A stitch in time?

| Nov 13, 2005

A stitch in time?

After 20 years of quiesence, bickering and squandered potential, Japan’s fashionistas may finally have begun to get their act together. Spurred by plummeting profits in the face of competition from China, Japan’s rag trade and its Ministry of Trade, Economy and Industry have set ...

Catwalk caperings

| Nov 13, 2005

Catwalk caperings

In the major fashion capitals, only the bravest of designers dare to push the envelope of a show beyond the conventional parade of models marching with their pouts and haughty glares along a catwalk. In Tokyo, though, while the clothes themselves may not match ...

Tokion talks Tokyo

Nov 10, 2005

Tokion talks Tokyo

Uber-cool magazine Tokion has been investigating the cutting edge of creative subcultures for almost 10 years. Having started as a Japanese/English bilingual culture magazine in 1996, it now has separate editions in each language and a cult following on both sides of the Pacific. ...

| Oct 16, 2005

CAMERA GEEKS TAKE AIM

“Lean forward a little!” Snap-snap-snap! “Give me a bit more cleavage — and smile — lovely!” Snap-snap-snap! It’s my first ever piece of undercover reporting, and I am in a brightly lit studio photographing a 19-year-old girl in a skimpy bikini. It might feel ...

Trendy Naka-Meguro is on the Bals

| Oct 14, 2005

Trendy Naka-Meguro is on the Bals

It used to be that Japanese consumers tended not to spend a great deal on their homes. Over the last decade or so, however, that has changed, and firms like Bals Corporation have proved extremely successful at selling the notion of home improvement to ...

In skeptical quest of a boom

Sep 18, 2005

In skeptical quest of a boom

“Why don’t you write about the kimono boom?” they said, citing anecdotal evidence suggesting that the traditional gown of Japan was making a comeback. So, with several people at The Japan Times claiming they’d seen “a lot” of people wearing them recently, off I ...

End of an era in Shibuya style

| Aug 21, 2005

End of an era in Shibuya style

Where did all the gyaru (trashy girls) go? With their carroty tans, shoveled-on makeup and bleached hair, the kogaru (high gals), ganguro (black faces) and yamamba (ogresses) were a style phenomenon the likes of which may never be seen again. Though a few stragglers ...