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Posts tagged ‘Harajuku’

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).

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. ^-^

H&M Conscious launch event at Batsu art gallery in Harajuku

Yesterday, by some miracle my husband was home earlier to babysit (or rather watch TV while our son was soundly asleep) so I could sneak out for a couple of hours to go see the launch of H&M Conscious 2014 collection. It is going to be available from tomorrow, April 10th but if you have your eye on something, you better hurry because all the exclusive items are limited. Once they are gone, they are gone.

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Affordable art

Last week, I went to a newly opened Ultra Super New x Subject Matter popup art gallery & concept store in Harajuku that showed its very first exhibition called “Four legs good, two legs bad” featuring animals by artists from all over the world. I really loved that the concept was presented not only in the art pieces but also in the spacious airy layout, natural light and even sound. The sounds of wild animals were playing in the background which immediately sharpened my sensibility and put me in the right mood to perceive the displayed art.

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I’m out, please leave a message…

I had a great weekend in the company of my wonderful friends. On Friday, I met a Russian friend from Osaka who came to Tokyo for a job interview. In Japan, you start looking for a job a year before graduation. After receiving an official “promise” of a job, you go back to school for your final year. Don’t know if this system has any advantage but that’s what it is. When you graduate, you already know where you will be working. ^-^

That night was particularly cold in Tokyo. A mixture of hail, snow and rain made it extremely unpleasant to be outside so we were seeking refuge in cafes all evening. It’s funny how you hate being outside when it’s snowing but once you are inside with a cup of hot coffee in your hands, your perspective changes completely and suddenly you are in love with the silent white motion outside.

We were talking about business and opportunities and how it is very challenging to have something of your own in Russia. There are so many barriers for having your own business, so much shit you have to deal with.. I wonder if there will be time when all of the atrocities are gone and you can freely take your chances based on your abilities and not on your relationship with those who abuse their power…

The next day, I met with Sergey, my other Russian friend for a day in Odaiba – my favorite place in Tokyo. We checked a new photo exhibition at Gallery 21 http://www.gallery21-tokyo.com/en/index.html. It’s tiny but free and has a few very powerful works so if you are nearby, go check it out.

After that, we went to the movies to see  “Incredibly loud and extremely close” which was amazingly good. That child should be given every award out there for his outstanding performance.

On our way back home, we also checked one of Seibu’s “Art meets life” exhibitions called Power people by Leslie Kee -a collection of photographs of influential people who became big in Japan. There, we discovered a portrait of Tokyo-based stylist Misha Janette whom I met at Tokyo’s fashion night out last year. There was also a really cool photo-booth that took pics and then automatically uploaded them to the Facebook page. ^-^

In the evening, I met with Gow, Barbie and Shelly in Nihonbashi for dinner. I cherish these moments when my busiest friends’ schedule align and we get the opportunity to meet. ^-^ Sometimes, I just NEED to have girls’ talk to be able to relax and get my positive energy back. Although yesterday our main topic of conversation was Obama care and crooked teeth. ^-^

Today, I met with Gervin – my new friend from Philippines I met at Roberto Cavalli’s opening party last year. He is writing a very successful fashion blog http://jennechrisville.com and is cute as a button. He showed me his secret cafe in Harajuku which was so cozy and beautiful, it’s gonna be my favorite too. Then, we checked MoMA store for useless but nice little artsy things and then drooled a little over Issey Miyake’s origami bags. I am still thinking which one to buy.. It’s so hard to pick a color knowing they can release new ones at any minute.

Before going home, we did our last stop at Uniqlo to stock on Heat-tech because let’s face it – the calendar winter is about to end but it is still so freaking cold outside and it looks like it’s gonna be that way for while.

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As always Golden week went by in a dash. It feels like it has just started but tomorrow I already have to go back to work. Fortunately I had a lot of fun meeting my friends and doing things that I don’t usually have time for.

On Friday, I took my “仮免許” test – a learner’s permit test that allows you to drive in the city. I failed on Thursday because I was too confident and didn’t pay attention while doing the “S” shape course…But on Friday I passed and got my permission to start second stage of my driving lessons. Tomorrow, I am driving in the city! Yay!

After the test, I met Ilya from St.Petersburg who came to study in Japan. While we were waiting for his friend to come, me and Rodion took him to see Japanese girls at 109. For those who don’t know – 109 is a club like department store that sells cheap apparel. Girls who work there are typical representatives of Japanese pop culture – always cute, loud and fake. You can’t take your eyes off of them. My friend took couple of snapshots. ^-^

Since Rodion joined us , our dinner turned into a heated discussion about Japan and culture shock and first impressions. His point of view is always too deep to understand while being sober, so it took us no time to get absolutely drunk at some bar, somewhere in Shibuya where he took us.

I don’t usually drink tequila but after my driving test that made me so nervous I gave in and had two shots or so I can remember. The rest is a bit blurry and I still have to question my friends about details..^-^ There are some stories about us playing at a game center but I have no memory of it..

The next day, I went to see a soccer game with my little minions.

Kawasaki Frontale played against Shonan Del Mare and won 4:2. We were supporting Frontale so the victory was ours.

After the game we were supposed to meet Dante and go see “Alice in wonderland” but the tickets were totally sold out so instead we went shopping and then had dinner at a French crepe restaurant.

On Sunday I stayed home working on one of my side projects but in the evening met with Serezha in Shinjuku for a Haitian dinner.

It was a nice combination of Caribbean taste and Japanese comfort food. I had cream “コロッケ” with tomato rice and pickled green pepper. I don’t know how much of it was Haitian but it tasted good and I also didn’t mind rum in my coffee. ^-^

After dinner, Serezha agreed to go to Abercrombie with me to check out some skinny jeans I had my eyes on. So we went to Shimbashi and got me a brand new pair of jeans absolutely free, thanks to my affair with returns (see previous entries).

As always, when we went out we smelled like the perfume they spray on everything inside the shop. Seriously, how can the staff tolerate such intense smell all day long…

On Monday, I was going to go see poppies in Odaiba but because of work and some other stuff stayed home instead until the late afternoon when I could bare no more being indoors. At last the weather is good and I have to stay home! No way! I took my iphone and went to the only park that is open after 5 – Yoyogi koen.

There, I just sat on the grass and worked for a couple of hours. Yes, that was a type of work you can do on your iphone. ^-^ On my way to the park I took pictures of some random Shibuya shops. ^-^

It was a flower festival in Shibuya and Harajuku so there were flowers literally everywhere. They were even being given out in front of Parco.

Then, a funny thing happened. I went out of the park but took a wrong exit and instead of Shibuya, got out in Harajuku. It always happens to me when I daydream about something. But since I was there, I checked my favorite spot near the bridge for Harajuku cosplay crowd and saw these two guys (or maybe girls?) posing together with some eastern European ladies. ^-^

Then, because it was ages since I’ve been there, I went to Kiddyland to check out new toys and discovered the whole corner dedicated to Cheburashka. I bet you can’t find this stuff in Russia.

On Tuesday me and my husband rented a car and went to Hakone onsen. More about it in the next entry.