Barbie The Eternal Fashion Icon exhibition held at Tokyo’s Seibu department store is a decadent display tracking the development of an icon from its start as the German fashion doll Bild Lilli in 1955 to Mattel’s refined Barbie doll. Throughout her journey she has been a reflection of the times with plenty of style and fashion hits but also with a few misses just like the rest of us.
To see the many extravagantly chic outfits and accessories meticulously made in miniature for dressing Barbie and the different personas that she assumes through them was incredible. I’m tempted to bust out a selection of my wardrobe’s finest and get fully dolled up in vail, fur and jewels but the sweltering Tokyo heat forces me to be a bit more sensible unfortunately.
Shopping for your pet pooch who’s trendy to the point of rivaling you, has never been as stylish or fun as it is here in Tokyo. Colorful raincoats, pet IQ training toys, doggie carrier bags that look like luxury handbags and bedazzled leashes are just some of the must-haves.
I’ve recently begun the journey towards honing the skill and art of Japanese いけばな (ikebana) flower arranging. In my journey I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by some of the best ikebana artists here in Tokyo to help instruct and inspire me.
As I’m just starting out my first lesson is to create a basic upright style moribana arrangement where the stems need to be precision cut and precision placed at fixed angles on a spiky kenzan. There are three main parts to the arrangement which are the shin placed at a 10˚~15˚ angle, soe at 45˚, and hikae at 75˚. After the three main stems are perfectly placed it’s time to accessorize with jushi subordinate stems that add volume and depth to the arrangement as the kenzan is not supposed to be visible.
The studio is filled with interesting add-ons that can make fabulous arrangements truly spectacular despite what they might look like carelessly piled in the studio corner. But I’m far from the stage where I get to go off textbook so it’ll have to be something to look forward to in the future as I progress.