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Archive for the 'Tokyo' Category


Latest Tokyo Street Fashion: Summer 2008

Those baby doll dresses and tops that makes a woman looks pregnant seems to be very popular.


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Vintage Clothing Galore!~

If you’re into vintage clothing, you will be happy to know that they sell vintage stuff around Tokyo. Thing is, these stores are spread all over the place you will need to do some searching. But places to look out for would be KMP, Mink, Star Verry and Screaming Mimis. Vintage clothes are usually second hand stuff passed down from the 20’s, 30’s 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or heck, even 90’s (MC Hammer’s pants might come into the spotlight again)! Personally, I love vintage clothes providing they are in great condition that is. I have some pretty grubby looking vintage clothes and accessories sold here in Montreal and for an exorbitant price too!

But here are some vintage couture I found online from as your eye candy:


I love the brown printed long dress! Sexy.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Japanese Fashion, Tokyo, Vintage | 1 Comment »


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Tokyo Street Fashion – Ginza Style

Skinny jeans still remains the favorite while knitted tops are paired in to give a more feminine look this season, in Ginza. This spring we all know that dresses are the in thing with floral and feminine flows, eye catching tops are also popular this season. So take out your zebra striped blouse and wear them with your skinny jeans already :D

Here are some Ginza fashion from the streets of Tokyo:







Source: Trends in Japan

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Japanese Fashion, Tokyo | No Comments »


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Isaburo Bags

Let’s go upmarket for a moment. Isaburo 1889 was established, as the name suggests, in 1889 by Isaburo Matsusaki. They specialise in high quality, custom leather luggage products. They have headquarters in the famously fashionable Omotesando.

The showroom doesn’t contain products for sale, but examples of leather and designs which, after you mix and match, are put together over a month. They use traditional leatherworking techniques along with modern day techniques.

Image from

It’s the kind of shop that has a philosophy, which, along with the Omotesando address, tells you that if you have to ask how much the bag is, you can’t afford it. The bags are high quality and very unique however. From their website:

One of the sources for our inspiration was a sea turtle. Sea turtles are known for their habit of continuous traveling. Some of them travel an enormous distance. They hatch in Okinawa, swim across the Pacific, stop by Hawaii, and finally reach California. They then travel the same course back to Okinawa for breeding. Their lives are repetition of such traveling, and for hundreds of centuries they have continued this process. Throughout this extremely long period of time, they have evolved into the current unique form, the soft body protected in the hard, round shell. It is not unnatural for us to associate the structure of the turtles with well-made luggage.

The rucksacks can be purchased outside of Japan from Dynamism, but you won’t be able to customise your purchase. Prices start from US$699. No news sadly on the beautful women’s handbags.


Isaburo 1889 (English and Japanese)


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Gyaru Men get their own Store

There’s so many terms used in Japanese fashion. I’m going to have to construct a glossary here one day.

Gyaru (ギャル) is the Japanese transliteration of the English slang word “gal”. Basically, think out-there female, conscious about fashion, her looks, boys and sex. In Japan this seems to mean a minimum of tanning slightly and dyeing hair blonder, a blinged-up keitai (mobile phone) plus plenty of make-up. Ganguro and yamamba are sub-sects of gyaru fashion. men have

Now that you’ve got an image of that in your mind – twist it a bit more and think of gyaru men. Ehhhhhh?!

Well, they do exist. I’ve seen them in Shibuya, although obviously not in as large numbers as the girls. They go by the name of gyaruo or gyaru-oh (the ‘o’ sound is one kanji sound for ‘man’) They probably attract more stares than the women, because it’s such an unusual look on a man. People already know that women will go to outrageous lengths for their looks :)

The gyaruo have now been given their own little shopping haven in – where else? – Shibuya. Shibuya 109 is the place to shop for female gyaru fashion. Now, one of the joint buildings Shibuya 109-(2), has set aside 2 levels dedicated to men’s gyaru fashion. There are 23 outlets over the 2 levels. There have been reported monthly sales totals of 100 million yen since it was trialled in March. Wow!

Image from Mainichi News

Looks like gyaru is here to stay for a little bit longer.

Mainichi News
Wikipedia’s article on gyaruo


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Bits and Pieces

I’ve had a few things I wanted to mention on this blog, but none of them by themselves are worth one blog post…so here they all are mixed up into one:

Firstly, a response to this comment by Mel:

…Fashion weeks (around the world) mostly display collections by designers of high fashion. Unfortunately the typical Japanese street style does not always come into the high fashion category. This is simply because high fashion is usually unattainable by normal people and sometimes impractical. Madrid fashion week doesn’t always look Spanish, Australian Mecedes fashion week doesn’t look Australian and Paris fashion week isn’t always Parisan. This is because fashion designers get their inspiration from a variety of different things from Marie Antoinette to the post romantic era in history. The designers in Japan don’t necessarily have to base their designs on Japan itself.

There’s more but it goes on for a while, so it’s best just to go back and read it all yourself, if you like. Basically, it was in response to how disappointed and uninterested I was in Japan’s Fashion Week, because it didn’t seem very Japanese.

She’s right, of course. That was part of my disappointment. Fashion shows don’t even tend to show clothing that you would see people wearing on the street, let alone the street of a given country. I tend to get annoyed at fashion shows, because they’re a misnomer. They are art shows really. Art made out of fabric, make-up and hair spray.

But I write a blog on Japanese Fashion (occassionally, when I get around to it, heh) and the people who read it (yes, you) are probably reading this because you’ve heard about Harajuku and Shibuya street fashion. Or you love kimono and yukata and the image of geisha. Or, you’re an otaku and into cosplay.

So when I read about the Japan Fashion week, I was excited until I saw the photos. There was nothing terribly Japanese about it, despite the name. It is exactly as Mel said: just high-end fashion/art that takes it’s inspiration from all sorts of places. And that’s not what I wanted to see.

While amusing, this photo that Taro uploaded isn’t the kind of fashion that I like to follow.

Bubbles Outfit - Tokyo Fashion Show

This was an outfit from the recent Tokyo Fashion Show. This next photo is Kurara Chibana who was runner up in the Miss Universe pageant this year. Her costume is a little bit kitsch but it is unique and definitely makes you think “JAPAN!”.

Image from

So yes, you’re completely right Mel, Fashion Shows are for high-end designers/artists who take their influences from everywhere. Which is what I find disappointing. I’d love to see a fashion show that was all about the various trends – past and present – in Japan. That would be pretty spectacular!

But yes, thanks for commenting, I didn’t take your comment as criticism :) It sounds like you actually saw the Fashion Show yourself, so you would have much more knowledge on the matter. I’ve only seen photos.

Hmm, that rant did actually kinda make up one blog entry. Hooray!


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Omotesando vs. Takeshita-Dori

In Harajuku, the two most famous streets are arguably Omotesando and Takeshita-dori (Takeshita Street). But what’s the difference exactly? What do you see in each street? First I’ll write about Omotesando.

Omotesando is a huge traffic thoroughfare, with three lanes in either direction and 100,000 cars travelling down it daily. It joins Omotesando subway station with Meiji Shrine next to Harajuku station. It also has wide footpaths with trees lining the length of the street.

Image by Abrahami. Taken from

Yes, it is on Omotesando where you’ll find that famous bridge where young people meet and hang out on Sundays, dressed up in their crazy finest. That’s at the end of the street just before the gates to Meiji Jingu. Most people interested in seeing these Harajuku kids will want to come to this bridge on Omotesando.

Photo by Matt Watts.

But the rest of Omotesando is quite different to what you’d find on this bridge. Surprisingly, it’s quite upmarket. The uber-expensive brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada all have stores there. So do many international brands like The Body Shop and Zara. There are many so-trendy-that-it-hurts coffee shops and cafes dotted along the street. As a result, it’s sometimes known as “Tokyo’s Champs-Élysées”.

The street is also famous for being home to many design studios and galleries. All this culminates in the newly opened Omotesando Hills complex that I wrote about earlier.

There is affordable shopping on Omotesando, but you’d be better off darting down the side streets and lanes looking for little boutiques and shops where the locals go. The main Omotesando drag (particularly Omotesando Hills) is for those with plenty of cash to throw around. Still, if you want to see all elements of Harajuku, Omotesando can’t be avoided. The question now is, do I wear the strappy heels when I dress like I want to be seen, or do I wear the sneakers that won’t leave my feet bleeding at the end of the day?

Next entry: Takeshita-dori


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Tokyo Street Style

There are many websites on the internet dedicated to Japanese fashion and street fashion. Most are trying to sell you clothes or photos or have dozens of pop-ups. This page is different because it’s run by the JFA – Japanese Fashion Association, a registered organisation that aims to promote Japanese (and recently, Asian) fashion to the rest of the world.

Every week there are new photos categorised by the fashion hotspots around Tokyo of Shibuya, Harajuku, Ginza, Omotesando and Daikanyama. Great photos and a great way to watch how fashion evolves in Tokyo. Best of all, it’s in English.

Images from the Tokyo Street Style website

Tokyo Street Style


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Para Para photo photo!

Eurobeat music, despite the name, is actually biggest in Japan, thanks to para para. So it’s not surprising that a Eurobeat CD/LP company actually references Japan and some of the subcultures there.

While the ganguro are probably all for a spot of para para, I’m not sure I can imagine some of the alien fetishists in Harajuku in the clubs dancing to cheesy Eurobeat music. Nevertheless, this website has a small blurb and some cute photos of ganguro, Harajuku, Maid Cafe and general Tokyo fashions.

HI NRG ATTACK – A Eurobeat Para Para studio


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Saturdays in Harajuku

I made a trip to Harajuku on Saturday to show some tourist friends around, hoping we’d catch some of the kids in crazy fashions that you’d normally see in droves on Sundays. While they weren’t there in high numbers, they were still quite a few. Mind you, even without them, there’s still plenty to see in Harajuku.

Funky Boots!

A pair of Decorers

Visual Kei

More strange fashion



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