your own (there are convenience stores nearby).

Takuya is after DJ’s to play there too, so if you’re in Tokyo or heading there soon, hit him up with a sample of your work. I’m sure he’ll be spinning his own discs to start, so you can have a listen before purchasing 🙂
If you’re not sure where the store is and how to get there, check out my other post on the Takuya Angel store.  If you’re going, perhaps I’ll meet you there on the 12th of March!

Takuya Angel store; Gothic Lolita lashes

It would be remiss of me to only focus on the lashes, and not the rest of the Takuya Angel brand and store.

In 1995 Takuya Sawada set up shop in Harajuku, just off Takeshita Street, having had a store in his native Osaka. His style was different from other fashion houses right from the start: he wanted to keep the spirit of traditional Japan alive by updating and modernising it – and how!

Fusing traditional Japanese fabric patterns and garment shapes with cyber elements, he will, for example, mix kimono fabric with fluffy fake fur. There’s bright fluoro colours, sometimes pinstripe, floral motifs, wide legged pants with overskirts, heart-shaped or pointy facemasks in PVC, capes, legwarmers, bags and wooden geta shoes.


There are even pants with strapped on pieces that are based on ancient Japanese armour, as found in excavation sites! It also reminds me a bit of the famous Boccioni sculpture, striding through space.

Takuya’s not afraid to mix stripes with florals and brights.
The fur claws for hands and feet are unmistakeable, and popular.
Honestly, a lot of this stuff is too out there for me, but if I was 20 years younger and lived in japan, who knows? I applaud any fashion designer who creates something new and has the courage of his convictions to make otherworldly creations that some people do buy and wear.

I’m sure none of this is new to any of my readers – the popularity of DJ Sisen has helped to publicise the brand. Sisen works at the store on Saturdays, so pop along and say hi if you’re in town. Like Sisen, Takuya also DJ’s at various goth/alternative clubs in Tokyo, usually a hard electro-industrial/cyberpunk set.

Now, as to getting to the place.

My very first visit to the store was unsuccessful – even after phoning La Carmina and eventually finding the joint, it was closed, as Takuya and Sisen were on a Tokyo Decadance tour. Such a disappointment for a girl!! 🙁

I saw a closed door, and then spied a little handwritten note in a loveheart on the posterboard outside the shop. Aww, the personal touch!

Here’s a map so you can find it when you go – the crepe place on the corner is what you’re looking out for.

You then pass a takoyaki place shortly after.  See here for a step-by-step-guide to getting to the TA shop. If you look up ahead and see a cowboy riding a skinny bull, you’re in the right place. Here we are standing on the TA porch. (For more, there’s a short vid of our walk around Harajuku, here).

At this fork in the road, the cowboy is ahead, and the TA store is to your left. There used to be an Elvis, but he disappeared (abducted by aliens? Resurfacing in Las Vegas? who knows?)
EDIT: I did have a giveaway competition here originally, but I think it was a bit too niche, as Takuya Angel lashes are way too out there for many people 😉

EDIT 2: In breaking news (July 3rd 2010), Takuya Angel will be holding his last ever fashion show on July 31st at Tokyo Dark Castle, and the shop will close in August. BUT…for those who want to visit Sisen, he’s now at the Decadance Bar, several nights a week.

Takuya Angel Harajuku lash style

One store I always visit when in Harajuku is Takuya Angel.

Partly to see Sisen when he’s there, partly to see Takuya, partly to pick up flyers for the various Goth clubs  and definitely to check out the fantastic eyelashes (the only things I can afford in the store!). In the past they were made by ViVi, and now by Akiko.

My fave lashes from ViVi are the ones I wear on my bottom lashline here: turquoise glitter lashes with fluoro yellow tips. (The ones on the top are from Okadaya – another fab store for all sorts of things).

And I found a few pics showing the top lashes by Vivi, where you can see the fluoro yellow bobble tips:
Here are some other great ones ViVi has designed, available from JAFCA (see more ViVi lashes here). They come in vivid fluoro colours, with glitter, with jewels, with little butterflies, hearts, bows..and even planes!!
ViVi has been profiled by Style Arena in their Tokyo Premiere Style here.
But back to the Takuya Angel store. Now the lashes instore are made by Akiko. The latest range includes lashes with little butterflies, ribbons & bows, wings, stars, and decora touches like little sweeties!!
If you can’t get to Harajuku, you can buy Takuya Angel lashes online, and shipping info is here. You can also read more at his new blog on ameblo.
Below are the various lashes I wore to Tokyo Decadance Halloween party last year (see my post for more). The ones on the bottom and my cheeks are from Takuya Angel. The purple ones on top are from Shu Uemura.
If you’d like to see more, here’s a Telemakfilms clip of a Takuya Angel fashion show, which has frequent close-ups of the amazing lashes used there, as well as showcasing the fashion.
These are some of the maddest lashes I’ve seen – what are your favourites?
Of course, make-up artist Pat McGrath is queen of the crazy OTT lash – she even uses them on eyebrows!
Some other places for crazy lashes:
My Monday Mission for you, is to wear some ‘out there’ lashes once in the next fortnight – maybe to the pub, club, a dinner party, kids party, a picnic…or even just to camwhore at home. Send me a link to your pics, as I’ll be doing a follow-up post.  Go on, bat those lashs!