Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Modeling work’ Category

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.

_1430004

_1430120

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).

_1430028

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.

_1430112

_1430040

_1430052

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..:)

_1420973

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. ^-^

One fine day..

My friend from work collects vintage cameras and whenever he buys a new one, he tests it on me. Usually, we just go outside of our office during lunch time and take some photographs. This camera was pretty old, the one you have to look at from the top. It takes nice vintage photographs and I just love the softness of light it captures. Here are a couple of shots he took of me and my friend Sachi right before we went on New Year’s holidays. ^-^

Photographed by Hiro

Camera:HASSELBLAD 500C/M
Lens:Carl Zeiss Planar 1:2.8/80

Photoshoot for Lirio d’agua

Last week, I was invited to participate in a photoshoot for a new clothing line called “Lirio d’agua” which means “Water lily” in Portuguese. The brand belongs to a very sweet and whimsical Japanese artist Akino whom I was introduced to by my friend Laura. We’ve met several times in the past, mainly at Laura’s live performances but I never thought that she’d remember me… But she did and she asked me to be one of the girls to model for her.

The clothing line has a great concept. All the garments are made out of men t-shirts so it’s recycle fashion which I am a big fan of. Plus all the pieces are in black, gray and off-white palette which is hello!!! so me! I really enjoyed that day especially because Laura was behind the camera and because everyone was so sweet!!

Here is one of my favorite Akino’s songs

Admiral shoes – catalog shooting

Last week Vincent called me and offered a job  – a photo shoot for British shoe brand catalog. I was very excited to do it because Laura was also in it and I haven’t done any work with her ever since our last Bera-bera segment for Sma-station.

The concept was a lot of fun. We all wore Admiral sneakers but the rest of the outfits were inspired by a classical Cabaret scene. At first I was supposed to play the role of a singer but then it changed to a dancer so instead of gorgeous sparkling white dress and satin gloves, I got black wig, tiny shorts and fishnet tights – pretty embarrassing for someone with body issues..

Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun to get into a role of a perky little dancer and see other people (Laura and 4 male models) transforming into a gorgeous Great Gatsby crowd.

My makeup took ages! I had 4 fake eyelashes on each eye. There were so heavy but made my eyes look big so I never complained.

In most of my scenes I had to either pose with a stick or interact with male models.

One guy got the taste of my screaming in a scene where I had to act angry and another one had to tolerate my shoe right in front of his face. Why do I always get to play someone mean? ^-^

The catalog is going to be released in August so hopefully Ill get to post some of the official pictures on my blog later! ^-^

After the shooting, we met up with Vincent and went to a bar to watch soccer with our friends. World cup mania gets to you whether you want it or not. ^-^

До новых встреч..

I have finished my shootings for NHK “テレビでロシア語”. My last show will be on air next week Tuesday and then they start to re-run it and will do so for another two years. It’s been a challenging half a year but so very exciting.  Now, this experience is a part of my life and I am going to treasure it not only because it helped me grow as a person but also because it gave me an opportunity to meet wonderful people and make good friends.

Each one of them is so unique and talented, so full of dreams yet already achieving so much. During this half a year I was inspired again and again to try harder, to do better, to push myself to the new limit. I am so thankful to all the staff for their patience and kindness and their love for all things Russian. I felt they were better Russians than I was, always willing to learn more about my culture and language, always being so meticulous about it.

Our programs were a lot of fun. We were shooting in a huge studio against a blue background that was used as a base for computer graphics on the screen. Everything in our room was drawn, nothing but our table was real.

So if you look at the studio picture it is all blue but on TV screen it looks like we are sitting in a travel agency room. ^-^

The atmosphere during each shooting was great! Everyone was so friendly and so understanding every time I forgot my lines or mispronounced some words. They gave us time to practice and surrounded us with such care and attention. While, they shot other blocks, me and Serezha were joking around, taking pictures and just chatting. Nobody ever said anything, we had the total freedom.

The person who inspired me the most was our Russian teacher Numano Kyoko. She is undeniably talented and smart and endlessly kind. She is the one translating Akunin books into Japanese. She also teaches Russian at Tokyo university and makes such a huge contribution to the cultural exchange between Russia and Japan. During our conversations, I realized how much she knows and how unbelievably modest she is about all her achievements.

She also plays piano, write books and organizes various academical events. She is the true Russian at heart. After the last shooting, we went to Sungari – Russian restaurant in Nishi Shinjuku for uchiage. There, she gave us a traditional Georgian 10 minutes toast. She spoke about the Russian culture and it’s oversight in Japan and I could feel true passion and devotion behind her words. She said all the right things, words that make you cry, words that unite you and words that make you remember the day for many years to come. She made me feel so special and so proud to be Russian. Here, in Japan and especially in Tokyo stereotypes about Russia found their way into the consciousness of Japanese and it is very hard to escape them on an every day basis. There are times when I prefered not to reveal my nationality… But despite all the misconceptions now I am more confident and happy to be myself and to carry all the greatness of Russia into the hearts of people around me.

On the day of our last shooting, I met one of my best friends Vincent at NHK who was shooting the French show in the studio next to ours. The French TV program was starting a new season and Vincent who did it last year was invited for a special episode. This year, they have a celebrity guest – a runner-up to Miss Universe 2007. Because of her, the halls were filled with reporters and journalists waiting for her to be done.

It was also the only show where me, Serezha and Dima were together in the same scene. We ended our series with famous Russian proverbs. At that moment I felt like I could do this forever. It was so much fun, all my nerves were gone and I just enjoyed it. A little too late I guess hehe.

Not yet spring..

Last weekend me and the company I work for went to a “gasshuku” – corporate outing to Chiba. Rich companies usually choose Okinawa or even abroad for their semi-annual meetings but then again some companies don’t do it at all and as much as I appreciate my weekends off, once in while it is kinda nice to go out with the whole company and do something fun together. I love Japanese suburban landscapes and I love trips out of Tokyo – that’s where I start to see trees and other wonders of nature. My friend has bought this new Italian film for his camera so we went to try it out during lunch break and after a much-heated discussion about how all Windows PC should die, at least in our company and preferably within this year.

I found this beautiful tree so I absolutely had to climbed it. It already started to wake up from winter sleep. Here and there I could see the leaf-buds.

The film is really interesting. It gives you this vintage effect like old Polaroid.

This was the last shot on the way back to the hotel. I like it because you can see my brand new bag there. It was 70% off at Zadig et Voltaire – my favorite French brand that is slowly dying in Japan because of the intense competition.. The design is featuring zippers all around it – similar to Alexander Wang tote bags..And it’s purple! ^-^ I love it!

テレビでロシア語

Me for NHK profile

This spring I auditioned for NHK show “Learn Russian on TV” and I got the job. I was very excited because I’ve been watching that show for a long time and now I am part of it. It will be a one year run and I have already recorded 5 shows including a test.

Our team members

My role there is very small : I greet the viewers, explain some grammar, then we practice pronunciation and after that we do a culture corner where we have various guests and talk about the specifics of Russian lifestyle.  It sounds easy but in reality it’s quite hard. After my first recording I was so exhausted I took the next day off. We do two shows in one day and each take is quite long. I have to say each line into a different camera and then know exactly when to say it all the while keeping my back straight and hair away from my face and then smiling the entire time. Plus I have to wear my own clothes and it can’t be black, blue, purple or green because of the background they are shooting us against. So nothing in my wardrobe is anything but black, blue, purple or green. Ok, I don’t do green but almost everything I own falls within these three forbidden colors. Keeping in mind all the shows that I have yet to record, I need to purchase or borrow a whole bunch of bright happy colored clothes that I will NEVER wear in my daily life. Oh, did I mention the show is in Japanese?

Grammar team

All in all it was pretty tough on me so far. Maybe it’ll get better after I get used to everything. It certainly is a good way to study Japanese for me because of all the scripts written in Kanji. I also learn to pronounce phrases with the right intonation and according to the grammar. I have to do a lot of “free comments” during culture corner – which basically means I am given 1 second to think of what to say, how to say it in Japanese and how to say it in correct Japanese – appropriate for TV. It really wears me out, I have to use my brain so much, it almost gives me seizures.

Traditional costumes

But the show has many good points too or rather many great people. My partner is really nice. He is into fashion so we always have stuff to talk about.

Serezha and me

Our authority – Kyoko sensei – is sooooo funny and generous and very very smart. She is translating Akunin books into Japanese and promised to introduce me to Akunin in October. He may even come to our show for an interview (I’m keeping my fingers crossed). And then the crew is incredible. Last time I had headache and stomach ache and couldn’t eat anything so they bought me a special lunch that was easy on me and didn’t cause me pain. Everyone was so accommodating and understanding. I really enjoy working with them. Next time we plan to go drinking after the show! Yay!

There is also a text book that goes out every month simultaneously with the show. These pictures are from the book! The first show is gonna be aired on my birthday 30th of September. And in tradition of every incompetent Gaijin who lives in Tokyo thinking he or she is a big TV star or supermodel I will say : 私を見てね!よろしく!

Good girl gone bad

Ruins1

Two weeks ago me and Hiro were talking and came up with an idea to shoot something in ruins. Without any particular project in mind or time to prepare and do research, we found some Tokyo ruins on the internet and went for a shoot. The ruins turned out to be recently renovated public library with only outside walls still remaining in their rustic old state. So we decided to shoot our concept against that one wall.

Ruins2

Our idea was to portray a good girl who rebeled and ran away from her family to be independent but then became unsure of what she wanted. My image in mind was Jenny from Gossip girl. I didn’t have much time to prepare for the shoot in terms of styling and getting into the character but we could make couple of nice pictures. ^-^

Ruins3

Le Qualite shooting

A few weeks ago Gow got me a job modeling for Le Qualite look book. The concept was very me – a spring innocent fairy with a dark side hidden behind her reflection. The idea was to shoot two images – one light and bubbly and the other one dark and earthy and then combine them into one as if I and my evil twin were touching each other’s hands through a mirror. The hair and makeup were crazy! I had 8cm long nail extensions and hair that became a part of my costume. My second look – a dark forest creature had me wear a very heavy wig with dirt and spiderweb on it. I looked really scary and probably did scare a couple of people on my way from dressing room to a photo studio. I really got into a character with the second look and I can’t wait to see the pictures. They are not ready yet but I got this one snapshot of my first bubbly rainbow look that I took with my stylist and concept creator Hiroki.

Me and Hiroki

And here are the final pictures that I could get my hands on. ^-^

Insolite shooting for Shinbiyo

Insolite is one of those posh hair salons that have built-in cafe, spa and relaxation area, use only imported products and charge you for every breath you take within its walls. My friend called me and asked to model for Insolite so I came and met with creative director. He was also a very typical Japanese I-am-elite guy, arrogant and so damn sure of himself. He greased my hair for half an hour, took my pictures and said to wait for his call. Later that week he called me and said that unfortunately the magazine people thought I was too fat and my legs were too short – all this for a hair magazine, hehe. Then a week later he called me again and said that they’ve changed their mind. Little pride did I have, I went there again, this time meeting with the owner of hair salon who decided that after all I am not that short and not fat at all and that creative director was very bad at taking pictures. He greased my hair too and even wanted to cut it with the same technique they use for Japanese girls – cutting big chunks of hair at different length to create layers..I told him my hair won’t survive this and he took it very personal. Nevertheless he asked me to be ready for a job on Monday morning by 5AM. On Sunday evening he called me again and asked to be ready by 4AM which meant to wake up at 3AM…I was furious and didn’t talk to him at all during our ride from my home to the hair salon in Hiroo. After I arrived my day had finally started to pick up. I got nice shampoo massage, nice breakfast, beautiful makeup and clothes that was worth 70000 yen. We went to Asakusa and the whole shooting took only a little over an hour. I was done by 10AM. The magazine people paid us a little extra on the top of what we were getting from each of our employers. It was a collaboration work with 4 different hair salons showing the techniques of Japanese perm.

They compared natural wavy hair of foreign people to craftily created natural perm of Japanese people so we had two Japanese girls and two foreign girls on the set. I met Julia there. She is actually half Japanese – half American but looks Caucasian. Two other girls were typical Japanese models, one from Okinawa and another from Tokyo. They were both very sweet and took our phone numbers to have foreign names in their address books. ^-^ At the end of December I got the magazine delivered to my home. Its a big non-standard format, more than A4 and I had 2 full spread pictures in it! Yay!