Tokyo Fashion Diaries Fashion Blog by Misha Janette | ミーシャジャネットの東京ファッションダイアリー Tue, 19 Aug 2014 16:11:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The coolest Japanese brand you don’t know yet: The Reracs あっちこっちで見ている謎のブランド「ザ・リラクス」って何? Tue, 19 Aug 2014 16:09:57 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger


A brand started popping up on Numero TOKYO recently, and every time I’ve seen a cool outfit credited to this “The Reracs” I’ve gotten curiouser and curiouser. It seems chic, has a fair price point, but most interestingly at all, it was designated as a Japanese brand. Not one that I was particularly familiar with, it didn’t even vaguely ring a bell. I pride myself on knowledge of Japanese brands, but I don’t presume to know them ALL. And yet here is one on Numero with the likes of Sacai, Toga and other well-treaded labels. What is The Reracs then?? There wasn’t anything written about them in English I could even find, so consider this (maybe) the first…

そのブランドはヌメロトーキョーに突如登場した。かっこいいなと思うルックのクレジットを見るといつもそのブランド、”The Reracs”と書いてある。だから、ミーシャのなかでどんどん、どんどん気になるブランドになっていった。決して派手で、個性的というわけじゃなく、シックでフェアな価格のこのブランドだけど、確かにそれは1番興味深いブランドなのです。ジャパニーズブランドについての知識には自信があるけれど、日本のブランドととして始まったThe Reracsという名前は聞いたこともなかった。ヌメロではサカイやトーガなど名の知れたブランドと一緒に掲載されていた。いったい”The Reracs”って何者だ??このブランドについて、英語のインフォメーションはまだないみたい。だからこれが第一号になるかも…(「このブランド、初耳!」という日本人も少なくないでしょう)



The Reracs was launched in 2010 as a casual brand by husband and wife team Naomi and Naoyuki Kurahashi, encompassing both mens and womenswear. They have a holy grail of experience between them, with Naomi a former select shop employee and patternmaker and Naoyuki with his experience in merchandising and marketing fashion brands. Any information written about The Reracs almost comes prefaced with a warning: “This brand doesn’t do any challenging designs, it’s basics”. It’s as if something has to be intimidating to be considered fashionable. But as it even pulled me into it’s curious orbit, we know that must not always be true. I have often said that “mode” (high-brow fashion) is an attitude, not a label. And this brand makes sure that comes across in spades. The models are strong, not “cute”, they look ready for action and effortless. The recent catalogue sees a military battalion of challenge-ready boys and girls just waiting for someone to question them so they can retort au chic.

The designs are simple with a razor-thin margin for detail, but even peering through pictures they look well-crafted. The brand touts full -Japan-made manufacturing and fair trade. It’s number of stockists is dizzying, so it’s popularity is quantifiable. If you’re looking to discover a cool new brand to watch out for, this may be it.

The Reracs online


ネットで情報を調べたら、必ず添えられていた”要注意”みたいな一文が 。”ぶっとんだデザイン生はなし、ベーシックなものをつくっているブランドです。”とThe RERACSに関する開設。ファッショナブルだと認識されるために威圧感が必要だ。のような話もあるけど、ミーシャが興味をそそられたように、それは常に正しいとは言えないと思うよ。前々から私が口にしている”モードとはアティチュードであって、ブランドによって左右されるものじゃない”という言葉を裏付けてくれるような、そんなブランドだと思います。モデルは強くたくましく、キュート系ではない。動きだしそうな姿勢で着こなしている。最新カタログでは軍隊の指令を待つボーイズアンドガールズを描く。これぞシックの逆襲だ。

シンプルなデザインだけどディテールに目を向けるとレザーが駆使されていたり。画像をよくみると本当に丁寧に作り込まれているのがわかる。The Reracsのアピールポイントは、全て日本製でフェアトレードであること。人気があるということは、目が回るほどの取扱店舗の数が物語っています。クールな新しいブランドに飢えているみなさん、The Reracsを見るといいかもしれない。私も目を凍って探してみるーーー






















-misha janette
-asst natsumi yasuoka


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Kazafuta Koki’s functional exoskeleton fashion 2014 AW 壱吾弐工機(カザフタコウキ) 世を生き抜くための戦闘ユニフォーム Sat, 16 Aug 2014 19:18:50 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger


Looking at this collection. it’s hard not to mistake the photos for GIFs, as the clothes appear to actually be moving ever so subtly, like cinegram animations. The curving undulations lend to the illusion of motion on the body. That’s part of the theme revolving around the debut collection of brand KAZAFUTA KOKI, calling it “Blueprint for strengthening the fiber exoskeleton”, There’s a lot of difficult words in there (in Japanese it looks even more like WUTsauce) but the designs themselves are not as out of this world as you’d expect. It’s actually very grounded… but is this a cyborg plan for fashion?


最初にこのコレクションを見たとき、洋服が生きているように感じた。まるで服自体が意志を持って形を成しているような。そんな壱吾弐工機(カザフタコウキ) の今季のテーマは”繊強外骨格化画” (繊維強化外骨格計画の略)。ブランド名もテーマも漢字がたくさん連なっていてなんだか難しいけれど、実際のルックを見ると納得できるかも。






Designer Noda used to be head of local brand PHIZ, but is starting fresh with Kazufuta Koki and decided to really push the limits in impactful fashion for the debut. The most fascinating thing here is what the eye can’t see; the curious textiles Noda used to make his pieces. I knew there was something going on here so I asked Noda himself to explain what futuristic sorcery was afoot…

…he said he used two main fabrics for the collection , the first being cardboard-recycled sweatshirt material. It’s a pretty common type of textile for sweatshirts and pants, but here he added nylon fibers which give it a sheen akin to a cyborg’s protective shell.

The other fabric is called Hyblizatec (?? I actually have no idea how to romanize this….) which is an incredibly efficient & high-tech water-resistant cloth. Water comes to say hello and doesn’t stay awhile. It literally rolls right off like oil and…water. Repelling each other like Eminem and Katy Perry.

It’s a modern “suit”-up for the man or woman who likes to have some functionality with their fashion. it’s amazing to see such a small brand experimenting with the high-tech textiles that Japan offers for as long as they can.



何と言ってもおもしろいのが 、使われている素材。見ただけではよく分からないめずらしいものなので、野田さん本人に伺ってみた。














-Misha Janette
Asst. Natsumi Yasuoka
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Black. Bondange. Booty. Alice Auaa 2014-15 アリスアウアア秋冬2014 キーワード : ボンテージの極みを纏う Wed, 13 Aug 2014 21:01:24 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger


In 2012 Alice Auaa came back from a 13-year grave to stage a fashion show at Tokyo Fashion Week. Since then, every collection has come with a full course of avantgarde fashion, art, technical innovation and entertainment. This time designer Funakoshi took us deep into another one of the fantastical realms of his imagination, this time a world of blackness like the depth of an inkwell,  and also terribly erotic. 2012年にファッションウィークで13年振りにショー復活を果たした

アリスアウアア。毎コレクション、驚くようなデザイン、美術、テクノロジー、技術、しょして世界観を最高のクオリティで見せてくれる。いうまでもないが、まるでファッション イズ エンタテインメント。今回デザイナーの船越さんが連れて行ってくれるのは、漆黒の闇、究極のエロスがうずまくブラックファンタジー世界。



Titled “The Grave of a Beast”, it’s a 180 degree turnabout from last season’s shower of white looks (telling the story of a woman drowning in a lake), but a welcome return to the skin AA feels most comfortable in. The models strut in steel tails upturned like beast ready to pounce, but you wouldn’t know these enemies for their faces are shrouded in leather masks. A half-turn on the runway reveals a cheeky addition (or subtraction) to the costume, for a stylish take on S&M paraphenalia. Alice Auaa is a”gothic” brand although the leather jackets and corsets would fit in any Givenchy or McQueen-loving girl’s closet. To get it, you’ll have to become one of its “Zealot” members, in an customer-designer relationship and community like the inner sanctum of high couture.  If you’re wondering where to start, then pick up those cute little leather half-gloves… they rev up ANY outfit ANY time. What world will Funakoshi be taking us to next? The brand is slated to appear at Tokyo Fashion Week in Oct so it’s right around a dark corner…


テーマは”The Grave of  a Beast” (獣の墓場) 。前回はホワイト中心に水死した女の子を描いたのに対し、今シーズンはアリスアウアアの真骨頂ともいえるオールブラックで固めている。お尻にはながーい尻尾、顔には黒いマスクをつけているモデルたちは異様な空気を纏っている。得意なゴシックテイストでありながら、身体を締め付けるような服やハーネスが多用され、今回はいつにもまして”エロス”が際立つ、まさにハードなボンテージファッション。 さすが。これは全国に”堀越ファンタジー”の虜になる、熱狂的ファンがたくさんいるよねと、あらためてうなずける圧巻のコレクション。 さて、つぎはどんなファンタジー世界に誘ってくれるのだろう?たのしみだ。

Alice Auaa OFFICIAL(grave of the beast)














































-Misha Janette
Asst. Natsumi Yasuoka


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The making of AVANTGARDE; behind the Japanese tattoo tights boom Pt 3. アヴァギャルドが出来るまで。タイツブームの裏話、パート3。 Sun, 10 Aug 2014 18:12:56 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger

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.










それはアバンギャルド信者の方々にとってすごくショックなことだろう。だってアバンギャルドはただタイツを売る場所ではなくて、そこにはコミュニティがあるから。たくさんのファンが、お気に入りのスタッフ目当てにやってくる。ここのスタッフは上手にスタイリングをしてタイツを履きこなし、”アバンギャルド ガールズ”として雑誌にも登場。特に印象的だったのはモモと中川ジュリア。どちらも原宿ストリートのカリスマ的存在となった。洗練されたかっこよさをブランドに与えた。また、アバンギャルドは海外でも人気がでた。そんななか変化が…アバンギャルドではもう彼女たちには会えないの。



As of now, there are hundreds of brands putting out tights with tattoos or colorful designs thanks to the doors that Avantgarde opened for them. In Japan, colorful tights are still a must for many in their everyday outfits. Even in the sweltering summer, many women won’t even consider not wearing tights or leggings outside. But Kazuhiro says that out of all of those brands, only 10 or so are actually doing anything notable like Avantgarde did.

“I’m sorry but when Avantgarde ends, most of those brands will fail. The dozen or so left will last longer, maybe a few years or so,” said Kazuhiro.


-The end is near-

“I want to stop making legwear my main business within the year. As well, I want to leave the current shop location at the same time.”

Oh my. That is sure to be a huge shock for the legion of Avantgarde fans out there. After all, it was more than just the tights, it was a community as well. Many fans came to meet their favorite shop girls who styled their legwear in genius variations day in and day out, and appearing in magazines as “Avantgarde girls”. The most popular of these shop girls were Juria Nakagawa and Momo, both who became some of the most popular personalities in the Harajuku street scene. They cultivated an impossibly cool image for the brand, and it spread abroad as well. But as things change, so do the girls… Juria was unceremoniously let go when allegations of misconduct spread on the internet, and Momo, who once went under the blog handle ”Socks lover girl”, left legwear behind to work at neighboring store Bubbles .


“I was really lucky to have them then. It’s a shame it all ended up how it did, although I wish them well. I think it’s really important to have interesting people with ideas and passion working with me. Recently I hired a transgendered boy, and although he is really young at 20 years old, I see a lot of potential and courage in him.”








“アイデアはいっぱいある…オーバーサイズのボックスTシャツとか、アイデアさえ浮かべば学生でもできちゃいそうなDIYでもともとある製品をオリジナルに変身させたり。そこで唯一浮かんだのはDOG(近所の原宿ショップ) 。ここは今までかっこいいDIYのファッションをたくさん提案してきている。”

そこで彼が最初のプロジェクトとして手がけたのは”Doc Martens100”。アバンギャルドとDOGのコラボレーションブーツラインで、各100ペアずつの限定販売。これはカスタマイズできるようにデザインされていて、アバンギャルドのストッキングがブーツのレースアップとして使用出来るようにひもを通す穴が大きく作られていたりする。ショップとオンラインの両方で購入可能です!











-Putting legs in the past, and head into the future-


As for the future of the Avantgarde brand, Kazuhiro confirms that the company will stay running, it just won’t be so leggy anymore.


“To me, it’s an extension of what I’ve already been doing in terms of product design and idea-making, but maybe the average customer won’t see it as that. “


Instead, he says he is looking to make things based on ideas he has, not as a fashion brand, but as individual products.


“I have a lot of ideas… I just want to make some oversized box t-shirts, and some products that are DIY so even a young student can come in and make it their own. I can only think of DOG [neighboring Harajuku shop] that has done such a good job at making DIY fashion so successful.”


One of the first projects Kazuhiro has made reality is “Doc Martens100”, a line of boots made in collaboration with Avantgarde. Each is limited to 100 shoes each. They are meant to be customized, with Avantgarde stockings serving as shoelaces. They are currently on sale at the shop an online.


On top of making products, Kazuhiro is teaming up with a large company to transform a certain legendary character into something new altogether. He says that will be revealed in September with a bang.


-Harajuku Oz, behind the curtain-


It was here that the conversation turned from being not just about Avantgarde, but about the Harajuku neighborhood itself. The area creates for itself an unmatchable image of street icons and trends that cannot be recreated anywhere else. But Harajuku is slowly changing, being taken over by global clothing chains and small boutiques who purport to be unique but are just in a rat-race to making the most money as quickly as possible by copying each other’s trends. Harajuku is still one of the last bastions of creativity in the world, but is it sustainable?

“Harajuku…. I hate to say it, but it’s really boring these days, no? Is there any interesting characters or icons now? Hirari [Ikeda] is great… my girls were great… Devil from Faline is interesting too. I`m most interested in Mappy, but still waiting to see how she is. I don’t think that’s a lot though, we need more new people with personalities to sustain change.”


Kazuhiro says that many people don’t realize how commerce in Harajuku is becoming less and less unique like it was.


“I was in the wholesale district Bakuroyokocho and was shocked to see items there that were for sale in Harajuku’s supposedly most edgy shops. I couldn’t believe those stores were selling the same cheap clothes. And there were so many products, and so many of the stores are selling these things instead of being original. Not to mention that many of the stores are becoming experts at copying big brand’s clothes. And this is in Ura-Harajuku! Japanese people say it’s only foreign brands that copy designers from Paris, but it’s the Japanese themselves who are really perpetuating that copy culture.”


As for Avantgarde, Kazuhiro says,


“After running Avantgarde for three years I’ve seen a lot of underhanded things, jealousy and altogether dirtiness, but I think my strongest weapon is creativity. So even if it’s not necessarily in legwear, I want to use that creativity and bring it to the next stage. If we just spend our time wondering who is underhanding us, we are doing nothing but wasting time. So I’ve got to move on, and I’m taking my new projects and running with ‘em.”






アヴァンギャルドができるまで。とタトゥータイツのブームの裏話。パート2 The making …and unraveling of AVANTGARDE Tattoo tights Boom PART 2



アヴァンギャルドができるまで。とタトゥータイツの終幕。パート1 The making …and unraveling of AVANTGARDE Tattoo tights Boom PART 1




-Misha Janette
Asst. Natsumi Yasuoka

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【アヴァンギャルド】タトゥータイツの大ブームの超裏舞台。独占で公開しちゃいます! The making …and unraveling of AVANTGARDE: the story behind the tattoo tights Wed, 30 Jul 2014 19:02:05 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger



This is PART 2 of the AVANTGARDE behind-the-scenes story. Please read part 1 here.



This is the story of the legwear boom that took Japan by storm, starting with a  little store in Harajuku called Avantgarde. See how the Guinness Book of World Records for tallest Mohawk-having charismatic owner Kazuhiro Watanabe got into the stockings game in the first place. Part 2 looks at how he came up with the idea of tattoo stockings and his brand’s rise to becoming the most influential in the country, and perhaps the world, in the printed stocking game…and it’s subsequent downfall.



2009年、海外からストッキングを取り寄せることに挫折し失望していた彼は良い仕事をして見返してやると決心した。それはレッグウェアカンパニー、エムエーエム アバンギャルドをはじめたころだった。






in 2009, dismayed and frustrated at importing stockings from abroad, Kazuhiro was determined he could do a better job himself. It was at this time he started his own legwear company, MAM Avantgarde. But this brought on new challenges he hadn’t encountered.

“For one printed stocking to get to the market there were so many different processes and hands it has to go through. There is the company that provides the fiber, the knitter, the dyer, the company that puts it into shape, the printer, and the packager,” explained Kazuhiro in frustration. “I was like, `Is this for real??`”

He took his ideas for tights to what seemed like 100 companies and was laughed out of their doors. He said about 3 of those 100 took his ideas to heart, showing interest. But the stockings market is an old one, only catering to the largest denominator of companies. This posed a huge challenge for Kazuhiro who wanted to make smaller lots of designer legwear.

“The legwear market was so fucking old. It was running on large companies who could order 2,000 pairs of one design at once. I had to do my research before dipping in.”

Kazuhiro spent a week standing at the busy Harajuku crosswalk, studying the legs of shoppers in Harajuku. He noticed that everyone was wearing plain stockings that only changed in their shades of beige or black.









“I am so lucky that what I thought was interesting was something that didn’t exist at the time.”

Kazuhiro glanced down at his own tattoos. He realized he could do something here with them. In Japan, tattoos are still met with condescension and many people would like to have them but cannot. He also thought of the people who had some but wanted to try new ones easily. He even knew that he bad been discriminated against because he didn’t wear suits and had his tattoos on display. He set out to design some tights featuring tattoos designs so it would look real on the legs.

“I had tattoos myself so I just knew I wanted them to look real at the time. I was inspired by real vintage tattoos and they started out simple so as to look like the leg had real ink on it.”






2011年10月にアバンギャルド原宿をオープン。(KDDIデザインスタジオの角を入ってた裏原の地下にある。) 下に降りて行く入り口にはいつもカラフルなタイツを履いたマネキンの足がディスプレイされている。クリスマスライトで飾り付けられた店内にはストッキングが並んだラックが置かれ、中央にはシロクマの剥製が。”カワイイ”ファッションのアイコンにはカラフルストッキングやタイツが欠かせなかったあの頃、はじめてミーシャはそのショップに行った。まだ建設途中みたいな店内で在庫も少なかった。でもそのときのレポートを欠いたブログ記事はミーシャのブログ史上も最も人気があった記事のひとつ。このショップオリジナルのクリエイティブなレッグウェアはまたたく間に広がった



“タトゥーストッキングにプリントするディズニーのライセンスはもってたから俺だけしかやってなかったけど… ディズニーのストッキングなんて誰も履きたくないですよと言われたことさえあったのに…。 でもそのうち日本の巨大なストッキングマーケットは、俺がディズニーで成功したのをみてコピーしたんだ。既に大手はみんなディズニーのライセンスもってるしね。”







Avantgarde Harajuku opened in October of 2011 in a nondescript basement space tucked kitty-corner to the KDDI Design Studio, in Ura Harajuku. The entrance was always marked by mannequin legs wearing colorful tights, wound up in Christmas lights. Inside was a few racks of stockings, with a centerpiece of a lifesize stuffed polar bear in roar. At the time, it was already on many people’s radars as “Kawaii” fashion was beginning to boom and along with it colorful stockings and tights were a must. My first trip into the store it seemed like it was still half under construction and stock was low. And yet, my report on the shop on my blog was one of the most popular in my blog’s history. News of the store and its original, creative tights was spreading like wildfire.

“Until I opened the shop I had only been doing wholesale. I was looking for a good spot…I was even turned down by Laforet for shop space four times (laugh). But my wholesale clients started asking for more and more, even doubling their orders. I was like, `Whoah, what’s going on here?!?`. I couldn’t even keep things in stock. When a design would come in, I’d give it to my wholesalers first, then the extra would come into the shop. I didn’t have any room for doing online sales,” said owner Kazuhiro.

As he began to grow his business, keeping quality high and working with the factories who made his company what it was becoming, he ran into something shocking; his own tights….all over Harajuku.

As long as the stockings were see-through, they were a part of the tattoo stocking boom and other brands hopped on the bandwagon like it was a rocket to riches. The colorful printed stockings from his shop were also popping up in other shops and influencing every local brand to design their own iterations.

“I had gotten the license for Disney, to make tattoo stockings of the characters. I was the only one doing that… in fact, I was told no one would want to wear Disney stockings. But then a huge stocking maker here in Japan saw the success I had with Disney and since they already had the license they did the exact same thing I did.”

It was one thing to be influential, but it started to get particularly bad.

“It got worse. It wasn’t just about making tattoo tights anymore, but the companies who were copying me had to have the *same* design, down to my *same* package. They wanted to appear to be Avantgarde tights. One of my manufacturers called me one day with an incredible dilemma, `One of your rivals called us for an order of thousands of tights. The problem is that they are your tights. Of course we will turn them down, but we just wanted to let you know.` This manufacturer was putting our relationship above making money by turning down an order that I couldn’t compete with. I was thankful, but felt guilty at the same time. Then they called me again two weeks  later and said 4 more orders from large companies came in…. all for designs copying Avantgarde. I was devastated.”

Kazuhiro knew this was a numbers game. And since anyone with a transfer sheet or marker could make their own tattoo tights, Kazuhiro was in a tough place. He developed tights with jewels on them through much trial and error, but upon their release they too were copied.

“By this time, I figured that if I couldn’t beat them, I should join them. So I called up the CEO of the companies that were trying to get my own manufacturer to copy me. I offered to design some tights for them and get royalties. But you wouldn’t believe what they told me. They said `Our tights only sell because they look like Avantgarde tights. If people didn’t see them at Avantgarde first, it wouldn’t mean anything to us.` I was floored. I knew that the tights market was fucked. And I wasn’t going to be able to do it anymore.”





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アヴァンギャルドができるまで。とタトゥータイツの終幕。パート1 The making …and unraveling of AVANTGARDE Tattoo tights Boom PART 1







-Misha Janette
Asst. Natsumi Yasuoka


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アヴァンギャルドができるまで。とタトゥータイツの終焉。 The making …and unraveling of AVANTGARDE Tue, 29 Jul 2014 19:22:16 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger



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….



さて、なにが ”こんな男” にウィメンズのタイツブランドを始めさせたんだろう?



“俺はインディアンになりたかったんだよ”と彼は笑った。 “ニューヨークからテキサスまでを車で移動しながら同時にインディアンを探す旅をした。でも日本で芸者とか侍を見つけるのが無理なように、当然インディアンなんて見つからなかった。それにもし彼らを見つけられたとしても、俺が日本人て事実は変わらないんだって頭では分かってた。インディアンにはなれないんだよね。だから俺は俺のままで好きなものを見つけることに徹したんだ。”






Kazuhiro Watanabe is the charismatic owner of Harajuku tights and accessories shop Avantgarde. He is dressed in vintage loose baggy jeans and tshirt, has a body dotted with tattoos and his bleach-orange hair is tied up in a bun. If he pulled it out and made the hair stand on its ends, he would have the Guinness World Record for tallest Mohawk. This is true, and he’s appeared in the book since 2013. What led a man like this to start a brand of tights for women? At 25 years old, Kazuhiro was in his native town of Sapporo in northern Hokkaido working his dream job of buyer for a used clothing shop. It was successful enough to open a string of stores, and Kazuhiro found himself an expert on buying used clothes in the US. His recalls his first trip to New York, in search of….Native Americans.

“I wanted to live and work as an Indian,” laughed Kazuhiro. “I went on a road trip from NY to Texas for two weeks trying to find them. But just like you won’t find geisha and samurai if you come to Tokyo, I couldn’t find them there. I also knew that even if I found an Indian, I’d still be Japanese. I could never “become” one. So I focused on my work and who I was and found a lot of love for it.” “I loved used clothing more than anything and it was my life. Now I wear designer brands like Vivienne Westwood, but this is only something I’ve started to learn about in the past 5 years or so.”

Kazuhiro worked with one of his best friends for over 10 years in Sapporo, building up the used clothing company. When his partner decided to start selling new clothing as a select shop and even starting his own brand, Kazuhiro felt a sense of betrayal.

“Used clothing was the only thing I knew. I didn’t care about new clothing at all. I thought I had no place in a company that handled new clothing, so I quit. Now I think that my partner was actually a genius who really understood where the market was going.”

“If I opened my own used clothing shop in sapporo I would only be competing with my friend so that wasn’t a choice.”




アメリカへ定期的に買い付けに行っていたことにより、彼はカルフォルニアをベースとするブランド、”アメリカンアパレル”と仲良くなっていた。そのときのアメアパはまだ大々的に日本に上陸する前の段階。当時彼はそのアメアパと直接輸入取引をしていた。しかし渡辺氏が仲介人に直接取引の継続の話をしたところ彼は腹を立てたという。アメアパの重要な顧客だった彼は当時オーナーだったDov Charneyと新しい仲介人に会わせてくれと懇願し、対面。 Charnevyの前でその仲介人に激怒した。するとCharnevyから直々にアメリカンアパレルジャパンの代表をやらないか?というオファーが渡辺氏にきたそう。




because of his frequent trips to the US, Kazuhiro became close to a California-based brand known as American Apparel. At the time, the company had yet to officially step foot into Japan. Kazuhiro had been importing the brand directly, but when he was asked to go through a middleman distribution company in Japan, he fumed. At the time, he was considered an important wholesale customer to AA so when he requested a meeting with (recently ousted) owner Dov Charney and the new distributor, he was granted face-to-face time. His adamant attitude and subsequent blowing up of the Japanese distributor in Charney’s face, led Charney to offer the right to be CEO of American Apparel Japan to Kazuhiro himself.

“But business-wise, I couldn’t afford to risk having such a huge investment so turned it down. Instead, I turned my sights on other things that I found in the US that I wanted to import to Japan like mineral water, Starbucks and Krispy Kreme,” he said.









“だったら自分でブランドをはじめてしまおう。これがエムエーエム アバンギャルドのはじまり。”



Kazuhiro had learned of a costume tights brand in the US called Music Legs. He started importing them while in Sapporo but found they were most popular with people from Tokyo. In Tokyo, there were only a limited number of legwear shops at the time and they all carried the same brand. One of those shops was in the 109 Mall in Shibuya, and it already pretty much covered all of the most interesting designs available for import and was well-known as the best place to shop (Oh yes, I remember purchasing a large quantity of my stockings there before the legwear boom brought out more options).


“But I knew there were people who didn’t want to shop at 109, no matter what. So I thought I could be a formidable opponent in the market,” he said


Kazuhiro was making orders for 1,000 stockings from the US to distribute to shops around Japan, but it’s a troubling game when working across borders, language, and things would get murky. When Kazuhiro’s orders of 1,000 stocking turned up only say, 950, his clients turned on him for not running a proper business and cut ties.


“They said I was no good. I would negotiate with the client on both sides, but the stockings weren’t coming in a timely manner and in numbers that my clients in Japan expected. They would completely cancel the order if it wasn’t perfect. It was ruining my reputation.”

“It was then that I decided to start my stockings brand. That was the beginning of MAM Avantgarde.”





…CONTINUED IN PART 2 パート2で続いてます

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-Misha Janette
Asst. Natsumi Yasuoka


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Paper bags made of leather by Makoo will fool you 錯覚確実!革の常識を覆したMakooの”ペーパー”バッグ Sun, 27 Jul 2014 15:17:11 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger


Leather is supposed to be a luxurious material, molded into the finest of fashion items. It’s often made to look like it’s worth it’s price upon a glance…but Makoo turns that idea on it’s head with a line of …leather goods masquerading quite convincingly as paper for paupers.

Makoo has a line of “paper” bags and clutches made from leather; daily use “throwaways” like rice sacks, snail mail envelopes and lunch bags. The most ironic thing about this brand though doesn’t stop there…






Luxury brands have been obsessed with inconspicuous luxury, and high grade leather has been made to look like supermarket paper bags and totes for half a decade. In Makoo’s case however, you won’t be spending a fortune as these goodies are as much as a day’s lunch.

I personally have my eye on the stamped paper lunch sacks, each only ¥1,500. The reason these are so attainable is that Japanese label Makoo has perfected the art of recycling leather, employing it’s techniques in it’s brand. Their goal is to bring attention to the culture of throwaway fashion and it’s front and center in all of it’s goods.

So if you’re interested in seeing all that they have (and there’s a lot) then check them out at their online shop before everything sells out.




ちなみにMakooはファッショナブルなだけじゃない。MAKOO RE;USE Project は多くのものが次から次へと買われ、使われては捨てられるという現状に目を向けたところから始まった。しっかりと使われるものならば捨てずに長く使われる。それをモットーにエコブームという言葉にしばられない、デザインとしてのエコを推し進めているという。



makoo-leather-9 makoo-leather-16 makoo-leather-11 makoo-leather-7 makoo-leather-8 makoo-leather-6 makoo-leather-5 makoo-leather-4 makoo-leather-3 makoo-leather-1 makoo-leather-15 makoo-leather-13 makoo-leather-12 makoo-leather-14


-Misha Janette
Asst. by Karen Shimada


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Origami Paper Gets Super Stylish With Japanese Fashion Brand RBTXCO.  RBTXCO による、見たことのない”おしゃれ”な折紙!





These neat “fake” paper WASHI bags are totally real: Matohu meets Coshell ◎驚きのフェイクに見えるリアルな和紙張りバッグ。まとふ x コシェル作


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The modern woman is a nomad. HISUI 2014 AW キーワード : ノマド社会人に捧ぐ。ヒスイ 2014年秋冬 Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:07:48 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger


Amidst the tables-under-the-skirts and wound up bundles of fabric here, there is a hidden link to the modern professional woman.

In today’s world, there’s a new way to rock a work style, and tradition has been turned on its head thanks to cel phones, tablets and Mac Airs. For my fellow girls who have to be out and about to get her work done, the world becomes her office. We are essentially working nomads, a tribe. Pummeling that point across is Hisui with this homage to the real nomads of the earth in a ethno-centric collection that gets increasingly more modern as we look through…




This 2014 collection from Japanese longtime brand HISUI (means “jade”) is “Hyper Nomadism”.  As a nomadic working woman myself, how nice it would be to have  a table to sit at whenever hunger strikes (funny side note: it’s not kosher to eat and walk at the same time in Japan so having a table to sit down at in my skirt would solve a lot of “I have no time to go sit in a cafe but I’m HUNGRY!!” problems), or a futon to sleep on or a curtain to shut the world out….

The collection itself is made up of pieces in various lengths so they can be layered at will. We already know the Japanese are very good at layering so this will fit right at home with those who make fashion a fun puzzle game. The designer Hiroko Ito said she made it as such, to have fun with putting outfits together in many mix-and-match ways. Here’s looking to seeing some money-honeys nomad-ing something fierce out in the metropolitan wilderness.

ヒスイの2014秋冬コレクション、テーマは”Hyper Nomadism”。ノマドワーカーをテーマのひとつにかかげています。

ちなみに、ノマド・ワーカー とは : ノートパソコンやタブレット端末を使い、自宅やオフィスでなくカフェやファストフード店などで仕事をする人のこと(ピンポーン!はい、私でございます)。そう、こたつのなかでも布団の中でも場所を選ばず仕事に励むし、現代女性のライフスタイルがバックストーリーにはあったのです (「街で食べ歩き禁止」なのに “お腹すいた!でもカフェでくつろいで食べる暇もない!”という問題にいつも遭ってる私。変な意味、スカートにテーブルあったら、外でも座りながら持ち帰りフードを食べれるかも?!なーんて思って。本当にノマド。)。



HISUI Online


























Misha janette
Asst edit. Natsumi Yasuoka

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LIFE IN THE 2.5 DIMENSION EPISODE 3 “MIX IT UP”. CHALLENGING EVERYONE TO WEAR TWO DIFFERENT SHOES…装苑連載の『ミーシャの2.5次元ライフ』第3話、”ミックススタイルのチャレンジ”。例えば両足に違う靴をはいたりしてみれば?





HISUI 32673


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VOGUE China’s Angelica Cheung interview as Woolmark Prize judge ヴォーグ中国版の編集長アンジェリカチャンに、ウールマークプライズ発表式でためになるインタービューを公開 Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:19:42 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger




そして、なんと、2ブランドの東京のSise(メンズ部門) と中国のVmajor(ウィメンズ部門) のがまさに変わろうとしています!




Who knew that gold can be spun from wool?

The International Woolmark Prize is a fashion competition held globally to find the next superstar brand, and the Asia semifinals were just presented in Tokyo. Winning it means getting into the world’s best stores like Colette in Paris, 10 Corso Como in Milan, Saks in NYC, and Isetan in Tokyo. If you have ever had a brand, you’d know just how incredible of a prize that is alone. Throw on top of that a cash prize of 50K$(aus) for the semifinals and 100k$ for the top prize and WHOAH, this could change a designer’s life.

In fact, the lives WILL change for winners Sise of Tokyo (menswear) and VMajor of China (womenswear)

12 designers from Asia made it to these finals. I was very curious to see not which country would be picked, but what designs would be picked. That’s because they were judged by some incredibly talented fashion pros and their choice would show me what is going on in fashion business these days.

I spoke to Angelica Cheung, editor in chief of VOGUE China. Whether you are a designer or someone with an interest in the business of fashion, you will find what she had to say VERY interesting….


The winning looks: Vmajor, Sise


Misha: 東京へようこそ。よくいらっしゃるのですか?

Angelica: そんなに頻繁には来ません。いちばん最後に来たのは桜の季節で、夫と娘と一緒でした。東京はクールな街だから来るのが好きです。日本人は着こなしがうまい。特に特定のエリアの若い女の子たちはいろいろな着こなし方をするのね。それからみんなすごく礼儀正しい。みなさん赤信号で止まるし、快く道を教えてくれます。私のSNSで、日本の素晴らしさについてかくこともよくあるんですよ。


Misha: いいですね!東京の宣伝になります (笑 。では、どのようにウールマークプライズの審査をしますか?創造的なデザイナーとコマーシャルなデザイナーどちらを評価しますか?

Angelica: 両方に目を向けます。ただし、ファッション業界は生き残りをかけた、いわば ”サバイバル” 業界だと思います。決して”アート” だけではやっていけません。だから、着やすい服というのはポイントになります。それと同時に、すでに数多くのブランドが存在しているなかで、なにか秀でるもの、他と違うものがなければいけないと思います。もちろん、高いクオリティは大前提ですが、このコンペティションの場合は、どのデザイナーもばっちりカバーできていると思います。



(メモ:この時のアンジェリカはとても情熱的に、このアワードの審査員を3年間務められたことや、中国人デザイナーのメンタリングや、彼らの成功、ウールマークプライズを超える経験について語ってくれました。そのときミーシャは、ヴォーグの編集長と話している感じがしなかった。だって、モエ・ヘネシー・ルイ・ヴィトングループとのパイプがある彼女が、どうしてローカルブランドに手をかけるのだろう? おそらくそれは、日本ではあまり考えられないこと…驚かされた。)(下記続く)


Misha: Welcome to Tokyo, do you come very often?

Angelica: Not so often, but I was here at the end of the cherry blossom season with my husband and daughter. I like to come to Tokyo because it’s very cool. You guys dress so cool, you know. Especially in certain parts of the city the young girls dress in so many different ways. And it’s so polite here…people stop at the red light and happily help with directions. Sometimes I’ll even talk about it on my SNS about how nice it is.


Misha: Great PR for the city! (laugh) So how are you judging the Woolmark Prize? Are you picking innovative designs or commercial designs?

Angelica: I look at both. I believe the fashion industry is a *service* industry, not an *art* industry. So you have to serve the people with wearable clothes. At the same time there are so many brands already in the world, so to stand out you need to come up with something different as well. Of course, the quality must be high too, but I don’t think the designers in this competition have to worry about that.

Compared to some other competitions, the Woolmark Prize really stresses growth and getting the designs out to the people. It’s not designing for a museum but for a department store. It also should be reasonably priced (not too expensive to manufacture)  or people won’t be able to shop for it.

It was really hard to get designers in China to participate though… because we only have really long-standing veteran brands and then really new brands who don’t meet the Woolmark Prize criteria. Our veteran brands don’t want to be embarrassed if they lose. So then it becomes my job to stress the importance of gaining experience through the process. I’ve been getting to work on mentoring them.

(at this point Angelica goes on to passionately talk about being a judge at this award for 3 years and mentoring her Chinese designers and being concerned about their success and experience even beyond the Woolmark Prize and I`m thinking, “whoah, I don’t feel like I am talking to an editor of VOGUE. I mean, when you’ve got LVMH on speed dial, why would she really care about her local brands?” Perhaps because that doesn’t happen much in Japan,  I was, well, taken aback..)



Screen shot 2014-07-22 at 8.17.07 PM


Misha: アンジェリカさんは若手ローカルブランドを成長させることに特に力を入れていることは分かりました。”世界のヴォーグ”の編集長でありながら、どうしてそれをしているのですか?

Angelica: たくさんのプロジェクトに取り組んでいますが、なかには先ほど話したように、公になっていないものも多々あります。ファッションの仕事は華やかなものばかりではありませんよね。製造、運用、経営戦略。今、ヴォーグが中国に進出してから10年が経ちましたが、10年前からすでに私はチャイニーズデザイナーに注目してヴォーグチャイナをつくってきました。当時はそんなことなどのマガジンでもしてなかったけれど、今の中国では中国人デザイナーにフォーカスすることはファッショナブルであると認識されています。だから私は今、ただ誌面でそのデザイナーたちを取り上げるだけではなく、彼らに利益がでるような賢いビジネスプロジェクトを立ち上げようとしています。彼らをニューヨークに送り、デパートのバイヤーやダナキャランなどの話を聞く機会を与えて、学ぶ場をつくるのです。これはチャリティーですが、やりがいを感じています。また、現在メディアや世論を気にしない芯の強いエディターを育成中です。そういう編集者が私の理想です。誰しもみんな、ばかじゃない。みんな自分の立場を分かっている。でもそのなかで現実をみつめられなければいけません。


Misha: では、ファッションのグローバル化についてお話いただけますか?ヴォーグは国際的な雑誌ですが、多くの国々、特にアジア諸国は自国のトレンドや着こなし方を持っていると思います。中国のそれをどのようにマネジメントしていますか?

Angelica; そうですね。実はこれこそ私が日本人に感心したことです!自国の文化や伝統を大切にしていて、代表的な着物には現代でも変わらぬ美しさがあります。それだけじゃなく、ストリートを見てみると洋服の着こなしにも特徴があることがわかります。私には7歳の娘がいるのですが、まだ東京に2度しか来たことがないのに、すでにジャパニーズファッションの特徴を捉えたようです。娘を連れてパリに行った時、ある女性とすれ違いました。すると娘は”あの人、日本人だと思う”と言ったのです。これってすごいことです!世界のトレンドが広がる一方で、日本の女性の様にアイデンティティを時代にあったスタイルに落とし込み服を着るという側面もまた、あるのです。




Misha: Angelica, I can’t help but notice your enthusiasm for supporting local brands, especially young ones. You’ve got one of the most powerful magazines on the planet… why would you care?

Angelica: Well, a lot of the projects I’m involved in do not involve the public. There’s a lot going on in fashion that is not glamorous, you know. Manufacturing, operations, business plans. VOGUE has been in China for 10 years now and even 10 years ago my magazine was featuring Chinese designers. No other magazines would do that at the time but now it’s become fashionable to feature Chinese designers in our country. And now instead of just featuring the designers in the magazine, I try and create projects to actually benefit them business-wise, and then get them to go to NYC to learn from dept store buyers or talk to Donna Karan or something. Yes, it’s charity but I do it because I love it. I’m now educating the editors at my magazine to not care what the media or other people say because this is what I want to do. But people aren’t stupid, you’ve got to be real because everyone knows where everyone sits in the industry.


Misha: Can you tell me about the globalization of fashion? VOGUE is a very global magazine but I think that many countries, especially in Asia, still have their own trends and way of dressing. How do you manage that in China?

Angelica: See, this is what I admire about Japanese people! They respect their culture and traditions and the Kimono is still seen as something beautiful even in the modern day. Even in modern dressing, you can recognize a Japanese woman on the streets. My daughter is only 7 years old and only been to Tokyo twice but she knows Japanese fashion. We were in Paris and a woman was crossing in front of us and my daughter said “I think she is from Japan”. It’s really something! On one side there are all these global trends, but on the other is the way that some girls here have an identity and style that they mix in a contemporary way. It shows sophistication and education and confidence.

Going back to China, we aren’t there yet. There are some women and men who are kind of able to have their own style, but it’s not widespread. I think a lot of young people are influenced by Japanese and Korean fashion and pop culture for sure. I’ve been trying to find our roots now too. When a country was poor like we were and then for the past 10 years or so suddenly we can afford fashion, we want to grab at all of the luxury European flashy items because we are somewhat embarrassed of our poor past. But things are changing now, and even Chinese people who have closets full of fancy things are now comfortable with their own culture and respecting it more. I mentioned the Kimono before, and I am trying to even encourage Chinese woman to wear the Cheongsam and be proud of it and be able to style it in a contemporary way.

(side note: When it comes to traditional clothes, the Cheongsam is SO beautiful and sexy non?!)


Screen shot 2014-07-22 at 8.17.43 PM

Angelica: …中国にはもっとパーソナリティが必要です。ミーシャ、まさにあなたのような(笑 あなたのスタイルにインスパイアされるような、そういうことが私が目指す教育です。私自身、チャイニーズブランドも着ます。今日も着ていますよ!

Misha: アジアのファッションが注目を浴びているのはとても嬉しいことですよね。その成長が楽しみです。

Angelica: そうですね。でも、アジアのデザイナーたちは、ファッション界に向けてのプレゼンテーションが得意じゃないと思います。業界では、自信に満ちたプロフェッショナルが自ら道を切り開きます。そしてはっきりと発言し、みんなを納得させることができます。時にそれは、中国人デザイナーの為に代弁者として、私がやるべきことなのかもしれない、と感じるのです。アジアの若手デザイナーたちには本当に感心しています。パワーを感じています。世界のグローバル化が進むと共に、いずれ彼らの時代がくるでしょう。


今回私にこのインタビューをさせていただき、ウールマークプライズのみなさまにはとても感謝しています。洞察力のあるお話を聞けてとても嬉しいです。さらに、ミーシャが知らなかったGreedilous(韓国)やNisha(香港)など、アジアの新しいデザイナーを知ることが出来ました。受賞はならなかったけれど、日本から出場したAmbellやMotonari Onoの作品もとても素敵でした。Motonari Onoのグラデーションウールレースは素晴らしかった!




Angelica: China needs more personalities, people like you. To be inspired by your look. This is the sort of education I am striving for. And I even wear Chinese brands myself now… like the dress I’m in today!

Misha: It’s exciting to see Asia in the spotlight for fashion, and I can’t wait to see it grow.

Angelica: Yes, it is. But I find the Asian designers aren’t very good at presenting themselves to the fashion community. You know, where they can be comfortable and confident around professionals abroad and articulate themselves in a language everyone understands. Sometimes I feel like I have to do that for the Chinese designers myself, like I’m a spokesperson. But I feel really encouraged by the young generation of designers in Asia and as the world gets more globalized I`m confident they will get their moment.


I want to say thank you to the Woolmark Prize for allowing me to conduct this insightful interview and also for introducing me to new designers in Asia I did not know, like Greedilous (Korea) and Nishe (Hong Kong). Even though they were not selected, Ambell and Motonari Ono, both from Japan, had really strong pieces. Motonari Ono’s gradation wool and lace was beautiful!

As for Sise, I don’t mean to brag, but imma brag because I knew he would win. Sise’s menswear is amazing, no contest.

The Woolmark Prize finalist for women will be announced next Jan in London for menswear and and in March in Beijing for womenswear. For more information on the Woolmark Prize, see here.


With eic of Vogue China, the inimitably cool Angelica Cheung @angelica_cheung who is judging the #Woolmarkprize in tokyo tonight. My god she is the funnest and most interesting editor to interview EVER #bowdown ヴォーグ中国版の編集長アンジェリカチャン様と。彼女はこれから東京で発表されるwoolmark prizeの審査員をつめてる。色々なインタビューしてきてるし、編集者はスノブなイメージだけどけど、彼女から頂く明るい話は本当に面白くて為になる。最高に好き。#voguechina


All photos from the fianlist show (c)Wool Mark


関連記事も読みましょう! LEARN MORE:

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH IRIS VAN HERPEN, THE COUTURIER OF THE FUTURE.若手クチュール師アイリス・ヴァン・ハーペンの独占インタービュー!彼女はファッションで「未来」を作り上げてるテクノロジーの魔法使い。



My “avantgarde” interview with Victoria Beckham.◎ビクトリア・ベッカムにまさかの “アバンギャルド”なインタビューをしてきました。



VOGUE Japan Gets With The Program and Features Cool Locals in “A Vision of Freedom”VOGUE日本がめったにフィーチャーしないローカルなアイコンたちをピックアップ!ペリ、ひらり、Tiffany C、栗原類、アミアヤ…


Misha Janette

Asst edits: Natsumi Yasuoka

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From Tokyo to NYC: new concept brand George of Grand 東京からニューヨークへ、新コンセプトブランド 「George of Grand」 Mon, 21 Jul 2014 16:48:24 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger



Shoutout to my boy George, for the launch of his conceptual brand George of Grand. The label is a vehicle for collaborations with various artists that George meets in his travels and through his vast network as a PR maestro. Tokyo may have lost a son to New York City this year, but in return we are getting a project that could launch some underrepresented artists into the spotlight…

Georgeの新ブランド”George of Grand”の立ち上げ、おめでとう!
東京でファッションPRという場で4年間活躍し、ニューヨークに渡った、稲木ジョージ。彼が立ち上げたブランド、“George of Grand”はこれまでの自身の人生や、長年ファッションPRを行ってきた彼ならではの巨大なネットワークを通して出会った、様々なアーティストとのコラボレーションを発表する場でもある。

東京で活躍してきた彼がニューヨークへ渡った(東京からまた1人、才能有る若者が旅立ってしまったと感じられるかもしれないけど、私達はそれと引き換えに重要なものを手にしたとも言えるわ)。何故かというと、溢れる才能を持ちながらもまだ公には評価されていないアーティスト達が、様々な形でこのブランドとコラボレーションすることにより、更に活躍出来る。”George of Grand”は、そんな場になろうとしている…。


Two limited-edition t-shirt styles are available now with a full launch scheduled in the fall. The prints were created by Japanese artist Meguru Yamaguchi and hand-printed on luxury combed cotton right in NYCs garment district (hence the somewhat pricey $195 price tag. Que sera). Meguru’s prints feature a collaged city scape and a street sign, in an illusion that looks like a massive crack in the street cement.

This time he also worked with Yuki James, a stylist who had his work published in Vman, now dipping into photography for George’s campaign.

George is very forthright even in his brand introduction that he’s not a ‘fashion designer’. “That would be rude to the designers who actually studied fashion”. But he has a wicked knack for marketing so it will be exciting to see what artists he picks up in the future and where it will go. Keep on keepin’ on!

プリントは日本人アーティストの山口歴(ヤマグチメグル)によってデザインされいて、手描きのプリントは最高級のコットンで作り込まれたTシャツに。(Tシャツに$195 ?と少し高く感じるかもしれないけど、Made in NYC この品質なら頷ける)一見大きなヒビの様にも見えるプリントは、ふとした街並みや標識などをコラージュし、デザインに落とし込んだもの。

この他にも、GeorgeはVmanなどといった一流ファッション誌でスタイリストとしても活躍していたYuki Jamesをカメラマンとして共同制作を行っている。


George of Grand details

George of Grand shopping



Meguru Yamaguchi


Yuki James




関連記事も読みましょう! READ MORE:

True Stories of Fashion Creatives Chasing the American Dream in Tokyo and New York「アメリカンドリーム」をニューヨークと東京でつかもうとしているクリエイティブ界のピープルにインタービュー!



Does New York Do Tokyo Better? The New “Stardust Lounge” Club at Maison O Is a Dream-Like Crazy 80s Tokyo RepriseNYCの新OPENクラブがバブリーな東京を再現:STARDUST LOUNGE at MAISON O。こっちの方の東京が実物よりエネルギッシュに輝くかも?!

Screen shot 2013-08-19 at 12.48.03 PM


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A NOIR city life in amazing technicolor ◎ 「美しく彩るノアー」な人生を送る女性。 Sun, 20 Jul 2014 04:00:27 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger


Black is the city girl’s uniform. The newest label from Comme des Garcons, NOIR by Kei Ninomiya, is the perfect engineer for a modern urban wardrobe. The architectural details here are provoking but not overbearing; they’re ready to provide forgiving armor for the daily grind. But black doesn’t mean boring.

You see, women who wear black lead the most colorful lives….

『黒』は都会に住む女性のユニフォーム。黒を前提にした「NOIR by Kei Ninomiya」はコムデギャルソン発若手ブランド。これなら、シティガールのワードローブをサポートする最適なパトナーのではないか。…この構築的なディテールをソフトに落とされたことで、日常におけるバトルの甲冑になってくれると同時に着心地のよさをキープ。でも『黒』ばかりって、けして面白いわけじゃない…っけ?いや、違う。 だって、黒を着る女性はカラフルな人生を送ってるから。









Photos and digital art: Celia Humphries
Styling and direction: Misha Janette
Spiral vest and skirt ベストとスカート: NOIR by Kei Ninomiya
Shoes 靴: Y3
Hat キャップ: Onitsuka Tiger
Tightsタイツ: Proef
Purple “play” ring リング: AMBUSH
Collar 襟: Johan Ku  


Perhaps a back to black period is in order. A woman’s mind spews a constant ribbon of fantastic colorful ideas. A black outfit will balance that palette nicely. A blindingly colorful black.





関連記事も読みましょう! RELEATED POSTS:


Comme des Garcons Designer Rei Kawakubo’s Protege Kei Ninomiya is Back Again! “noir” コムデギャルソンのファミリーより新ブランド「noir kei ninomiya」の第2コレクションが発表!驚くテクの巧みと面白み+シック感が見所!



I AM NOT A STYLE BLOGGER “Post Junk-ism” Featuring Facetasm ◎ 作品『近未来ジャンク』 feat. ファセッタゼム。「今日の私」ではないの、リアルなアヴァンギャルド



Proef Tights Are the Perfect Intersection of Street and Chicタイツをはくなら、このストリートとモードの交差するProef。



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Collard shirt tabi socks by ERIMAKI SOX 2 ◎足に着るシャツ?靴下の常識を覆したERIMAKI SOX第2戦 Thu, 17 Jul 2014 17:37:42 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger
Fix your collar. Close your buttons. Make your legs look sharp, my friends. These socks are are for putting the fun in “oxford” and the classic in “kitsch”. They’re sure to draw an eye gaze downward, but only for the best reasons. Shirts for your feet. Inspired by TABI socks. Get outta town, I am not joking. They are amazing, and the second collection is finally out which means we get more colors and patterns, and better material. And menswear looks have made their debut as well!
襟を整えて。ボタンをしめて。足にもおしゃれをさせてあげましょ?お気に入りのコーデに、ちょっと背伸びしたシャツ型ソックスをプラスして、周りの視線を釘付けにしてみない? ミーシャが早くから注目していたソックスブランド、ERIMAKI SOXから、待望の第二弾のデザインに、メンズ型もデビュー!その特級のおしゃれソックスはこちら。

The designs are seasonless, but it helps to have the gingham plaid, stripes and white colors for summer. Socks with heels and socks with sandlas (yes, even them Birkenstocks!) are IN and these are fun and chic enough to pass and dress code.
These socks are coming after the first collection, a three-piece line of traditonal plaid went viral. When I posted about it and sent it off on Twitter it got hudreds of RTs within seconds and stands now at 6,200 for what is sure to be the most popular Tweet of my entire life (Should I engrave it on my tombstone?). These are especially cool because they are inspired by the traditional Japanese tabi split-toe sock, worn by men and women with their geta sandals.
I`m just counting down the days until some big runway brand or fast fashion house rips them off… get them while they’re REAL. And get them exclusive, because your feet deserve that.
驚くことに、ミーシャがERIMAKI SOXを初めてブログで取り上げた時、6200もツイートされるなど、たった2分間でバイラルに広がった。(いまでも1日に2、3回されるほど) 「足元からおしゃれを」という考えは、シンプルだけれど、日本固有の足袋に襟を装着させるってところが新しい。しかも、ERIMAKI SOXは、大物ブランドとすばらしいコラボレーションを果たそうとしているランウェイやファストファッションストアでショートソックスを見るだけで、どこのものかは一目瞭然!なんて日も近いかも。


ERIMAKI SOX online shop





















READ MORE 関連記事も読みましょう!

ERIMAKI socks are shirts for your feet  足に着るシャツ?靴下の常識を覆した「ERIMAKI SOX」




poem by rabbit-tights5


Misha Janette
Asst edits Karen Shimada

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Fashion competitions that you need to know and enter NOW ◎デザイナー目指す卵の応募すべきコンペを紹介 Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:58:04 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger



自分のブランドをもつこと、それはすべてのデザイナーの夢。実現にはコネクション、顧客、お金が必要不可欠だけれど、これらを手に入れるのは、口で言うほど簡単なことじゃない。とくに若いデザイナーにとって投資家を見つけることは大きな壁になる。けれど、実はそんな夢に近づく機会がある…!? お金も手に入る…!? そう、それは ”デザインコンテスト”。可能な限り多くのコンテストに出場することがとても大事。この機会にクリエイターを目指すみなさんにぜひそれを知っていただきたい!!


While it’s every designer’s dream to start their own brand, it takes connections, customers and money- easier said than done. Finding an investor is not always easy, especially if you’re young. But there is a place where opportunity and cash grow on trees..YES, really! That is at design contests. And you should be entering as many of them as you can. And I am basically using this opportunity to tell all of you aspiring creators to RUN and enter right away!!

This month tons of designs competitions are making the news and I’ve been looking hard and even judging quite a few. One thing I can confirm: Even more than having a fashion show, a design competition could be more beneficial to you as a young designer. Do you want to know how to win a design competition? I’ll tell you. But first, here is why you should enter…


1. 賞金。金額はコンテストによって大小様々だけれど、金額に関わらずお金はお金。 100,000円でも  7,000,000円でも素材を買ったり展示会を開く資金になるのだから、大きな支援となるだろう。

2. ネットワーク。あなたの作品が専門家たちに認められれば、きっとアドバイスをもらったり指導を受けたりできるだろうし、次のステップへ進める話が出るかもしれない。それはお金で買えない大きなチャンス。また、そこで知り合ったプロフェッショナルの方々からは、計り知れない知識を得ることができると誓って言える。

3. エゴ、経歴、自信、経験…。ファッション界で成功するためにはまず自分のデザインに自信を持てなければ話にならない。自分の才能を確立していくこと、加えて確かな経歴を重ねて行くこと、これは大切。


1. ほとんどのコンペはポートフォリオありきのプレゼンテーションといった流れがある。 ポートフォリオについてだけど、ストーリーブックのようにまとまりのある構成にすることをおすすめする。しっかりはじまりと終わりを設けることがポイント。最初と最後に置くイメージは、見る人を感動させられるようなインパクトのあるものを選ぶ必要があると思う。それから、人はポジティブなことと同じくらいネガティブなことが記憶に残ってしまうものだから、”微妙”なものを見せたら、他にどんなに良いものがあったとしても、あなたの評価も”微妙”に下がってしまうかも。だから、もし自信を持って出せないものがあったらそれは除外しましょう。ただポートフォリオを分厚くするだけだから、スルーした方が正解。

2. プレゼンテーション。 たぶん、多くのデザイナーの卵たちはこれに怯えて勇気が出ないのだと思う。とくに日本の学生。ミーシャが文化服装学院に通っていた頃、”人前での話し方”について初めて学んでる人がいて、衝撃を受けた記憶がある。デザインコンテストでは、プロの前で話す機会が与えられます。これは怖いことかもしれない。でもプロフェッショナルの方々はいつも新しいものに目を向け、受け入れて来たからこそ今成功している。だから勇気を持って欲しい。たくさん話す必要なんてないんだよ。

3. 3大キーワード






1. Money. It’s not always a lot, but any cash is welcome cash. Whether the winnings are 1,000$ or 70,000$ getting some capital to buy fabric or pay for exhibition space is a huge boost.

2.Networking. Having professionals say “yes” to your work, and perhaps offering advice and guidance, or even an offer to a next step is worth more than money can even buy. I promise that for every professional you come in contact to, you will gain a month of knowledge.

3.Ego. Resume. Confidence. Experience…. To succeed in fashion, you must be confident in your designs. Getting confirmation of your genius is one thing, but to be able to etch it onto your resume is another.

Ok, so how do you win?

1. Most contests comprise of a portfolio, and then a presentation.  As for the portfolio, I can offer you advice to keep it cohesive, like a story book. Having a “beginning” and “end”  would be key. The first and last images in a portfolio should be the strongest as they are the most impressionable. Also know that humans remember negative things as much as positive things. You are only as good as your WORST work. If there’s something you aren’t sure about, don’t include it just to make your portfolio bigger. Throw it out.

2. For the presentation, I think this scares a lot of design students off. Especially Japanese students. When I was studying at Bunka Fashion College, I was shocked to find that some students were learning how to talk in front of people for the first time. For design competitions, you will be required to speak in front of professionals, which can be scary. But professionals are successful for a reason; their minds are always open to new things. You don’t even need to talk much.




are the MOST IMPORTANT aspects of being a fashion designer. If you have those three elements then your work will speak for itself. So here are some of my current favorites.




つい先週、イタリアでITS(インターナショナルタレントサポート)が開かれた。このイベントでは数々の有名な専門家たちが審査員を務めている。 (ニコラフォルミケッティ、フランカ•ソッツァーニ、ビジネスオブファッションのイムラン•アーメドなど)


Just last week the major ITS (International Talent Support) was held in Italy.  Some of the most amazing professionals judge this event, like Franca Sozzani, Imran Ahmed of Business of Fashion and Nicola Formichetti. I was honored to attend last year with Diesel, who have their own award in the  competition.  Winners are featured in Vogue Italia and online; and get a lifetime of after-support and even job placement along with cash prizes like 25,000euros for the Diesel award.

I was asked to attend last year to help promote the contest for a Japanese audience, and this year there were 8 finalists!! That’s incredible! Not to mention a TON of winners! Congratulations!

contests-yasuto kimura2



contests-noriko nakazato




では、あなたが今すぐにでも挑めるコンテストはというと? 実は、7月31日の時点で30歳以下のデザイナーであればアジアアワードに応募可能。これは、10月に控える東京デザイナーズウィーク中に開かれるコンペ。デザイナーズウィークという名の通り、ファッション業界だけじゃなくて音楽、デザイン、アートなど各業界のプロフェッショナルに披露できる、またとないビッグチャンス。ジャッジも多様な角度から下される。

ミーシャはここで審査員を務めさせていただきます。とても光栄。そこでみなさんに言いたいこと、”立ち止まらずに、走り続けてください” そして、この大会に出場してください。これはアジア向けではなく、グローバルな規模のコンテスト。賞金は30万円から100万円。世界から大注目を浴び、デザイナーズウィーク中にはたくさんの人がエキシビションに訪れることは言うまでもないでしょう。

テーマは、”マイ アバンギャルド” ひとりひとりが自由に”アバンギャルド”を解釈して定義付けられる。参加費もなし!さあ、今こそ一歩踏み出そう!


So what contests can you enter RIGHT now?!  Until July 31st, if you are a designer under 30 years old you can enter the ASIA AWARDS. This is an incredible competition held during Tokyo Designers Week in late October and is an incredible opportunity to not only be seen by fashion people but music, design and art professionals as well since the judges will come from every genre.

I am honored to a judge this year, and I`m  telling tyou o RUN, DON’T STOP and enter this competition. It is a global one, not just for Asia, and with cash prizes of 300,000 to 1 million yen (3,000- 10,000$). Not to mention free exhibition space during Tokyo Designers Week, one of the most-visited in the world! The theme is “MY AVANT GARDE” which means “avantgarde” is open to interpretation. It’s free to enter, so do it now!

Also, if you want to participate in Tokyo Designers Week but aren’t a designer, they are looking for volunteers so you can sign up for that here.







Finally, here’s a big one.– if you’re lucky enough to attend Bunka Fashion College/Graduate School or the Vantan Design Institute.  It’s the H&M design awards and it’s deadline is also July 31st. This is the first year that anyone from a Japanese school is able to enter so it would be quite a good idea to try. The grand prize is a collection that will actually be SOLD at H&M all over the world as well as an incredible 50,000euro  cash prize.  I own a few pieces from last year’s winner Minju Kim and I absolutely adore it so I’m excited to see the next winner since I’ll actually be able to buy the goods.







Sometimes, the winners of these contests are chosen by pure luck… whether your colors or shapes are trendy or just depending on the mood of the judges. But in that case, just like luck, the more you enter the more chances you have of winning. So don’t give up and keep on entering as many as you can.

関連記事も読みましょう! READ MORE

“ITS DESIGN AWARDS” 13 FINALISTS INCLUDE 3 JAPANESE–UP CLOSE WITH THE COLLECTIONSITSデザインアワーズの13名のファイナリストには3人が日本人、「ジャパン」をテーマにしたコレクションが多数登場。



The prestigious SOEN AWARDS JAPAN 2014 winners and full collections ◎装苑賞2014年で輝いた優秀な若手デザイナーを全公開します!



EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Renzo Rosso and Artistic Dir. Nicola Formichetti Reveal DieselReboot and MORE独占インタービュー!「ディーゼル」創立者レンツォ・ロッソ、ニコラフォルミケッティがDieselReboot、それ以上に色々公開しちゃう!



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High-tech On Air clothing changes at whims like the air ◎最新テクで空気のように変化を身にまとう「on air」が誕生 Sun, 13 Jul 2014 07:30:05 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger


The city is a tough place, relentless in its aggression, challenges, and pace of change. It’s survival of the fittest out there, and if you can’t keep up then you’ve no chance. And when it comes down to the wire, the last layer of protection from the city that you’ll have is what you’ve got on your body. So what’s your armor gonna be?

都会を代表するもの。めまぐるしい変化。変化を取り入れられなければ、都会ではサバイバルできない。この果て、最後に身を守るのが服だったらどんな甲冑を選ぶの?そこでサバイバルモード「On Air」がFinal Home から誕生。



The “On Air” series from Final Home is a functional collection developed so the wearer can adapt to change as quickly as the air does. The pieces come in parts, meant to be put together in a myriad of ways, symbolizing change as much as literally being able to wear it. While “designer activewear” is gaining speed, perhaps the next level will be “survivor activewear”? We modern society city-dwellers will take all the assistance we can get.
“Final Home” is designed by Kosuke Tsumura, a genius in his own right who named his under the concept of “when your house is gone, only the clothes on your back are left to protect you”. Every bit of his collections are stylish yet practical, with built-in “survival-ready” elements Tsumura develops. But while that may conjure up images of Hazmat-ready gear, it’s still just in the name of fashion. Survival of the most stylish, baby.
Final Homeのデザイナー、津村耕佑は、空気をまとうように、変化を着ることができる服、「on air」をリリースした。パラバラなパーツを着る人が組み合わせ、変化を着ることができる。これこそ都会のサバイバルウエア。最近「アクティブ系モード」が流行る中、次のステップは「サバイバル系モード」のでは?都会はけして優しい環境じゃないので、ファッショナブルにサバイバルできるウエア、なんて歓迎。

Final Home、最後の家、と名付けられたブランド自体もユニークなコンセプトをもつ。それは、「人間を最後に守れるのは服。」というもの。彼は非常事態においてデザイナーとして提供できるデザインを生み出している。新たなファッショナブルなサバイバルウエアの登場に期待!




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daisy balloon book by rie hosokai

Proef Tights Are the Perfect Intersection of Street and Chicタイツをはくなら、このストリートとモードの交差するProef。


-Misha Janette
Asst edits Karen Shimada

on air video (full ver.)
Art director: Naonori Yago
Graphic design: Naonori Yago
Director: TAKCOM
CGI: Kazumasa Kimura (takcomstudio), TAKCOM
CGI assistant: Motonori Suzuki
Sound design: Himuro Yoshiteru
Designer/Director: Kosuke Tsumura
Assistant Designer: Shinichi Suda
Press/Manager: Ayumi Shimamura

Copyright© FINAL HOME All rights reserved.


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13 yr old Tokyo fashion blogger Mappy is not the Japanese Tavi… ◎「私はTaviじゃない!」13歳にしてファッション上級者の東京ブロガー「マッピー」を紹介 Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:51:42 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger


No, Mappy is not the “Japanese Tavi”. But considering the similarities between the two, it is understandable that many would want to draw to that conclusion. “We have *totally* different style. I’m not really into what she wears now.” Asserted Mappy, now in 7th grade in a Tokyo-area school, while we talked over cafe hors d’oerves in Ebisu (For reference Tavi actually just graduated from High School). But there’s no doubt about it, Mappy is precocious and stylish beyond her years. What does she think about the buzz swirling around her and her booming online fanbase? I wanted to hang out and get to know the new-gen icon Mappy.

マッピーは”日本のタビ・ジェヴィンソン”じゃない。でも13歳にしてかなりファッションのセンスが上級者レベルだし、業界で話題になっていることなど、二人の共通点ではそう誤解しやすいかもしれない。”私たちのスタイルは全く違います。最近見てみたら着ているものに興味気なかったの”と、マッピーは断言。先日、ミーシャと東京に住む中学一年生のマッピーは恵比寿のカフェでつまみながらおしゃべりした。 確信を持って言えること、それは、マッピーは超中学生級、スタイリッシュで貴重な存在だということ。彼女の周りで渦巻くいろんな言葉に今彼女は何を感じるのか?急増加しているオンラインのファンたちになにを思うのか?ミーシャはそんなニューアイコン、本当のマッピーのことをもっと知りたいと思ったから一緒に遊びにいってきた



We met at Starbucks in Ebisu on a very rainy day in Tokyo. I asked Mappy to come along with me to visit one of my favorite vintage stores, Alcatrock nearby. I wasn’t sure if her mother would be attending the playdate or not, but until Mappy is old enough to traverse more of the city on her own, it wasn’t a surprise when both of their figures came ’round the corner. “Sorry! We were kinda lost!” said Mappy, dragging her feet a bit in vertiginous Mary Jane platform shoes, robin blue tights with big red hearts running down the shins and a charming outfit neatly done in vintage knitwear. There were markings of Sharpie signatures on her weathered bowler bag. I tried not to think about when exactly was the last time I chilled with a junior high school student, but since its such a rare occurrence all I could do was be normal (it helps that my conversational Japanese is probably the same level as a Jr high School students’ anyway).

This was only the second time we’d met. Unless we count online encounters as “meeting”. I recalled running across a photo by Droptokyo randomly on Twitter and commenting on it, “Wow, this girl looks exactly like Ai Tominaga”. The tweet spread like fire. I had assumed the girl in question was a Harajuku kid, or a budding dokusha-model. But Mappy is neither, she’s in a league of her own.


ミーシャはそのとき、”最後に中学生と遊んだのはいつか”とか、できるだけ考えないようにした。でもマッピーのルックスは大げさなく大人よりも大人らしいから、年齢をすぐに忘れてた (日本語で討論するってなったら、ミーシャの日本語レベルはたぶん中学生と同じくらいってのは救いだった。w)

会うのはまだ2回目。ネット上での”出会い”を含めたら3回。初回はね…ある日ミーシャのTLに出てきた Drop-Tokyo の写真に”この子、富永愛に似てるね”とコメント付きRTしたら… ワイルドファイヤーのように広がった。マッピーのことは知らなかったので、てっきり”原宿キッズ”とか ”新人読モ”だと思ってた。でもマッピーはどちらでもなく彼女自身でジャンルレス。




While Mappy’s stature is extremely petite, her face is austere. She has the fashion-friendly wide-set eyes like Ai’s, and lips always done in a punchy color like red, orange or black. Her hair is raven-black and cut in a blunt bob a la Rei Kawakubo. She pulls a cooler face than I ever could. When I saw her in the photo on Twitter, it never dawned on me she would be so young (just 12 years old at the time).


At Tokyo Fashion Week last season, I had just taken my seat at the Yasutoshi Ezumi show when the organizers excitedly visited me at my seat, whispering to me that “Mappy has arrived!” like they were letting me in on a secret. I wasn’t sure what they meant but there was a huge commotion, and a little girl emerged from the huddle. “Misha, let me introduce you to… Mappy!” And there I was staring at Ms. Little Ai Tominaga, a huge smile on her face, not at all perturbed by the mass of organizers, editors and photographers swarming our front-row seats. If there were any comparison to Tavi Gevinson, it would be this. Her mother was a little more befuddled by the spectacle but stayed simply calm and polite as they sat down next to me. “Thank you so much for your tweet! Mappy really loves to follow you, and she loves your haircut.”



*epihany* That… wasn’t a Rei Kawakubo homage cut, that was… mine? Thoroughly intrigued, I tried to catch some of the interviews my little doppleganger was doing, but my Japanese is only good enough to parse when the person is talking directly to me. All I could hear was the word “mode”. As in “mode fashion”, or fashion forward, high-design. It used to be a popular phrase but fell out of vogue in the past decade when it got too expensive and cheap streetwear took over instead. Hearing this 13 year old talk about mode sparked my interest like a match. Perhaps the new, NEW generation would be more keen on high fashion? It was at that moment, I became a Mappy fan.


マッピーは小柄なのに飾り気のない大人らしい顔をしていた。やっぱり富永愛さんのように、どんな洋服でも似合う切れ長な目をしていて、リップはいつもパンチの効いた赤などで決めている。黒いきれいな髪は川久保礼さんのようなぱっつんボブにカットされている。ミーシャには真似出来ないような涼しげな顔つき。Twitterではじめて彼女を見たとき、そんなに若いとは夢にも思わなかった。(当時彼女は12歳) 。




顔いっぱいに笑顔を浮かべたプチ富永愛を見つめるミーシャ。彼女はフロントロウで多くのエディターやカメラマンに囲まれ、パパラチされてた。もしタビと比べられる所があるとしたらこれかもしれない。 お母様は独特な景色に少し困惑していたかもしれないけれど、落ち着いていて丁寧な印象を受けた。二人がミーシャの隣に腰を下ろした。”この前のツイートしていただきありがとうございます。マッピーがミーシャをフォローしてたので。そして、ミーシャのヘアカットが大好きなんです。” ん?あの時のツイートの女性がこのマッピーだった!?とピンときた。でももっと驚いたの川久保オマージュのボブはミーシャへのオマージュでも?!w


わくわくして、マッピーが受けているインタビューを聞き取ろうとしてみた。でもミーシャは横から拾うのは難しくて、唯一聞き取れたのは…”モードファッションが好き”。安い洋服とストリートスタイルの流行で最近街からなくなっている「モードスタイル」。この13歳の少女はそんな、ミーシャも好きなモードについて話してるのかな?きっと、新しい、”本当に新しい”世代のハイファッションの鋭い感覚をもってる?そのときミーシャはマッピーのファンになった。 mappy-japan-4




At Alcatrock, Mappy’s mom was rifling through the numerous racks, pulling out the smallest dresses for her daughter to try on. I took out one of my favorites, one I’d tried on just a few weeks earlier but sadly concluded it was sized for a human much tinier than me. Mappy grabbed a shiny blue bowler hat to match but it was too small. “If it’s too small for me, it won’t fit ANYONE!,” she joked. An hour or so later, Mappy had tried on a bevy of lacy, pretty things. I was actually surprised, since in my few short encounters and hearing her interview, I had thought she was a fan of chic and shiny “mode” style. I asked her about it later at the cafe.


“Of course I’m interested in mode. But it’s too expensive for me.” Ah, reality kicks in. I hardly even see adults wearing Ann Demeulemeester anymore anyway, I don’t know why I would have expected Mappy to be in it. Instead,she and her mother will giddily tell you about their favorite vintage haunts and great bargains they caught in Kichijoji. “My bag here was only 100 yen!!” bragged Mappy. Her sense of style is still blooming, but her sense of self is very much established. “I just started junior high school and it’s tough I guess. No makeup, no accessories… and everyone wears just plain socks!” she complained.


I asked if anyone knows about her being famous online and her mother kicked in. “I don’t think any of her classmates know yet, but sometimes the mothers will mention that they saw Mappy mentioned online in places.” The newfound attention means dealing with people who want a piece of the action. Her mother added, “We get requests from photographers all the time asking Mappy to be in their shoots but we often don’t know what to think of them or what to say back.” “And they barely have any followers!” piped in Mappy like a true SNS aficionado. This was definitely something that worriedly popped up in my mind when I saw the commotion at fashion week. I stressed that only working with real professional people they absolutely trust is key.



1時間くらい、マッピーはあらゆる美しく、素敵なビンテージを身につけてドレスアップした。彼女の写真を撮ったり、おしゃべり​をしていた内に​、あることに気付いた。「モード」や「クール」なものに興味があると言ってたのにかなりビンテージ派寄りだった事。気になっていたので、​そのあとカフェで聞いてみた。 “もちろんモードに興味はあるけど、私には高すぎるよ” 。だよね。現実がどーんと突きつけられる。そういえば大人の私もAnn Demeulemeesterとかもうあまり見ないもんな。。マッピーになにを期待したんだろう。だって、私もいつも言っているのは「モードは値段ではなく、気分だ」なのに。だよね。代わりにお母様とよく行くビンテージショップやバーゲンの掘り出し物の話を聞かせてくれた。 “このバッグはたったの100円!だった” と興奮するマッピー。 彼女のスタイリングセンスはまだまだ発展途上だけど、彼女”そのもの”は立派に確立されている。

“まだ中学生になったばかりだけど、学校はちょっと厳しいの。お化粧もアクセサリも禁止。しかもみんな、無地の靴下を履くんだよ!”と不満がたくさんあるようだ。 学校のクラスメートはマッピーがネット上で人気を集めていることを知っているかしら?と訪ねると、お母様が答えてくれた。 “まだクラスメイトは知らないと思います。でも、お母さんの方から”マッピーの写真をネットで見ましたよ”という話はされることがあります 。注目されはじめると色々な人と関わりを持つ機械が増えます。よく、”作品撮りでモデルをしてほしい”とフォトグラファーの方からお話をいただきますが、どの人を信頼できるか、断るべきか、判断がなかなか難しい”





But more than fashion week, the vintage, and the clothes, there was something else altogether occupying Mappy’s brain: The piano. “I don’t want to just be a fashionista. I want to be a pianist. A fashionable pianist. I really want everyone to understand this is my priority” A pianista? And she wasn’t joking. Mappy has sights more set on being a performer at the piano bench than being an exhibition at the fashion shows. At the moment she is into jazz music and practices for public festivals. But that doesn’t mean she is going to stop attending fashion shows, or snapping her daily outfits for her instagram and blog anytime soon. The entire time we were at the cafe talking, she had been trying to edit a photo we took together for her instagram. After about an hour, she wailed, “I don’t know what filter to use! How do you think I should go??” Bright and bold, Mappy… Go brightly. And boldly.


ファッション界で注目を浴びる Mappy。でもファッションショーよりも、ビンテージよりも、服よりなにより、マッピーを夢中にさせるものがある。それはピアノ。 “ただのファッショニスタにはなりたくない。ピアニストになりたい。ファッショナブルなピアニスト。これがわたしの価値観だって、みんなに分かってもらいたいの。” ファッショナブルなピアニスト?ってことは、ピアニスタ…? 彼女は真剣だった。マッピーが描く将来のビジョンは、おしゃれ傍観者のではなく、おしゃれにパフォーマンスをすることだ。今はジャズミュージックにハマっていて、近所の祭りに向け練習しているそう。しかし、これは決してファッションショーに姿を見せなくなるとかではないし、毎日コーディネートをインスタにあげてブログもまめに更新している。 カフェでお話ししている間、マッピーは一緒に撮ったスナップをインスタ様に加工しようと励んでいた。一時間くらい経って、”もうわからない!どう加工したらいい?”と嘆いた。 ブライト&ボールド、マッピー….そう、明るく勇敢に。


Mappy on Instagram オフィシャルインスタグラム


Night Barbecue!!!</p>
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-Misha Janette

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The Worst Candy Ever??..the Kind You Never Get to Eat. Dessert Accessories by Rotari Parker一生食べることの出来ないお菓子って最悪じゃん??いや、ちょっとまった!!



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kolor 2015ss. Sportswear never meant for Sports, so what? ◎キーワード:「スポーツができないスポーツゥエアだが何か?」カラー2015春夏 Tue, 08 Jul 2014 01:54:10 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger



The sporty trend has taken high-fashion by storm, and it’s designer Junichi Abe of Kolor’s turn to show his take on it. Ever since the oversized silhouettes of the 80s, has there been a trend to promulgate the collections for men and women such as this? Surely high fashion sportswear will top lists defining our fashion decade years from now. And this isn’t just Nike on a runway; this is de facto high fashion we’re talking about. If you actually feign to do any labor or sweating in these you will be crying over your dry cleaning bills. For example, Kolor’s “basketball shorts” for 2015 SS are more cocktail than court as they’re not lined in stretchable mesh but delicate lace….

ファッション界で今ビッグトレンドになっているスポーティテイスト。Kolor デザイナーの阿部潤一さんはそのトレンドをうまく取り込み、見事なコレクションを発表した。80年代のオーバーサイズシルエット以降、このようにメンズとレディース両方で多く登場したトレンドはあったっけ?? ハイファッションのスポーツウェアブームはこの先今世紀最大の流行になることは確実でしょう。 これは、ナイキのランウェイとかっていう話じゃなくってモードファッションのこと。もしこれを着てる時に重労働して汗をかこうものならクレジットカードの請求額を思い出して泣くことになるかもよ?例えばカラー2015ssの”バスケットボールショーツ”。だって、裏地がデリケートなレースってば….!

Kolor-Men-Spring-Summer-2015-Paris-Fashion-Week-Collection-018The kitchen sink: Denim, neoprene, knit, mesh, lace… and are those sandals suede?! 素材のメドレー:デニム、ネオプレーン、ニット、メッシュ、レース、そしてサンダルはまさかスエードじゃないか?!

There are also the sneakers and sports sandals in Kolor’s collection, but these are merely Abe’s take on the shoe and not meant to be taken to the gym. Still, he fuses active-ready fabrics like nylon and neoprene with smart go-tos like knitwear…. on one item, no less! This experimentation is key and the colorblocking somewhat blurs it out but the mix textiles here are quite genius. Now if you are fabulous enough to pull off a “faux-pas” like one of the tie-dye shirts or madly mismatched t-shirt sleeve lengths then you are a true stylisto and I will tip my designer basketball cap to you. Lastly: note that Kolor’s signature smock piping technique is back after a long hiatus this season, so old fans might want to come back and reacquaint themselves with the brand if you left.

Kolor Shopping at Farfetch

カラーのコレクションにはスニーカーとスポーティなサンダルも揃っているけど、決してジム用なんかじゃない。異素材を合わせることが得意な彼は、アクティブウェアに使われるようなナイロンやネオプレンとニットなどをひとつのアイテムにのせたり….手が凝っている。また、カラーブロックが施されたブラウスだったりとかこのミックステキスタイルなんて(ネオプレーン、デニム、ニット!)絶妙なバランスで天才的。 タイダイTシャツとか個性的なアシンメトリーTシャツを上手に着こなすことができたら、もうあなたは本物のスタイリッシュピーポー。チアガール集まれ! 最後に…カラーの代名詞でもあるスモックのパイピングが長い眠りから覚めてかえって来たらしい!最近ちょっと離れてたかもしれない昔からのファンのみなさんもまた戻ってくるかもしれない。

Kolor-Men-Spring-Summer-2015-Paris-Fashion-Week-Collection-006     Kolor-Men-Spring-Summer-2015-Paris-Fashion-Week-Collection-003





kolor_15ss_06   Kolor-Men-Spring-Summer-2015-Paris-Fashion-Week-Collection-010


































-Misha Janette -Assistant editor

Natsumi Yasuoka   ミーシャをフォロー!

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The Shocker is Beauty is not Borderless ◎日本の境界線を超えられない美意識はあるの? Sun, 06 Jul 2014 07:56:41 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger



“美の定義”はとても面白いトピックだと思う。上記でミーシャがイメージしたのは今日本でいちばんポピュラーな女性像 (たとえば、ローラさん)。でも外国で成功しているのはこういう女性ではない。だって、外国人が思う日本人女性の美(男性にも言えることだけど)というのは、この女性像とはかけ離れているから。ファッション界ではその傾向はいっそう強まります。さて、どんな人が”ビューティフル”で、人々の注目を集めるんだろう?

Recently there is an article going viral on the net about a woman who paid photoshoppers from a handful of countries around the world to change her into their culture’s view of beauty (some horrible photoshopping aside, it was a good idea).

I was waiting for the “Japan” version and I imagined how it would look like: rounder face, filled-in cheekbones, more defined eyelids, slight duck lips, extra large irises, fake lashes, and a wavy shoulder-length hairstyle in a light brown with orange-ish tones.

The concept of beauty is interesting, especially in fashion, because who I imagined above is one of the most popular models on the planet in Japan at the moment. But when it comes to Japanese beauties trying to become successful in the west (and men, as well), what we think of as a beautiful “Japanese” woman is very different in both cultures. It becomes even MORE obvious in terms of the fashion world…who is beautiful, and gets looked over? (continued under the Japanese)

上掲載の画像はこっちよりの菊池凛子さん The photo above is of Rinko Kikuchi from here

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どうして、彼女たちのような”大和撫子”がハリウッドをはじめとする諸外国を魅了して、浜崎あ○みのような国内のスーパースターは(日本の女の子たちの憧れの的にはなるのに) 海外マーケットに広く受け入れられないのでしょう? 日本だけではない。理想的な ”アジアンビューティー”をもつ、香港の”アンジェラベイビー”や韓国の”少女時代”は自国内で人気が高いのに西洋の一般マーケットにもファッション界にも進入できなかったことを見ると、ギャップは大きいと思う。




Sayoko Yamaguchi 山口小夜子 by Serge Lutens for Shiseido





外国人のなかには”ヴォーグの表紙を飾るモデルが日本人の憧れるルックスなのか?”と困惑する人も少なくない。でも実際…、ヴォーグジャパンがしているのは”海外ファッション誌がとりあげる今海外で話題のものを日本版として取り上げること。”  そして人気の外人モデルももちろん当て込む。海外をメインソースにしているヴォーグ ”ジャパン” だからって、日本人モデルがダメというわけではない。他の雑誌に目を向けると、ローカルなモデルやセレブが表紙を飾る雑誌もあるので。ただ、ヴォーグは「世界の一番知られているファッション誌」ということなので、日本人が白人のルックスの方を憧れるという誤解が外国ではよく生じるのは確か。



前に、イメージコンサルタントとして日本の芸能界で目を出しそうな子の発掘をしないかという話をいただいたことがある。”外国人の立場で、将来日本の女の子にはどんなものを見せてほしいと期待しますか? 日本のセレブリティで誰が美しいとおもいますか?” 外国の文化とのギャップを感じた出来事だった。





余談: 無関心な人たちにとっては、日本人なのかか他のアジアの国の人なのか見分けがつかない。10年日本に住んだミーシャは今でこそ各アジア諸国の人たちひとりひとりにちゃんと個性があるってわかる。これは、ミーシャ自身の知覚が変化したから。だってね、アメリカに帰って中年男性を見かければみんな自分の父親みたいと感じる。その歳くらいの女性はみんな母親に似てくる。20代後半の男の人たちは弟みたい。白人てみんな似てるなーって思ったりするの。w”感じ方”って不思議だー。ショック。 笑


What’s the beauty consensus?

1. “You aren’t Asian-looking enough. Your eyes are too big.”

2. “You look too Asian for this market”

#1 was said to my close Asian-American friend in LA when trying out for modeling and movie parts that called for Asian girls. #2 was when she moved to Japan to model as an Asian. I had shown her this article before I posted it to get her opinion and she shared with me the above experience. I was floored that it was still so stereotypical.

There is no doubt about it, when the western world thinks of Japanese beauties, they think of a common look: a “Yamato-nadeshiko”-like. [Yamato-nadeshiko is the term applied to Japanese women who behave traditionally in society, and also refers to a “traditional” look.] That means shiny black hair and stereotypical “asian” facial features like almond slivers for eyes and sharp cheekbones. This is because these features are more rare in Western countries, and rareity is a virtue of beauty. It’s all too true in the fashion world too, even though it really should be a celebration of unique looks all around.

Going on terms of those who have caught the attention of western fashion media, mainly girls like models Sayoko Yamaguchi, Ai Tominaga, Tao, Rila Fukushima and actress Rinko Kikuchi come to mind. They are seriously beautiful women, but they have found far more success abroad than in Japan. That’s because the expectation of beauty is so different across the oceans. No Japanese person would deny their looks, but it’s usually only after they become popular abroad does the local media really turn their attention to them.

Why is it that these women enrapture audiences in Hollywood and beyond, but mega uber local superstars like Ayumi Hamasaki cannot break into the market, despite looking like the immaculate local ideal? The same goes for those who embody “ideal” aesthetics of other Asian countries,  Angelababy from China and Girls Generation from Korea? It just hasn’t happened yet.

Ai Tominaga looking stunning どうみても最高に美しい富永愛さん

What about the VOGUE question?

Ever since VOGUE Japan launched in 1999, every single fashion magazine fan in the western world has asked the same question at least once….

“Why aren’t there Japanese models on the cover??”

Many westerners may confuse VOGUE cover models with what Japanese consider to be their own ideal in looks. In fact, this has nothing to do with it. VOGUE Japan simply is a magazine that represents what is popular in fashion in the western world, and that doesn’t preclude the biggest names in modeling there. There is no push within it’s pages that Japanese models aren’t good enough or to look more western. There are other fashion magazines here that cover the local scenes and local models/celebrities instead.

But it is interesting to note that neighboring Asian countries like Korea and China *do* prominently feature local models on the covers…

It goes both ways however, like when local magazines feature really “hot” celebrities in Hollywood that don’t really fit the beauty mold locally. An actor or actress may be all the rage abroad, but they will barely make a ripple here if they don’t sport certain features (Proof is when Japanese mags twitter gossip and certain celebs from abroad and get absolutely NO retweets/social shares vs those who fit a more local ideal of beauty/cuteness and get an avalanche of shares).

Can perceptions of beauty be globalized?

I have been asked to be an image consultant in the past for budding young entertainers in Japan, and I get asked, “What features do you expect to see in a Japanese girl from a western standpoint? Which Japanese celebrities do think are beautiful?”. That’s just how different our cultures divide.

Despite the globalization of fashion, pop culture and celebrity-dom, I think that we often forget that popularity cannot be judged on beauty when it comes to selling across cultures. And what is considered a local ideal may be very far off from how the rest of the world expects that local ideal to be. This concept is called “localization” and it’s another topic for another day.


Rila Fukushima is amazing too 福島リラも美人の美人だと思う

(Here’s a comedic look at the Asian boom in the fashion industry, a hilarious take by one of my favorite shows on V-Files. “The Asiency” これは反ふざけているけれど、アジア人モデルのブームを取り上げたコメディーショートが面白いから張っておきます。ソースはVマガジン)


LEARN MORE  関連記事も読みましょう!

The Beauty I Cannot Get Behind: “Ugly-but-cute” Busu Kawaii Trend今回は「ブスカワイイ」を評論したいと思う。



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Tsumori Chisato Czech-ing in minimalist. Pre-fall 2014 ◎ キーワード:「チェコ絵本の旅」ツモリチサトのプレフォール2014 Thu, 03 Jul 2014 16:12:47 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger

tsumori-chisato-look-book-pre-autumn-fall-20148 Tsumori Chisato’s world is one of endless travel, as seen through eyes of wonderment and adventure, like a child leafing through a picture book. Each page brings with it new characters (designs) and onto new territories drawn by her imagination. Where are we going to for pre-fall 2014? That would be the charming town of Prague in Czechoslovakia…but is this the most minimalist collection we’ve seen by Tsumori?!


毎回世界各地の風をコレクションに取り込む津森さんは、いわば旅するデザイナー。人生は”子供の絵本に描かれるようなアドベンチャー!”という心を持つ人が愛着するブランド。今回も、そのページをめくると、次から次へとチャーミングにプレイフルなキャラクター(洋服)たちが登場する。そんな彼女が今回舞台に選んだのはチェコ。めくって、めくって…これは!なんとかなりミニマリズムなツモリなんじゃないの?!… tsumori-chisato-look-book-pre-autumn-fall-20143   While drawing out the characteristics of Eastern Europe (pun intended), she conveys its atmosphere in graphical bare-bones line drawings that skirt cute enough to still be Tsumori. As she is wont to do, animal motifs are sprinkled throughout and this time its the kitsune (mischeivious fox) who appears in various “deforme” states. The main motif for this season are the rows of Czech houses , making for a minimalistic (for Tsumori anyway) yet cozy collection. The knits and furs makes it seem a bit heavier for a pre-fall collection, but we’ll have to take her word that its colder over there in Prague… The collection *just* hit stores yesterday throughout Japan, and she’s offering up some Tsumori Chisato dinner plates for early bird customers…obstensibly for your Prague summer house, no doubt. Or if you don’t want to grow up *that* fast, check out Neverland instead. Tsumori Chisato online


東ヨーロッパの独特な雰囲気をヒきながらもグラフィカルでキュートなプリントやカッティングはツモリ流アレンジ盛りだくさん。プラハの小さな街に連なる家をメインに構成したというコレクションには家モチーフだけではなく独特なラインにも”チェコの家々”が落とし込まれている。比較的にミニマルなんだけれど、これはプレコレクションならではのシンプリシティ(分かりやすさ)を前提に発表されている。それでも、ところどころにきつねなどの動物もいたりと、目で見て楽しめるコレクションは安定。これぞツモリチサトの真骨頂。たまにはこういうクリーンなラインと大人系な色彩でリラックス感のある遊び心でも良いよな、という印象。 このプレフォールは機能お店で登場したばかりで、限定期間でノベルティもあるそう。詳細はツモリHPご覧ください tsumori-chisato-look-book-pre-autumn-fall-201420




tsumori-chisato-look-book-pre-autumn-fall-20141   tsumori-chisato-look-book-pre-autumn-fall-20144
















































tsumori-chisato-look-book-pre-autumn-fall-201430   -Misha Janette Assistant edit. Natsumi Yasuoka


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The prestigious SOEN AWARDS JAPAN 2014 winners and full collections ◎装苑賞2014年で輝いた優秀な若手デザイナーを全公開します!



Neb Aaran Do ‘s grown-up school uniforms AW2014◎大人になってもOKなセーラー服。ネバアランド2014一学期新入生




tsumori chisato


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Neb Aaran Do ‘s grown-up school uniforms AW2014◎大人になってもOKなセーラー服。ネバアランド2014一学期新入生 Tue, 01 Jul 2014 18:14:11 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger


Never grow up! If there were a “Neverland” on Earth it would certainly be Japan. Here, you can be an adult, but that doesn’t mean you have to dress like one. Lolita was an answer to that, but another genre has taken off and it’s far less Marie Antoinette and more Popeye and Olive Oyl. This is Neb-Aaran-Do (Neverland but pronounced like neva-alan-doo with a “Do” like “Just do it!”), with an entire repertoire based around the school uniform. Specifically, sailor uniforms. Step onto their time-traveling sea-ship…





Every collection from Neb-aaran-do contains elements of the retro sailor uniform which is a popular motif in Japanese school uniforms. Lately, the school uniform and the sailor collar has come back into style big time as daily-wear, but before that wave hit Neb-aaran-do was already riding it. I met the two designers while on set of NHK Kawaii International, and while listening to them speak eloquently and maturely about their aesthetic, my respect was sealed.

Information on the latest collection comes with a notice that it’s the “new student” of the first trimester. It is titled “The meteor with no name” and seems to be looking to the stars. If all you’re looking for though are school-uniform inspired high-end fashion in adult sizes then they’ve got that covered. There’s ribbons and neckties galore, along with a smattering of smocks. It goes into “cosplay”-ish dresses like with the nurse uniform, but it’s definitely drawing inspiration more from retro school and work uniforms than costume.

Thanks to some influence of school uniforms on Gossip Girl (RIP) or the girlie peter-pan collars on most of the dresses in Alexa Chung’s wardrobe, this style doesn’t seem as childish as it probably should to our western eyes. Case in point below:

最新コレクションでは、シグニチャーとなったセーラー服からインスピレーションを得た「シリウス ロングブラウス」や、「名前のない惑星」、また両胸にリボンがついた「双子座ブラウス」などを発表。




This look, without tights and some heels or booties would look seriously cool on the street in ANY city. And check out the Navy stripes on the pants pockets.これだって、生足にモードな靴を履けば”チャーミング”なルックが”かっこよく”へ変身。これはクール!

Neb aaran do
2014-15 1st trimester

ein namenloses Komet
The comet without a name

Keep an eye on Machiko, the model here, as she is one cool chick and brings a strangely alluring dark mood into the scenes. I think “girl-crush” is appropriate here







Neb Aaran Do Archives/アーカイブの作品達もご覧ください

nebaarando-neverland-1 nebaarando-neverland-11 nebaarando-neverland-10 nebaarando-neverland-9 nebaarando-neverland-8 nebaarando-neverland-12


The two adorable designers Eily and Jammy. デザイナー二人組のEilyとJammy。ウチのNHKかわいいインターナショナルの番組に出演した時にお会いして、とても礼儀正しく丁寧にブランドを解説してくれた。二人はいろんな意味で大人的にチャーミングな世界を造り上げているわ。


7/12 sat – 7/14 mon
〒310-0015 茨城県水戸市宮町2-3-107
営業時間:13:00-20:00 不定休

7/19 sat – 7/21 mon
〒920-0999 金沢市柿木畠4-12 広坂中央ビル 1F
営業時間:12:00 – 20:00 水曜定休日

7/25 fri – 7/27 sun
〒150-0001 東京都渋谷区神宮前3-36-26
営業時間:12:00-19:00 月曜定休日

Neb aaran do Online
取り扱い店舗 List of stores


Effects of deforestation; Where have all the Forest Girls gone? ◎森ガールってどこの森に消えていった?



Lula to launch Japan magazine. But are we in girlie burnout? ◎ガーリー飽和状態?日本版ルラが秋に創刊




dakota rose

-Misha Janette
Assistant edit. Karen Shimada


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Issey Miyake BAOBAO bags, Zaha Hadid, and the Tokyo Olympics ◎ ザハハディドの2020年オリンピックスタジアムより、バオバオが東京に相応しいだろう Sun, 29 Jun 2014 08:54:46 +0000 FacebookTwitterGoogle PlusPinterestRedditTumblrBlogger


日本のトップブランドの イッセイミヤケ が展開する BAO BAO ISSEY MIYAKEがクリエーターと開発する企画 BAO BAO PARK EDITION。

過去には、あの東京の有名なファッションアイコンであるスプツニ子とのコラボを果たしたこの企画。そこから6月に待望の 4度目のコラボとして最もユニークなライン、「Distortion」が販売され、そのデザインを見た世界中の人々の間でバイラルに話題になっている。過去、現代、未来をも描くこのデザインは、来る東京オリンピックの影響で世界の人々の興味を更に引くのではないかと思う。

With a continued slew of hit accessories and offshoot lines to his name, Issey Miyake is on a roll these days. Or should I say, on a triangle these days. His biggest hit is the line of geometric bags called Bao Bao, and the newest edition is jaw-droppingly cool. In fact, I hardly ever have the joy of seeing Japanese fashion pop up on mainstream English news blogs I read, but there was Miyake’s new futuristic “Distortion” origami bag hitting viral levels around the web.

What is it about this particular bag that has viral globe-stopping properties? What does that have to do with Japanese design, and its future? And that thought led me on a joyride thinking about the Olympics, Zaha Hadid, Kanji, cursive, kimono, tailoring, and more…




The “Distortion” bag is part of a special edition “Park Bao Bao” series where an artist or creative collection is given free reign to design their own Bao Bao. Last year they had one of my favorite contemporary Japanese/British artists Sputniko! do a moon-themed pouch- it was going to be hard to topple the buzz around that. But in came N&R Foldings, a design unit comprised of Rodrigo Solorzano and Naoki Kawamoto who specialize in “folding” design. Their Bao Bao is a DIY origami piece that you fold and snap together, that is so primitive in idea but so far-flung futuristic in execution, you wonder if it’s not just a totally wishful 3D rendering of a product.

What is it about this bag, and the award-winning Bao Bao bags as a whole that is so enrapturing? For us as westerners it certainly is because it’s unlike something we get to see in our culture. From the other side, a Japanese cultural perspective,  it’s not *quite* as exciting. That is of course, because the “origami” technique is so ingrained, it’s like being excited about a dress resembling a cheerleader uniform (which conversely, in Japan, is something pretty new and very trendy right now).



今回コラボしたアーティストは、ロドリゴソロッサーと川本尚毅の二人組が立ち上げた、N&R FOLDINGS。バオバオは(もっというと、イッセイミヤケ社が)折紙などの日本にある平面の文化と、最新のデジタルなもの造りの手法を組み合わせるデザインを提唱することで知られる。今回のコラボバッグ「Distortion」は、BAOBAOの従来の三角形とは異なった変形のも三角形が使われているということだけでなく、それが敷き詰められたシートを、使う人が一からくみ上げ2Dが3Dにゆがみながら変容していく様を楽しめるという点でも、とても新しい。


イッセイミヤケは”歪んだ”バッグを作り出し、世界的に賞賛を得た。なぜ海外にまで評価されたかって?それは、シンプルな日本のデザインでありながら、同時に未来的だから。他のデザインと比べて、日本のデザインの特徴は折紙、漢字、着物に代表されるように平面的で直線的。ミーシャが文化服装学院に入学して最初に習ったのは、日本の伝統的被服である着物が、立体的である西洋の服に比べていかに平面的で、直線的であるかということだった… また、漢字を書くようになってからアルファベットを心無しか漢字みたいに角張って書いてしまうことがあるのはきっと漢字のもつ直線性に影響されているから…

zaha-hadid-tokyo stadium

Zaha Hadid’s proposal for the new National Stadium in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics ザハハディッドの提案するスタジアムのレンダリング

From a historical standpoint, Japanese design is flat and straight, while typical Western design is curvy. When I first started studying at Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo, the very first lesson we learned was that “kimono is flat clothing, meant to be folded to the body, and western clothing is curvy, meant to be tailored to the body.” It shows up in the writing as well, where the modern chinese “Kanji” are drawn in straight-line strokes with very few curves unlike our Roman alphabet (On a personal note, my own roman alphabet handwriting has gotten very sharp and pointy since learning Kanji).

As for Issey Miyake, his entire repertoire is built around turning Japanese “flat” design into ingenious products for fashion and accessories. The fact that something as simple as the Bao Bao bag line can still look so fresh and exciting today, had me thinking that is would be perfect to implement in the Tokyo Olympics for 2020.

Just a stone’s throw away from the Miyake boutiques they will be building a new stadium, designed by Zaha Hadid. Hadid is renowned for her futuristic designs, just like Miyake is, but hers are inherently curvy, swirly and undulating. It is the antithesis to Japanese design. The stadium will be built in the heart of Tokyo (and right next to my own abode, natch), among the traditional Japanese houses and temples, like Meiji Shrine, with their blocky Japanese designs. I am a HUGE Zaha Hadid fan and find her architecture incredibly exciting. But I still wonder if it’s the way to go, and how Japanese people actually feel about the design of this stadium, and how it will come to represent their city. Or should I say *my* city as well (I pay taxes, fair enough). Personally, I think a Bao-Bao designed stadium with a geometric self-retracting folding roof would actually be so much more of an amazing design befit to Tokyo.

This is all my own pie-in-sky dreams and musings, of course. And maybe I really just want to be able to say my bag matches my stadium.


BAO BAOに話を戻すと、バッグのデザインは日本的で直線的であるのに、同時にとても未来的で、だからこそ世界中の話題をさらったというわけ。


Issey Miyake Official Online

-Misha Janette
-Asst edits Karen Shimada

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Innovative Reality Lab Playground by Issey Miyake Opens in Omotesando







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