Thursday, November 7, 2013

OOTD: A Study in Pink

  • Blouse: Monomania (Laforet, Harajuku)
  • Cropped top: Nozomi Ishiguro (GARDEN, Sendai)
  • Vest: ???
  • Skirt: WEGO (Sendai)
  • Socks: AVANTGARDE (Harakuku)
  • Heels: Camper (Dublin)
  • Bag: Vivienne Westwood (Harvey Nichols, Dublin)
  • Hair Barrette: Nakamura Coubou (SAKURA, Sendai)
  • Necklace: Etw Vonneguet (Japan)
  • Watch: Tsumori Chisato (Forus, Sendai)

Did you spot the fiction?

Well, not fiction exactly, but you may remember that azure blue background from...Sendai! Yes, since my current wardrobe is highly limited, I'm posting an outfit from May this year. Somewhat ironically it's a little bit similar to my Halloween costume. It cannot be said that I don't get good value out of my clothes!

Everything in this outfit is something that, if you follow this blog regularly, you've probably seen before. One unusual point is the Camper graffiti heels. I usually live in flats or boots, but I long to be a regular heel wearer. My life seems to involve a lot of walking though, so it never seemed practical. 

I actually bought a pair of those fold-up ballet pumps to keep in my hand bag a while ago. They're not very sturdy but they might do the trick for nights out. I'm still self-conscious about being taller than Japanese people if I wear heels, but I own quite a few pairs so I may as well just wear them.

I welcome any advice from heel-pros (and fellow failures share your pain)!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Halloween Fashion and Food

Happy Halloween from a Dark Angel, Snow White, Kawaii Dracula and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

Happy post-Halloween!

I can't believe it's November already. This year has been so fragmented that it barely seems to have started yet. It's almost time to start making plans for New Years, when I'll probably maintain my fine tradition of doing nothing!

Halloween 2013 in Tokyo was spectacular. For about one week the night-time streets were full of zombies, Pokemon and sexy-[insert respected profession here]. Most of the big parties took place on the weekend before the 31st during which, as fate would have it, I was stuck in bed with a nasty cold. So most of my "Halloween in Tokyo" experience came from Twitter and fashion snaps. Lucky me!

Kyary with a witch's nose

All was not lost though, on Halloween night my classmate hosted a party in his swanky Shinjuku bachelor pad. Since I was only going to dress up once I didn't think it was worth buying a costume this year and half of my wardrobe is still in storage because of moving house. So I ran home after class and threw on anything thing that looked vaguely kawaii or colourful.  

I ended up in neon-floral-lacy mix that, for lack of a better idea, I called Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

I didn't MEAN to hog the spotlight...

...but I couldn't seem to stop, even when taking a "couple" picture.

My classmates at language school, from Italy, England and Sweden.

The guests at the party were a mix of language school students, their Japanese friends and lovers, and an interesting mix of people who somehow found their way there. I randomly met one girl from Sendai who shared some common friends with me. We had one of those "it's a small world" moments that I never expected to have in Tokyo of all places.

One of the highlights of the night was learning the traditional American game "beer pong". I hate beer and have poor aim so I didn't fare very well. Fortunately my opposition was equally bad so we soon abandoned the game for our trusty Mojitos!

Last-minute Kyary costume part one

  • Floral headband: SPINNS (Harajuku)
  • Vintage Levi's denim jacket: Zool Tatouage (Koenji)
  • Pink lace cropped top: Nozomi Ishiguro (GARDEN, Sendai)
  • Neon vest: Topshop (Dublin)
  • Bag: Vivienne Westwood (Harvey Nichols, Dublin)
  • Eyeball brooch and ring: SPINNS (Harajuku)
  • Pink necklace: Titty & Co. (Shibuya 109)

Last-minute Kyary costume part two

  • White lace skirt: W.C. (Shibuya)
  • Pink lace shorts: Nozomi Ishiguro (GARDEN, Sendai)
  • Two-tone leggings: Monomania (Laforet, Harajuku)
  • Boots: ECCO (Dublin)

I was so tempted to try this but I wasn't a resident (or a small child)

Most of us left in time to catch the last subway. I had a presentation on Friday morning to prepare for so there was no all-nighter for me. As we left I started taking random pictures of the apartment block because it was damn fancy and so beautiful. My friend lives on the 29th floor, over-looking Shinjuku Central Park and the view of the city lights at night was breathtaking.

The luxurious lobby

And even more fabulous public lounge

Even the outside had an impeccably designed garden

The bright lights of Shinjuku

The best thing about Halloween 2013

 If I'm perfectly honest though, this ↑ was my favourite part of Halloween. I found this delicious 五目寿司(ごもくずし、gomokuzushi) onigiri (technically it's an "omusubi" but whatever) at Family Mart. I've never seen it before and it wasn't available in every shop, but it was heaven. It's basically sushi rice with omelette and vegetables mixed in. It wasn't very seasonal in terms of Halloween though. I'll probably have to wait a whole year for it to be released again so this is my mini-tribute. 

Thank you random Halloween onigiri

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Welcome To Tokyo

Tea, futon, adventure time

Here I am.

After four years of paying my dues in Sendai, I've made my move to the big city: Tokyo.

It's both everything and nothing that I thought it would be. On the plus side I'm finally living with my boyfriend, there's an endless stream of fashion events and I'm making lots of new friends. However, I don't have a job, I miss my friends in Sendai and my house is disgusting.

Here is a sample picture of my current abode:

If the house from "The Grudge" was a rubbish dump...

It's a big old 1950s Japanese-style family home. Compared to what most Tokyo 20-somethings live in it's positively palatial. We could take on a lodger and have plenty of room to spare. The catch's a mess. The most terrifying mess you've ever seen. The previous resident was a real-life crazy old cat lady (she had 18 of them) who was a 100% hikikomori. If you're not familiar with the term, the Japanese use to it refer to a person who shuts themselves away from the outside world, rarely if ever leaving their home. Said home naturally falls in to a state of disrepair and hoarding is common.

When we moved in about a month ago, we found that the entire ground floor needed to be cleared out and re-floored. One of the two toilets needs replacing, as does part of the roof. Luckily, the upper floor was refurbished about 10 years ago so it's in good condition compared to the rest of the house. We basically live up there and work on the problem areas at the weekend.

My new best friends

I'm not going to lie, it has been really hard and more than a few tears were shed. But now we have storage space, a fully functional bathroom, internet, brand new fridge and washing machine and best of all... 


PRINCESS BED: takes up most of the space in the bedroom. No regrets.

Since the end of my glorious days as an junior high school ALT, I've been mulling over my future options. I'm not sure what I want to do yet, but the past 2 years were so difficult that I want to avoid any "token gaijin" kind of job. I decided that improving my Japanese ability will give me the best chance of that, so for now I'm attending a language school in Tokyo.

You would think that living in Japan for four years would make me fluent, but it's not as easy as that. It's hard to study AND work a full-time job, especially when you live alone. Once you reach a functional level of Japanese ability, it's hard to push yourself to reach the next level. After two weeks of language school I feel like I've improved a lot already.

And it was a great excuse to buy some kawaii stationary!

Back to school with Nameko

Pure Candy X Campus notebooks, coloured pens, cute erasers

So if you've followed me from Sendai to Dublin to France to Tokyo, thanks for sticking with me. This is the start of an exciting new chapter in my life where I'm finally doing something for ME. 

Tokyo is wonderful, scary, bizarre...

and it's mine!


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