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how to style a fashion show


The 2016 SS clothes are hitting the shelves… and it’s time to reflect on the 20166 SS runway show I styled for Desigual at New York Fashion Week. Why did it take me so long to write? Well, this job was a DREAM and I would be remiss for not admitting that it was one of the most challenging but rewarding experiences of my life. How does one put that into words.. much less a “blog post”, which is something so….discard-able. Well, I`ve mulled it over, read my interviews, even read all of the internet’s comments on it (Duh, call me masochistic or just too Gen Y to consider internet comments off limits) and so finally here is my tale. Part 1’s intro is here, this is part 2 folks (but part 2 is more interesting IMHO.) Here we go!





そこでひとつ浮かび上がった疑問。日本人にとってデパートの紙袋は具体的にどのくらい重要なのか? “本当”に大切なのだろうなとは予想がつく。実際問題、ショッピングバッグのデザインは購買意欲につながる( 限定デザインの紙袋なんかはかなりの人気を博す )。 アメリカ人の私としては、その文化はとても素敵なものに映るのは正直。日本にやって来る前はパッケージやそのデザインを 気にしたことなど全くなかった(それがティファニーやエルメスだった場合を除いて)。そこで、東京でデザインされた”百貨店のショッピングバッグ” に着目して、”ファッション”の面から勝手にランキングしてみました。どのデパートがいちばんスタイリッシュかな?リニューアルしたら…?というデパートは?意見を添えてまとめていますよー。

At the Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix, perhaps the most prestigious awards in Japanese fashion, there was an award bestowed upon a paper shopping bag. Yes, a shopping bag. As part of the “buzz” award, it went to commemorate the Mitsukoshi Department Store’s new bag design “Minori”. I have to say, I have been in Japan quite some years and I know the culture, but I still thought it was a funny quirk that would give a shopping bag one of the highest fashion honors of the year.

Shopping bags are a MAJOR part of modern Japanese culture. Especially since they get used as wrapping for gifts (as in, are given in the same paper bag it was bought in, with the store logo displayed prominently) or are reused to haul around stuff that won’t fit in a handbag. In the west, we tend re-wrap our gifts or throw stuff into any old bag so I don’t remember saving store bags at all. Here, some limited edition store shopping bags can draw crowds, and holiday versions are especially popular (think of it like the Starbucks red cup season). A change in one of the centuries-old department store bags would definitely make the news.  So I looked at all of the Department Store shopping bag designs in Tokyo and ranked them from a “fashion” perspective. If you’re gonna be carrying it around everywhere, it might as well look good. What Department Store is the most stylish? And what, in my opinion, needs an update?




  • J-POP界のクイーン、倖田來未
  • 世界初バーチャルリアリティ装置オキュラスリフトを使ったミュージックビデオ
  • 幻想的なファッション
  • そして監督はYKBX


このお話をいただいたとき、ミーシャはすぐに話に乗った。オキュラスリフトはFacebookが買収したというニュースを知って以来ミーシャも注目していたものだった(いや、有名な話かもしれないけどファッションブログよりもテクノロジー系のブログを常にチェックしている)。そして初音ミクのデジタルオペラ”The End”を手がけたYKBX (初音ミクがルイヴィトンのコスチュームを着たホログラムだった)。それに、ミーシャが10年前に日本へ来る前からすでにスターの地位を確立していた倖田來未。 ぜひ、革新的でプロフェッショナルなこの方たちと一緒に、今まで見たことないものを生み出したかったからLET’S GO!な勢いで取り組みだした。


( ただ今東京デザイナーズウィークにて体験出来ます!)

完成品には本当に、心底満足している。特に服。ファンタジーだけどファッショナブルなものにしたかったから、コスチュームデザイナーなどではなく、よりリアルなファッションブランドで衣装を調達する必要があった。そして協力していただいたのが、Yohji Yamamoto、Limi Feu、Roggykei、Kotaro Sakadume。





When I was asked to be in charge of the fashion for a “really cool new project” that involved:

  • J-Pop-Queen Kumi Koda
  • Virtual Reality device Oculus Rift
  • Director YKBX
  • Epic RAD fashion

I was IN. The Oculus Rift has been on my radar since news broke that Facebook bought it this year (I am more of a gadget geek than fashion freak…maybe). Then I needed no introduction to Koda Kumi, who has been a star since even before I arrived to Japan 10 years ago. Then there was YXBX, who was responsible for Hatsune Miku’s digital opera “The End” (in which Louis Vuitton provided costumes). I REALLY wanted to work with these people, some of the most well-known, innovative and professional in the industry.

What we created was even beyond my expectations! The world’s first 360deg virtual reality music video. (which you can experience at Tokyo Designer’s Week NOW… details at the end).

I was so incredibly happy with how it turned out, and especially the clothes. I wanted it to be fantasy but also fashionable. So I needed to work with real fashion brands and not costume designers. For this I called upon Yohji Yamamoto, Limi Feu, Roggykei and Kotaro Sakadume.

Kumi may have a certain image, but for this project she told me she was really happy to wear “fashion forward clothing”. She also was the one to suggest working with Japanese brands, since the team was all based in Tokyo, and the virtual reality would be showcased at Tent London. Kumi is already very stylish..even in her normal clothes she has incredibly good taste, donning the likes of Alexander McQueen and Marios to fittings.

Below find more info on the clothes, and behind the scenes stories from the music video and filming. Trailer is below (available for full download along with the single on pre-order here).





シティに住むガールはモノクロのワードローブで勝負することが基本。でもさ、セメントジャングルの中だからって、セメント色の日々を送らなきゃいけないわけじゃないの。だって、いつも言っているように “黒を着る女性はカラフルな人生を送る” んだから。


例えば ”カラフルな服でまわりの人たちを笑顔にしてあげるの”という正義のヒーローならぬヒロイン的な精神。


その上、実際の現代社会では、やらなければいけないことがたくさんあるもの…みなさんだって、ミーティングのからミーティングへと走りまわり、アポに遊び…浴びるスポットライトだって追いつかないでしょう。でもモノクロってつまらないのかしら?コーディネートで良く言う”さし色”ってありますよね?ある意味 ”カラフル” にすることができるアクセント。実は、モノクロの好きなあなたに本物の色をリアルに身につけなくても、“さし色”をつくることができるの…


Girls in black lead brilliantly colorful lives.

On the flip side, there’s a mode emploi of dress that some heroines adhere to; “I wear colorful clothes because when people see me I want them to smile.”

It’s certainly a respectable positioning, and I`ve encountered these feelings myself many times. But it’s not all of our jobs to entertain the world with our clothes. Our lives are our *own* runways. And in reality, we have stuff to do, running around town…and the spotlight definitely won’t be keeping up. So for those days (and I would say for most of you readers that means “every day”), you can make yourself “colorful” through other means, while keeping a cool, urban city-girl-ready monochrome wardrobe.

How is that? Personality, action, intention, ethics…and imagination. These are also our own “colors” which keep us from being just another sad black sheep of the masses in black and white clothes. For me, I focus on honing my creativity. I`m calling this my own “accent color”.

Photos: Celia Humphries


revlontext--Misha-Water-walk-2-©-Celia-Humphries copy







If you’re a working woman in the city, there comes a point in time where you’ll a notice your monochromatic wardrobe becomes a uniform. Black itself is a staple that can’t be deterred and no matter what the magazines and fashion trends try to tell us, black will never be ousted from it’s post as the number one color choice for urban girls.

It is cool….strong….timeless.

But black is also considered…lifeless…..dark….boring.

But I think that black is just a canvas, where the colors of our imagination POP when they spill out on it. You don’t have to wear it on your sleeve. Because girls in black lead brilliantly colorful lives.





オリジナリティにあふれるからこそ、世界が注目する「原宿」。でも最近「何か」が少し可笑しくなっていると気づいたのは私だけじゃないはず (この前のアヴァンギャルドとの対談にも多く取り上げられている)。



The other day I was catching up with one of my most dear friend and respected designer of a brand popular in Harajuku. I asked him how things are going lately, and he lamented about a growing problem he and his brand are facing. “The store next door to us is copying my designs, and eating out of our sales.”

I’m deeply saddened, but not surprised.

Harajuku is known the world over for being a bastion of creativity and originality. But recently there is a disturbance in the creative force. Something is definitely not right here, and I know I’m not the only one to notice it.

With more Harajuku and Shibuya brands getting world recognition lately, they will face the hardest battles of their careers as they fight on the world stage. But perhaps the most difficult fight they face is not a global one…but one on their own turf?

Will Harajuku copy and paste itself into irrelevance? Hopefully that future stops here…


harajuku-ura hara tower

“Ura-Harajuku Tower” 「裏原宿タワー」。みたことあるようなないようなものがずらりとういうのが現実に?…
(c)JohnHathaway 上載の絵はイメージ画像であり記事とは無関係

 Top photo: culturejapan.jp

Screen shot 2014-07-30 at 4.24.52 AM



“I can say with absolute confidence that it was Avantgarde that made tattoo stockings such a phenomenon. No one else did it. No one.”

So swears Kazuhiro Watanabe, the founder of wildly popular legwear brand Avantgarde and owner of its landmark Ura-Harajuku store. Since their tights broke on the scene in 2011, hundreds of brands have tried to mimic their success. This 3-part interview chronicles the idea, the success, and the impending end of this massive trend and the brand behind it. Part 3 looks at the post-tights future of Avantgarde and the Harajuku culture that propelled it.






Exclusive Interview. In 2011 something occured in Tokyo that influenced fashion more than anything since the gyaru. It all started with one store in Harajuku, a basement spot that was to lead the face of how we dressed our legs everyday. This store is of course, the inimitable “Avantgarde”, a tights store that started the “tattoo” tights boom now echoed throughout the world. This interview with its founder will tell you how it started…and how it’s now calling it quits. This is the making, and unraveling of Avantgarde….