Tokyo Style: Nothing Lost in Translation

There's something to be said about Tokyo style.

Part of it is pure, unadulterated fun. Part of it is sheer crazy. But what is really refreshing about Tokyo style is the chutzpah with which the everyday Tokyo-ite struts his/her stuff. I spent some time in Tokyo in January and in between periods of stuffing my face with some of the most delicious food in the world, I was constantly baffled, impressed, and astonished while people-watching.

The typical Tokyo resident pays attention to every small detail of his/her personal appearance, but since I'm writing on behalf of men, my focus is going to be on men (fear not ladies - I also got great snapshots of some very bold Japanese women).

Perhaps the most astonishing were the men's hairstyles. The amount of product needed to accomplish any one of the looks (see group picture), and the time it must take to pull it off (not to mention, the gall to tell a hairdresser, "I want to look like an anime character but still have movement in my hair!").  Oh, and then the balls to walk out of the house looking like that!?  Hat tip to you Japanese men... well done!

The flair with which men also accessorized was quite possibly the most shocking.  Here I go on about a manbag/murse that looks pretty much like a briefcase, but in Japan men carry bags that would make most American women look like old ladies (no offense, ladies... these men are just that over the top).

But my favoritest thing to watch for in Japan was footwearSneakers specifically. Did you know that Adidas, Nike, and Asics (aka Onitsuka Tiger) make specific shoes just for the Japanese market?  No joke. Not only that - not every store has the same inventory. You can go to a store that carries stuff in Shinjuku and take the train over to Harujuku and that store has a style that the other stores don't have yet.  Crazy. And most amazing, Ferrari and Porsche design limited edition sneakers. Who knew?  

The Japanese did, that's for sure.  It's no wonder that so many designers find inspiration here. I did my best to try to catch a few moments a la the Sartorialist but my Japanese is not good enough to ask for people's names, and by the time I noticed someone with great style, they'd already be about 20 feet away from me.  So enjoy these hip-shot candids... I tried my best!

I'll definitely go back someday because a mere 2.5 days in that city simply is not enough.  But if you find yourself there, I can hook you up with some shopping recommendations - just leave a comment or shoot us an email!

How-to: Dressing for warmth and comfort. And, of course, some timeless style.

Let us deconstruct this look, shall we? I saw it on Garance's site and was so very taken by it because it made me feel like sighing in reliefat the same time that it piqued my interest with some cushy textures and structured flow (did I just invent a new oxymoron?). Somehow this woman created a look that is fresh, yet original--I can't point to a single element that follows the season's trends.

I am loving her monotone neutrals (so subtle!), mixed textures and the modest coverage. There is absolutely nothing offensive about her outfit. Talk about comfort. Talk about wearability!

I imagine this look may possibly not work for someone with large thighs or a potbelly, because it is somewhat shapeless. But that doesn't mean one can't try - I love the softness of the sweater, both in color and in the low-slung shape, and the slight ballooning of the harem pants is genius.

But what really keeps the look from moving into "sloppy" territory is a nice structured bag and her very sculptural boots! This convinces me that I am on the right track recently, where I have severely neglected clothes buying in favor of shoe buying. I'm convinced you can make anything look expensive with some excellent, if understated, shoes.


Calling all bapesters: A Bathing Ape makes wearable hip-hop gear by Japanese designers

What's a bapester? It's a fan of the clothing line A Bathing Ape, founded in 1993 by Tomoaki "Nigo" Nagao.

A Bathing Ape is short for "A Bathing Ape in Lukewarm Water," which in Japan is a symbol of complacent over-indulgence. It's a nod and a grin in reference to the lazy opulence of Japanese youth, the brand's very own best customers.

In the states, it's evolved into a premium streetwear brand that has garnered fans like Pharrell Williams, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes, Lupe Fiasco and Kanye West. Here's Kanye rocking an attention-getting outfit in a recent Bathing Ape Catalog.

One look at their latest collection gives you a clue as to what to expect:

It's an eclectic, supremely wearable and relaxed (if slightly oxymoronic) collection of Run DMC-style classics, 90's camo, and modern prepster. It's at once modern and comfortable, while giving an edge.

They're also big on throwback footwear, like this collection of 80's Adidas/Nike-inspired sneakers.

I'm also loving the photography treatment they gave their recent 2009 style manual:

Next time I'm in LA or NY, the Bathing Ape store is on my must-visit list.

By the way, Hi! I'm Garry. This is my first post, and I hope to get a chance to contribute much more in the future. I'm a software engineer by training but I love looking at beautiful objects, whether its electronic devices, websites, software, or clothes.