The latest Vivienne Westwood exhibition rolls into Tokyo this week. After the acclaimed “Vivienne Westwood: 35 Years in Fashion” held at the Mori Arts Center in 2005, this show includes one of the largest fashion books ever published, and is sure to be an instant hit with Westwood’s huge Japanese fan base.
Showing July 19 till Aug. 10 at Zel Cafe Gallery in Roppongi, “The Vivienne Westwood Opus Exhibition” showcases portraits of her family and friends wearing some of her majestic creations. They have all been snapped on the world’s biggest Polaroid camera — 50×61 cm — the only one of its kind in Europe.
The portraits on display are all included in a suitably enormous book, “The Vivienne Westwood Opus.” Coming in at 90×64 cm and weighing 25 kg, the ¥367,500 “Opus” has a print run limited to just 900 copies worldwide. Each book is personally signed and has nine different cover designs in addition to 196 pages that contain 97 portraits.
The exhibit at Zel Cafe Gallery, across from the Tsutaya video store behind Roppongi Hills, comes to Tokyo after its successful debut at London Fashion Week earlier this year and should help satiate the Japanese thirst for everything connected with one of the world’s most enchanting designers.
5-10-25 Zel Court 1F, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo; (03) 3470-3347
A Scot in the eye shadow
Since graduating from the prestigious Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London a few years ago, Glaswegian designer Christopher Kane has been in high demand. The 25-year-old, who has already consulted for Donatella Versace, caused a storm in the London fashion scene with his provocative and sensuous take on clothing.
He’s now been snapped up by Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido. Kane has collaborated with the beauty brand to create six new shades of Lasting Climax Rouge, five new colors of Forming Shiny Eyes eye shadow and a unique powder-foundation case. Striving to be “refined and futuristic,” the tieup promotes Shiseido’s Mode Mix Maquillage Fall 2008 collection.
The marketing campaign is to be fronted by U.K. model of the moment Agyness Deyn (she of the much-copied cropped blond hair) in addition to the brand’s Japanese ambassadors Misaki Ito, Yuri Ebihara (pictured above) Chiaki Kuriyama and Anne. In TV ads and a poster campaign, the girls will be wearing some of Kane’s Autumn/Winter 08/09 collection.
Tokyo’s style set have already found Kane on their own, so the Maquillage project is sure to be the first of many forays into the Japanese market for the talented and ambitious Scot.
The Maquillage cosmetics collection will be released on July 21, and the foundation case on Aug. 21.
Tasty bejeweled treats
Some might argue that women have only two true loves in life: jewelry and sweets. Now, accessories brand Q-pot offers delectable pieces that satisfy both of those burning desires.
First, a warning: Visually, this jewelry could either aggravate or ease your sweet tooth. Faux sweets abound, with miniature forks and spoons cradling scoops of ice cream topped with caramel and yogurt, dollops of whip cream with chunks of chocolate and nougat truffles, as well as fruit jelly with whole strawberries in a mouthwatering line of earrings, bracelets, necklaces, brooches and more.
Designer Tadaaki Wakamatsu began the series in 2002 and opened a “parlor” to showcase his items in Harajuku in 2006. The brand has collaborated with the likes of Haagen-Dazs and French luxury-food brand Fauchon, and even introduced a line of baby clothes with prints of mini croissants and such — perfect for your own adorable petit chou.
In Harajuku, a scrumptious series of French macaroons on cell-phone straps bursting with creme in a rainbow of colors has proved the most popular. And don’t miss the series of semi-fine jewelry in silver and gold, in which silver wisdom teeth are lined up with a single gold- capped one. Irony, too, comes sweet.
6-11-4 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; (03) 5467-5470
Movin’ on in
In late May, anyone passing by Hollywood Ranch Market’s Toll Free shop in Meguro would have found something amiss: The place was closed and shrouded with a tent, its interior gutted of all of its usual clothes, wares, and decorations. Luckily, this was nothing more than a necessary evil to prepare for the installation of Malibu, California’s beloved Free City Super Shop, which is hanging 10 Tokyo-side for a very limited time.
The original FCSS opened in 2005 and is owned and directed by Nina Garduno, the buyer for the Ron Herman at Fred Segal fashion boutique in Los Angeles. Eclectic to say the least, FCSS’ authenticity and artistic freedom unabashedly comes across in its selection of Native American Indian accessories, printed Tees, posters and many one-of-a-kind pieces. FCSS has become known for the unconventional and bohemian way it sells its unique finds — most at high prices — without the flash of a high-end boutique.
Authenticity doesn’t come cheap, but thanks to the care that has been put into the selection, there shouldn’t be any cases of shopper’s remorse. The theme of FCSS’ current display is “Vibrations in color, in music in love,” so rattle on over to Meguro before this shop is gutted too.
FCSS is open until the middle of August at 1-6-5 Kami-Meguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo; (03) 3715-9278; www.hrm.co.jp/freecity
To some, a model may be just a pretty face. But a group of veteran models in Tokyo know they can do more than just strike a few poses. Thus was born New Fashion Rules in April of this year, a charitable cause headed by model David Koizumi, who appears in magazines ranging from Men’s Non-no to GQ Japan and Rolling Stone. Koizumi called upon four other popular model friends, who came together to create a limited line of T-shirts. All proceeds from their sales at fashion shows, various clubs and online auctions are given to World Vision Japan ( www.worldvision.jp ) . The first run of shirts sold out in three days, prompting a second run and plans to turn the little project into a full-fledged movement. Beginning this month, 17 more models, including four girls from various street magazines, have joined the group and lent original sketches for a total of 40 shirt designs.
The new organic cotton shirts will be presented at a fashion show in Kamakura on Ocean Day (July 21), with all the designers donning their own pieces. Check their Web site for more details so you too can get up-close to pretty models for a good cause.