Introducing: Stranger London (and a purchase)

I love handmade items, and I have so much respect for those who are talented enough to create them. Yet I often find that I’m not drawn to most handmade shops due to the style not suiting my own. However when I came across Stranger London (selling handmade & one-off items) I was automatically drawn in. I knew that this is a brand that would fit into my lifestyle, and onto my dresser. I can’t get enough of the prints that Yasumi uses; they’re so perfectly suited to my style and taste. She handpicks every print and turns them into amazing bags, cases, passport sleeves and more. Yes, there is so much more –  she also sells items that she has found (including vintage pieces) and picked lovingly for the site. It really feels as if Yasumi is letting you step into her own secret magical world. 
I happened to come across her ‘London to Japan’ Coasters, which was incredibly well-timed as I happened to be looking for more items for our lounge. As avid tea drinkers I find that a coaster is always needed, but they often seem a bit old fashioned. So when I stumbled upon Yasumi’s creation I knew I had to have them! The Liberty London and traditional Japanese prints are timeless, and speak volumes about mine and Ben’s life – previously living in Tokyo and now in London. So yes, it did seem that it was made especially for me, something which is not easy to come by. The quality is superb and everything was handled professionally and quickly. So when it arrived I didn’t expect that the service could be any better. Well I was wrong. Yasumi had included a little surprise gift of a Parisian style pouch (another city I’ve lived in and loved), along with a beautifully handwritten note. C’était parfait! I will definitely be purchasing items from the store again. In fact I currently have my eye on: Jurmo Marimekko Tote, Mono Unikko Case, Texture Colour Lines Bracelet, and Stranger Forest Patisserie Tote. Hurry up pay day!
You can check out Yasumi’s creations at Stranger London.

Keiko Nishiyama x FitFlop

Is it possible for a shoe to be comfortable and fashionable? I think most fashion (and shoe) lovers would say “you’ll be lucky!” Well FitFlop are challenging that misconception with their range of flip-flops. They have created a multi-density
Microwobbleboard™ midsole to help keep feet happy. That may seem confusing, but it basically means your feet will be thanking you all Summer. Of course I did also mention that their flip flops were fashionable too, which brings me to… Their latest collection, which is a collaboration with Japanese designer Keiko Nishiyama.
Keiko reinterpreted their iconic SHUV Clog, the Bohemian BON and the Summery ‘THE SKINNY’ sandal, by using her own hand-drawn fantasy garden print, which is exclusive to the FitFlops collection. Keiko is often inspired by and uses Japanese printing and hand painting to create botanical and fantasy hybrid plants in her drawings. I love Keiko’s work and her prints. I love the Keiko Shuv and the Keiko Skinny, but my favourite has to be the Keiko Bon. The use of complimentary colours and the style of the shoe makes these the perfect compliment to anyone’s Summer wardrobe.
You can view the full collection and colours at FitFlops.
The FitFlops x Keiko Collaboration will be available to buy soon.
Source: 1

A Blast from My Past: Japanese Gyaru Fashion & Life in Japan

A few weeks ago I went back to my parent’s house for a few days. Whilst I was there I decided to raid the attic, and see if I could find my old textbooks. I found myself knee-deep in university papers and old cuddly toys from my childhood. Amongst these were a few boxes of items from my time living (and studying) in Tokyo, Japan. Suddenly my objective was out the window and all I wanted to do was reminisce.
Japanese fashion has been a part of my life for over 10 years now. One fashion sub-culture in particular took up a decent amount of that time – gyaru. With hair high enough to reach the gods, and enough make-up to make an MUA weep, gyaru was an enigma wrapped in a mini skirt and fuzzy leg warmers. I was automatically drawn in, and spent most of my time reading magazines and blogs dedicated to the style. Gyaru is the reason behind me starting this blog in the first place! So you can imagine that finding these magazines and books was something quite special. Memories flooded back: Buying the Ranzuki Hair & Make-up Book in a small conbini in Kyoto. Adding points to my WC loyalty card as I bought everything and anything from the brand. Getting a ‘hair set’ (that has since created perpetual hair envy) with a friend for our joint birthday party. 
I met some amazing people because of gyaru, people who I can now call good friends.  So naturally it will always be a big part of my life and although I’m sure there were bad times, I can only remember the good. Recently I’ve missed my time living in Tokyo, but I do wonder if going back might tarnish those memories. It’s safe to say that things wouldn’t be the same now, but maybe that’s a good thing? Gyaru has faded from it’s origins and seems to be evolving into something all together different. So for now, I’m happy to keep my memories as just that. 
Interested in reading more about Japanese fashion and how my blog started?
Check out my Style Evolution post or browse my Japanese Fashion tag.

Wish List: GIZA x Joyrich at Selfridges


When I spotted the GIZA pop-up in Selfridges last week I was beyond excited. Giza is a Japanese brand produced by DJ and all around amazing woman Mademoiselle Yulia. My friend Renka is the one who peeked my interest in the brand, and she is also the person who bought me my first piece from it – my dinosaur ring. It’s a difficult brand to get hold of if you live outside of Japan, so as soon as I saw the items (produced in collaboration with Joyrich) were online (as well as in-store), I knew a wishlist post was needed!
I love the hieroglyph and dinosaur prints prevalent in the brands designs, which means I end up wanting pretty much everything. As you can see I loved both of the backpacks, so I’d happily have either colour…or both. The sweatshirt looks comfy yet flattering, and I love the print on the skirt. Now if only I could go back in time and find some money for the whole collection.
You can see the whole collection available on Selfridges, and in the London store.

Inspiration: Japanese Beauty Trends

After my Japanese fashion trend post, it only made sense to compliment it with a beauty post too. Most Japanese fashion magazines have a feature on complimentary beauty looks and tutorials. I’ve always loved the in-depth tutorials and product recommendations Japanese magazines offer. So I flicked through some of the latest issues of Vivi, Jelly and CUTiE looking for inspiration.
It didn’t take long before I found some gorgeous looks that I’d love to imitate. There’s a lot of emphasis on ‘natural’ make-up lately and that suits me just fine. As of late, I’ve come to love a natural look with nude shades and a prominent lip. I also liked the variety of hair styles, from straight, to wavy, to bouffant, it’s all there. I’ll certainly be trying out some of the shorter wavy hairstyles, and the up-dos. Throw in a cheeky nail art tutorial and I’m sold; no need to to show me twice!
You can buy Japanese fashion magazines on eBay or from the Japan Centre.
Unfortunately they’re usually overpriced online, but there are resources to view them online.

Inspiration: Japanese Fashion Trends

I think a lot of people see Japanese fashion as being ‘wacky’ or ‘weird’. Well sure, sometimes it might seem that way, but I’m here to debunk that myth. Some of my favourite Japanese magazines are showing similarities with British trends. That means it’s even more accessible (and imitable) for those who enjoy Japanese fashion.
Recently I started reading Japanese fashion magazines CUTiE and Jelly again. I was surprised to see a lot of items that could easily be found on the UK high street. Sure, you’ll never find everything, but that’s part of the fun of styling a look to suit you. I love the way these looks have been styled and how each one has it’s own unique point. In Japanese magazine lingo ‘point’ means a specific part of the look that perfects the outfit. It’s usually an item that is on-trend, for example: a pastel pink coat that frames your look. I like this idea and usually centre an outfit around a specific item of clothing or accessory.
Of course at the end of the day I just love getting inspiration from these magazines. It’s a nice change from British magazines that just don’t seem to be as fun, or as inspiring. There is also a great variety of Japanese fashion magazines for different looks and styles. Right now I really love the looks and styling I’m seeing in ViVi, SCawaii, Jelly and CUTiE.
You can buy Japanese fashion magazines on eBay or from the Japan Centre.
Unfortunately they’re usually overpriced online, but there are resources to view them online.

Street Style: Japanese (Tokyo) vs. British (London)

Tokyo and London are both well known for their amazing street style.
One may be completely different to the other but that’s why I wrote this post.
This isn’t about comparing the two and choosing a winner, a more fashionable street style…
The point is to show how both cities have so much to offer in terms of fashion and inspiration.
No matter which way you look at it, both cities offer shockingly vibrant and fun fashion.
Both are stylised and brimming with personality, leaving you wanting to see more.
Not that you would expect anything less from two of the world’s fashion capitals.
I love both Japanese and European street style so I hope you can enjoy it too.

Source; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5