The culture of women’s fashion varies across borders far and wide, but whether you’re a girl in Paris or Phuket there’s one thing we all need just the same: bras and underwear. But when it comes to the approach taken to designing and selling these delicates…. well THAT is where the divides are as vast as the oceans. I’ve already talked about “mote-kei” (pretty style) and how sex appeal is different in Japan. But just how different? From functional common sense to how they are showing off (or not) to the opposite sex…let’s check in with the upper echelons of Japanese lingerie this time to see.
It’s a tale as old as time…anyone with an interest in fashion and shopping for the latest luxury brand has had to come to terms with how much they’ve really got in their pocket to spend.
I’m always have to work for what I buy. So shopping in a big luxury brand’s shop has never been less than intimidating, and having sales staff judge you for how you look is a part of life in my home-country of the US and…. most parts in the world, frankly. But Japan is…different. As a nation with mostly middle-class shoppers, feeling judged against the rich patrons of the world is probably a fairly new phenomenon.
As such, a huge part of the population (mostly young people) is getting more and more turned off by luxury shopping in Japan. When a person is old enough they start caring about what sales people think of them less and less. But when young people are in their formidable late teens or early 20s, having a bad impression in designer shops is something very hard to turn around. And thus, cheaper stores with an easy-going atmosphere are thriving.
Here at TFD we asked some sales people at high-end stores about the current atmosphere of young shoppers in Tokyo, and what they think of them. Finally, we talked to a Japanese girl in her early 20s about how she feels shopping for designer and luxury shopping in Japan these days.
I can’t tell you what the judges are looking for on any given year, or what they were looking for this time, but I must say I was surprised at the outcome! These winners tend to be architectural and very plain in color..in that way, the Soen Awards 2015 winners were easier to predict. But still, I was surprised there weren’t more colorful winners on the stage even in the runners-up. The major reason given by the judges for their choices was “good concept” and “high quality”. But some of the most compelling concepts weren’t chosen. Since the audience doesn’t get to touch or see the pieces up close, I will definitely take their word for it. But that doesn’t mean we can’t choose our own favorites, right? See the rest of the nominees and then the winners revealed below. Were the 2015 Soen Awards winners your favorites or not?
The Soen Awards 2015 in Tokyo were a lesson in creativity and innovation. The award nominees are given a year to hone their portfolios, and then they are plucked out of the crowd by the best designers in Japan today who serve on the panel of judges. This was the 89th ever Soen Awards.. which is a lot of lessons. And it’s still not predictable who will take the top cash and mentorship prize…. because all of my predictions went out the window!
New Japanese dance icons AyaBambi are bringing sexy back …to fashion.
Now not to be rude, but if you haven’t heard of dancing duo AyaBambi by now then perhaps you’ve been hibernating for the past year. They have been on my radar now for awhile (I call them “neo karasu-zoku” which means “tribe of crows” or people who wear all black) and I think it’s time to designate them as truly new fashion icons to Japanese women and beyond.
We can talk about all of the improvements that could be made about Tokyo Fashion Week until the cows come home, but how about we also note what makes it really GREAT? Each week brings out the best of the city it’s hosted in. And Tokyo already has one of the best reputations in the world. What makes it a really great to be a show-goer in Tokyo? I know it seems like maybe I don’t like Tokyo Fashion Week, but it’s still a highlight of course! Let’s see what makes TFW tick:
東京独特なストリート系 Street-style at TFW. Photo of mini. All photos by Mitsugu Uehara.
What is “fashion” to you? Is all fashion clothing? Sure. But is all clothing “fashion”?
Personally, I think not. I also think there is a difference between a clothing brand, and a ”fashion” brand. Not all clothing is created equal. And when it comes to fashion week I am there to see capital-EFF-ashion.
This article is not being written by Misha the critic or journalist. It’s being written by Misha who is interested in fashion, loves to buy fashion, and loves to work hard to earn money to spend on fashion.
Every season I should be excited to see the designs and dream of wearing the clothes or putting them into my closet. But recently… and especially last season….I didn’t see much fashion. I didn’t feel compelled to go buy it. But I did see a lot of clothing. A glut of….body-covering panels of cloth.
Is this Tokyo Fashion Week? Or is this turning into Tokyo Clothing Week?
Below: Onitsuka Tiger by Andrea Pompilio 2015 SS. Top photo: Ne-net 2015 SS. Photo by Mitsugu Uehara.
Haven’t we all dreamed of living in a world blanketed in wi-fi? The internet is the 4th leg of the three life essentials: housing, food, clothing…and mobile internet connection. First world problems, I know. But while having the world fully wired may be a pipe dream, I would settle for a near future of just having Japan covered. Or even Tokyo.
Well I have tasted the future, and it is delicious. The large city of Fukuoka, (south of Osaka, on Kyushu) is currently the most widely covered wi-fi city in all of Japan, and I was there to try it out. And I wasn’t just there to surf the internet all day; on top of being wired, Fukuoka is also crowned a “Special Kawaii District” and has it’s own ambassador. I was infinitely curious to find out what a “Kawaii District” is, exactly.
So with the Tokyo Olympics coming up, we’ve been promised that our fair metropolis will be wi-fi ready by 2020. ..and yet there are already hidden free wifi spots here I learned of which are ready for you and I to freeload off of right now. How/where do you get them? See: