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Posts tagged ‘Comptoir des cotonniers’

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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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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Cotton+wool+suede+leather=Autumn

Ok yes, I am too old (but none the wiser) to join the ranks of personal style bloggers out there (and also probably like 10 years too late) but I feel the strong urge to share with you my Autumn buys not only because I really really love them but also because I patiently hunted down every item across the globe and now simply want to brag about it. ^-^

I am one of those crazy people who mainly stick to just a few brands and keep buying the same things over and over again. I cannot help it. If I like it, I like it. My whole life in Japan is so out of my comfort zone, some things just have to be comforting and reassuring. That is probably why I always stick to my preferences whenever I am given a choice between something familiar and something new. My husband and I are often debating this topic. For an adventurous risk-taker like me I am awfully conservative in some areas whereas the always-play-it-safe husband of mine is a dare devil when it gets to trying new things like food, electronics, fashion labels etc.

My point is, yes, of course I am wearing Comptoir des Cotonniers again but there are more reasons to that than just because ITS MY BRAND. It’s versatile, easy to mix and match and dress up or down. This shirt dress that I am wearing is my favorite piece these days. I love styling it differently, wearing with either a ribbon sash or belt or in a loose silhouette. It is from the current AW2014 collection and will go on sale at the end of the year.

The other new proud possession of mine are these shoes (yes! the ones I was drooling all over on Instagram a few months back). These are absolutely amazing – comfortable to wear and comfortable to walk (from Shibuya to Harajuku and back – no kidding! Tested it today!). I love the color. Here I am wearing dark everything and the shoes still look good with my outfits.

The blue leather jacket (I am guessing from Comptoir des Cotonniers 2013 winter collection) I found on the eBay UK for only about 50 Euros and it came to me looking like new. How silly is the girl who sold it to me? I have no words. It’s been three weeks but I am already wearing it to shreds.

The black leather tote bag is from BAGGU. I found it on Shopbop during its Black Friday sale two weeks ago. It’s very soft and light and spacious and goes directly into my list of smart buys.

The hat I bought at Urban research in Mitsukoshi, Ebisu but you can get these sort of hats anywhere now. For the same quality but twice the less price go to Egoist store. I think they sell it online as well.

The double-finger ring I bought on etsy.com from a young jewelry designer based in Croatia. It is my favorite accessory for day looks.

 

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I love wearing sweaters with dresses. It’s geeky and snugly and so me. This sweater is from Zadig et Voltaire. It’s been lying in my closet for a while before I decided to fall head over heels in love with it. I really appreciate the detailing on the shoulders.

The bag is from Liebeskind – my second buy from this German brand this year. I also snatched it on Shopbop at 25% off. It is a clutch type bag that can also we worn over the shoulder – good for both parties and casual days.

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What are your favorite buys this season? I have so many more on my radar. I feel double lucky when I buy something I want at a discount price and because sale season is coming, I am one happy girl these days. ^-^

Zadig et Voltaire Christmas shopping party

Last Friday, Cecile, Eri and me went to Zadig et Voltaire Christmas shopping party at the brand’s flagship store in Aoyama. Free drinks and chocolates were great but the 40% discount is what we all came for. ^-^ With Zadig et Voltaire (read Euro) price escalation over the past few years, the discount was more than appreciative. ^-^ The only sad thing was, I went shopping at the store two days before the party and bought a cute sweatshirt top from their limited Christmas collection at a 100% price.. Oh, the brilliance of Murphy’s law at work. ^-^

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At the party, I took the opportunity to try on everything I could possibly try including the most coveted piece of the collection – the long striped sweater dress featured in catalogs and all the major fashion magazines. As it often happens, the model rocked it so much better than I could ever possibly do. The S size didn’t hide my imperfections but the M size was already too bulky and unflattering.. But being me, I wanted it anyway already calculating lots of IFs in my head (what if I lose weight, what if I wear it with skinny jeans, what if I split the payment into two installments – yes, even after 40% off it was still above my budget). As I was in doubt, I asked my friends on social media to give me their honest opinion about the picture below and guess what? 100% said No. I am still in a bit of a shock. How can something that I really like be seen as nothing special by ALL my friends? Puzzled.. So, I didn’t buy the dress and I don’t think I will even if it remains in stores by the start of the official sale..

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But, girls were more lucky than me scoring some of the great collection pieces that looked absolutely gorgeous on them. I ended up buying nothing even though I have my eye on some of the other pieces. I decided to check out Comptoir des Cotonniers sale first and then come back to Zadig et Voltaire for the final “sale kill” of the season. ^-^ By the way, the official sale starts on 26th of December, right after Christmas. More and more Japanese stores begin their sales at the end of the year instead of 2nd of January that always marked the beginning of a nationwide sale.

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This cropped top received better evaluation from my friends. ^-^

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As this gorgeous faux fur jacket, light as a feather. This is not my style and I am wondering why. I should start wearing something like this. ^-^

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We all received Zadig aroma candles as a thank you for shopping gift (totally not deserved on my part!).

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Another surprise of the day came from Matt, Cecile’s friend who took us to a great Okinawa Chinese restaurant near Aoyama Gakuin university after the event. He turned out to be the 3rd grade teacher of the school my best friend’s daughter goes to and guess what? She is in his class. He has her picture on his phone and everything.  The daughter happens to be my son’s Godmother so go figure how small the world really is. ^-^ By the way, the food at the restaurant was amazing. It was my first experience to stand while eating (it is a common practice in some of the Japanese tiny bars and eateries). I kinda liked it to be able to talk to the chef and even have my say in how my food should be prepared. ^-^

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I don’t get to go out as often as I used to these days so being able to meet friends and have a little adventure on the city is something I am really grateful for and something I thoroughly enjoy. ^-^ Thank you my dear friends for making that day special for me.

Comptoir des Cotonniers SS2015 collection

Last Wednesday, I sneaked out at lunch hour to the Comptoir des Cotonniers SS2015 exhibition. I met with Nicolas – the head of French PR communications and my favorite CdC girls Eri and Midori, all dressed up in gorgeous pieces from the new collection. It is inspired by a French girl (of course!) living in the heart of Paris who goes to an intimate rendezvous at Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg garden). The first part of the collection is representing Parisian icon – the Eiffel tower. There are a lot of black and white geometrical prints as well as classic tailored pieces done with new fabrics like Neoprene and Chambray.

The second part of the collection is the explosion of color, representing delicate flowers of the France’s most exquisite garden. Orange and blue are the dominant colors but there are also touches of pink, emerald and grey. I am in love with Spring knits and some of the outerwear pieces like the absolutely gorgeous quilted denim jacket and a prolonged bomber coat – both are high on my shopping list. There is also a sand colored cotton jacket that looks a lot like the one I lost – I will be buying it by default. ^-^

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This dress is the so French, it hurts. If I manage to lose my muffin top by the Spring, I will be getting it for sure. ^-^

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I like this jacket a lot, especially the contrast between a masculine cut and feminine flowers.

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That’s the jacket that looks like the one I lost. The color is not as brilliant but the cut is so similar. ^-^

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There is a lot of Jacquard in the new collection. It is used not only for the jackets but for the skirts and dresses as well.

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This cropped sweat top with raglan sleeves is so beautiful. I am imagining wearing it with a maxi skirt and trainers. So casual but so chic.

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Nicolas was in love with these shoes. They go with every piece of the collection. My fat ankles do prevent me from wearing oxford shoes so I won’t be getting these for myself but I am sure they will look really elegant on a girl with thin legs.

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Princesse Tam Tam SS2015 collection was amazing as well. The new lace in feather pattern is so sexy and so modest at the same time. I love the muted pastel versions of orange and cornflower blue and I loved the easiness of beach coverups, especially the blue and white striped maxi dress.

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The ornaments and decorations of the show room were so on point with the garden theme. I always get so inspired when visiting Eri and so envious at the same time. She gets to work in such a beautiful environment. ^-^

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Both brands will start releasing their new collections from the middle of January. The detailed schedule can be inquired at either Aoyama or Jyuugaoka flagship stores. What I love the most about going to CdC stores is the skills of the staff who work there. Their amazing abilities to style me in the most perfect way possible is really so awesome. If you like something but are not sure how to wear it or what to wear it with, just ask any of the girls working there. They never push you to buy something right away but always treat you like an important client. 100% satisfaction guaranteed. ^-^
Thank you Nicolas, Eri and Midori for showing me the new collection and giving me a lot to look forward to. ^-^

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Maybelline NY Tokyo Fashion Week SS2015 after party

Maybelline NY is one of the main sponsors of Tokyo Fashion Week and a really generous one. Every time I went to a runway show that was supported by the brand, I got a gift bag full of cosmetics from their latest line. And the Halloween themed after party they threw for the closing of the Fashion Week was better than ever. It was at the trendy Le Baron de Paris club and almost every face was a familiar one. Thanks to the brand, over the past few years I met a lot of interesting people and made some good friends.

At the party, all the guests were treated to amazing spooky makeovers. I got a spiderweb with two cute spiders from one of the very skillful artists working that night.

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The party as well as all the runway shows were sponsored by Dassai sparkling sake. I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to. The CEO of the company was so charming (I met him at the sponsor booth of Tiger Onitsuka runway show). I just always associate sake with Washyoku – Japanese food. I can’t quite make myself drink it in a sparkling state at a party. Sake for me should come in a warm cup on a New Year’s morning with me sitting under Kotatsu (low table with a built-in heater) and eating Osechi (traditional Japanese New Year’s spead). ^-^ I am sorry but some traditions shouldn’t be modernized. ^-^

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That day, I lost my favorite Comptoir des Cotonniers jacket. It is a very sad story. I saw the jacket for the first time at a preview during press days last December.  Then, I saw it again at the CdC event later this year. I tried it on and I fell in love with it right away.

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I patiently waited for the summer sale to snatch it, then vigorously hunted the right size down and at last bought it at half off. But I had to wait some more before I could start wearing it. When at last chilly autumn days came I was in heaven. I put my jacket on and fell in love with it all over again. It was so comfy and it went with everything I own.. I wore it for exactly 3 times before losing it somewhere on the street. It fell off my stroller and I didn’t notice because I was carrying my son in a carrier that blocked my vision.. I was planning to wear it with my Derek Lam dress for the Maybelline party later that day but had to change the entire look at the last minute. The good thing is, I always have another Comptoir des Cotonniers jacket to wear instead of the one I lose. ^-^ The bad thing is, I still miss it madly. I keep searching for it on eBay and Yahoo auction but so far no luck. If any of you dear readers happen to come across this jacket, please do let me know!

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Back to the party.  My friend Adrian who never leaves home without a drawing pad was entertaining the party by randomly drawing everyone he spoke to – amazing talent! Events should start paying him money! ^-^

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I made some new friends there thanks to the relaxing atmosphere of the party, including Mathieu – the founder of Tokyo street style magazine. (we are about to do an exciting project together)

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Samantha – a very friendly and elegant model and Jillian Kate – Nylon blogger/model and stylist – both from California.

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Thank you Maybelline again and again for the wonderful time and precious memories.

Muted palette

Last week, Eri surprised me with an early birthday present – a backpack from Comptoir des Cotonniers‘s Mademoiselle Plume range!!

Yes, the one I had my eye on at the brand’s latest exhibition.

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As all Mademoiselle Plume products, it is made from down and is super light. Backpacks are never described as huggable but it is so soft and cozy, I want to hug it. :) I am blown away by the unique combination of leather, cotton and nylon which makes the backpack so timelessly stylish.  And I can fold it into a very small size, perfect for travel. This one is a keeper for sure.

This backpack is going to be on sale at the end of September. ^-^ Thank you dear Eri for the wonderful surprise!

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And I got myself a new every day bag that can double as a diaper bag or an overnight travel bag because of its size and lightness.

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I used to buy the majority of my bags at Marc by Marc Jacobs but the same design year after year has left me uninspired so I went looking for something else. That’s when I discovered Liebeskind – Berlin leather brand with an edgy yet practical vibe – perfect for an urban girl like me. ^-^

Unfortunately, they don’t have boutiques in Tokyo but there is a decent assortment on Shopbop that delivers to Japan and some of the bags are on sale right now! I got this one on sale. My husband thinks that it is a very difficult color for a bag and that it blurs me out but I love its understated charm. Muted shades are so in style this season. Plus, it’s so huge I can have everything I need including my son’s collection of mini buses that he always requests on the go.

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The photos in the park were taken by the talented Adeyto and the ones on the balcony of my office building were taken by my co-worker Hiro. ^-^

Tokyo Fashion’s night out 2014

It’s this time of the year again. Each shop in Harajuku/Omotesando/Shibuya district prepared something special for the Fashion’s night out and I happened to miss almost all of it, hehe. My dear husband went on a well-deserved vacation to Shanghai leaving me with my little munchkin so I couldn’t really check a lot of stores with a stroller and an 8PM sleeping time. ^-^ But, I couldn’t skip it either so I dressed my son in a matching outfit and went out to at least support my friend Eri who organized an elegant event at Comptoir des Cotonniers Aoyama boutique.

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I had to make this fashion outing kid-friendly so our journey started at Softbank flagship store where we checked cool robots.

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Then, we stared at Hato buses – my son’s recent obsession. Because Hato bus is his favorite toy, he drags it everywhere and of course keeps losing it. The last one we lost at Moscow airport on our way home from our summer vacation so I had to go to Kiddyland to buy him a new one. ^-^

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At Kiddyland, we played with Lego nano trains and Totoro toys – another obsession of his. ^-^

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Then, we headed to Petit Bateau flagship store where he played with ducks while I was spending tons of money on his outfits. I love this brand for high quality basics but it is seriously overpriced.. :/

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I took some snapshots on my way to CdC boutique. I just love the atmosphere of FNO – lots of fashionable folks outside, DJ booths everywhere, champagne flutes are glistering in the lights and people shop, shop, shop. ^-^

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Hello Kitty is being very popular this year. She did a number of fashion collaborations with high-end brands like Mikimoto and Louis Vuitton. Now, it’s Gucci’s time. By the way, did you know that Kitty is not even a cat? It was all over the news recently. Apparently, Kitty is a personification of a cat – a fashion-obsessed character who looks like a cat. ^-^

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At last, we arrived at Comptoir des Cotonniers boutique. For this year, Eri organized a collaboration between the brand and Adrian, a very talented sketch artist and illustrator. He was sketching customers who tried on items from the new Nouvelle vague collection.

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I was wearing CdC so got my sketch as well. Adrian is an amazing artist. In 2 minutes he managed to make a beautiful sketch of me and my son even though we didn’t stop moving for a second. 😉

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My little artist was very inspired with Adrian’s work. He was mimicking him for good 15 minutes while I was sweating next to him, hoping he wouldn’t ruin any of Adrian’s displayed sketches. ^-^

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The new collection is amazing – lots of separates to mix and match and they all are so comfy, absolutely perfect for the cold season. I have my eye on so many things. Unfortunately, I couldn’t shop that night because the fitting room had a long waiting list and because my son was getting tired by the minute.

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I said my sad goodbyes and we left to catch a taxi back home. But not before I did a VERY quick stroll around my favorite Omotesando area behind Prada building. I give the most points to Moncler for their originality. They made it snow in the beginning of September. ^-^

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As usual, Red Valentino and Theory were almost empty. They just don’t know how to create a buzz during FNO. Having a cool DJ booth and free champagne does not guarantee you customers especially if it’s all inside and not visible from the street. And what’s up with all the clothes missing? Don’t you want people to shop? Theory has really missed the mark for me this year by removing ALL the clothes from the first floor.

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We got into our taxi right when it started to rain. I wanted to stay longer (snow, thunder, blizzard – whatever) but my little boy needed his dinner and sleep so we headed back home. Sorry for not having any more pics than that. Promise to do better next year. ^-^

Ena’s birthday party

On Thursday, Eri and I went to a birthday party of Retoy’s editor-in-chief Ena Kitamura. Retoy’s is an online fashion magazine and one of the best sources on all fashion events happening around town. Besides being super stylish and full of energy, Ena is also intelligent and very down to earth. I feel like I can talk to her for hours. She looked amazing in her kimono as well as in a gorgeous party dress later in the night.

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She had some amazing people DJing at the event. Supercup Matcha and

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Benjamin from Bark in Style modeling agency. It turns out, I have a lot of friends in common with both of them. ^-^

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At the party, I ran into a couple of friends of mine Takeshi – a chef at Kamakura French bistro RENDEZ-VOUS DES AMIS and Ken who organizes PR events around town. He is a great traveler. I spent like an hour talking to him about hot springs in Japan. He introduced me to his friend Mark who runs consulting company and has his own fashion label called Bohemian society. He is planning to show at New York’s fashion week this Autumn.

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Eri was wearing an amazing Comptoir des Cotonniers leather vest from Spring/Summer 2014 collection, the one that I tried on at the preview last year.

We also happened to meet Yasuyo – super fun PR girl who is in charge of social media at Michael Kors. Michael Kors seems to invest a lot into social media. I remember back in 2011 when Anna Wintour came to Tokyo for FNO with a huge entourage of designers, models and international Vogue editors, he had his own Twitter assistant – someone whose entire job was to post Twitter updates as the event unrolled. ^-^

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Thanks to Ena, I got to meet a lot of stylists, fashion media folks and models.

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With some fashion people, I could tell right away who they are working for like in case of Satoshi Handa. Yep, that’s right, Alexander Wang.

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Thank you Ena for the wonderful night. Happy birthday!!