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Stepping out of comfort zone

This year, one of my resolutions is to experiment with colors. It sounds silly but bear with me. Over the years, wearing colors for me became quite challenging. Whether it was because of living in a foreign country or living alone, so far away from my family or perhaps the fact, that my life was so congested with new people and experiences, I became attached to something that gave me comfort – monotone casual clothes, that stressed neither my body nor my mind. Being a blonde foreign girl in Tokyo still gives you a semi-celebrity status by default. I got so much attention, I couldn’t bear it sometimes. So, I started wearing invisible blacks and greys and stuck to it for many years, also partly because I invested a lot of money in such wardrobe. I have tons of Theory and Vince sweaters, Zadig et Voltaire dresses, Frye shoes. You don’t wear those for one season, you stick to them for life (or till they are ruined :)). And when you spend a big chunk of your salary on a black outfit, you then do the same for shoes and then the dress to go with the shoes and so it rolls. In a blink of an eye, I ended up with 10 pairs of black shoes – because they go with everything!.. No, they only went with black. Period!

When I was a teenager, I lived color. I was a rave girl with pink hair and acid green everything. I wore platform shoes and rebelled quietly against the world. I miss that girl, who wasn’t afraid of anything and so I decided to finally step out of my comfort zone and start experimenting with a different palette. And although, as you see here, my first step is a timid one, wearing bright blue jeans and golden beige (BEIGE!!!) jacket is a very brave move for me.

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A few years ago, I was already feeling bored with myself so I started to add navy and red into my closet. Till present day, it is pretty much what I wear on a daily basis. You won’t find any bright colors in there – no yellow, no orange, no green (at all!).

This year, I bought my first beige shoes and now, I can’t get out of them. I love how they really go with everything (who would have thought!) and how comfortable they are, despite the heel (another pet peeve for me).

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As for the jacket, it was an amazing find. Can you believe it is actually 100% cotton? It is edgy and girly and sporty at the same time. 80s are back in style so this bomber jacket is going to be my staple item this season, also because it is so easy to either dress up or down. It looks pretty casual with jeans but gives a nice fresh accent to the look. With a black flowing midi dress, it would look stunning too, reflecting the lights of the night.

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My next challenge is to try green with orange, being my last peak to conquer. I used to have a really cute Barbara Bui orange bag when I was 20.. I wonder if my mom still has it..:)

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The outfit

Jacket and jeans (Cult of individuality)
Top (Theory)
Chain clutch (Rebecca Minkoff)
Booties (Comptoir des cotonniers)
Star bracelet (Gorjana)
Necklace (A weathered penny)
Sunnies (Marc by Marc Jacobs)

All the photos were taken by Adeyto.

If you like my look, you can vote on it here to have a chance of winning a shopping spree at Cult of individuality. ^-^

“Nouvelle vague” inspired AW 2014-2015 collection from Comptoir des Cotonniers

Yesterday, Eri invited me to a preview of Comptoir des Cotonniers autumn/winter 2014-2015 collection that was inspired with experimental French movies of the 60s. Those “New wave” masterpieces captured fashionable urban Paris with its young residents and their endless night parties. Fashion icons such as Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve were the bright stars of the movement.

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60s revolution liberated women to wear mini skirts and trousers. Yves Saint Laurent was one of the young designers at that time who made women look sexy in menswear. CdC collection features a lot of pants in classic silhouettes as well as freshly rediscovered ones such as Galliffet. There are a lot of looks featuring cropped pants with loafers – comfortable duo that will transform any girl into a chic Parisian.

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The quality of the shoes went up as well as assortment. If before there were only 4-5 pairs per collection, now there is going to be 10-15. I am very excited about it because I really love their shoes and the fact that they carry my size. It is rather problematic to find anything bigger than US7.5 in Japan. Speaking of shoes, CdC’s collaboration with Keds is hitting the stores this weekend and their collaboration with New Balance is going to reach Japan next year.

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The collection has a lot of classic CdC Parisian pieces such as trench coats, skinny denims, little black dresses and nautical sweaters but it also features iconic 60s looks with capes and cropped Peter Pan-collar tops,  poncho sweaters and blouses with collar ribbons – all silhouettes completely refreshed for the modern market.

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“A line” comes back in the new season. Everyone in Paris is obsessed with it at the moment. CdC is also experimenting a lot with color and texture blocking. I really like this cute black dress done with two different fabrics.

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Midi skirt is going to stay for at least another season. I have my eye on this simple yet sexy gray skirt. The new way to wear it without looking old is to pair it with a cropped top or sweater and tough looking boots.

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There is a lot of detailing in each garment and the quality is really impeccable. Nicolas, from French PR team said that CdC’s main focus lies in finding the best production without raising the retail cost of the item. Watching season after season of Project Runway, I already know how much the garment cost goes up if it has an extra pocket or insert.

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This bold geometrical print was a huge success in Paris. It photographs well so I bet a lot of fashion magazines are after it.

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Another great find in this collection is this light-as-air backpack from CdC’s mini line Mademoiselle Plume. It will become available around September (read around my birthday, hehe).

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I also saw the new collection of Princesse Tam Tam – luxurious French underwear and homewear brand. It was inspired with geometrical patterns of the 60s that you can see through its designs, textures and art. There is a lot of delicate lace and comfy jersey. The brand is trying to blur the borders between homewear and streetwear creating a lot of pieces that can be worn in and outside of maison. With pajama look being so trendy this year, I see them succeeding. After all, what girl doesn’t secretly want to show off her sexy boudoir look to a broader audience. ^-^

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This print with a bathing damsel is so playful and delicate. It was certainly created for fun-loving, free-spirited girls who don’t really care about the standard definition of sexy and dress not only for their men but for themselves as well.

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Thank you Eri, Midori and Nicolas for showing me around and giving me so much to look forward to. Hearing a beautiful inspiring story behind each look makes me want to buy it that much more.

Yoko Yonezawa workshop at Comptoir des Cotonniers flagship store in Jyuugaoka

Yesterday, my friend Eri invited me to a new event at Comptoir des Cotonniers flagships store in Jyuugaoka. It was a workshop of a famous Japanese fashion illustrator Yoko Yonezawa where she talked about Parisian fashion and shared tips on choosing key wardrobe pieces.

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Yoko was saying that in a busy day of a modern woman, there is no time to switch between outfits so it is important to have smart pieces that can take her from day to night effortlessly. She was talking about clothes with a bling to it saying that if only approx. 20% of the outfit has a shiny sparkle to it, it can look appropriate during the day but also add a little extra at night. I do agree with that but I also think the secret lies in the materials and colors as well. A dress doesn’t have to shine to be considered a good candidate for the night. If the material is luxurious such as silk or cashmere or the color is elegant, the dress can do well on any occasion.

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Mixing and matching pieces can also be a great way to transition an outfit from day to night and CdC has plenty to offer. It is the brand of separates that offers hundreds of smart combinations tailored for the purpose of making the life of a modern woman easier and more chic. ^-^

Yoko Yonezawa’s work can be seen everywhere in Japan. She recently did a collaboration with Shiseido and published a new book. You can check her website here. She told me that she does all her drawings by hand and then transfers them into Photoshop for coloring and processing. I envy her because she has confidence in her hand work. Whenever I hold a pen, I can never guarantee the result. It can be great, it can be disastrous or worse – I can ruin something great at the very end by adding too much. With hand drawing, you need to know what you are doing because you have only one chance to make it right.

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Eri looked so radiant that day wearing the most exquisite CdC black cocktail dress with open back – another great piece that can work well at the office during the day (with a jacket on) and at PR event at night. I can’t wait for summer sales to start. Now, that Comptoir des Cotonniers has launched its online store in Japan, the temptation to go on a major shopping spree is like never before.

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Catering was great as always, serving French muscat sparkling wine and gluten free, vegan desserts.

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I was so happy to see some of my friends again and make new ones. Adrian was drawing (of course!). He told me that creative people are never bored because they always entertain themselves wherever they are. If you have a pen and a piece of paper, you can jump into the world of your own creation while physically being stuck at the airport for 6 hours. It is so true. When I was little, I would spend my school vacations drawing, writing poems, looking for pretty pictures in magazines and creating stories behind them. I was never bored nor required any attention from my parents or friends.

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I finally got to see Olia’s doggie Fin. I think we hit it off right away. ^-^

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Thank you Eri for inviting me to a yet another interesting event that not only inspired me but also gave me an opportunity to shop at my favorite store. ^-^