5 Japanese Fashion Instagram Accounts You Should Be Following

You may remember my ‘5 Japanese Fashion Instagram Accounts You Should Be Following‘ post from 2013. Well it just so happens to be my number one post on the blog, so I thought it was about time to do a new updated version. Here I have picked out 5 new Japanese fashion Instagram accounts, each of which I personally follow and take inspiration from.

japanese fashion instagram

Who? @wakatsukichinatsu (Designer)
Why? I had to start this post with a legend. Chinatsu Wakatsuki is a former gravure idol, who went on to produce the popular brand WC, and become a gyaru icon. After leaving the brand (and some annoying legal troubles), she brought back WC’s lovable oddball Kumatan. She continues to post updates on the brand and her life, alongside personal style photos.

japanese fashion instagram

Who? @_mitake_ (Model)
Why? Mitake’s photos are colourful, eccentric and sometimes risqué (i.e NSFW). This may not be surprising to some, as Mitake is actually a former AV (adult video) actress. It would seem that she is now pursuing a career in modelling, but she certainly hasn’t lost her cheeky side. If you’re after a slightly alternative view of Tokyo, Mitake is your woman.

japanese fashion instagram

Who? @izu_stagram (Model)
Why? I first started following Izu (aka Izuoka Misaki) when she won Popteen’s (a sweet gyaru magazine) model grand prix. I loved her youthfulness. She later went on to model for JELLY magazine and released several pop singles. Her personal style has funnily enough evolved with my own tastes, and she now has a more minimal approach to fashion. I love her chic, clean photos, which offer an insight into her career as a model.

japanese fashion instagram

Who? @rina__sakurai (Model)
Why? I remember avidly reading Rina Sakurai’s – better known as Sakurina – blogs around 5 years ago, and it’s safe to say that she hasn’t changed one bit. She still models for Ageha (which is now back after a short hiatus), which she often refers to in her photos. Her Instagram is an explosion of pink, diamonds and everything agejo.

japanese fashion instagram

Who? @seee_official (Editor/Model)
Why? Former Seventeen model Emi Suzuki is surely known by all fans of Japanese fashion. She has since gone on to become Editor in Chief of S’eee magazine, as well as a devoted mother. Her daughter often features on her Instagram, alongside minimalist prints and outfit posts.

Do you have some favourite Instagram users?
Let me know in the comments!

Source: Please see the individual Instagram accounts listed above.

Let’s Get Personal…

After posting my fashion and beauty highlights of 2014, I thought it was only right that I do a more personal roundup of the year. These highlights are things you may not necessarily have seen on the blog, but they’re just as important.

I gave up my ‘day job’ to blog full-time…


It wasn’t easy, but I finally decided that I would give ‘full-time blogging’ a go. I blogged pretty much everyday for 6 months, which made for a very interesting learning curve. It was tough. I started this blog as a hobby, and doing it as a job made it all a bit too serious. Eventually I decided that it wasn’t for me, which in hindsight makes a lot of sense, but I learnt a lot and I don’t regret it at all.


I conquered a blogging fear…

2014 saw me finally take the plunge and show my face on YouTube. I followed my intro video with some Q & A style videos about life in Japan, and some brand exclusives. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to upload a new video for a few months, but I’m still glad I moved to YouTube because making videos is so much fun and the positive response has been lovely.
I met some amazing people, and made some even more amazing friends…
 
 
I’ve always been a big believer that blogging brings people together, and it just so happened that blogging brought me together with some wonderful people this year. The Nuffnang foodie crew was created, and it saw a small group of us bond over our love of food, blogging and general silliness. I also met V.A. (another foodie) who has now become one of my closest friends, if you hadn’t guess by the ridiculous amount of posts with mentions of her in them. Hmmm maybe I should be saying that food blogging brings people together?
I upped my photography game…
 
I invested in a new DSLR, and my first Nikon (the D3200) – along with a couple of lenses. It really gave me the push to finally make 2014 the year that I took my photography seriously again. With the lacklustre effort I was putting into my photos earlier on the blog, you’d never believe I have a degree in photography. I decided that I would take more time in my composition, and I’d actually make use of all the buttons on my camera (you hear that V.A?). Still, I believe you can always continue learning and improving any skill. My new photo series ‘A London Life…’ encapsulates my efforts and desires perfectly.
But mostly, I grew as a person…
 
Yes, I am going to be super cliche and get all soppy on you. This blog has really opened up a world of wonders for me. I am continuously surprised by people and the opportunities given to me, but mostly I’m surprised by myself. I’m not one to brag, but I’m pretty damn proud of what I’ve accomplished with this blog. I hope I can continue to work hard and improve in 2015.

Blogs I’ll Still Be Reading in 2015

With all my blog highlights etc. I decided that I wanted to share the love and tell you about some of my favourite blogs of 2014. These aren’t just any blogs, they’re the ones that I will still be reading in 2015.

Anyone who knows my blogging habits will know that Park and Cube is my all-time favourite blog. Shini’s posts are decadent yet tasteful, without loosing sight of reality. In a nutshell this is an elegant blog with beautiful photography, that continues to inspire me on a daily basis.

There’s no doubt about it, In My Sunday Best is a beautiful blog to scroll through, but it’s the ideas and execution that really keep me reading Sade’s blog. It’s also quite a chilled blog. By that I mean that just by reading it I feel relaxed and happy. There’s not many blogs I can say that about.

Hecticophilia is a lifestyle blog unlike most that I have come across. I always feel that I learn a little something from Jesse’s blog. Whether it’s about her, france or the best place to grab a cocktail in London, it’s always feels personal and unique. As my friend, Jesse is a constant inspiration to me, and I really think her blog does that for her readers.
Ok I’ll admit it, I read Epiphannie’s blog purely because I love her personality. She’s such a fun, lovely person, and that definitely shines through in her posts. I also love her colourful and pristine her outfit posts are. There are so many fashion blogs out there, but there aren’t many that really stick in your mind – this is one of those few.

Not Just Another Milla is a blog I feel a personal link with. Milla and I have a lot in common, not to mention our views and passion for politics. However it’s her time spent in Paris and Tokyo, as well as her love for matcha and the Japanese language that really made me feel a connection with this wonderful, articulate lady.

Yasumi and Hiro are a wife and husband blogging team, which makes for a refreshing change. They often feature fashion, lifestyle and travel posts with a difference. This duo are incredibly humbling, and I can’t help but fall in love with their delightful point of views. I can promise you that all of the posts on this blog are unlike anything you will have read elsewhere.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s Tokyo Kawaii Guidebook App

I don’t often deviate from European fashion and beauty, but you will see me post the occasional Japanese fashion/beauty article on here. So when I heard that Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (a Japanese street style model come pop idol) was releasing an iPhone app for her English and French fans I knew I had to write something about it. Not only because it combines four of my favourite things; Tokyo, shopping, travel and food.

Moshi Moshi Tokyo is Kyary’s guide to her favourite spots in Tokyo. The app allows you to explore Tokyo through her eyes, visiting clothing boutiques, cafes and more. Kyary has become a worldwide hit – her London tour was a sell-out with devoted fans turning up in hoards. It’s because of this success that the release of this app makes so much sense. It’s also a great way for the Japanese government to garner interest and promote tourism. Tokyo is an amazing city but it can be slightly overwhelming at times, especially if you’ve never visited before. This app will be a great way for fashionable young things to check out some of Tokyo’s hot spots.

I downloaded the French version to get a taste of the app before the English release. My French is terrible but surprisingly I still managed to understand everything. I loved the interactive features and thought the photography and design was incredibly cute and fun. The small magazine-style section highlights 9 clothing stores, featuring some of my personal favourites, including Nadia, Avantgarde and Tokyo Bopper. Ultimately though the interactive map is the most helpful as it highlights a large number of restaurants, stores etc. making it much easier to find your desired location. Unfortunately the promise of “Kyary’s favourite spots in Tokyo” actually translates to chosen spots in Harajuku. However this is the area that made her famous, making it slightly more understandable. It may seem limited but there are still tons of places to visit and it’s nice to see Harajuku is still getting some love, after a decline in popularity in recent years.

The app is currently available to download on iTunes, however the app only offers a download for the French version right now (to coincide with Japan Expo 2014). The English version will be released on July 18th, in time for Hyper Japan in London (and J-Pop Summit Festival 2014 in San Francisco). The first 500 people to download the guide (via the app) will also receive a voucher for a free badge that they can collect at Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s booth at Hyper Japan/J-Pop Summit.

Download Moshi Moshi Tokyo.

Source: 1

Discuss: Test Drive Your Clothes, Before You Buy

Japanese clothing brand GU (a Uniqlo sister brand) have released a new concept into their new Shibuya Parco store (Tokyo) this month. The concept behind the store has been labelled “GU Fitting” and claims to be the first of it’s kind in the world. 

So what is ‘GU Fitting’ and how does it work? Essentially it’s a service that allows you to test drive an item, or items, of clothing before you purchase it. It may sound a little crazy, and you’re probably wondering how it could work, or why it’s even a thing. Well GU want you to be able to really get to grips with their items, so they’re willing to loan you the items for the day. Say you walk into GU’s new store and your eyes fall on a cute dress, but you’re not sure how it will fit or feel. All you need to do is visit the GU Fitting Counter (they take 30 requests a day) with your item/s (3 max) and put in a request to ‘test drive’ them. You can meet up with friends at a cafe, do some window shopping, or maybe even sit around at home. All you have to do is return them by the end of the day. You can then decide whether you want to purchase them or not. 
But won’t people steal the items? This part has a lot to do with the culture, in my opinion. GU are trusting their customers with the items and are only asking for a name and telephone number, no ID or deposit etc. This is because they have trust in their customers. If you lose your wallet in Japan, chances are someone will return it or give it in to the police. It’s because of this that a lot of Japanese people have a very trusting mentality and it translates well into schemes like this. As for the items on sale – most are priced around 2,000円 (around £11.50) or less, so this is purely fast fashion, nothing high-end. 
GU have certainly come up with a unique way to sell their clothing, and with a large selection of on-trend quality items I can see this becoming a big hit with the brand. GU are already considering expanding the project if it is successful, and as a fan of the brand I would love to try the idea out. Will it catch on? I really don’t see it working outside of Japan, without a few changes. I could see it working in the UK if the customer left their card details/with a deposit scheme, however I’m not too sure the idea would catch on. It does seem like something that would only work in Japan, for now anyway. The store will be open until the end of June, so you still have some time to check it out if you’re in the neighbourhood. 

What do you think? 
Would it work in your country?
Would you ‘test drive’ an outfit/item of clothing? 
Source: 1, 2, 3