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Posts tagged ‘Fashion’

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. ^-^

 

 

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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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. ^-^

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!!

Y’s postcards

Y’s postcard

A month ago my French photographer friend (who also happens to be my occasional salsa partner) invited me to Yoji Yamamoto’s photo shooting. The photos are gonna be used for postcards and posters distributed in major departments and Y’s stores.

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I had a lot of fun because Y’s style of photography doesn’t require a model to actually pose. I just had to be my natural me, with little makeup, with tired face, with undone hair because Y’s clothes is for people, not models, hehe! Marc Jacobs has the same concept. If only I could get into one of his shootings..

Y’s postcard