Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Nylon Premium Show at Laforet

On Saturday, October 11th, I headed to Tokyo to check out a Nylon fashion show that my blogger friend, Ashley Dy, found out about.  The event featured some of my favorite Japanese fashion models including Culumi Nakada, Amo and Una and featured brands including WALL, Diesel, and X-Girl. The event took place at Laforet mall in Harajuku which is one of my favorite places to shop.

They didn't care at all about taking photos so I tried taking fashion show photos for the first time!  I only had a prime lens on me so I felt a little limited.  I still don't have a copy of photoshop on my new computer so I am a little bit hesitant and unmotivated to take and edit photos which I'm kind of sad about.  I hope I can figure out an alternative soon besides just using iPhoto. But anyway, I have pushed through it and here are a couple that I snapped during the event.  I hope you like them!  (click them to view larger sizes)

I think my favorite look was Amo with the white top and red skirt.  I think it was from WALL so I just had to accept that I would never own it.  I'm still coming to terms with it but I think I'll be okay. Seeing all sorts of cute things that are beyond my budget and dealing with the intense emotions involved with that is kind of how life for me is here all the time anyway.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Apartment Tour Video

A bunch of people had been asking me to do this, so I finally delivered.  It's a little long but I talk about some features of it that are unique to Japan.  Anyway, here is a video tour of my apartment!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

5 Music Videos I Wish I Could Be In

I love a good music video but I honestly find so many of them, especially the popular ones, to be extremely redundant and boring.  I don't really care that you're famous and in a club with "hot girls".  That's nice for you and everyone else who has basically the exact same music video.  It truly only needed to be done once.

There have been some times where I have been absolutely floored with the visuals in a music video so much so that I wish it could be reality or that I could have just been included in the production because I guess that might be slightly more realistic, though not by much.

In no particular order, here are the top 5 music videos I wish I could be in.

ちゅるりちゅるりら (Churuchururira) by Dempagumi.inc

I love the mix of modern and historic Japan in this video.  These girls are total badasses and I would do anything to wear a yukata and beat someone up with an oversized sakura dango.  I am very into the idea of this music video recreated as a video game.  That castle that looks kind of like Osaka-jo would make a really good boss.

"Meow" by Anamanaguchi 

This video includes pizza, arcade games, a subtle beheading and Hot Sugar wielding a knife so it's basically the definition of "fun".  To be completely honest, if you are not interested in existing in this music video then I'm not interested in being your friend.

"PONPONPON" by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

No way was I going to make this list without including a Kyary video.  I feel like using "Pon Pon Pon" is kind of a cop out since it's her most famous song but this set designed by Sebastian Masuda is basically my dream living situation from everything to the colors and costumes down to that magical window to who knows where... though I could honestly do without that oversized bee.  The ability to make toast appear by clapping is also a pretty solid superpower.  I would feed the world and be so cute while doing it.

"It Girl" by Pharrell Williams

I honestly never really paid much attention to Pharrell so this is more of a statement on my love for Takashi Murakami, the genius who created the "superflat" movement and produced this flawless video.  I love the mix of anime and video game aesthetics with the water color styled portions.  Here is another example of a music video that deserves a playable video game counterpart.  Chibi Pharrell is pretty kawaii too, ne?  In conclusion, Takashi Murakami could produce my life and it would be more than okay.

"Barbie Girl" by Aqua

This is a classic.  Let's be real, all I really want in life is a pink house and a pink car.  The wardrobe is a good bonus.  Though I could take or leave Ken honestly...he's a little annoying.

I have a pretty clear set of interests, if that wasn't totally obvious to you after seeing this list.  What are your favorite music videos?  Let me know in the comments!  I want to check them out~

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

もしもし日本 // Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival

I went to Moshi Moshi Nippon festival at Tokyo Taiikukan!  I had been looking forward to this event ever since it was announced.  I couldn't believe that it was free for foreigners (non-citizens) and that I would be able to see both Kyary and Dempagumi.inc too.  The aim of Moshi Moshi Nippon events is to spread Japanese culture internationally so that's why they made it free for foreigners to attend.  Japanese citizens could come as well but the ticket fee was 3,500 JPY which still is a really good deal considering the lineup.  Below is a trailer explaining the Moshi Moshi Nippon project.

It was lucky that the weather was perfect for the event.  My friends and I arrived at 11, an hour before the event was set to start.  We were able to check in and get our wristbands early and even though we couldn't go inside yet, there were plenty of things happening outside of the actual Taiikukan building.  It was mostly just a DJ set and old dudes trying to meet young idols.  I have a lot to say about that but I will keep it to myself for now.

There was supposed to be free food and I guess it was free for some people but we weren't given a food ticket when we checked in for some reason so we got cheated out of that.  It worked out okay because we just went to a konbini and picked up something without having to wait in a really long line.

The indoor area was really nice and there were tons of booths from different brands such as Olive des Olive, an, Zipper, Kera etc.  There were a lot of things that involved having your hair, nails and makeup done and I wish that I knew in advance because I would have just not bothered with any of that myself in the morning.  There was even a Maison de Julietta booth with lolita makeovers, something I always wanted to try but I put so much effort into my own outfit that it felt ridiculous to take it all off and do it over again.  Here are some photos from the booth areas.  The lighting inside was pretty terrible though.

The room with the booths also had the main stage where there were some fashion shows, performances and a karaoke competition.  The fashion shows were really cute, especially the one from SPINNS.  All the models seemed really happy- especially Kemio!  Here are a couple photos I managed to take.

The part I was most excited for though was the live music, specifically Dempagumi.inc and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu!  It was my first time seeing Dempagumi.inc and they were so good that I definitely want to see them again before I leave Japan.  Their costumes were so cute too!  They performed "サクラあっぱれーしょん" (Sakura apparition), "ちゅるりちゅるりら" (Chururichururira) and "でんでんぱっしょん" (Denden Passion).   It was my 3rd time seeing Kyary and I was kind of tired so my friends and I went to sit in the balcony which is why the only photos below are of Dempagumi.inc.  I remember that Kyary performed "Ninjari Bang Bang", "Pon Pon Pon", "Invader Invader" and "Fashion Monster" but there may have been one or two more.  Happy I can cross seeing Kyary in Japan off my to-do list even though it was a short set.

I almost forgot to mention what I wore!  Here is a photo and rundown~

Dress: 6% Dokidoki
Cardigan: H&M
Bracelet and hair bow: 6% Dokidoki
Ring: Rilakkuma gift from Elleanor
Earrings: Forever 21
Tights: DIY
Socks: My Melody from ドンキ
Sandals: WEGO

The event overall was really fun and I feel so lucky that I had a chance to go.  As much fun as I had, I think it was their first time doing this event in Japan so there is a lot of room for improvement.  If the goal is to spread Japanese culture internationally, they could really use more English throughout the event.  I feel lucky that I can understand enough Japanese to get by, but it was still frustrating to me that there wasn't anyone translating any of the speakers on stage.  It felt kind of like "we want you to experience our culture so here are some cool things but we can't explain them to you".  I understand that it is really difficult to speak a language that isn't your own and that a vast majority of people in Japan are not at a conversational level of English, but even if they had one person translating parts of what's said on stage after people speak, it would have been really helpful to many people.  Also, a lot of the flyers and things weren't translated either.  And again, this is Japan so of course people speak Japanese here so I can't hold that against them, but it just seems counterproductive to their goal to have minimal translations available.

Another suggestion I have is for them to do some kind of blogger press pass application so that bloggers who speak other languages could have more material to make posts about the event and share the information with people who may not have been able to attend.

Overall it was a really good time and I feel very lucky to have been able to experience it.  I hope that the Moshi Moshi Nippon project continues to plan things like this one and grows and improves after this experience.  The sentiment is nice but it could certainly be better executed.