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Louis Vuitton celebrates its muses, while Control Bear heads its own store

by Misha Janette and Samuel Thomas

Louis Vuitton goes interactive

Louis Vuitton is celebrating six of its designer’s “muses” in an interactive exhibition at the Tokyo Station Hotel. “Timeless Muses” honors supermodel Kate Moss, film director Sofia Coppola, French actress Catherine Deneuve, novelist Françoise Sagan, architect Charlotte Perriand and, to bring the “timeless” into context, 19th-century French Empress consort Eugénie de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III.

The exhibits utilize white-screen technology, which allows visitors to see 3-D projections through the polarized lenses of masks they are asked to wear. Static photos and sculptures will appear to come to life in this Tokyo-only exhibition, which kicked off at the end of August with an opening party that saw two muses — Deneuve and Moss —make rare appearances on this side of the globe. It’s a free show and is open till Sept. 23. (M.J.)

“Timeless Muses”: Tokyo Station Hotel 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. www.louisvuitton.jp

Control bear gets ahead in Harajuku

Control Bear loses his head over a new concept store in Harajuku

Cute mascots are no strangers to Japanese fashion, but they are increasingly taking on a life of their own thanks to the ongoing trend that sees character creation come before the merchandising and media around it.

The latest example of this is artist Nagatake Uehara’s Control Bear: a subversive teddy bear who holds his own dismembered head aloft. Already a hit thanks to high-profile collaborations with brands including Sanrio of Hello Kitty fame and streetwear brand .efiLevol, the bear is now all the more visible thanks to its very first concept store.

The Control Bear store opened this month in Harajuku’s fashion capital, the Laforet building, and premieres with a video project. It also packs strong fashion clout thanks to an exclusive collaboration with designer Nozomi Ishiguro. (S.T.)

Control Bear Store Tokyo: B1F Laforet Harajuku, 1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; 03-3475-0411. www.controlbear.com

Kotabatofuku rewrites the fashion rules

Shunsuke Hatakeyama, as stocked in Kotobatofuku, Kyoto

Founded by a team of like-minded individuals who include fashion critic and editor of “Vanitas Magazine” (previously Fashionista) Hiroshi Ashida and academic Masahito Inoue, Kotobatofuku is a new concept shop that questions the fast trend-based pace of Tokyo style as well as the retail structure that gradually deprives fashion of its value as the sale seasons bite.

To prove that good fashion can, and should, hold its value for longer than the brief couple of months it hangs on the racks, Kotobatofuku launches with an archive selection from acclaimed designers Anrealage. It then goes on to feature other celebrated Japanese brands over the coming months. Other spaces in the shop focus on young designers of note, with new brands such as “qr” and Shunsuke Hatakeyama looking particularly promising, and fashion criticism is encouraged by the store’s well-kept fashion book archive. (S.T.)

Kotobatofuku: 4B 1/8 Bldg., 67-15 Nishinokyo Shokushicho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto; 075-201-9631. kotobatofuku.tumblr.com

Tokyo’s international stopover

Stopover is a clothing store, library and restaurant, all house in the same building in Tokyo

You don’t need your passport for this stopover. A new hybrid concept store, Stopover rolls a clothing shop, library and restaurant into one. The second floor sells products by Stopover and local brand Washiwo, and the clothes are all casual contemporary one-offs (usually reserved for couture), except for a wedding dress that can be bought for ¥100,000.

The library houses almost 20,000 volumes on art, culture and design, which took the collector more than 20 years to amass, and can be perused at your leisure. Among the goods available are gifts and trinkets, including candles and perfumes picked up from various locales across the globe. On the menu of the first floor restaurant, Thai food sits alongside French and Mexican dishes. The store is nestled in a residential area, giving it a friendly neighborhood feel, and it should be noted, is closed on the weekends. (M.J.)

Stopover: 3-8-14 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo; 03-3498-6633. www.stopover.jp

Sise pops up in Valveat 81

Sise

On the rise in menswear is Sise, whose popup store in Valveat 81 in Tokyo’s Aoyama district is open until the end of the month. Setting the scene for the collection of minimalist style, unisex silhouettes and ice-cool color blocking, is renowned photographer Muga Miyahara, whose backstage photographs from Sise’s most recent show are being displayed throughout the store. The complete fall-winter lineup — which showed at Tokyo Fashion Week — is available, along with additional collaborations with luggage-brand Porter, A.D.S.R. eyewear and English rock band Kyte, whose music inspired the collection. For hardened fans there is also a number of yet-to-be-revealed limited-edition items to mark the third anniversary of Valveat 81. (S.T.)

Sise Pop Up at Valveat 81: Valveat 81, 2-21-26 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo; 03-6406-0252. www.sise.jp