Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Magazines that Rock

So before I say anything about this, I will confess that I am not Japanese and am not fluent in Japanese. I can barely read the magazine, and 50% is me guessing what they seems to make sense in relation to the photos. Anyways, different countries have different structures-for example, I see too much advertisements in US fashion magazines. Japan has many varieties when it comes to magazines-according to their variety of different cultural group within the Japan- I have been a fan of Japanese magazine for such a long time. (about 8 years now). According to my experience with them, I realized they are the most rich in its context- shopping guide, outfit suggestions, trend reports.. and so on. They gives so many photos of different outfits and try to give ideas about certain style of dressing in most efficient manner.

It's funny to look at different fashion magazines in Japan, because each of their styles are so different. It's like they made magazines for each cultural group and style within the Japan. There are magazines for popular teenage clothing (which is similar to teen Vogue or Seventeen in US), J-pop style (like Amuro Namie or Koda Kumi), Punk Lolita Style, Natural style, Luxury Style, California-admiring style, and so on. I will just list some of my favorites. Also, here is the thing- Japanese magazines are fun to look at although you don't speak Japanese. It's because they have way too many photos you can look at. Photos explain everything. You will have so much fun looking at different outfits and make-up tutorials. If you get to go to Asian market, check out some Japanese magazines. They rock!

Cancam is one of the most popular fashion magazine in Japan. I first started to read it when I was second grade middle school. It majorly shows popular style of mid 20-to early 30 ladies' style. They feature outfits you can wear in many different occasion from office-look to going-on-a date look (in summer, it's majorly focused in vacation look of course). Aside from Fashion, they often suggest luxury brand items that is popular in Japan, and bento guide.( Cooking guide-related to diet menu) I think Cancam has one of the most rich contents.

Vivi targets women who loves J-pop style added to admiration towards US pop style. Also they majorly use models who are half-Japanese. It is interesting to see how they show such mixed style of Japan and United States. They adopt both US brands and Japanese brands and always gives you helpful ideas about outfits and new collection from popular brands. (They have more unique photographs compare to Cancam- where Cancam often gives you direct shot of outfits, they do it in more fashion-photography manner. It's more fancy I should say.) I think they are targeting early 20- to late 20 ladies. They are much more flashy in its style compare to Cancam. (They often features Koda Kumi and Leah Dizon- along with Rhianna and Paris Hilton. That explains everything.)

Ranzuki is.... one of the sub-culture type of magazine I feel like. I think Ranzuki is targeting the sub-culture in Japan called Mamba and gyaru. (those girls who puts brown make up on their face and gets tanned and blah blah...)I heard those groups are inspred by California style, and the magazine shows such style mixed with their own unique super FLASHY color mixes. Of course, most of the models are very tanned or has their hair dyed into yellow. They always have super thick make ups and often features casual styles that reminds you of Hollister. (more like Hollister has gone mad-style.) It's fun to look at their make-up tutorials since you will be surprised to see how much step they take to make such detailed makeup. Color contact is must-have item for them.

Pinky is little weak version of Vivi-and targeting mostly teenagers who are about to graduate and go to college.(that sounds weird) Anyways, they have good mix of casual style and j-pop inspired dress-up style. I personally loved Pinky in the beggining since my favorite Japanese model Nozomi was main model in Pinky. They are very girly, and the taste seems very young.

Popteen = TONS of decoration. Popteen  used to be one of my favorite magazine until last year before my taste has changed. Popteen shows teenager fashion in super bling-bling style. They focuses in little details, (such as nail arts-it's one of the major feature in this magazine) and very flashy, mostly casual outfits for girls. I just loved their super girly, pinky style finishing with playful fashion experiments. (also love the fact that they don't have much advertisements)

Seventeen is one of the most popular teen fashion magazine. They feature fashions for teenagers- and the fun part is that they show you how to be fashionable while wearing school uniforms. It's so much fun to see the details they show- the length of the loose socks, what needs to be in your school bag, the skirt length, and lots of school-romance related articles. They geniusely give ideas about hair style, makeup, and tips about school uniforms that doesn't go against limitation of school rules.  I think Seventeen in Japan is so romantic and cute- you can totally feel the teenage culture through the magazine. The magazine bombs with hilarious articles during Valentine's Day special issue.

Non-no is still my favorite, but I don't read it often. I used to read it every month, and it was because of their comfortable, natural style. They seems like they have power to make such simple and ordinary fashion items to shine. Their suggestions about outfits are often brilliant. They are never overdone. Also I love their page where they show you how to wear limited items in differnt way. They always feature your week-long coordi, and they brilliantly put same shirts and pants with different items-making it look totally fresh everyday. It's one of the most useful magazine I have found. You don't learn what to buy- you learn how to WEAR.
Oh and I am huge fan of their main model Danaka Miho. I have feautred her in celeb fashion article in this blog long time ago.

Cutie is in-between magazine. I personally like this magazine, however you honestly don't get too much out of it. They are lacking in information and photos. However, just like their name, they have some pages that are worth to buy the magazine-(which I always end up doing) Their style is focusing in layered outfits, and I think they are mix of popteen + Kera. I will explain Kera in next one. Anyways, if you are looking for some light magazine that you can quickly take a look, Cutie is a good choice. They also show good range of street fashion as well. (of course no compare to FRUITS. If you are looking for Street Fashion, get FRUITS no matter what.) Cutie is the magazine I love which I don't know what exactly I love about this. Maybe it's their cute gifts that comes with magazine when you buy it. I got pretty ribbon pouch last time I bought this magazine. They are really cheap too. And someone like me who judge the magazines with its cover, you will not be able to pass by Cutie. Somehow their magazine cover is always the prettiest one.

Kera is my favorite magazine along with So-En. It is specifically targeting the punk & Gothic & Lolita group. They often feature Tsuchiya Anna and other visual kei bands. What I love about Kera is that they show some briliant outfits and coordi that you cannot find in other magazines. Their coordi seems extremely unique to me and although I don't dress up in such style, I become an admirer of such style. They are just wonderful and genius in color and accessories. You will see how advanced and fashionable Japanese punk culture is. I mean, you can guess if you have read NANA. Kera is so playful, charismatic and sweet at the same time. Always worth to buy.(for me at least.)

So-En  is my another favorite magazine- and yay! Iconiq was the cover of So En. (remember the celeb article I wrote about Iconiq?) So-En focuses in Japanese art school style and Japanese fashion designers who share unique style of line. Some of them are very well known, and some of them are featured from their college graduate fashion show. Since it focuses in Art&Fashion in Japan, you see many strong pieces of emerging designers and get to know about their recent collections. I often feel like a finding a treasure when I read ths magazine-since I get to find out about college fashion student who made awesome collections- I write their name down, and look for their websites. I just love how they focuses in Japanese emerging designers and give readers opportunity to sneak a pick at brilliant emerging designers or students. Definitely worth to buy.

Okay I think I have spent enough time to write about all I gotta lay down.
If you have more questions about Japanese magazines, email me! There are much more other magazines I would like to list, but I just listed some of my favorites since I don't have much time. (maybe next time, I will do the rest.) Oh and all the images are from my magazine-buying site Nepic.

Have a great week gals!

Kangaroo for bag

I am not a vegetarian, (although I just don't like eating meats in general.) or Vegan, but I could not help but getting little offended by this one artist's fashion project. She is a Japanese artist name Mai Ueda, and her fashion project-collaboration with one of my favorite brand-CELINE, seems little weird to me. (or should I put it in the way that it is little "wrong".)

So, the problem is not about the bag itself- the Mai Bag is actually seems pretty good idea- adopting the design of mundane shopping bag and in appreciation of its usefulness-transforming the design with luxurious material. (although I have seen this type of design way too many times from long time ago.)
Anyways, Mai's site describes this project and the description follows-

"Mai Bag for Celine

Is one of Mai's fashion project.
She designed democratic style shopping bag with controversial material baby kangaroo skin. To make one bag which looks just like shopping bag we had to kill two baby kangaroos in Australia. Kangaroo skins are thin and strong. She collaborated with French fashion house Celine for producing, marketing and distribution of the bag. Mai made special color edition of Gold, Silver and Bronze for Celine. Gold and Silver ones have artificial pattern design on surface by injecting silicon. She made a video art project that she styled herself in Celine clothes and walked around in a desert in Colome, south of Argentine, having her boyfriend of the time shooting it. Also made news paper "The Mai Ueda Times" as press release/magazine and did performance around the world to promote the bag in 2006. One of a performance was a part of Display Esthetic by Item Idem which took place in a show window of Celine Omotesando Tokyo boutique. The performance was about her simply hanging out in the show window as if she is at home in her room, sometimes posing for audience out side of window, sometimes inviting her friends for picnic style meal.
It was an experiment on beauty, luxury and practicality."

So, okay, I get it and the bag is really practical and wonderful.
However, does anyone feeling little hmmm?-ing by the description saying that they "have to" kill 2 baby kangaroos to make one bag? And the bag has been sold around the world? And the collection actually is sold out? But that she is still taking an order from online? (plus, who cares if her ex-bf shoot the video?)
Yes, I might be the only one who think this way- and you would ask me what about minks? Making one mink coat costs numbers of minks.(maybe they "have to" kill entire family of minks-according to their small size.)
I will admit-I am against those animal-killing fashion items and I think they are wrong-at least for me.
I don't think you need to kill animal in order to make yourself beautiful.
I know it can bring up numbers of discussion about this topic, but I just had to write about this bag
since I was also interested in ths project being called as an "artist's project".
I am an artist in fine art field, and am just really interested in fashion-and that's why I started this blog. I know fashion world function/process differently and its mentality is absolutely different from Fine Art, (although there time to time some artists cross the line and connects the two. Like, Louis Vuitton's project with Olafur Eliasson and Takashi Murakami-which was, wonderful, in their own sense.)

So, here is the point- her project seems like it doesn't do its job as an artist project. I personally thinks this is a great example of wanna-be famous attempt of artists interested in fashion, and I think we don't need anymore of those pointless cliches.

although following makes me feel even more concerned:

This is non-leather material mai bag. I mean, it would have been great if you just make the bag with leather-like material in the beginning so that you don't have to do this second option which looks extremely cheap. (I think this is an acrylic or something..this doesn't looks like a reborn of mundane shoppng bag. It just looks like a real shopping bag.)

Here is mai bag featured in Japanese Elle-

If Mai or Celine's fan reads this and if got offended - I apologize cuz I didn't mean to offend anyone. And to be quiet honest, I really like Mai's New Media practices and her funny songs. They r just wonderful. And Celine, like I said, they have been one of my favorite brand -  that is the reason why I was even more concerned about this bag- because I liked those two in general. Just one of the little disappointment I have experienced.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Trend Report- Baggily heavenly

These days I don't wear mini skirts and shorts as often as I did last year. Somehow, I am bit concerned to wear them because I don't feel comfortable showing too much skin-which is weird since I have never felt that way. Well, whenever I come back to Korea, my fashion style change since the culture is really different-and in this culture, you become extremely self-conscious and care about what other people think about you on the street. No wonder why I felt such a freedom in my fashion when I came to US when I was 15. If you are not skinny enough, you are basically not allowed to wear skinny jeans or shorts and mini skirts that completely shows the skin and shape of your legs. I mean, it doensn't really matter if you wear them or not, but you feel other's eyes on the street really strongly. So if you challenge such culture and walk around the street with shorts when you are not slim-enough, you will feel others' eyes watching your legs-saying "i don't think u should wear them" -type of look.
Anyways, I am not trying to talk about my sadness being in here but to explain new savior that became trend- basically saved me from temptation to wear shorts and skirts. Baggy pants, harem pants and those loose trousers are becoming a huge trend on the street. I have recently purchased 2 baggy pants and they are amazing. They makes the outfit both casual and chic at the same time! It looks so stylish with my high heels. I always have wondered what kind of shoes I should match with them-but guess what-they goes perfectly with basically anything. Even sneakers look cute with them.
Also matching them with tailored jacket is awesome, too. It creates whole artist-in-business look. I am so into these pants and am having fun with new baggy pants coming out in various fun patterns and colors. I recently even saw the space-patterned baggy pants decorated with bunch of stars. It was so gorgeous. (although i didn't get to purchase one..pretty but not my style)

Here are some of the baggy pants we feature at our store. Check them out!

 HY-04280 Drop crotch harem pants 

EH-02744 Wrap front cropped harem pants

67406 Drop crotch layered look harem dolce pants 

HY-04661 Flower print alicia baggy pants 

pt-196 Leopard print baggy pants

pt-198 Pintucked urban trousers

JY-05729 Ethnic print jeremy harem pants

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Style of the Day from LUCKY

Here is the first update of this week. Super cawaii rabbit hairband matched up with denim shirts and floral dress. It is such a lovely combination-and its lovely-overloaded has calmed down by black leggings and wonderful black leather high heels. Denim shirts always creates that feeling of vintage and add some preppy girl image to the outfit. This mix-matched style is currently the biggest hit in Seoul. It's so warm outside that you feel like you have been thrown into an oven-but when you go into cafe and chill for little bit-it's freeezing. Korea's summer is always like this-Inside is freezing, and outside is burning. Therefore, I always bring around one jacket or thin cardigan-so that I will not catch the cold. This lovely denim jacket is light, thin, and most importantly, perfect amount to add some preppy girl to your outfit. It is easy to carry, and just good enough to secure you from the cold air conditioner. 

ps: Big highlight of this outfit- definitely the rabbit ear hairband. My favorite!!!!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Burn my body

Okay, so this is the season of swimsuits and everyone is so concerned about their body shape....
Therefore, here I am going to suggest some body slimming products for the gals who are trying to shape their body into its perfect condition for the swimsuits.
I have used sooo many different types of body slimming products in my life- overall, I am one of those 365days have-to-be-on-diet type. I gain weight really easily and along with exercise and nutrition control, I tried numerous body gel products for shaping the body. Some worked, and some didn't.
Today, I will recommend the best item I have used before-which I am still using- after many failure with other products.

This is Japan brand called SANA Esteny. I have tried all of their slimming products and it's the BEST overall. Especially this one works great on my tummy fat. After you put it on your waist and massage it for 5 minutes, it slowly gets super hot. Literally, HOT. I used it in the winter and after I came back from the gym and took a shower- put this and go out, I always fetl very warm. It feels great and I actually felt my cellulites going away after using it for about 3 weeks. (Thou you have to massage it well-put some effort.)
These are other items from SANA- they work pretty good.
Nothing compare to those products where it's super expensive and you use it- nothing happens forever. These products I actually saw some good changes. I strongly recommend it. 

Oh, I also recommend this-

This product is pretty famous- and I am sure some of you have used it before. I just really loved how It feels so cool when I put them on my legs. It smells good and makes my skin super smooth and soft. Change in cellulite? I didn't see too much difference as I did with SANA, but I was satisfied with it overall. You just feel great when you put them on. 

SANA-you can easily order them from Ebay. It's easy to get them in here Korea, but
only way to get them in US or Europe would be Ebay or maybe Amazon. 
Hope everyone achieve great body shape for this summer! 

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

I LOVE your shoulder

Is it only me who is so in love with unique shoulder designs??? I know it seems like its trend has passed awhile ago, however it is still on the top shopping list in here! I was wondering around the mall again today, and saw many similar designs numerous times... And celebrities on the television- their fashion, often matched with power shoulder jacket or dress explains everything. It still is the hot item-and I am totally obsessed with it these days...(Somehow my taste never really followed trend. My wish list items are often from-nowhere-style or, too-late-style...)

Well, my love towards power shoulder jacket began as one of my favorite Korean celebrity Hara came out with this beautiful jacket in one talk show. This is the image-
Isn't it pretty?? I loved the jacket and the way she put them together. She matched it with simple white graphic tshirts and super slim skinny jean. It was just wonderful outfit.

Second, here is one of my absolute favorite brand- Balmain.
It will be unnecessary to explain about this collection-since it's way too famous.
What a stunning garments!!! I picked my favorites from the collection- 6 of them. Power shoulder dresses are all matched with beautiful belts. I personally love the 5th picture-how gold dress is matched with thick leather belts. Made me totally go shopping for the new gold color dress-of course with power shoulder.

Power shoulder jacket is definitely must-have item for the chic and edge look. It's often matched with skinny jeans or super tight high waist skirts- of course, with sexy high heels. I picked one non-power shoulder cardigan in our collection below-since that cardigan is very unique in its design. It's not power shoulder however have very fresh designs-and creates little softer and more feminine look. Check them out at our store!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Style of the Day from KENZI 2

Following the long trend of lace tops- matched it with the most popular denim shorts of the season. This distressed denim short matches perfectly with this new lace top. The top is much more loose fit-than our other lace tops which were tight fit- giving more freedom to add sleeveless underneath the top-you can always play with the colors or patterns inside of this type of see-thru shirts-so be creative about it! 
Another hottest trend item of the season is mesh footless leggings! They are great item to add tip of punk and sexy into your outfit. I got one from Hongdae and have been wearing it pretty often since then. You don't die from the weather outside-since its blessed material still gives you space to breath. 
Match it with sexy high heels or with comfortable sneakers and walkers-they match with basically anything.