Archive for the ‘trends’ Category

The ASK ANYTHING post

Curious Mitsu answers info

These are a response to the earlier post of which I asked readers if they wanted to know anything about gal in Japan/tips/general Japan life/or me. Everything is considered and more questions or topics are welcome!

So far we have: japanese gals interpreting gaijin gals, street snap, winter sales and christmas events, lingere (un-info >_<;; sorry malignita!), dressing in the summer when Japan’s in the winter, cheap clothes, weight of Japanese women, my transformation into gal, personal sizing questions. Keep them coming!

bloomzy asks:

How Japanese Gals interpret foreign Gals, and whether they’re approachable etc. 

Well hmmm. As I talked about in my friends post, it’s best to meet people in places they might be more open to talking (bars, clubs, music events). However, not concerning friends it just depends.

As a gaijin, especially as a non-Asian gaijin, there is a definite divide. You are constantly stared at (and let me tell you it is definitely not the discrete glances a lot of the time but a dead-eyed fish stare). No matter if you are here for 2 days or 2 years some will quickly assume you speak 0 Japanese. However, like many things things in Japan that is just the surface. Most people here can be slow to warm up to you, but you will find many do warm up to you and open up.

The way I look and dress in gyaru style people sometimes ignore my face or see me from the back and then when they see and notice I’m white, they go “whoaaaaa gaijin!” to their friends. This can happen sometimes several times a day. It’s like a game where they’ve found Waldo, aka the gaijin gal.

Sometimes people assume I’m a haafu  *corrected (half Japanese half white), which is quite silly since I have naturally blonde hair and blue eyes, but since so many people dye their hair and use color contacts they don’t really accept the reality of my face simply because of my ability to speak coherent Japanese.

Let me just put this out there: I have no desire to be Japanese. Just because I like ONE Japanese style does not make me want to turn into a Japanese person.

There is a big difference between dressing a Japanese style and WANTING to be Japanese. I have zero problem being white, I am okay with being an American.

In living here, you become more knowledgeable about popular culture, inside jokes and amusing pieces. If you share a similar lexicon, people tend to accept you easier. Gaijin (especially non-Asian gaijin) are however oddities, and curiosities. Not so much a freak show, but we inspire their curiosity. You can combat this by being open about yourself, sharing common interests and keeping yourself humble.

As I’ve said before. Like living in any foreign country, and being an outsider, it’s best to grow a very strong spine and keep your head up even if people are unkind to you. Suck it up and be more awesome than them!


Anon asks:

Have you ever been picked for a street snap? 

I was asked once when I was walking to the train station in Shibuya. I was dressed in head to toe Mar*s with fitted jacket, fluffy skirt, garter belt tights and high heeled mules. My hair took hours and I was looking quite Agejo.  However, it was the time it took that made me late to go pay my rent which was why I was headed to the station. Sadly, I was in too much of a hurry to do it. 


This however was a rarity since Street Snaps have become increasingly not so spur-of-the-moment, but now there are special areas for people who come to want street snaps and Egg magazine and such often advertising a time and place for their street snaps. They also sometimes drag shopstaff out of 109 to quickly shoot their picture. 


Sada asks:

I would appreciate a topic on how to take care of japanese extensions, as mine always become shitty after a few weeks… and also, cheap places to buy gyaru clothes.

Japanese extension info is in the extension FAQ. Extensions do want to die after a few weeks. You might also want to switch your stylist, sometimes the hair quality is different in each shop. Also, many shops sell treatment just for them. I’ve noticed while using the treatment my hair tends to stay less tangled even if damaged.



To be honest, I don’t really like to discuss cheap places to buy clothes, because usually their the trend followers and offer a lower quality piece that often fails stylistically. If their design is good I’m all about supporting them, but when construction and quality fail I’m hesitant. 

ANAP is one of the rare exceptions to this, since they offer so many pieces you can often find something good if you look hard enough. They also have so many brand labels such as ANAP USA for more flashy looks, ANAP Chille which offers are more girly style, ANAP Mimpi for the hippi in everyone and even ANAP Outlet in Harajuku for the cheap of the cheap. 


For the quick and dirty both aBaB in Ueno in Tokyo have cheap stores selling gal clothes, and Namba Walk in Osaka is full of tons of cheap stores (pictures of some to come in the Osaka III post).


reiko asks

I want to know when the winter sales start! >__< And if you can tell what special things I can do this X-mas in Tokyo cause I will be there!

Winter sales: Start on Janurary the 5th and go through the 9th. The week before will be pre-sales and you might find some good bargains there. January 1st is when fukubukuro are on sale. If you haven’t reserved your items expect to wait the night before in line to even get a shot at getting the good ones.

Things to do for Christmas: Tokyo Disneyworld has a special seasonal parade, great merchandising, and a cosy atmosphere. Shinjuku South Exit towards Takashimaya has their illuminations set up. Roppongi Midtown and Odaiba both have good Christmas light displays as well. But enjoying yourself out on X-mas in Japan is just like Valentine’s Day in America. So expect a certain amount of crowds.

The Christmas lights (イルミネーション) in Odaiba

My view from 2007
The city ligthts are also pretty



malignita asks

Lingerie: Lingerie is one of my shopping weaknesses, so I couldn’t resist! What should foreign gals keep in mind when shopping for lingerie in Japan? Are there any specific shops or brands that cater to larger shapes or sizes?


LOL I am absolute fail on this question. My cupsize is 34D which puts me far out of the range of bra buying in cute gal shops. I’ve heard there are some places and a friend bought from one, but I cannot recommend them since I did not think they flattered or did the lifting one needs. Now 34D is a normal-ish size in the states and I just make sure to buy all my needs back in the states

Gal Recessionista: What sort of ways can gals save on clothing, accessories, and cosmetics without sacrificing their look?- will now be an upcoming article!

Education & Work Opportunities: Practically speaking, what opportunities exist for girls who want to continue with gyaru style but go to school or have a career? Gals be ambitious! – will now be an upcoming article!



anon asks

Flirting/Dating tips?

this is one that definitely has to come with my disclaimer: I am one white girl being a gal in Japan, my experiences are just one of the many foreign experiences. Also, people tend to discuss their relationships when they are not doing so well, so as a friend you hear often not the positive parts.

I’ve been with my man long before I started living in Tokyo and there’s no one for me, but him. He’s one of a kind and perfect for me. I’m currently and always rabu-rabu about him. 

So… Hmmm I don’t have experience with dating in Japan, but I do know gaijin friends who have/are dating someone and they’ve shared their experiences. I do have some experience with flirting, since hey getting the occasional free drink and practicing Japanese… I can deal with that.

As I’ve said before in the Love Hotel article, sex is a different concept in Japan. Many relationships start out with sex first and then dating. Sometimes they expect 10 minutes of small talk and a free drink at clubs means heading to a Love Hotel then and there (I’ve been asked that a few times, of course I said NO). 

Also, there is the perception about gaijin women as being loose. And definite curiosity about appearance. Especially since Japanese women only slightly trim their pubic hair and all have brown nipples. Too put it bluntly, they’re interested in grooming and pink nipples. Often they’ll ask about your grooming, the popular term for being all shaven is “pie pan”. The Japanese wiki article is less than flattering picture shows more. NSFW


It’s common that Japanese men lack the ability to be chivalrous, it’s just not socially necessary. They’ll be kind and carry your handbag, but it sometimes doesn’t extend beyond that. “Ladies first” ( レディファースト) is how Japanese view American male chivalry and many of my gal friends lament the lack of “ladies first”. As one of my friends puts it, Japanese men can be “Ore no tame ni”, just for me


Having said all of that, some are kind and sweet and want to work hard to be with you. For these guys many expect the slightly dominant Japanese female role to be played by you, especially if they haven’t spent time abroad. So they’ll expect many e-mails, and you asking to do things and setting up dates instead of them.

It is much more common however to see Japanese girls with gaijin guys. I rarely see Japanese guys with gaijin girls as a couple.

Here are my tips-bits of info to flirting and dating:

  • Smoke at a club (or just fake it), that way you can ask for a lighter
  • Separate yourself from your group, men are more likely to approach you if you’re alone
  • Absolutely nothing wrong with a little smile and some sexy dancing at a club
  • If you’re at a non-club, start off the conversation like… “kyou hitori desu ka?” are you out by yourself?
  • Many guys like a dependent girl, so say you’re thirsty if you want a drink or ask to go out somewhere else
  • Ask them to teach you Japanese. A relationship can’t turn serious without some deep conversation and that comes with language skills.
  • A little skinship is always good, like a touch to the arm or playful slap on the hand
  • A common question to ask someone is if they’re an S or M. Not as much slutty s&m, but more do you like to be in control (S) or you prefer someone else to take the lead (M). 
  • Some guys are out at clubs just to collect phone numbers, but that’s alright. Maybe a nampa (pick-up) guy can turn serious
  • Expand your horizons. Most all gals I know are not dating gyaruo. Instead they’re sticking to guys who are spending less money on their clothes and more their girlfriends. Often the gyaruo couples are highschool or started dating in highschool
  • Don’t put your hopes up on one guy unless you’re dating. Finding your perfect someone doesn’t come without trial and error.
  • suki is commonplace, don’t consider it love and don’t expect guys to speak of their love or it’s sometimes hollow. Words of love do not carry the same weight in Japanese. I got two mails today of friends telling me they loved me, casually of course. They’re just being sweet.
  • Cheating happens in Japan. Two of my friends have been the other woman, accidentally or not. Two of my other friends have found someone else to be the other man, so it’s not just guys.
  • Carry condoms! USE THEM! STDs are never sexy.

So be safe, be sexy and put yourself out there. 


Miki asks:
Because I live in the southern Hemisphere our seasons are the opposite of the Northern which means that we are 6 months behind in Fashion. Would you suggest that, for example during our winter I should use trends from the winter which has already passed in the North??

It gets a little confusing with seasonal changes. There are small things which I can keep up to date with such as make up or hair but something with certain clothes, colours or prints, it just doesn’t work.

Mitsu’s response:

I actually think you get the best of both worlds. You can and mix and enjoy a nice sexy blend.
In your situation it’s best to consider these trends without a seasonal reference. Things like plaid, dot patterns, lace and studs all can work in either summer or winter. Cardigans are popular and work as a lightweight jacket on a cooler summer night. For bottoms, consider damage jeans work whether you need shorts of jeans. Leggings are often fine during the summer too.

Tokyo’s winter actually tends to start mid to late October lately, and there is very little of Fall, so you will find people in t-shirts in October.

The only thing I would suggest following that is a purely summer trend is shoes. Strappy open-toed heeled sandals were very popular as were mules. Also, summer is a great time to experiment with color. Winter in Japan people tend to wear only pops of color, but summer can be a great explosion of color if you want it to be.


steph asks

I’d like to know whether is it true that gals in Japan eat a lot (that’s what my boyfriend said). When I was in Japan, I noticed that many gals in Japan eat heartily and do not look like they starve themselves – but they still look really thin.

For many I do think they’re anorexic. I think magazines and dieting also encourage this extreme diet restriction. I am sure there are some binge-purge women as well. I also believe that with the less equality of men and women it forces the society to punish the women who aren’t of the considered societal pleasing shape (sociological too much ^_^;;)

Yes, many gals are thin, but some are just genetically slender. Walking is some part of it, but walking really isn’t that physically taxing and most people only walk 30 mins a day here. Also, as an American I walk fast, I use my long legs and move. Japanese tend to walk quite slow, thus lessening their physical empact. I think their weight has a lot more to do with genetics, the greater emphasis on physical fitness in highschool, portion size, and their conception of food

  • Most Japanese women have small frames which means packing even extra fat on can just look more like a medium frame. For those of us with large frames (read more about frame sizing here), we pack on a little meat and BOOM we’re chubby. Small framed girls can accept more weight. Also, genetically I think Japanese have good metabolism, they mostly do not seem to have much of the obesity gene lying around. I mean when you get to the countryside of course there’s a greater range in sizes.
  • Physical fitness class is much more important in Japanese high schools than in American ones. While it was solely the jocks and a few credit requirements, most Japanese schools have a lot more athletic emphasis built into their curriculum. Therefore, many of these gals who are only 2 or 3 yrs from that musculature haven’t had time to bloat.
  • Portion size in Japan is also much much smaller than in the US. I mean with the exception of ramen (which is just soup), most foods are very small portions. Steak may be a tiny steak pieces, a katsu piece is usually small as well. 
  • Japanese TV is obscenely dedicated to covering food. Food stores, food oddities, the celebration of seasonal food, the cheap places to get it, reviews around the country… it’s everywhere. Although the US has the food network, I think the normal American mentality is not to savour the food. When you go out to eat with someone in Japan expect to bring up what you ate for an hour afterwards.  It feels like people really treasure their food here, even if its cheap and simple. Because of this enjoyment, I think women eat less per day, keeping them thin.

Anon asks:

I know this has probably been touched light upon but are gal brands startin to branch out of the standard M size and into L and even LL clothing.

The quick and dirty answer: nope. Even though many gal brands have 3 sizes in fitted items such as jeans, they mainly go to an American size 2/4 (So the sizes would translate to 00 – 0 – 2, or sometimes 0 – 2 – 4). Though discount brand Honey’s (located in 109-2), has L and LL, I am pretty sure LL = 4, and that’s in a very select few styles.

EDIT: For some of the girls outside the American L range, the mall aBaB in Ueno on the 5th(?) floor stocks larger sized clothing such as jeans and such. Do not expect the most current styles or cutest looks, but there are still several outfits and looks to be found within.


vividancer asks:

I’m curious as to what got you into doing gal styles when you first started and how you got started. any interesting tidbits to share on the transition between girl to gal?

The simple answer: I moved to Japan. In actuality I moved in 2007 and hadn’t really heard about the gal resurgence. Instead I had this picture in my mind from Fruits books of mamba or something that was just too colorful and baked and not me. Thankfully I met a friend and she liked the new gal before she came and then together we discovered a lot more.

Me as a light blonde in 2007
Trucker cap: aBaB
Jacket: Gilfy
Necklace: Gilfy
Dress: Swordfish



Oh I think I was fail at times back then and other pieces/looks I still like. I fell in love with Gilfy quickly and that was easy enough to lure me in. I considered it very easy to get into it because I had both access, the most current info and a lifestyle void. It was easy to get into, but much harder to make strides in it. I’m not a big make-up person, and I needed to learn to spend time on my hair and several things went very slowly. I really do think gal is best done with a drastic hair change.


Karyu-sama マニア asks

I’ll be going to Japan very soon and I am sacred not to find anything in my size. Shirt size: L-M Dress size: L

 While I spoke of 0-2-4 in concern with jeans, that doesn’t translate to the rest of clothing. Jeans are a very specific object that I’m sure you know can be a pain to shop for. Do not worry at all about finding things to fit. I can only loosely say this since broad shoulders are not a very Japanese friendly clothing aspect, but many gal clothes are made loose. Even if they’re fitted many are cotton which have a bit of stretch to them. 

As I’ve said before I think it’s a huge myth that 109 caters to only tiny people. Of course some things are tiny sized because MOST of Japan is tiny or medium sized. My firiend used to complain she found nothing that fit her when all she would look at were these button-up shirt dresses. I don’t know how well her body could’ve done in an American or European S-to-L system looking for button-up shirt dresses. However, once she moved to a more loose and casual look she was able to buy most anything she wanted. Loose doesn’t have to be casual. Lip Service has made a fortune this season selling many looks that are tight to the bust and loose everywhere else.

 


Markie asks

I often sacrifice fashion for bulky layers …do you have any recommendations on staying gal/fashionable even when you have to pack yourself up like a sardine?

First of all there are two main bodylines popular this season, the A-line which favors trenchcoats and peacoats, and the I-line which favors skinny jeans and sleek jackets. The A-line cut relies on keeping your legs in tights or leggings to maintain a thin shape to balance out the flowy upper body. This is a bad idea in extreme conditions.

It’s best to stick with an I-line shape, so find a very sleek coat. Combine skinny jeans with thermal leggings and rely on layering thinly. Such as thermal long-tee + long sleeve print tee + cardigan + jacket.

Also, pop your outfit with an adorable snow hat and winter scarf, preferably in a color or print.

Let your hair have volume and show from under your hat. Fluff around and let it speak for your fashion sense.


LANA asks

I can get good quality exte, and haircut that is affordable and gives a wide variety of shades for my hair

It depends on your definition of affordable, personally I think the US is much cheaper on haircuts, so it’s best to get a haircut in the states before coming and then exte. Remember that layered haircuts tend to blend exte better than blunt cuts.

Most all salons will carry blonde and there is usually no extra charge. My last time at Yu House a Lady Gaga platinum blonde was getting exte next to me. Extreme red might cost more and be harder to blend.

YuHouse
is offering their special again with 50 for 9,800. That’s a good price, but if you’re like me and wanting more than that, Extension Rhytmn in Centaagai (東京都渋谷区宇田川町35-4 plug it into google maps) seems to have a great price right now. Their straight houdai (all you can get) is 9800, and their wave houdai price is only 15800. I’m unsure if you need the coupon, but you can print it out before you leave the States 🙂

I am going to head to them next week and see if they’re good.

Trending this Fall

The trends for A/W 2009 are easy to see into three categories.

Mannish Feminine

This is a big trend affecting pretty much every store. Each store looks to this trend to draw upon it. 

Napoleon Jackets

Seen at: LDS, One*Spo, OneWay, Redark

Gilfy’s new 0/6 brand decided to make it into a shirt

Plaid
Seen at: Everywhere! Egoist to JSG!

Fake plaid under dress by Real Mar*s


Incorporate plaid into your fall. The latest Blenda spoke even about wearing a plaid onepiece as a light outer to your t-shirt dresses. Mix and play around.


Menswear shirts
Seen at: Duras

Making a mannish item feminine


Preferably oversized, was done in the summer but the mannish trend carried this one along.


Trad jackets
Seen at: Lip Service, Duras, Egoist, Delyle
Oversized or cropped helps accentuate the look.


Vests
Seen at: Lip Service, Ji*maxx, Egoist, OneWay

Oversized by Lip Service


Menswear grey and black are very popular.


Motorcycle boots
Seen at: Esperanza, Egoist, Bonita
Best mixed with a trad jacket and leggings.


Ladies first


Leopard
Seen at: oh jesus everywhere

Leopard coats seen at Dazzlin, GN and Lip Service



Especially trending is the leopard beret. Looks very cute with a monotone look or a pink dress.


Chanelesque Jackets
Seen at: Honeys, Delyle, One*Spo

Tweed is especially popular. Great as overcoats to sweet dresses.


Berets
Seen at: You name it. Most at $10-$15

LDS Leopard one


Looks great with the feminine style and mannish dressing.


Flower print dresses
Seen at: OneWay, Love Boat, Shake Shake

Dazzlin sweet print



Done best with a black background and paired with a riders jacket.


Fur accents
Seen at: One*Spo, Lip Service, Egoist, Mars

Fun fur fluff by Duras 




Done best as a stole, or fake fur crop jacket.



Lace
Seen: EVERYWHERE


Lace leggings are currently rising, but lace dresses, lace tshirts, lace trim. It’s all very popular right now.



Rock it out


Leggings! Leggings! Leggings!

Seen at: Your house in your room

Shagadelic front slash leggings

A mix with all the trends by Glad News



They’re everywhere. They crop up as fake denim, they’re ripped, they’re skinned, their metallic

Thigh High boots
 Seen at: the corner


They’re hot with jeans, fluffy skirts or jean shorts. Make sure to get some heel on yours or you’ll be stumpy legged.


Union Jack
Seen at: One*Spo, Glad News, Cecil McBee

Gilfy’s take on the trend



Oh heck even I love the flag. Great bold print on dresses.


Skulls
Seen at: JSG, Glad News, Tutuha

JSG’s cute thick cardi

Most all shoe options really
The more buckles, studs, useless hardware a shoe has the better it is this season.



Other trends popping:
– Vertical striped leggings
– Kitson sparkle bags
– Leggings that match jacket material (such as both moko moko)


Now go shopping!

the week wrap-up: Make, Rocking out, Shoes, Puri, Momoeri

The Make-up obsession

After being obsessed with Gal Mori magazine from my previous post, I had to buy myself some more makey.
The two fake eyelashes are really amazing. Color Change bottom eyelashes are the most flexible and easy to attach bottom eyelashes I’ve ever bought. Having a flexible fake lash is half the battle when using bottom fake eyelashes. These were hella excellent! Although I lost them in the first wear due to hard use (helping a drunk friend comes with makey consequences), I’m absolutely buying them again.
For the top lashes I used Koji’s Takako Style lashes in #12. I prefer half lashes for my top lash since you don’t have to worry about bending or glue melting into your tear duct, but you get the same effect.
Maybelline announced another exte mascara here. I’m not sold on this one. I had the two step process with a lengthener and then a mascara, and this one comes off in clumps. Not recommended. -_-
Visee’s new quad-eye sets are awesome not only for their shades, but their easy to use instructions on the back. $12.00 and the purple reminds me of Urban Decay’s Asphyxia, but for less!
Finally Chanel’s black eyepencil is fabulous. Better than MAC’s because of it’s built in sharpener and smaller line.
V-kei and head corsages
I went with a friend to her beloved band Penicillin‘s live. I’m not really into J-rock, but I don’t shun it either. It also doesn’t hurt that the lead singer, Hakuei, is over 180cm (I think 6’3″) and is covered with tattoos…HOT!! The concert was fun and a recommended experience. I’m seeing them in Yokohama later this year as well~ Good music followed with beef tongue was cool. The concert people made up of mostly older women (since Penicillin the band is older as well), but they were all quite friendly.
Everyone waiting for the live to begin
I decided wear a One*Spo leopard frilly dress, Lip Service cruxifix necklace and One*Spo hairpiece corsage to the event. Censored me because I do not run well on 2 hours of sleep and a hangover -____-;;

I decided to try the head corsage for the event, since dress-up was okay, but I can’t see myself doing it everyday. The current November Egg issue has Romihi and Nonoka modeling them, and outside of modeling Nonoka often wears them.
Nonoka with Aina from Nonoka’s blog
Along with Momoeri and Sakurina, Nonoka is a definite style icon for me. Love her dark gal look!
Puri continued…
I took puri with my good friend, D, on Thursday in Centaagai before dinner together. Puri is fabulous~
 
The puppy-kitty one on the phone is flash-based with the puppy hopping out continously.
There’s also one that sparkles. Flash puri is awesome ❤
I’m in a Delyle trad jacket, One*Spo dress and skirt
D is in a Lip Service top
Fall shoes: I love you!
I currently have a craving to buy a jillion fall shoes. My quest for the perfect everyday grey thigh high boots continues as well. I tend to walk over a mile a day in Japan in heels on busted streets, so shoes die really quickly. Four recent purchases as I continue my black streak.
By: Flag-J
Simply and easy short western boots
By: R&E
Hidden wedge 3 fake zipper 3 fake buckles, one fabulous side zip. So comfy
By: R&E
Do you see how slick the red part is? I’m gunna die.
Love the thin heel and hidden platform.
By: Flag-J
Super sexy, but the heel kills me.
I need shoe inspiration. What’s on your fall shoe list to buy?

Momoeri in Men’s Spider

Momoeri appears on the cover and on 3 fashion spread pages in Men’s Spider.The spread looks quite classy.

 
 
 

Fall Updates in 109 stores (the extended version)

Well those who have been staying up on my twitter, which wow so many people joined. It was overwhelming, but a happy surprise. Thank you! I’m happy to follow you, but I’d like to know more about you. So please message me and let me know a little about you. ^_^v

Gilfy and Backs:

Gilfy

Backs

Both have stayed within their styles, but I’m a little saddened that they keep bringing back old trends. Back’s coat had moko-moko as the lining, which was so overblown last Winter. Gilfy keeps putting out new pom-pom ski hats even though they reached their peak in 2007. However, if you’re a fan of both stores you may be pleased by Backs sticking to classic monotone and Gilfy’s use of bold colors.

Reinda:

I usually don’t talk about this store, which is a shame because it’s a great store that provides trends while keeping looks adult and sexy. They have a great pink blazer with runched sleeves as well as traditional ones. Overall cute dresses in great slim sillouttes.

Spiral Girl:

Looks a bit bland this season. Their summer was very fun and casual, while I’m not seeing anything that says must buy or even trendsetter.

Cecil McBee:

Should have a very popular season while sticking to their half OL / half gal styling they have cute accessories, good shirts and lots of variety.

Liz Lisa:


I am a little disappointed in their season. While lace is very popular this season, Liz Lisa went a little overboard with their use of it. It’s simply dripping off skirts, tops and other bits. However, they have kept a cameo trend throughout their clothing and it looks cute pinned to shirts and dresses. I was more heartbroken that I couldn’t find a dress that didn’t involve brown, no such luck for an all baby pink OP. I love having an excuse to buy more shoes, but brown shoes aren’t exactly my thing.

Me Jane:

Looks more like itself inside the store than their online shop, which was a welcome suprise. Lots of baby pink mixed with black that looks very sweet and sexy. They have brought back their fur stoles (like other stores such as One*Spo, Mars, Lip Service), but I was too nervous to look at the pricetag since last season they were 200.00USD D:

Mar*s:

Their gorgeous trenches drop this month, so I’ll be on the hunt when they really come out to see if they are as hot IRL. Their logo houndstooth dress, as seen in their catalog, was cute and cheap by Mar*s standards at $86.00, but I resisted. Their two piece coordinate was onesize and not made for tallies ^_^;; The fall plaid onepiece was cute but made of sweater material, and while it is still warm in Tokyo it’s not getting bought by me. They really need more stock, their store was looking a little bare. They however now have a perfume, self titled and available for $60USD. I haven’t smelled it yet.

Mar*s does have new fur stoles in at a suprisingly low 85.00USD. Their trademark hotpink color was available, and I keep thinking about it.

ReDark:

They have had such low seasons for the last year that I have been worried that they might close soon. Which is shocking since it was founded by powerhouse Gilfy and should always have a market. The store looked filled with fresh Amekaji blends and much more people (even during a typhoon) than I usually see in the store.

One*Spo:

Keeps putting out great looks while staying in their “girly rock” theme this season. Great use of leopard, leather and shiny black. I was slightly dissappointed by their Balmain jacket copy (center), but overall they have a great wearable season and cute jacket + skirt combinations that are their signature every season. I am very tempted to buy the zip halter dress on the left. ^_^;

Shiny Glamorous:

Another store I usually don’t talk about. It’s on the 4th floor of 109-2 and is part of the OneWay One*Spo fashion collaborative. It in the past has looked a little too OL for me, but they’ve recently taken a page out of One*Spo’s design handbook and have brought popular looks from One*Spo’s great winter collection last season and made them more adult. The sparkle shirt and beret from One*Spo are now at Shiny Glamorous, they are also using One*Spo’s popular trend of chiffon frouffy skirts to spice up their looks. Even their baby pink lace skirts seemed sweet.

Delyle:

Their jackets turned out of to be made of a heavy cotton (twill possibly) and felt a bit scratchy. Quite a let down. However their Chanel inspired cardigans felt like cashmere and represented the luxury and adult look of the brand. There were several skirts that looked adorable, and overall they’re having a good season with lots of buys that will last you onto next Winter.

Heaven and Earth:

I am not an often shopper of here, although I do like the look. Unlike other MitsuMaru brands that often just copy what the headlining gal brands are doing, Heaven and Earth has stuck with a nice Rock and Oraora blend. Their staff is always friendly and while they didn’t have much yet in for the fall collection it all looked close to the brand style, while keeping it hard and interesting. While Mar*s has a possible Nicole Richie print, Heaven and Earth has a possible Lindsay Lohan print. The staff girl and I weren’t sure if it was Lohan or not. Either way it was strong print and looked well with their tough selection.

Glad News:

Bold prints, great shapes and hot leather. As always it’s apt to say this brand goes “balls out” and takes no prisoners. Their thigh-high boots follow their forefathers of the brand in looking deadly and hella sexy. The front is all tiny lace-up and looks befitting an S&M queen if not for the color palatte of navy or bronze. I absolutely love their heart and leopard print hoodie. It’s hot and their leather jackets are always gorgeous.

SHOES

Flag-J:

Remolded their store a little and it looks much more accessible and sexy. Having 2 down seasons, they currently provide all the shoe trends (wedges, thigh high boots, lacing styles, pumpboots, pumps in every color) and I was tempted to buy 2 pairs when I was there. It also helps that their shopstaff is continually pleasant and attentive.

Bonita:

Nothing that’s a yet, and I usually trust them for my boot needs since in Japan Winters just eat up boots.

Esperanza:

Gorgeous pumps and stylish short boots. Their sky-high hooker pumps are suprisingly walkable and while I keep laying them down since I am already tall, I keep going back to drool at their supreme sexyness. Lots of hidden platform pumps and regular platform pumps, overall cute and whether you’re a bkei chick or a hime girl you will probably find a pair you can’t live without.

Random notes on all the stores:

  • If you didn’t catch it on my twitter, most every store has a leather jacket and a blazer. It is so entrenched in most every top store that if you do not have one, you are not in fashion this season.
  • Leopard print is back, but like I said please only one item at a time. Do not burn my eyes, ladies!
  • Purple, red, grey, and lavender are key colors this season. If you are Lip Service you have also added green in mint.
  • Thigh-high boots have arrived along with booties, and I for one am super happy about both trends.
  • Fur stoles are back, and will be paired with many looks this season.
  • Sparkle is here to stay. Hair accessories, berets, shirts, watches… it’s a glittery wonderful world.

Lip Service Fall Catalog = Sexy

Lip Service in 109 was packed with hot clothing. So much cute and trend styles, I was impressed. They were able to bring in tons of trends, but keep their looks very within Lip Service’s style. Some great looks without xeroxing runway styles.

Two trends that are packing in every store: One*Spo, Glad News, Cecil McBee, Spiral Girl and more… are the blazer and leather jacket. In my mind, they have done the best trend blazer and definitely given the leather jacket some beautiful feminine flair.

I did a lay down on Mar*s’ great houndstooth logo print dress, but instead fell for Lip Service’s sexy styled onepiece (I’ll post it up on my next shopping piece, it’s not in the catalog). Also, they have really packed their fall well with great releases and freebies. I picked up their special release green lace bag and a cosmetic bag in the white lace print. Packed in my shopping bag was also this great catalog.

In the catalog they were also nice enough to give advance on when certain pieces are coming in, which makes the weekly trek to 109 and wishful thinking in the past.

See for yourself their stylish looks in their sexy catalog (or download a zip of it through mediafire):



They’re doing trends like lace, plaid and studs really well. I’m really looking forward to 9/18. Love both those looks! What are your faves from the bunch?

It’s Hoshiaya (again). Companies just love to throw money at her. I’m accosted by a huge window billboard on my street with her doing ads for yet another company. (-{}-);;

So is Hoshiaya the new Tsubasa? It’s a valid arguement to say that Kumicky is the new Tsubasa since she’s plastered on every cover of Popteen and has a brand endorsement of Valentines High. However, Tsubasa sold for the big brands, Valentines High is a relatively smaller brand and it’s just one. Kumicky doesn’t have the grown up looks to pull off Lip Service, which is great since she’s cute and a fun teen.

Discuss!

2009 Autumn and Winter Girls Walker Coming!

The best, biggest and prettiest gal fashion show is coming again. The Tokyo Girls Collection by Girls Walker. Some great brands are being shown such as Glad News, Cecil McBee, One Spo and Lip Service along with guest model appearance by Tsubasa and Aki Hoshino!

I’d love to go, but it’s only 4 days after I get back into to Tokyo so jetlag will be evil, and I don’t know if tickets are sold out yet and if my girls wanna go with me. It should be wonderful and video of the show is stunning, it fills up a former Olympic stadium!

Either way it gives me a little hope that my beloved One Spo might attach and be on sale at Girls Walker’s shopping site: Fashion Walker. Since One Spo has no on-line buying site (a pity when I’m in the states). Their fall collection is fabulous so far, and I’ve bought several pieces although they’re in Tokyo looking pretty right now. ^_^;;

Fashionwalker itself has two pairs of adorable pink boots that scream girly for fall:

Liz Lisa has put out a pair of sweet boots I’m going to at least have to go try on.


Love the cameo detail


These comfy hidden wedge cowboy boots by Jayro White make me not hate the pathetic throwback to 2006 that cowboy boots are, although still a pass.

Mitsu’s early fall predictions and entries

I know it’s sweaty season and Fall might be the last thing from your mind, but being in the know and wearing it first sometimes makes all the difference.

Right now in 109 its often hard to find new merchandise since July/August is dominated by sales and stores are hoping to remove their summer merchandise before they bring in fall. However if you look to the new arrivals the verdict is out in many of the 109 stores already.

Ladies we are: Boho Girly Rock

Secret snap from days of Freedom @109.
The first look: lace leggings, over-sized zipper accent shirt, sky-high heels

Some of the keywords are: Sheen, gold, black metallic, casual, loose-dresses with lace leggings, sky high heels, over-the-knee boots, booties, skinny destroyed denim, skulls, leather, statement bangles

things carried over from last year:

  • vests
  • monotone
  • damage denim
  • scarves (making a comeback from 07)
  • berets
  • leopard print (Warning: Girls it is not time to cover in head to toe mismatched leopard print. If I see this on another Amegal I will scream! Keep it chill and sexy ladies.)
  • skulls
Houndstooth beret from Cecil McBee

Ultra damage denim from Lip Service

new for this fall:

  • leather
  • lace
  • shiny black metallic
  • gold dot metallic (a lot like the top dress in the Mango ad campaign seen at Moussy and One*Spo)
  • michael jackson influences
  • booties
  • black / grey / red / white / leopard
  • the studded, platform, spike shoe trend done to perfection at topshop (1, 2)
Rough and sweet from Mar*s

Gilfy sequin bolero, rocker print dress, casual fold-down engineer boots

For older gals, Zara’s first and third new fall sets are complete on point for an adult style.

A few American buys I’ll be taking over to Japan to easily rock this trend:

black reptile feel leggings
mega-rip rocker leggings
awesome titled “storm” jeans

What do you think of the new trends?

Love them?
Hate them?
Need to see more for the final verdict?

Glad News, WAHAHA!!

Glad News website: here
Locations and Tokyo: 109 7th flr for ladies, 109-2 for mens. Machida 109 as well

This is one of my favorite brands, so it’s hard not to talk about them without gushing. Their 109 location has tons of sweet people working there and they’re often all found at the basement of Atom on Friday nights listening to psychadelic trance.

There’s a great article in english about Glad News’ designer Miwa Mochizuki and her influences here.

A designer for hip brand Glad News, her makeup, hair, nails, and figure are flawless, although she is not about being pretty and girly. Instead she is dressed in a leather biker jacket, one of the set pieces of the Glad News repertoire. “The look is based on biker style. Mixing a biker jacket with shorts, or a dress — it’s for strong women,” she purrs in her husky voice, as she explains the concept behind the brand.

…”We are basically a gyaru brand, but there’s more to us than that. We have all sorts of customers — ones who are into rock, into psychedelic music . . . even dads come in to the men’s shop.”

Miwa hits a note right when she discusses her customers. You can find her often at 109 and tell her so ^_^. Many of her designs are also featured in Kera, making it a great outfit choice for those of you who are wanting to transfer out of the j-rock style.

Glad News: Edgy, Sexy and Fun!


Spring 2008, Glad News put out a whole line of shirts, jackets and shorts that had printed all over them “I’m not a whore, I’m just popular.” Knowing English I LMAO, but it’s just the kind of fun and edgy saying Miwa goes for.

Bootylicious:

Another reason to love Glad News, they’re generous sizing in shorts. Many 109 designers say a medium is hip measurement 89 centimeters or 35 inches. Glad News, however, says their shorts in medium are 93 centimeters or almost 37 inches! Great for girls with booty!


Fun Prints

This summer all of Glad News prints were a runaway success, and their style is instantly recognizable so you didnt have to wear at logo shirt to rock the brand. Glad News is not afraid AT ALL of putting out crazy prints. In 2008 spring their popular print was the notorious “I’m not a whore, I’m just popular” fall 08 was “that’s really shitty!” Others run more rock edged with fuck printed all over dresses or grenades and bright colors.


I’m rock and lazy! Love the airy cut of this

LOL

No life no music and I would go crazy, WAHAHAHA!!

Their Kaws-style print, purple highway of angels…wtf?

Ultimate Girly Rock

There are a few other stores in 109 that cater to the rock-kei girls, but IMO no one designs better in girly style than GN.

Nonoka and other Egg chica from her blog. Both in GN
(and more braids!)

They do BOYS!

109-2 has a great GN men’s store with nice helpful staff. We were able to put a whole outfit together at GN Mens for 120 (jeans, vest, belt, shirt). While some of their female prints don’t transfer well to the men’s side, they do have great men’s only prints and hot jeans styles. If your man is more rock/skater-themed he might just find a good home at GN mens.

Super friendly staff

Sometimes this is not as important, but 109 staff can range from snots (Gilfy 109 is sometimes prone to this) to standoffish to downright too helpful (Swordfish often has this problem). GN strikes a great balance, and my old staff chan who has since quit used to stand and talk about anything while she was working.

Tips for taking the GN style and buying overseas

These are just a few things I found from Urban Outfitters that play into GN’s style.

Leather, metallics, pops of color, humor and rock

Going Shihara with BAPE

With Tsubasa reviving the magazine PopSister, there’s been a rise in crossover of Shibuya Gal with Harajuku casual. The blending is pretty easy to consinder since it’s only a 15 minute walk from Takeshita in Harajuku to Centaagai in Shibuya. However what defines ShiHara is not so understandable.

Yurukaji (aka loose casual), perfect for sweaty summer

ShiHara-kei for me has to be one of two things

– A blending of harajuku casual with gal [not often seen]
– Wearing a store that is prominent in both districts

Now since reason 2 might not be as understandable, but clothing stores like ANAP, BAPE, Hysteric Glamour and LDS fronted Girl’s Voices are all acceptable.

When wearing from these brands it’s important to portray the rest of yourself as gal if you are looking to go very ShiHara. Nails, false bottom and top eyelashes, overly styled hair etc… One of the main reasons to enjoy Shihara is that its casual where sneakers and loose-fit jeans prevail.

Get casual NOW!

August is the absolute worst time to be in Japan. Honestly, if you have flight plans work your hardest to change it a month forward or backward. It rains the most in August and it is deadly humid and hot. You just melt and sweating makes your feet create horrible blisters in heels. So casual and comfortable is the best idea this month.

The forever young Aki Hoshino (who did the Gilfy 08 catalog) in Bape fall 09 catalog

Bape HARAJUKU – 東京都渋谷区神宮前4-21-5
Bape SHIBUYA – 東京都渋谷区宇田川町13-17 ライズビル (gmap)

Bape Harajuku usually has more selection and also a seperate ladies floor, but both are great.

BAPE history

BAPE was founded by Nigo in 1993, a lot of Japanese people I’ve met are unfamilar with BAPE but familar with Nigo. He has a crazy tv show on MTV Japan you can watch all episodes here region free. BAPE has blown up and a lot of hiphop celebs love it. Pharrell has a joint company with Nigo and Kanye West is one of the BAPE heads. The best thing is Bape now has stores in London, Paris, New York and LA and a US webstore. So you can get Shihara kaji by shopping at home.

bape nerd is a great place to get info

Bape is Gyaru loved

So ATOM head dj, Tora, was a huge fan of Bape in ’07-’08. It was impossible to see him out of it. This seemed to rub off on Royal Cast dj crew member and event night dj and local hottie, Satoshi (he’s in Bape on his profile pic). Who at the time was dating Egg model Kanako. Now Kanako seems to be a long lover of BAPE and posted recently about getting the Fall lookbook and putting the stickers on her cellphone.

Can it fit me, hell yeah it can!

Sizes for girls go from XXS to S, with the S being almost an American Medium. Although a lot of tee prints are unisex which range up to men’s XXL.

Alright show me some bape!


Kanako in Bape shirt and cap with crazy dresser Verbal

Her bape-stickered phone

Their new silver and gold prints for fall

Their shark hoodie in cute drawn form

Baby Milo is popular with gals (and with me!)

A whole outfit with Bape trucker and jeans

Cute hairtie for any outfit

Brand new girls LE Milo x Ghostbusters tee

My comfy Bapestas for fall

There’s always cute designs and bape tees are made out of great thick comfy material, it’s also great for the bkei girls around. So go ahead nuts “go Ape Shit, especially in my Pastelle in my Bape shit…”

Shop Talk part two

Upcoming Trends

White – Especially those in white cotton with lace aspects.

– tip: Try an all white outfit with a waist belt in white.

Fabulous from Delyle.
Another trend to watch for: trend styled basics (frills + basic)


Neogladiators – Not gladiators to the knee, but those with lots of straps and edgy details.


I had to buy these in black from Esperanza. 4 inch heels, hollah!


Mickey – Not just for Popteen’s Kumiko, Mickey has got a deal with 5 109 brands (Moussy, Swanky, LoveBoat, LDS, and Redark) Also 109-2 Mens Vanquish has it featured, too. That’s more than Hello Kitty with just two (JSG and Deylye).

– steal this look: At your local Disney Store near you.

Gingham and country stripes – From Gilfy to Liz Lisa these trends are here for summer.

Layered frills – from tops to onepieces in Glad News to Lip Service it’s comfortable and looks great with hotpants.

Also available in summery white from Glad News


Layered shirts – Shirts with a band at the bottom as a fake double layer shirt.

Scoopneck necklines – Very important. Every store is doing this chest-loving style.

– tip: Gap has cheap basic scoopneck in cute colors.

Rocking to two trends at once: logo and scoopneck


Studs – On shirts, dresses, belts, and jewelry it’s everywhere. Love Boat is doing this look best.
– tip: Just like sparkle, this is best worked as an accent.

Vertical Stripes – Yes many stores are still doing horizontal ones, but vertical are so much more flattering. They make you taller! Seen on Gilfy to One*Spo.

Scoopneck and Vertical, Delyle also has this in a fabulous dress

Grade: B

While their style was varied there were tons of cute white cotton dresses, tops and lacy outfits. Their style looked both effortless and easy to set-up. White cotton with lace seems to be an ongoing theme and it looked very stylish at LDS.

LDS still kept their haadi side with open-toe converse-style wedges with stud detailing on one side. Cute, bright and big accessories as always. Definitely worth a look.

Grade: A

I usually call Liz Lisa out for being typical, boring and not following the trends. They really surprised me this time with casual, cute, girly trend items. They had tons of flowy sweet dresses with drop-waist button up trend styling. Their look this season isn’t hippy or too brown. There was even Marine aspects in their looks. I have a feeling my first Liz Lisa onepiece will come soon.

Grade: B-

Studs and dots were played throughout and most every piece looked very wearable. A great place to buy resort style from. Many gals make a summer trip to Hawaii, Guam or Thailand and resort style is in every summer. A great place to pick up a shirt or two. They also had the most adorable long romper of 109 with halter styling in sherbert colors.

Minus: The most ugliest set of dresses with dots combined with neon flowers. It’s a blatant take on the Louis Vuitton Stephen Sprouse rose collection.

On a bag it’s hot. On a dress with dots, it’s NOT!

Grade: B

Great amekaji. Cute sets and shirts everywhere. Just in: their new Mickey Mouse collab. I am still wondering weather to get it since its in sweatshirt material, but it’s hella cute and the boatneck cut is flattering. They also have a great take on the preppy button-up shirt. If I hadn’t nabbed one already, ReDark’s would’ve been a must buy.

Swanky, Moussy and Love Boat all have Mickey tees. My favorite being the Redark and Love Boat one (with studs!). However, with all of the prices starting at around 5,000 yen, it is hard to justify buying one.

Grade: B

A cute dot selection of shorts and pants and tons of frill layered dresses and shirts, but nothing was a show-stopper.

Grade: B-

I usually stay away from this store because of their high price point (i.e. $$). However, they’ve decided to diversify and now have a Moussy basics line with lots of great cut basic tees.


This oversize tee onepiece with pockets was comfortable and the edgy print ads all the style you need. Great for carefree summer dressing. It’s on my wishlist.

Duras

Grade: C

Cute dot rompers and everything looks slouchy and casual, but it’s all in chiffon and satin. For those who have done laundry in Japan know those two materials look hideous when drip dried (the way most have to dry their clothes in Japan). A+ for effort, but D for having items that aren’t wearable.

Other notes:

Swordfish has a limited edition denim hotpants with heart pockets on the front. Last year their denim back heart pocket theme was everywhere. Nothing totally new.

Bumblebee has a great rose dress that worn looks amazing. The gathered skirt is very classy and pretty. Showing up in all the magazines (current Egg included).

Mar*s up to their same tricks mostly, but some really cute frill outfits. Also a popular logo dress is popping up in Ageha.

Me Jane has a new onepiece that everyone seems to love, Shake Shake is copying it as well. A t-shirt top, black band and chiffon bottom. It looks adorable on, I hope to see more variations.

RoseFanFan decided to do another Louis Vuitton copy and use the Stephen Sprouse tribute neon collection and make it into leggings and shirts saying RoseFanFan. It may be a blatant copy, but it does look kind of cool.