Posts tagged ‘vintage fashion in tokyo’

September 6, 2012

Tokyo Fashion and Kimoken: Vintage and Independent Styles in Koenji

Tokyo Fashion and Kimoken: Vintage and Independent Styles in Koenji

Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Images of fashion in Tokyo conjures up exquisite luxury fashion in Ginza to the unique fashion scene of Harajuku and the various fashion trends which enlighten this amazing part of Tokyo. Refined and elegant fashion can be found throughout many parts of this buzzing city and clearly the fashion districts of Aoyama, Ginza, Ebisu and Omotesando spring to mind quickly. Likewise Daikanyama, Ikebukuro, Jiyugaoka, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Yurakucho and many other districts are awash with amazing brands. However, like all powerful fashion cities in the world you also have a vibrant vintage scene and this notably applies to Koenji and other districts like Shimokitazawa.

Shibuya 109, Laforet Harajuku and Marui One are famous department stores for fashion in Tokyo. Recently, Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku (Omohara) opened up for business and this new vibrant shopping plaza will enhance Omotesando Hills which is blessed with amazing boutiques throughout the entire shopping mall. However, Koenji is a million miles away from these iconic stores and recent developments which are altering the fashion landscape in places like Harajuku, Omotesando and Shibuya.

One amazing expert who knows about the vibrant vintage fashion scene and other aspects of Koenji is Kimoken (Kenta Kimoto). Kimoken (http://kimoken.exblog.jp/) is an individual who adores fashion and understands the importance of creativity, individualism and the need to discover the “real self.” Therefore, he is constantly updating his websites in order to show “real fashion” connected with the independent vibes of Koenji.

Kimoken (http://blog.livedoor.jp/kimoken/) provides “real street images” whereby the viewer can really understand the unique fashion angles of this part of Tokyo. He also recommends Lactose Intoler-Art (http://lactoseintolerart.tumblr.com/) which is a very interesting website to visit. Obviously, with Kimoken highlighting this creative website then you know immediately that it will have many unique angles.

In a past article about Kimoken by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that “The reason why Koenji appeals to Kimoken so much is based on the vintage scene, individualism, creativity, fresh designers, the fusion of the past with the vibrancy of youth, the special feel of the place, acceptance of diversity, and because you have no boundaries. Therefore, if you want to visit a fashion district with a unique vibe then Koenji is a must place to visit. Also, the Kita-Kore building in this district is gaining in awareness because of the fashion buzz inside.

A partial list of fashion companies to visit in Koenji applies to the Mad Tea Party, Spank!, Safari, Yuri, Kiki, Jinjer, dai-dai, Chiruru, Peep Cheep, Zool, Yakusoku, Kuro Benz, Bernet, Sokkyou, Hoy-Hoy Station, Now Or Never, UK Extra, Re’all, Hikari, Mouse, , Vivid, Cord, and Pheb. This is only a partial list. Therefore, it is important to take your time in Koenji in order to seek out other companies which enrich this unique fashion district.

The beauty of the fashion scene in Tokyo is that it is so diverse. Also, individuals are literally spoilt for choice because you have so many vibrant districts to visit. Likewise, the contrasting reality of Aoyama and Koenji are a million miles apart. After all, Koenji highlights the raw edge of Tokyo fashion compared with Aoyama which focuses on the crème de la crème of fashion. Despite this, it is this collective diversity which really makes Tokyo tick and for vintage lovers and people who adore independent fashion vibes, then Koenji provides this.

The powerful favorite phrase of Kimoken also works perfectly with Koenji. He states that he loves the phraseWara e ba wara e. Ware ga nasu koto ha ware nomi zo shiru” (If you want to laugh at me, then do it. What I do is known only by myself). This extremely poignant comment says much about the real vibes of Koenji. After all, in Koenji it is clear that for fashion lovers who flock to this part of Tokyo, that the fashion angle is a way of life. Therefore, the favorite phrase of Kimoken fits in perfectly with the vintage and independent angle of this fashion district.

ALL  IMAGES BELONG TO KIMOKEN 

https://twitter.com/kimoken1979 – Follow Kimoken on twitter 

http://kimoken.exblog.jp/ Kimoken (fashion images and news)

http://blog.livedoor.jp/kimoken/ Kimoken (fashion images and news)

http://www.pheb.jp/ and Pheb

http://bernet.shop-pro.jp/ Bernet

http://chiruru.net/ Chiruru

http://ameblo.jp/cord1006/ Cord

http://daidaikoenji.blog56.fc2.com/ dai-dai

http://hoyhoy.shop-pro.jp/ Hoy-Hoy Station

http://ameblo.jp/greenlight-shoes/ Jinjer

http://kiki-kiki.ocnk.net/ Kiki

http://yaplog.jp/clobenz/ Kuro Benz

http://ameblo.jp/madteaparty-kouenji/ Mad Tea Party

http://ameblo.jp/mikamithemouse Mouse

http://usedclothingnowornever.blogspot.com/ Now Or Never

http://www.peepcheep.com/ Peep Cheep

http://ameblo.jp/realstep2/ Re’all

http://e-safari.co.jp/ Safari

http://www.sokkyou.net/ Sokkyou

http://spankworld.jp/ Spank!

http://uk-extra.com/ UK Extra

http://www.vivid-web.jp/ Vivid

http://www.e-yuri.jp/Page/TOP Yuri

http://zool.jp/ Zool

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

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December 26, 2011

Astral Boutique in California and Vintage Style in trendy Tokyo

Astral Boutique in California and Vintage Style in trendy Tokyo

Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Sasha Soukup is a very creative lady and if you visit Astral Boutique then you can feel her deep passion and artistic nature within the styles on show and the presentation given. Astral Boutique provides lovely vintage style clothes and accessories. Also, the impact of nature and aesthetics is clear for all to see within this fashion company. Therefore, while the Sierra foothills in California may appear to be distant from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, in the world of fashion it is just a step away.

In recent years vintage fashion is impacting on the younger generation in trendy Tokyo and even in the Mecca of youth culture in Shibuya you will find vintage fashion. Also, in the smaller fashion districts like Nakameguro you will find the vintage style flourishing. This would certainly please individuals like Sasha Soukup because her company Astral Boutique caters for individuals who adore this type of fashion.

Sasha Soukup (http://www.etsy.com/shop/astralboutique) comments that “I have taken a winding road to end up at my happy home selling vintage clothing on Etsy. I always knew I was an artist, but for a long time it seemed impossible to blend my love of literature, film, dress-up, and magic into one “coherent” form. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I studied Cinema in college, worked in every strange job I could find in my 20s, studied Herbal Medicine, and developed my artistic life in musical performance. Eventually I could not resist the call of the Wild, and I moved to the forest in the Sierra foothills, in a very hippie-friendly community that is full of unique artists. I love my working life because I get to make magic and stories for a living, and sell clothes to happy people all over the world!”

Therefore, Sasha Soukup fuses nature, thought patterns, individualism, art, the environment, and other creative angles, in order to enhance Astral Boutique. In Tokyo you have companies like Grimoire, Hypnotique, Kinji, Panama Boy, Tarock, Cult Party, Qosmos, Kinsella, Monde Garage, Berberjin, Bubbles, and many others, which fuse aspects of vintage styles within the image of Baroque (Grimoire) or remain firmly within vintage fashion (Monde Garage). This creativity is in increasing demand and Grimoire which is based in the Shibuya area (near to Harajuku) is extremely passionate about their fashion designs.

Of course the trendy nature of Grimoire, which focuses on Baroque styles but creates individual designs, is clearly a million miles away from the vintage fashion of Astral Boutique. However, the connection is that past fashions have influenced their modern thinking and you can feel a connection with historical European fashion. Despite this, the beauty of companies like Grimoire is that their fashion is not only distinctive, but it is trendy in a special way and clearly this company is thriving.

The style of Sasha Soukup and her company Astral Boutique may be very different from some of the above mentioned companies in Tokyo. However, they all share an inner passion which is searching for something new but within the fusion of past fashion trends and designs. This in turn generates an individual style and creates fresh ideas which fit easily within “the many worlds of fashion.” Therefore, many young Tokyoites are connecting with vintage styles and other types of products which belong to a different era but which continue to bless the modern world.

Sasha Soukup further comments that “I choose my vintage very carefully, based on timeless design, quality fabrics, and flattering color schemes. I follow current vintage trends, because they are fun, but also stock a lot of classic pieces that will never go out of style. I am a one person operation, and I do all of my photography, modeling, styling, customer service, and promotion myself! It is really fun doing outdoor photo shoots- I love the rural background for my clothes, especially because I carry so many pieces from the 1960s and 1970s “hippie” or “boho” days in California. The natural setting really complements the feeling of these special pieces. I love nothing more than hearing that someone has opened their package and fallen in love with the clothing inside- I think of myself as a channel for beautiful and unique vintage. It sounds funny to say that it is almost a spiritual thing for me, but clothing has a lot of energy! I like to keep it flowing, so I keep my prices very low.”

It is extremely refreshing that you have fashion individuals like Sasha Soukup because just like the fashion company Grimoire in Tokyo, it is individuals and unique companies which are keeping the “heart of fashion alive” and this is essential. After all, behind all the commercialism are individuals who want to express aspects about themselves. This means that individual buyers who adore fashion can connect strongly with fashion companies like Astral Boutique because each individual item is based on passion and utmost care.

In Koenji which is an unusual fashion district in Tokyo you will see many aspects of ordinary life and people going about their daily life. However, amidst the mundane buildings you also have a flourishing fashion district whereby new designers are creating their own styles. Also, retro fashion is in huge demand and companies like Spank!s is showing another angle of Tokyo fashion.

The fashion district of Nakameguro is also blessed with companies which highlight vintage fashion, for example Monde Garage. Also, J’Antiques sells all sorts of different vintage products and if you shop around the old world will open up a new dimension.

Nakameguro, Daikanyama, Jiyugaoka, Kichijoji, Nakano, and Shimo-Kitazawa, are smaller fashion districts in Tokyo but they are enabling the uniqueness of fashion in this mega-city to shine. In truth, the beauty of Tokyo is that while Aoyama, Harajuku, Ikebukuro, Ginza, Omotesando, Shibuya, and Shinjuku, hog the limelight; it is the lesser lights which have enhanced the quality of life in Tokyo.

Takako Hotta, who is a stunning model and actress in Tokyo, simply adores shopping in districts like Nakameguro. One of her favorite boutiques is Monde Garage in this part of Tokyo. In her video Takako Hotta comments that “all the clothes are handmade” and this appeals greatly to this elegant and sophisticated lady.

This spirit is powerful and so is the importance of hand made products, individualism, and searching for something special. Of course, the trendy districts of Aoyama, Harajuku, Ikebukuro, Ginza, Omotesando, Shibuya, and Shinjuku, are all very special and you have amazing boutiques. However, for individuals who adore vintage fashion then companies like Astral Boutiques in California and Qosmos in Shibuya provide their own unique vibe and spark of creativity.

Returning back to the charming and sophisticated Sasha Soukup she comments that “I am lucky to have built a fan base of loyal customers from all over the world. The Etsy community is so friendly, and many fellow sellers and customers have become my “real life” friends! There is also an appreciation for artistic presentation on Etsy, and some people have even used my shop photos as templates for their paintings. It is a real artistic community, with inspiration shared all around.”

Therefore, if you adore vintage fashion then please check the website of Astral Boutique because within each fashion item is an inner spirit of care and passion. Individuals like Sasha Soukup bless the fashion industry because  buyers of vintage fashion, designers, people searching for old vintage styles, lovers of fashion, and so forth, all have their own part to play in order to maintain a diverse fashion scene. Also, the artistic images on her adorable website, highlights the vibrant spirit within Astral Boutique and this is most noticeable.

ASTRAL BOUTIQUE

https://twitter.com/AstralBoutique Twitter account of Sasha Soukup

http://www.etsy.com/shop/astralboutique Astral Boutique (PLEASE VISIT)

TOKYO FASHION

http://www.style-arena.jp JAPAN STREET FASHION AND IMAGES

http://www.grimoire.jp/ GRIMOIRE

http://www.dokidoki6.com/ 6%DOKIDOKI

http://tokyofashion.com/ TOKYO FASHION IMAGES AND INFO

http://www.japanesestreets.com/ IMAGES OF STREET FASHION

http://www.lacarmina.com/blog/ La Carmina

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYIqXrZ9G2Y  Takako Hotta and Monde Garage

http://www.takakohotta.com/  Takako Hotta

http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/11/28/tokyo-fashion-four-essential-websites-for-fashion-and-consumer-news/  MODERN TOKYO TIMES ARTICLE

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 ALL IMAGES BELONG TO SASHA SOUKUP AND ASTRAL BOUTIQUE