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.
Stylish pet carriers that look like luxury handbags but with breathable fabric inserts to the sides to make for comfortable travel.
Banana, apple, avocado and cheese flavored treats are just some of the many options available in the dining department for your pet.
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.
There are also many interesting vases in the studio but again those will have to wait until I get a little further along.
Here’s my first ikebana arrangement in its completed stage. What do you think?
In Tokyo you needn’t look far to find Kitty-san especially considering the sparkle that many of the Hello Kitty accessories are packing such as the heavily bedazzled cell phone shells. However, the fun doesn’t need stop there as real enthusiasts could easily fill their home and cover themselves from top to toe with everything from Hello Kitty themed televisions, fans, biscuits, toiletries, clothes, handbags, sneakers, umbrellas, etc.
But don’t think that Hello Kitty caters only to young girls as Japan’s かわいい (kawaii/cute) culture means that it’s more often adults donning a sparkly Hello Kitty iPhone shell with matching fashionable fake nails in pastels with bows, glitter and pearls while out and about.
Collagen wash, acne wash, cleansing wash, pore cleaner and hyaluronic acid are just a few examples of the vast range of kitty toiletries that can be purchased with a Kitty motif on. Nail clippers, tweezers, scissors, and mirrors are also available in pink and with Hello Kitty on.
If you already have a fan but it’s not one of the special Hello Kitty ones you can simply purchase a mesh covering to jazz up your plain white fan and covert it into a Kitty’s head complete with ears and whiskers.
I’ve now returned home to Tokyo, Japan and to fête the occasion I was indulged with a wonderfully luxurious evening spent at Bvlgari Ginza Tower. The evening included exceptional live Italian jazz music by Francesco Lomagistro & Berardi Jazz Connection Quintet enjoyed in great company and with flowing Dom Pérignon vintage champagne alongside a selection of small bite creations by Michelin starred executive chef Luca Fantin.
Francesco Lomagistro & Berardi Jazz Connection Quintet was full of energy and put on a terrific performance.
Chanel’s Le Jardin de Tweed (The Garden of Tweed), housed on the rooftop terrace of the Chanel Ginza building lets diners take in the spectacular views of Tokyo’s premier luxury shopping district while sipping on Perrier-Jouët champagne and munching on everything from delicious cheese platters to a light meal with dessert. Well worth a visit if you’re ever in town!
If you really want to maximize your multitasking skills you can forgo the lovely shade provided by the parasols and work on your tan while both dining and socializing.
A succulent cheese selection from France that makes my mouth water just at the memory…
Ginza Sakura Box including a prosciutto salad, freshly baked focaccia, roasted pork with mustard, potato puree, marinated salmon and vegetables, beet-flavored ricotta cream, and for dessert a mango and vanilla matelasse and sakura macaron.
With the Mori Art Museum exhibition Andy Warhol 15 Minutes Eternal, pop art enthusiasts will revel in the opportunity to see a ‘comprehensive retrospective of nearly 700 Warhol’s work and archives from the start of his career as an artist to his final years’.
Highlights include Warhol’s celebs of the world with portraits of Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson, and Mohammad Ali to name just a few, his iconic Campbell’s soup cans, and a recreation of his legendary studio “The Factory” at near to true scale. Other highlights also include a selection of Warhol’s illustrations for top fashion magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Glamour and the BMW Art Car designed by Warhol in 1979 (as seen above).
My favorite bit from the exhibition included the Silver Clouds installation displayed with a spectacular night view over Tokyo. The shiny silver helium balloons slowly bopping around picked up the light and glow of the illuminated night life of the Tokyo cityscape beautifully.
It’s always fun when さくら sakura (cherry blossom) season begins and the beautiful pink flowers have an explosion, effectively turning Tokyo pink. Not only are they stunning to look at but there’s an entire tradition behind it here in Japan called hanami.
With hanami, people admire the blossoms by picnicking under the blooming trees or by having photo shoots at prominent locations lined with the pink blossoms such as this wedding picture that I snapped while heading out from Roppongi’s Midtown.
And, it’s not only humans that get the star treatment by posing for pictures in front of sakura but also these chihuahuas in fancy dress. かわいい!
Another interesting tidbit about cherry blossom season is that everything suddenly becomes available in sakura flavor – but only for the cherry blossom season. Macaroons, frappuccinos, cakes, biscuits, even ice cream are just a few examples out of the diverse range of choices.