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Posts from the ‘Fashion’ Category

Comfy chic from Anne Valerie Hash

Two weeks ago, I had an opportunity to preview Comptoir des Cotonniers‘ new AW2015 collection designed by Anne Valerie Hash. She is a prominent French designer with her own label and a history of working for some of the biggest fashion houses of Nina Ricci, Chloe and Chanel. Her take on the new collection is simple – a dress shouldn’t wear a woman. Her outfits are comfy, easy and versatile yet you would feel luxurious in every one of them. A mix of sporty, mannish silhouettes with elegant fabrics and prints portray the true essence of an urban princess. A city girl, independent and strong yet elegant and sophisticated is the muse behind the collection. There are a lot of designs that are new for the brand, like cross-crotch pants and side slit sweaters. My favorite were the sporty pants made from the Italian suit fabric, thin reversible coats and of course the side-laced sneakers that received an overwhelming response in Europe.

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Nicolas said I look like the French singer Heloise Letissier from the Christine and the Queens project. I checked her out on youtube and she is AMAZING. A new type of singers are emerging these days like her and Lorde that put REAL above everything else. Raw talent without pretense. That’s something I am drawn to. I think Christine would be a great spokesperson for the brand. Her personal style is what the new collection is all about.

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Eri and I are wearing the matching looks. I won’t be surprised if we end up buying the same things when the collection hits the stores at the end of August.

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I was so lucky to meet the designer in person and talk to her about the collection. I really admired her sense of humor and passion to make the fashion comfortable. Wouldn’t we all want to look like dressed for a ball while wearing pajamas?

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_MG_5454 I was wondering how come the brand’s mascot Leon lives this long but I finally found my answer. Doggies replace each other. You can see old Leon and new Leon together on this tee.

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I also took a look at Princesse Tam Tam AW2015 collection. The silhouettes stayed the same but the colors and prints are all new and so beautiful. The navy and nude color combination is smart and very sexy. I also liked the updated version of the lace body suit. Everything with a peter pan collar automatically goes into my LIKE list. ^-^

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Randevouz with Yoko Yonezawa

This year, there was another soiree with fashion illustrator Yoko Yonezawa at Comptoir des Cotonniers Juugaoka flagship store. I am a big fan of her works so I went to check out what she did for the brand and also catch up with my friends.

Yoko talked about her time spent in Paris and shared her tips on how to dress as a French woman. She made a big accent on being natural not just in fashion but in beauty as well. Japanese women tend to overdo it in the beauty department with their gel nails and fake eyelashes. Women don’t need to look like dolls to be beautiful. Highlight your features but don’t go overboard buying various products and spending hours in salons. After all, men rarely appreciate all that effort. ^-^ Attracting them by wearing a mask will prove to be an ill strategy in the long run..or even the morning after. ^-^

The brand also stands behind this philosophy offering versatile pieces that are high quality, comfy and can be used for any occasion. I am in the midst of spring cleaning my closet, getting rid of a lot of stuff I no longer fancy and I have noticed that most of the pieces that stay are from Comptoir des Cotonniers because I can mix and match them together in tons of different outfits. Most of what went straight into the garbage bag was stuff that I bought on sales (it wasn’t so cheap after all) and things that I bought for that “special occasion” that never came. And also I got fat so XS no longer fits me..

Here are some of the Yoko’s works as well as photos from the event.

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Dentelle is in the air

Spring is here and with everything around me blossoming, breathing and fluttering, I feel so heavy and dull in my everything black. I need a change of colors and I need new shoes. ^-^ Recently, I purchased DKNY perforated white leather sneakers and I absolutely love them but I am also thinking of getting sneakers in white lace which is the biggest trend of the season. Lace is in every collection from high-end to fast fashion. This summer is going to be all about dentelle and I am excited about it. I am not a girly person but I love implementing girly elements like lace into my tomboy looks. I learned this trick from French bloggers like Audrey Lombard. She inspired me to start experimenting with lace. I also like the combination of casual basics with super delicate lace, like the one Anine Bing is often showcases on her blog and shop.

So lace sneakers is high on my shopping list. So far, I narrowed my choice down to these 5 models.

 

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From top left

1. Migato platform sneakers

2. LEGit

3. Reef Dew Kist

4. Superga lace sneakers

5. Ash flower lace sneakers

I am thinking Reef sneakers in vintage looking knitted cotton cream lace look really cute and probably would suit me the most. ^-^ I recently re-discovered this brand when I was searching for new leather sandals. Each summer, I buy a new pair of leather thong sandals because I wore the previous pair to shreds. My husband’s father always makes fun of me for wearing beach sandals in the city. He just doesn’t get it. When you live in the city where everything is relatively close, you walk a lot. I don’t commute to work, I walk – 20 minutes each way. When I shop, I walk. When I go meet my friends, I walk. I walk everywhere and I do need comfortable shoes for that. Unfortunately for my type of feet it basically means sneakers or thong sandals, period. So I found a lot of options at Reef. The price is about the same as Tkees or Yosi Samra though so it’s all about the design really. I found some of the styles very appealing so I might give Reef a try this year. Plus, they also make shoes for kids, the cutest sandals ever. My husband didn’t let me buy sandals for our son last year saying that he is not yet an established walker but this year, I got the green light so I am going to have a lot of fun choosing sandals for him.

So, happy shopping to me and to you. Vive la dentelle and vive l’été. ^-^

 

 

KBF AW 2015 runway show

KBF AW 2015 runway was the last one I saw this season. I got to see it previous year accidentally but this time I specifically chose it as my final show because I knew it won’t disappoint me. The hall was packed but my friends and I were lucky to get seats in the second row. I did better with my photos because I was so close. By the way my camera settings for 38mm lens were shutter speed 500, F2.8, ISO 6400. The show was amazing. The visual effects made models appear to be walking in a sand storm. And the alienesque looks of the models made it even more surreal. The theme for the collection evolved around journey. There was a lot of outerwear and oversized sweaters. I really liked the white mixed-knit one. The collection was very retail-oriented. There was nothing particularly innovative going on but I liked a lot of pieces including quilted coat and maxi skirts. Color palette was also right up my alley. I’ll be checking these looks in the stores for sure.

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I really like this model, Mona Matsuoka. She is stunning.

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Jotaro Saito runway show AW 2015

Jotaro Saito kimono runway was one of the most spectacular shows I have ever seen. I am truly fascinated with the perfect balance between modern and traditional that Japan in general is so good at but Jotaro Saito takes it to the next level. He makes traditional kimono attire look cool, effortless, nonchalant. His runway show was a sort of role-playing game. Men appeared with a big samurai-like attitude, almost bothered by the whole idea of showing off what they wear. Women were timid, gracefully gliding through the runway portraying the traditional role of a woman in Japanese society. Yet, at the same time, they also appeared hunting, mysterious, regal, almost superior to the proud men next to them. I love these misguiding appearances. I love the idea of huge power under a timid surface and a humble nature behind grandeur.

Designer’s contemporary kimono were beautiful. My favorite was a black and white graphical one with the navy overcoat. I would wear the coat alone with my normal clothes. The silhouette is very in trend right now.

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The next big trend in fashion? Sharing!

Sharing economy is upon us. The trend has started long time ago but has been booming in the past several years with the creations of social sharing services (Asmama, Taskrabbit), peer-to-peer accommodations (Coachsurfing, Airbnb), bike and car sharing and now fashion. Why buy clothes when you can rent it? There is so much good behind the idea. Instead of buying a 300$ dress to wear for a wedding or a party and then storing it in the closet for half a year or more (because who wears the same dress to consecutive parties? That would mess up my Instagram feed!), you can just browse through rental outfits online, choose something you like and have it delivered to your door. Plus, fashion is so time sensitive. I may invest 400$ into a leather vest only to realize that it is so 2013 and nobody cares anymore. And think about how much money and closet space you can actually save! I’d rather rent a Prada bag for 5000 yen for FNO than become the sole owner of it for 200000 yen and have my toddler spill juice all over it. After all high-end designer bags are for show-offs. A 150$ Baggu bag or 300$ Liebeskind bag are much better choices for daily use. So much more comfortable. How wonderful would it be to store in the closet only the things you use on a daily basis, your basics, your favorites and having the rest rented for the appropriate occasion. I came across several services that are representing this new business model in Japan. They are not yet fully developed or provide a wide enough range of options but I am sure they will get there and when they do, I am going to be in the ranks of their loyal customers for sure.

So how does the magic happen? Usually, rentals are offered through a monthly membership plan (basic, premium or VIP). Shipping and cleaning is free (already included in the rental price). You register your sizes and brand preferences that become the baseline for the service when they create a wardrobe for you. You are also free to browse the items yourself within your membership plan.

Here are several services that I found in Japan:

Air closet operates based on a fixed monthly membership fee of 6.800 yen + tax. Every month you will receive 3 items that have been carefully selected for you by Air closet stylists. You cannot choose the items yourself but you can create a favorite list by browsing their item catalog. It will be used by service as a guideline when creating your looks. Offered items are ranging in price from several thousand yen to the maximum of 30000 yen per item. There is no deadline for returning the items. You can wear them as long as you like. When you do choose to return them, cleaning and shipping will be covered by the service.  You can leave ratings for the stylists later on. For now, Air closet is only dealing with clothing items (no bags or shoes yet).

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Licie is an actual shop in Shinjuku and but they plan to open an online service too in the early June 2015. There is also going to be a 3 day popup shop opened in Harajuku from March 20th to March 22nd. They offer three plans:

Trial – 500 yen for one piece of clothing. Maximum rental period is 1 week.

Basic – 1000 yen for 3 pieces of clothing. Maximum rental period is 1 week.

Premium – 3000 yen for up to 10 pieces of clothing. Maximum rental period is 1 week.

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Unlike Air closet that only deals with clothes from 1000 to 30000 yen in retail price, Licie offers high-end brands such as Fendi, Burberry, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, Gucci as well as low-end fast fashion from Zara, Nice Claup etc. You can check coordinated looks on their Instagram account @licie_official as well as post your own.

You can return the items either by bringing them back to the store or sending via mail (on your own dime). You can also choose to buy the item if you really like it. Professional styling services are free of charge. There are several fun perks available to the customers such as selfie photobooth and free drinks at a small cafe. The service offers shoes, bags and accessories as well.

Sustina – deals with everything – you can rent, purchase or sell clothes, shoes, bags, accessories. At the end of March, the service is planning to go live as an app for iPhone and Android.

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Monthly rental plan is fixed to 5.800 yen + tax. You can borrow 5 items per one time but can borrow another 5 after returning your previous order. There are no restrictions on how long you can keep the items. Shipping and cleaning services are free. You can also buy the item if you like it.

The service is mostly dealing with middle-end brands such as A.P.C., Agnes b., Hysteric glamour, See by Chloe, Jill Stuart occasionally also offering Burberry and Isabel Marant. It also offers an extensive selection from what you can typically find in Lumine, 109, Marui department stores – KBF, Snidel, Moussy, Beams, Tomorrowland, Ships etc.

I am getting excited by the minute. I have signed myself up to all three of them so stay tuned for more posts on how rental fashion is about to change my son’s life by putting him through college (on all the money that I save on shopping :)).

Printemps at Comptoir des Cotonniers Aoyama boutique with Adrian Hogan

Last Saturday, Samantha and I went to Comptoir des Cotonniers SS 2015 collection viewing party where our talented Adrian was drawing portraits of everyone who tried on new looks. It was also boutique’s 3rd anniversary since their move from behind the Prada store to Omotesando crossing.

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CdC PR maven Eri organized yet another wonderful event and an opportunity for me to try on everything I had my eye on and then some. Some things just have to be tried on to understand how wonderful they are, like this blurred Parisian cityscape silk dress with drawstrings at the empire waist.

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I wasn’t planning on buying it but now that’s all I can think of. The easiness of it is so alluring especially for the Japanese humid summer. Definitely a great piece for any wardrobe. For this time however, I am still living in winter so I settled on a cozy snugly super soft cashmere sweater and a silk white shirt to wear underneath it. I have been wearing it every day since. It comforts me in the most fashionable way. ^-^

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Samantha tried on one of the statement dresses from the SS 2015 collection and paired it with a short leather jacket, something I am also considering to buy. CdC leather jackets are really soft and always so flattering.

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The CdC prices for leather jackets are in the range of 50000-60000 yen which is lower than Diesel, Zadig et Voltaire, D&G, DKNY and bunch of others I bought in the past yet the quality is just as good. For someone who wears a leather jacket with everything, this really is a good buy. Worth every penny.

The new collection is all about denim, casual chic, modern prep and romance, In other words, it was designed for me. ^-^ I told Samantha that I always feel uplifted and sad at the same time when I visit CDC stores. I can’t decide what to buy because I simply want EVERYTHING! Except for the denim overalls. I wore them too much when I was little so I developed a life-long aversion to them. ^-^

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Adrian drew a very beautiful portrait of me. He is the master of capturing the essence of things. I always have difficulty with abstract thinking. When I draw, I focus on the details too much often losing proportions whereas he looks at his subjects as if they were just shapes. It’s brilliant.

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The always bubbly Midori is wearing a really flirty corn flower skirt with side pockets. It’s knee length and really flattering. Also on my wishlist. ^-^

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I also happened to run into Miki. She was wearing CdC limited edition Scarab beetle oxford shoes.

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Thank you Eri once again for the good time.

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YSL Volupte tint-in-oil launch party

Last Saturday, I went to a launch party of YSL Beauty newest product Volupte tint-in-oil lip gloss and lipstick. It was held at a cozy Montoak restaurant in Omotesando.

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I was so lucky to be invited among other bloggers, models, artists, stylists, fashion editors and PR mavens. This is the third time I go to YSL beauty launch event and I am always surprised at how different they are. It was a little bit crowded but even with the lack of space, PR team managed to organize fun interactive games, a social media print station and makeup booths to try new product right there and then. I really liked the new lip gloss and the fact that it stayed on all evening. I was super excited to find it in my gift bag. The lip gloss comes in 8 fun spring colors and lipstick has additional 2 limited edition colors. The product is on sale since last Friday. :)

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I met cool new people – Brasilian artist Yohan, beautiful models Juliana Minato and Kelly Ann and a sweetheart Taro who is joining Issey Miyake team from April. There were a lot of familiar faces too – Barby, Maya Kibbel, gorgeous youtube vloggers Nakagawa Yuri, Miki, Rinrin doll and Amiaya twins. And of course I came with my own gang of Tokyo’s coolest – PR goddesses Eri, Cecile, talented illustrator Adrian and charismatic Polish model Alexa.  Thank you guys for amazing time as always and Kozue san for the gracious invitation.

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MONKI SS2015 collection

It was my first time to visit PR1 office in Harajuku where Monki show room moved last Spring. My perspective of the brand really changes with each collection. When I first got acquainted with it two years ago, I thought it was in the ranks of Forever 21 and Bershka – young, cheap, street fast fashion but with each collection that I see, I am proven wrong time and time again. Yes, it is very affordable but it is also perfectly designed with clear concepts and great execution and a lot of pieces are very wearable even if you are a few check-boxes apart from the 18 to 25. The new SS2015 collection is absolutely amazing carrying a lot of sophisticated styles that are so me. Black, crisp white, silver and pastels are the colors represented in Monki’s fresh and very successful attempt at mixing sporty silhouettes with unusual materials like perforated plastic. I am completely mad about the perforated black skirt and bag. They will be on sale from the end of February and I will be the first one to snatch them because I got myself on the alert list, yahooo!!

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How cool is this denim dress? I really appreciate the subtle distress detailing on the hem. Oversized shift dresses have found permanent place in my closet because they actually make me look thin.

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The collection carries a lot of cropped tops – something I used to wear a lot when I was 16. Now, it is of course out of the picture (says my muffin top) but I still adore the style and envy the girls who can pull it off even at 30.  Cropped top and a maxi or midi skirt is my dream combination that will never go out of style. ^-^

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Thank you Tabasa for showing me around and for being so nice despite the fact that I destroyed your show room (I was particularly awkward and clumsy that day pushing, dropping and knocking things off).

H&M Studio SS2015 collection

Last week, I went to the preview of H&M Studio SS2015 collection that was inspired by the relaxed lifestyle of Miami and Palm Springs with a very strong 70s vibe. Draped pajama silhouettes, sporty knits and sweats, prints with flamingos and palm leaves, sun hats, light denim and lots and lots of silk. The juxtaposition between 70s style and modern fabrics like mesh and neoprene was brilliant. The choice of color palette is unexpected as well. For a summer collection, colors like wine red, navy and dark green can be heavy but when interpreted with light, fresh silhouettes, they read very smart and sophisticated. There were of course more summer-appropriate colors as well like pastel blue and pink and of course orange – the main color of the next season.

Flamingos see-through pants and silk orange jacket are a bit overwhelming for someone like me but the geeky training pants and elbow sleeve vintage t-shirts were very up my alley. However, what attracted me the most was the silk orange midi skirt with the side pockets. I wanted to snatch it off the hanger and run away with it. It is so light, so airy, so summer, so me. I hope I won’t miss it when it goes on sale at the beginning of March. ^-^

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Men’s collection was inspired by Space – lots of silver and black neoprene in various forms, leather tops, sweatshirt bottoms and dark green knits.

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As always, H&M show room provided the best drinks and finger foods. I love the company they are hiring for the events. The food is always super tasty and the organic herb tea fusions they blend right on the spot are indescribable. On a cold winter day, a sip of lemongrass, blood orange and strawberry Rooibos tea sends you back to the warm summer evening on the beach at sunset time. What can be better than that? It is perfect for creating the ideal mood to preview the collection with.

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