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Dolly-kei (Japanese fashion style)

10 Jun

Apple’s post about Dolly-kei fashion! 😀
===Apple’s post starts from here===

The other day I saw a picture that really caught my eye, and I posted it on my page to share it with everyone.

I had no idea what this style was called, so I asked for help, and amazing Namie (check out her page if you like lovely, girly things!) helped me find out what this style was!

After looking at some other similar-style pictures she found for me, we concluded that this should be Dolly-kei! ^^

What is Dolly-kei? (By the way, kei (系) means style.)

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Working Girl's Fashion in Japan

7 Oct

Working Girl’s Fashion in Japan
05/MAR/2011 on air

**OL is a Japanglish word (abbreviation of Office Lady) that means female office worker.

What kind of fashion do Japanese OL (female office workers) enjoy at work? Tokyo Kawaii TV conducted a street survey in Ginza. It seems that most of stylish workers suffer from strict dress code given by the company they are working for. For example, someone was told by one of her senior workers that she should not wear mini skirt at the office. Some people say their hair color is specified with specific color numbers so their hair color should not be too bright or inappropriate. Someone covers her deco nails with Band-Aids because they are considered too loud at work. At most of the working places in Japan, boots, jeans and bare legs are prohibited by the company dress code.

Yu-san represents a OL circle. She uses genuine diamonds for her 3D deco nails. (A piece of diamond costs 25,000yen!) 11 OL colleagues gathered one day to discuss the powerful coordination that is appealing to men on Valentine’s Day. Yu-san has been studying how to attract men by kawaii office fashion for 4 years. She was successfully married to a good-looking guy working in the same company and now her interests are shifting to cooking.

However, there is a company that is totally free from company dress code. This company runs the largest scale online fashion shopping site in Japan called ZOZOTOWN. Employees in this company truly enjoy fashion while they are working. Some people even cosplay while they are working.

The man with ink bottle headdress custom-ordered it for 300,000yen (about USD4000 at current USD/JPY rate) at his own expense.

Akiyama-san is a buyer but she also represents her Mori Girl fashion shop. The company director understands how important it is for each worker to enjoy fashion by him/herself in order to fully understand apparel and fashion brands. Otherwise it was impossible to involve as many as 1500 brands into one huge online mall.

False lashes are OK to be worn at work as long as they look natural. In this case the false lashes that OL love to use should be totally different from Gyaru type of false lashes. Koji developed false lashes especially designed for OL with a famous makeup artist TAKAKO and they sold over 1.2 million pair of lashes in 5 years.

TAKAKO’s kawaii OL makeup.
She uses partial lashes at the corner of eyes and applies them lower than the eyelines so the eyes look kind of droopy. Then she uses air brush to apply eye shadow.

TAKAKO’s cool OL makeup.
She uses navy color eyeliner and applies partial lashes over the eyelines. Then at lower eyelid, she applies glittering shadow from inner corner of eye to the iris. ”The corner of eyes make woman look great! Any kind of woman can become sexy with a pair of false lashes at the corner of her eyes!!”
TAKAKO emphasized.

Apuweiser-riche is a OL fashion brand designed for the early 20s. The concept matches OL life. For example, some outfit is easy to coordinate for a busy morning when one overslept. Their reversible skirt is used inside out at an evening date with a boyfriend from the same office after work. (to make a difference between on and off work.) “We are very serious about creating a hot seller, and the difference by the centimeter makes difference!” 1 cm difference can be a hot seller or not.

Speaking of OL, it was common that they were wearing company uniform before 1989, when economy bubble burst hit Japan. For the past 18 years and even today, Japan has been suffering from economy recession, which made it difficult for many companies to continue providing uniform to their female workers. Company uniform used to be too plain with single color and it was uncool about 10 years ago. Joie reviewed office uniform by asking honest opinions from OL on the street. What kind of uniform do they like to wear? They want something kawaii but too much lovely is not good. They had a chance to do a presentation at a local clinic where there are female workers from age 20s to 60s. The female workers are unhappy about their current uniform because it’s too simple and conservative. They try 10 different samples. Pink is supported by the 20s, but the 60s are reluctant or hesitant. However all of them agreed to renew their uniform.

Kirin’s opinion:
I like the free atmosphere that ZoZoTown office offers. I wonder why such easy-going company should not increase in Japan. Especially when it’s office work and the workers only see colleagues everyday, what a big deal if one is dressed with what he/she likes? Well, this is a question when I was working for a company as an exporter long time ago when I was always told by the seniors that I should not wear this and that at the office. haha!

I also have the experience of working at a company that provides uncool company uniform. If I was wise enough to listen to what my heart felt then, I wouldn’t choose to work for the company. But I followed what my parents said and I convinced myself to work for the company. It was very uncomfortable to dress what I hated. Moreover, it’s everyday, every week, every month, day after day…all the female workers were dressed with the same plain uniform and male workers sneakily compared which girl looked sexy with the uniform…ugh I was sick of it. I left the company before the 5th month. lol I think I really hate that others decide what I should wear everyday. It was not so long since then that I decided to be freelance, because I never wanted anybody else to decide what I should wear everyday and what time I should be at office and what time I can have a nap (which usually is not allowed at any companies I worked for) and etc. If the company uniform was what I liked, my life might be different? I don’t know…:p

Disclaimer: Tokyo Kawaii TV is a TV program owned and broadcasted by NHK Japan, and has nothing to do with this blog.

***There are archives of episodes listed under the page titled “Tokyo Kawaii TV” that is just located under the title banner of this blog.
***If you want to know the music that was used in the episode, please refer to this page and help yourself to find it by selecting the date when the episode was on air in Japan.

Mori Girl Style

22 Sep

Apple‘s new post about Mori Girl!!
===Apple’s post starts from here===

When Mori Girl first appeared on the scene, I must admit that I was charmed by the soft, sweet, natural look of the Mori Girl, but I felt it difficult to replicate such a unique style with all its little details. I was never good with accessories, and I felt that to be a perfect Mori Girl, the accessories matter.

Before I continue on about Mori Girl style, let me explain what is Mori Girl.
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Japanese clothing brands -office clothes-

12 Aug

At office, what kind of clothes are women supposed to wear in Japan? It’s called “office casual” and it’s basically clean, tidy, conservative type of clothes and that should not be too casual or sexy. Like what? I found a top 10 most popular office clothes brands in Japan supported by Japanese office workers.

information source: MSN Japan

No.1 Natural Beauty Basic

I see! When you enter one of their stores, most of the colors you see will be beige, gray, brown, navy blue, white, black… (Above you see red but such kind of color is not often found from their shops…) I can say it’s safe to choose whatever clothes from this brand when you want to wear it at the office. Also, these colors and styles are so basic that they match most of other colors or designed clothes. Thus having a few items from this brand will be helpful to think of everyday’s coordination for work. The price is also affordable.
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24 Jul

Mens/ladys/kids casual clothing store
Shimamura (Takadanobaba branch store)
nearest train station: Takadanobaba
address: 1-28-7 Daimaru Peacock 2F Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
phone: 03-5291-9073
open: 10:00am – 8:00pm

You may have heard of this clothes shop called Shimamura. But it’s not as recognizable as Shibuya 109 or other major fashion store. Their clothes are very reasonable. They have men’s, lady’s and kid’s casual clothing, socks, underwear, and even shoes. (Shoes seemed to be only lady’s.) What’s more, they carry big size as well! (As big as 5L) The other day, I had this very first chance to check out the Shimamura store near Takadanobaba station with my foreign friend who has been searching for a pair of shoes that fits her feet.
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Tokyo-Seoul Beautiful legs

8 Jul

Tokyo-Seoul Beautiful legs
22/JAN/2011 on air

Winter 2011, Tokyo…

People enjoy boots, leggings, knee-high socks…and even the loose socks are coming back among high school girls?? But the difference from last boom is that they wear the loose socks over high socks in dark blue. BTW, speaking of the beautiful legs, we cannot talk about it without referring to SNSD (Girls’ Generation, and in Japan they are called “Shoujo Jidai”).

In Japan, who do you think of the one who has beautiful legs? IKKO is popular. (note: IKKO is a hair makeup artist and is a charismatic beauty advisor who often appears on TV and magazines. He is one of the most popular gay talent in Japan.) How did IKKO keep his legs in good shape, even though he gained a lot of weight in his 30s? He owns over 300 pairs of high heels. Above all, he likes the ones with 15cm heels. He takes off the shoes straps intentionally, to bring a feeling of tension while he walks.

Which boots make your legs look beautiful? It’s “Kaijuu(=monster) boots” definitely!!

Some people make the monster boots by themselves. Choose the fake fur fabric, cut it in an appropriate size and glue it around the boots. The tip is to cut the fabric from back side. When you glue it, don’t do it too tight, but make it loose and that will allow the boots make the mokomoko (=fluffy) look. Finally add a ribbon with a safety pin and it’s done! The budget will be around 4000yen and it’ll take about half an hour.

Beni-chan also owns over 50 pairs of boots. She is a booths mania. But she also says the monster boots are the absolute ones that make her legs look nice.

Jonte’ Moaning is a professional choreographer who works with super singers such as Janet Jackson and Beyonce. How does he maintain his beautiful legs? He wears 20cm heels, which gives him a good exercise.

EDWIN sells leggings-look jeans. The product feature is comfortable like leggings, but they look like jeans. You can actually wear them like jeans (without covering your hips with tunic, for example). They are trying to bring back the young people who don’t like wearing jeans any longer. Thus, they sell this product at a book store, for example, where people do not come to look for jeans. This is their strategy to gain new customers who do not bother to visit a jeans shop. Sheer tights industry is producing fashionable tights that can beat leggings.

Girls’ Generation from Korea.

The skinny jeans they were wearing in their promotion video recorded a big hit. They are actually from this store in Korea. Many fans visit this store to get the same jeans.

There is a Girls’ Generation’s personal trainer working in this gym. “Their legs were not beautiful from the beginning. They gained the great look thanks to their hard training,” says the trainer. “It’s important to exercise your hipline. That’s because giving an exercise around your hip eventually makes your thighs and calves look beautiful.”

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is a high school girl model who is cazy about socks. She thinks of total coordination from socks. Socks can be a good tool to make legs look beautiful.

It was Tabio, the Japanese socks brand that John Galliano used for the Paris Collection 2010. Tabio is secretly supported by European women little by little. Kutsushitaya is its retail shop. There are 270 stores in Japan and 11 stores overseas.

Ochi-san is a man who created this brand all by himself. He was sent out to an apprenticeship at the age of 15 at a socks store and he started his own business at the age of 28. It’s not too much to say that he has devoted his 56 years of life to socks! He checks all the new products by touching with his cheeks, biting (to ensure the elasticity!) and wearing by himself. (even if the socks or the tights are designed for women!) He is a proud 71 years old, who contributes to something nice that is “made in Japan”.

Reebok or New Balance are producing toning shoes one after another. MBT‘s unstable shoes are so cool Paris Hilton loves them too. Such toning shoes are effective for those who have no time to exercise in a gym or who hate exercising. They are good for the people who have to stand up all day long, such as a hair stylist.

IKKO’s tips for beautiful legs.
He’s suffering from low body temperature and so he tries to warm it with food such as ginger and by walking at least 2 hours everyday.
While he stays at home, he put a Ganban mat (same material as the one in Ganbanyoku) on the chair and heat his body while he put his legs into a hot water and gives himself a massage.

Kirin’s opinion:
The episode has become too old by now. ^ ^;; Even though IKKO has good shaped legs, I still wanted to see the ones of woman’s, because biologically women normally have less muscles and easy to get swollen. Anyhow, so it was the hipline that affects legs. My hips seem to have hard time holding the fat against the gravity and they are going down. lol I must do that exercise! XD

Disclaimer: Tokyo Kawaii TV is a TV program owned and broadcasted by NHK Japan, and has nothing to do with this blog.

***There are archives of episodes listed under the page titled “Tokyo Kawaii TV” that is just located under the title banner of this blog.
***If you want to know the music that was used in the episode, please refer to this page and help yourself to find it by selecting the date when the episode was on air in Japan.

Malaysian Gyaru Blogger

6 Jun

Malaysian Gyaru Blogger
28/MAY/2011 on air

Beautiful foreign gyaru from the U.S…Sara Mari
Sexy gyaru shop owner from Vietnam…Hoang Viet Nga
Successful gyaru blogger from Singapore…Xiaxue

Successful gyaru blogger who spread Japanese false lashes in Malaysia…Cheesie
She introduced Japanese false lashes in her blog around 2 years ago, which brought false lashes fad in Asia.

Koji is a 84-year-old false lashes brand in Japan. Their false lashes “Dolly Wink” collaborated with Tsubasa Masuwaka a few years ago have been selling so well as to expand their sales to China, North America and even to Middle East! Above all, Malaysia is the top sales market, thanks to Cheesie’s blog.

Lie and Maiko, after seeing Xiaxue, moved from Singapore to KL, Malaysia to see Cheesie. They found bling-bling deco goods, sweets accessories, Shibuya-kei style and Japanese fashion magazines in Malaysia. They also found Uniqlo in Malaysia that has the same clothing and at the same price as in Japan. Who will buy Uniqlo Heattech under such hot climate? Some customers from abroad get it as a souvenir and wear it back home. Lie realized a difference of displaying clothes. In Japan, we normally do not cover the head of dummy with hood. Maybe they cover the head so that should look familiar to the Muslim? They then encountered Mr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, the 4th prime minister of Malaysia’s.

Cheesie and her friend Audrey look like Japanese gyaru. When Lie and Maiko visit a local drug store, they found the Dolly Wink false lashes and learned they are most popular among Malaysian girls. Cheesie drove them to her apartment by her own car. She bought the new 2-bedroom apartment 2 years ago with a 30-year loan. She started her business 2 years ago, which is to introduce Japanese fashion online. The false lashes are given by her sponsors. She used to be a fashion model. Modeling herself on her blog, over 8000 page views per day. Her monthly ad revenue is about 280,000yen, which is considered to be triple times more than an average Malaysian income!

Cheesie got to like gyaru fashion while she studied in Japan a few years ago. They gathered Malaysian girls who want to be a gyaru. They’re going to make a gyaru circle in Malaysia. They had a gyaru meets at a twin tower in KL.

Maiko gives gyaru makeup. Make eyebrows closer to eyes to make a gyaru-look face. She uses double-fold eyelids tape that she brought from Japan. Malaysian girls are so enthusiastic about the cosmetics Maiko carries. Look at her magic 40 minutes later! The first gyaru meets in Malaysia was very successful. More girls who want to be a gyaru joined the circle. Later, they continue the gyaru circle as “Foruchizu” on Facebook with Cheesie as a representative, Lie and Maiko as advisers.

Kirin’s opinion:
Cheesie and Audrey speak good Japanese and they are kawaii! How interesting Japanese fashion or culture is so much loved by the people in Malaysia. 🙂

Disclaimer: Tokyo Kawaii TV is a TV program owned and broadcasted by NHK Japan, and has nothing to do with this blog.

***There are archives of episodes listed under the page titled “Tokyo Kawaii TV” that is just located under the title banner of this blog.
***If you want to know the music that was used in the episode, please refer to this page and help yourself to find it by selecting the date when the episode was on air in Japan.