When September came and there were still no news about FNO in Tokyo I got very worried but luckily it wasn’t canceled, just moved to November. And because it was moved, it didn’t collide with FNOs in other cities so a lot of VIP guests could come to Tokyo this year. And you wouldn’t believe who came! 17 international Vogue editors including Anna Wintour and Franca Sozzani, a dozen of top fashion designers including Christopher Bailey of Burberry, Roberto Cavalli, Derek Lam, Dior Homme’s Kris Van Assche and Michael Kors! On top of that, there were many international and local celebrities including Jennifer Hudson, Tao Okamoto, Tsuchiya Anna, Ai Tominaga, Nicola Formichetti and an army of fashion bloggers including Bryanboy!!, Rumi Neely, Chiara and Misha Janette! I was overwhelmed the entire 10 hours I spent on my feet going from one store to the next, spotting familiar faces everywhere, taking pictures of celebrities and drinking champagne non-stop. And the fashion around me, well, at the end of the day I was so light-headed, all I could think of was the plan to starve myself for the next couple of months to buy that beautiful coat at Theory and that bag at Marc Jacobs… ^-^
But first things first. The day started with me meeting my friend Sergey – the only person I know who talks fashion fluently. We had a nice Paella lunch at La Playa – Spanish restaurant in Shibuya and then headed towards Omotesando hills to watch FNO’s opening ceremony.
Omotesando street was buzzing with excitement. FNO posters were everywhere and the stores were getting ready to shower customers with special limited editions items, champagne and little somethings.
When we got to the hills, it was already crowded enough to fight for a place to stay. Japanese event organizers are always overly enthusiastic at keeping things in order so it’s quite hard to walk around without being constantly reminded that you should pass by without stopping and withdraw from taking any pictures. Hello! Are you serious? Bloggers from all over the world flew to Tokyo to do just that… Luckily, I always get to play my “stupid foreigner card”. ^-^ After circling the area for 10 minutes, we finally settled on the second floor by the stage. That little red arrow on the photo is me taking picture after picture of Michael Kors and Anna Wintour on stage.
The ceremony was presented by Japan’s favorite super model Ai Tominaga, beautiful Tao Okamoto and multi-talented Anna Tsuchiya.
They called Vogue editors one by one onto the main stage. Out of 17, I caught on camera 12 of them.
Anna Wintour (Vogue US), Franca Sozzani (Vogue Italy), Eva Hughes (Vogue Mexico and Latin America)
Paula Mateus (Vogue Portugal), Anaita Adajania (Vogue India), Myung Hee Lee (Vogue Korea)
Christiane Arp (Vogue Germany), Victoria Davydova (Vogue Russia and yes, we have the same family name!!!), Emmanuelle Alt (Vogue France)
Seda Domanic (Vogue Turkey), Kristie Clements (Vogue Australia) and Rosalie Huang (Vogue Taiwan)
Then came out the designers, one famous house after another. It is funny how all the editors were women and all the top designers were men. ^-^
After Anna’s official “go”, the ceremony was closed and everyone went shopping. We started out at Bottega Veneta, then rushed through Ralph Lauren to get to Marc by Marc Jacobs. This year, Marc Jacobs was actively participating in FNO, giving out free tote bags and nail art stickers made specially for the event, having catering at the MJ store and a photo session at the MbMJ store. You got to choose a watch from MJ watch collection and then take a picture wearing it in front of a giant watch display at the store. Many shops followed this theme, offering photo sessions and then uploading the pictures to social networks.
By the way, the 3G network and wi-fi were jammed. So many people were checking-in and tweeting, there was no way to send out anything…
After Marc by Marc Jacobs, we turned back to Aoyama and passed by Hermes scarves pop-up store with a beautiful live performance and a photo session where you could wrap yourself in a 1000$ scarf and receive a picture in a beautiful Hermes frame. By the way, this year I received a gorgeous nautical Hermes kerchief from Laura on my birthday (yes! after receiving Chanel glasses from her – she is nuts!!!). I should have brought it with me..for comfort! hehe ^-^
Our plan was to get to Michael Kors store as soon as possible because I knew this year it would be the hottest place to be. And our timing was perfect. Soon after we entered , they stopped letting people in due to the arrival of special guests.
20 minutes into drinking champagne and trying on sunglasses, Michael Kors came in!!! Then, Tao and Ai, then Jennifer Hudson and at last Anna Wintour!!! I could hardly process the fact that I was there, standing next to them!
Funny thing I noticed, Michael had an assistant whose entire job was to tweet and update Facebook page. ^-^ I could see her taking pics with her iPhone every 10 minutes!
Michael was very sweet talking to fans, signing his limited edition tote bags (with 100% of proceeds going to Tohoku) and smiling the entire time.
Jennifer was beautiful and very friendly! Unfortunately even after she glanced at me and smiled, I still didn’t have the nerve to approach her and ask for the picture…
Anna Wintour was the last one to come. Her arrival turned things a bit chaotic with managers starting to push people around so me and Sergey decided to go out and continue our shopping tour.
Oh, but while we were at Michael Kors, I got to meet Misha Janette. I secretly fell in love with her bag. After researching it on the Internet, I found a smaller version of it in black. Today, I am heading to Issey Miyake. ^-^
After a brief stop at Haute Hippie where we got our chocolates and champagne to go, our next destination was Prada that went out of its way to outdo all the other shops this year. They had a garden of mannequins styled by non other than Anna Dela Russo – editor at large of Vogue Japan. They were all standing under plastic umbrellas which was very well thought of because it started to rain in the evening. ^-^
At Prada, we had yet another glass of champagne and checked the bags and shoes collection. When I just came to Japan, I used to go to Prada often to buy birthday presents like perfume and neckties even though I could very well buy them at the department store next door. I just couldn’t pass on a chance to sit on their white leather sofas and walk on their soft white carpets. Also, they wrapped everything in purple paper with white silk ribbons.. Aoyama Prada store is a magical place to be. ^-^
Then, we headed to Marc Jacobs where I spotted Marni and Martin – the two people from MJ empire that I personally know. ^-^
And then I also got to meet Bryanboy sporting a beautiful Louis Vuitton hat. ^-^
After MJ, we circled the shopping street behind Prada building first visiting Kate Spade and Red Valentino, where we drank champagne and ate fresh out of season raspberries. ^-^
Then, we checked Theory where we tried strawberry rice cakes with hot yuzu tea and drooled over beautiful winter coats.. They offered limited edition t-shirts with profits going to Tohoku as well.
At Roberto Cavalli store, we were fed chocolates and sprayed with not-yet-released perfume. I am absolutely obsessed with that sweet yet very sophisticated scent. I will be stocking on those bottles once the February comes.
Then, we enjoyed cotton candy at Stella McCartney carnival. A beautiful girl at front was performing my favorite Libertango on accordion. Whenever I hear that melody, I feel like the heroine of my own movie… It just moves me tremendously..
At Vivien Tam, we observed a serene tea ceremony performed by a beautiful woman whose every move was so focused and yet so effortless.. The marriage of Japanese and Chinese in that setting was perfect.
We did quick stops at Chloe, a newly opened James Perse store and Dres Van Noten, then headed back to Omotesando street passing Anna Wintour and her daughter visiting Marc Jacobs.. ^-^
Then I met Megumi. Poor thing was wearing heels!!! I can’t imagine myself walking all day long in high heels, it just kills the whole experience.. But she was so brave, all Japanese girls are..
Finally, we reached the opposite side of Omotesando street and our first stop there was Gucci. In store, they had a famous Japanese photographer taking pictures of visitors with a Gucci bag of their choice.
I selected a gorgeous hobo messenger bag for my picture. It went up on Gucci Facebook page that very same night. ^-^
At Burberry, there was a live performance of some British band, who then posed in front of the store, taking pictures with everyone who stopped by.
In front of Dior, Sergey spotted Nicola Formichetti – a creative director of Mugler and Lady Gaga’s stylist. If it wasn’t for my friend, I wouldn’t have scored this picture with him. Thank you Sergey! ^-^
At Dior, Yoon and her entourage were responsible for the craziest party. People were jumping and dancing right next to 5000$ bags!!
There, I ran into my friend Diana. ^-^
After Dior, we were planning to make our final stop at Chanel when I realized I left my iPhone at Gucci. It took me 20 minutes to find it but then it was already too late to continue. All the shops were closing at 8.. This year, because of Fukushima disaster, Tokyo fashion’s night out was moved to the day time. I don’t really know how it is relevant to the energy saving but I guess the gesture itself was important since many celebrities came to support Japan and many designers released limited items to raise funds for Tohoku.
After we could shop no more (not for the lack of trying), we went back to Omotesando hills to watch the closing ceremony. Verbal was playing at the Perrier lounge so we stayed there for a while and then went hunting for the spot.
Unfortunately, all the guests didn’t come back for the closing ceremony due to various after-party events so there was just a sleepy jazz band playing and then local celebrities sharing their FNO experience on stage. I wasn’t too much into the talk show so we decided to go out and finish that magical day with a hot coffee at my favorite Starbucks behind the Chanel building.
When I got home, I finally understood how exhausted I was but then again I also felt like the happiest person on earth. Thank you Vogue and FNO for the experience I will never forget. ^-^