Tuesday, July 21, 2009

better than it looks

On my last day in Japan, I went to Harajuku/Omotesando for some last minute shopping and people watching. Despite the fact that the two districts each has its own subway station, the distance between the two is about less than a mile's walk. On a long stretch of road, trees dot the spaces between major designer houses and fanciful cafes. Anything and everything you could ever dream of is here. Chanel sits next to Martin Margiela, and one could spend a down payment on a house in a one block radius at Comme des Garcons, Prada, and Dolce & Gabanna.

Photography was restricted inside all the stores, but each building had a unique exterior - a deep tribute to Tokyo's reverence to mixing its architecture with high fashion.

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The Comme des Garcon store has a clever piece of window decaling. I personally think it's to prevent photographers from getting a good shot of their merchandise. It pretty much distorts any view of the inside unless you are literally standing in front of the window, peering in between the space between the dots.

The store itself is set up like a maze, and I had a rather difficult time navigating through it. (Only because I'm extremely left brain challenged.) The workers are selectively friendly. I feigned disinterest until the girl with the mushroom cut came over to assist me with her delightfully adorable snaggletooth smile. I tried on a few of the runway pieces until I realized that I wasn't fit for most of Rei Kawakubo's creations. But I did manage to find a few pieces that I liked, which will eventually find their way onto the blog once the weather starts to cool down.

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Spotted: trendy man walking down the street. I stalked him until he entered the D&G store. He works there.

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The Prada building was extremely fascinating. You couldn't walk into the building because there are no doors on the building itself. You had to enter through this side tunnel that felt like you were entering a depth of credit card hell. Gives you a moment to think and turn around before damning yourself to bad credit.

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I'm not a huge fan of Louis Vuitton, but the windows were very enticing. The monograms on the left would light up in intervals, and then there would be a sparkle display. It was exciting. Even for 10 in the morning.

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I was super excited to see the Dior store, which was designed by Sanaa - the people behind The New Museum in the Lower East Side in NYC. I'm a huge fan of their avant garde design work, as well as Kazuyo Sejima's sartorial preference (Comme des Garcons).

13 comments:

  1. this shit is poppin. especially the prada building!

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  2. I want to visit Japan too!!! Looks sooooo cool!

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  3. OMG! What great shots! And I love descent-into-credit-card-hell tunnel! And I am excited/jealous to see all your new things- post them soon!

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  4. ahh that's so cool!

    i had heard about the great architecture of japanese designer stores but i never got a chance to check those out as i was basically dragging my aunt, uncle and dad around.. if i had gone with friends, or just my immediate family like my mom, dad and sister, i would've probably been able to have more freedom in terms of sightseeing.

    but yeah, i heard about the CdG store. we actually learned about it in one of my classes at school!

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  5. That Prada entrance is something else... wow.

    ~Faith

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  6. I love that you picked up some CDG pieces, Cant wait to see you wear em for this blog.

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  7. Credit card hell! Hahaha you're so right. But wow, these buildings are amazing yet strangely enough are boutiques. I love that extra effort/thought. Very much appreciated these days, things get so mundane so easily.

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  8. Wow, what amazingly stunning store design and architecture! Haha, and the best way to get service in high end stores is to act like you don't like much of anything to begin with.

    Never really understood that, but I always make sure to ask for the store manager as soon as I walk in. That way I usually end up with two or three helpers even when I inevitably buy nothing. Ahh the poor life of a student lol.

    Hope you're having a beautiful day dear :)

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  9. Oh wow. Great photos. I've just been to Glasgow & there was a guerilla Comme des Garcons store with the same effect on the windows so you couldn't get photos. No fair!

    Looks like you had an amazing time though.

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  10. need to go here! lovely pictures!

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  11. i sooo wanna go to japan for the food, shopping, architecture, everything!!! oh, and thx for your advice on my bracelet, i decided to entirely scrap what i was doing originally because the finishing was to difficult - thought of a new way and will do it instead!

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  12. so jealous that you got to go to commes des garcons! tokyo looks amazing

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