I’ve stayed loyal to my Avarice nail salon in Harajuku (previous posts) for several years now for Japanese gel nail art. Their work continues to amaze me and no matter what I come with they’re up to the task. NOW they have an English speaking nail artist who did a working holiday in Australia. She’s lovely and loves to chat in english. So I super recommend Avarice even more to my readers! Just remember if booking on hotpeper to mention English.

1950s Cinderella Gel Nails

avarice-cinderella-nails

Disney’s Cinderella nails! I wanted these to be pretty simple but still have that great gel nail art. The art is based on the original 1950 animated feature. I’ve become a big Disney nerd and the classic styles of Disney are my favorite. Simple with a few details: Cinderella herself, her slipper and a hint of the pumpkin carriage.

Chanel Paris-Dallas collection Gel Nails

avarice-chanel-paris-dallas-collection avarice-chanel-paris-dallas-gun-nails

nail-salon-avarice-gel-nails nail-salon-avarice-texas-nails

My nails had gotten so short! But that’s no problem for Avarice Harajuku superb gel nail art everytime! This time I wanted the theme of the Chanel Paris-Dallas collection. Being a Texan I’ve always wanted a Texas flag or shape on my nails. Even though I’m anti-gun I’ve oddly also wanted gun nails. The Coco Chanel portrait was based on the flyers they handed out for the Paris-Dallas collection.

chanel-in-dallas-karl-lagerfeld-sketch

Pretty close right?

il_fullxfull.509032058_3vlk

The gun was a 90s part of a belt. I liked it better than the Paris-Dallas gun jewelry so in it went.

Chanel Spring Vintage Nails

avarice-chanel-nails-full-lookavarice-japanese-gel-nails-chanel-nails-upclose

 Mad Max: Fury Road Gel Nails

avarice-mad-max-fury-road-nails

I GOT MAD MAX NAILS!!! Mad Max: Fury Road is my favorite movie of the last few years. I knew when I had the chance I would try to make Mad Max nails happen.

My nailist hadn’t watched the movie, so showing her photos she gave me the look that said: why do you want this on your nails? It’s totally unkawaii. Then I played her the Japanese trailer and that did not win her over either. And then I tried to explain the movie in Japanese, which was a complete failure. Trying to explain it in English just ends up with me yelling WAR GUITAR!! or FURIOSA!! and then slipping into happy fangirl goo.

Then she got to it… and asked if it’s okay if I make them more “manga” and they won’t look exactly like them. I was like my expectations are low, I just need to fangirl more.

avarice-mad-max-nails-fury-road

BUT CHECK THEM OUT! OMG! War Boy! Furiosa! Mad Max!

avarice-mad-max-furiosa-nail

Furiosa was like my Mona Lisa nail. No matter the light she’s always staring at me.

avarice-mad-max-fury-road-nails-furiousa

Mad Max and Furiosa! Avarice gel nail art wins all the awards.

My hands were super dry. I had just landed in Japan. My hands go horrible on the flight and stay bad in Japan. The air and public restroom soaps just kill my hands. Hand lotion is your friend in Japan. I actually discovered my favorite hand lotion for traveling is MUAC AHA Hand and Body lotion. I was given a sample and it just takes care of dry spots immediately because of its alpha hydroxy acids. It doesn’t provide the lovely scents of other hand lotions, but overnight total change in dryness!

follow the Doll on bloglovin | Universal-Doll facebook | Mitsu on twitter “miss_mitsu” | metoomitsu on instagram  | metoomitsu tumblr – join/add/follow? :bow:

In the past years I’ve been down on Tokyo sakura viewing. I mean when you can have a gorgeous castles in the background, see sakura on a mountaintop viewing regular sakura seems a bit boring? My mind really changed about how pretty Tokyo sakura viewing can be last year. One of my favorite spots was Nakameguro (中目黒). Nakameguro is famous as a destination for sakura because of its beautiful Meguro river that flows through it. The sakura drip over and its truly a gorgeous sight.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The quintessential Nakameguro Sakura View (TM) and people free!

 

Nakameguro is a sought out place to live in Tokyo because of its hip but laid back vibe. It’s right next to fancy Daikanyama but not as expensive, so a lot of younger people live in the area.

Reasons I like Nakameguro Sakura:

Because it’s a river walkway you may be put off by the concrete of it all and lack of proper Tokyo sakura hanami viewing space, but these two things put off people so it’s much less crowded than places like Ueno Park, Yoyogi Park and Inokashira Park that get tons of drunk rowdy people. And it serves alcohol and lots of places to eat unlike Shinjuku Park. It’s also free unlike Shinjuku Park. If you can get a bench along the river it’s easy to spend several hours gazing and chatting.

 

nakameguro-sakura-views-tokyo

Sakura suits the river so well. I do think the Tottori river sakura are more beautiful but for central Tokyo sakura these are hard to beat. I headed out with Nicola and Linda.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

During a weekday the crowds are manageable and we were able to snag seats.

nakameguro-sakura-tokyo-street-meguro-riber

The sakura do really cover all of Meguro river. Because of the shade and temperature differences theres a wide range when you can see sakura on just this one walkway.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When we finally got seats this was our view. Pretty special right? The river really makes the crowds feel not so crowded. You can see one of the food trucks parked across the river. There were lots of tasty food options.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

nakameguro-strawberry-champagne-sakura-season

The strawberry champagne was a big seller.

nakameguro-tokyo-sakura-pink-champagne

We also got a bottle of pink sparkling wine to celebrate the season. Instagram worthy!

nakameguro-tokyo-sakura-dog

Bonus! This super cute poodle we saw while enjoying an impromptu hanami.

 

Visiting Nakameguro for Sakura viewing:

Sakura season is finicky but even with buds or falling off the Nakameguro Matsuri is lovely to see. They do a light up as well for those seeking out a sakura light-up. It’s also an easy walk if you just want to put in an hour to view but not the whole day.

Nakameguro Station is a small station that can get super crowded during sakura season it’s on Tokyo Metro Hibiya and Tokyu Toyoko lines easily accessible through Shibuya. If you’re going at night or during the weekends I suggest getting off at Daikanyama Station of the Tokyu Toyoko Line (8 minute walk) or Ebisu Station on the Yamanote Line (14 minute walk) and walking to Nakameguro both of which are nice walks. Daikanyama has tons of cafes and cute food options in case Nakameguro gets too busy.

 

 

My first Sakura post of the year! I have more planned. I really got to enjoy sakura last year and I unfortunately can’t visit this year so hopefully posts on the blog turning pink will cheer up.  :hearts3:

 

follow the Doll on bloglovin | Universal-Doll facebook | Mitsu on twitter “miss_mitsu” | metoomitsu on instagram  | metoomitsu tumblr – join/add/follow? :bow:

Yayoi Kusama (草間彌生) is a modern artist in every description of the term. In her 80s now she’s finally getting the recognition she deserves inside Japan. She was born in Matsumoto so when I heard Matsumoto was going to put on an exhibition of her work called “Yayoi Kusama: The Place for my Soul” I knew I had to make the trek to see it.

Seeing Yayoi Kusama art in Japan is actually a bit difficult. Other than one piece or two at museums across Japan permanently has a famous pumpkin on a small island of Naoshima which is both beautiful and very difficult to get to (travel bucket list) and the Matsumoto items. But if you’re in Tokyo Feb 22 – May 22  this exhibition will be showing (see below)

I first found out about her in the Marc Jacobs x Louis Vuitton documentary. She ended up doing a collaboration with Louis Vuitton and Louis Vuitton to hype the collab did a giant exhibition of her work starting at the Tate Museum in London. I was lucky to visit the exhibition and I fell in love. I’m a Yayoi Kusama obsessed now. From nails to lots of her prints and other bits inside my place in the States.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Her giant flower sculpture. At least 30 feet tall and the size of a building. There are rare permanent Yayoi Kusama outdoor sculptures so this is a treat. Also great for selfies.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Outside the museum she was on display.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was sakura seaoson in Matsumoto so I could see real and Kusama flowers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA yayoi-kusama-coca-cola-reserve yayoi-kusama-coke-machine

A suprising permanent installation is the Yayoi Kusama Coca Cola collab outside the Museum.

You can’t buy the faux Kusama cokes, but the rest is buyable and cute. And yes you can sit on Kusama works!

yayoi-kusama-bus-matsumoto

Driving throughout the streets of Matsumoto is the Yayoi Kusama bus. It was released in 2010 and drives around a loop of all the Matsumoto tourist sites. I just missed it!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Another permanent piece of Kusama in the main lobby of the building. The Matsumoto art museum opened in 2002 and is a really beautiful well lit building with lots of room for exhibitions.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Stairs leading up to the exhibition. Classic Kusama.

yayoi-kusama-chandliers

The exhibition starts off with her spinning chandeliers and mirrors. It’s one of her newer Ifinity Room styles.

yayoi-kusama-steel-pumpkin

A whole dedicated to this giant steel pumpkin and a matching interior. I really loved this.

yayoi-kusama-infinity-room-matsumoto

An Infinity Room based on cloth versions of her earlier Phallus work.

yayoi-kusama-2015-art-installation-matsumotoyayoi-kusama-phallus-installation-matsumoto-japan

One her most recent pieces. Using dots, reflectives and phallus shapes all her eras in one.

She started using basic phallus shapes all lumped together to discuss how she felt about living in a masculine world and how intimidating it all felt. Seriously she’s 87 right now and she’s been doing feminist art since she started doing art. If haven’t been exposed to Kusama, give her a shot.

yayoi-kusama-drawings-matsumoto-museum

Her early drawing work. She likes to display her pieces now all together instead of separate.

yayoi-kusama-paper-installation

One of her pieces I think from the 80s. It doesn’t really go with a lot of her other work, but it’s interesting

Hero

Not pictured was her Infinity Mirrors pod and truly the highlight of my exhibition experience. Yayoi Kusama usually does Infinity Mirrors rooms which are beautiful, but the pod is a one person experience where you step in and for one minute you experience full deprivation of anything else but the Infinity Mirrors. Everywhere you look is infinite. Just you and the infinity. It’s like one full minute of being in beautiful space. And it was at the end of the exhibition so you really do feel like she let you in fully to her world.

 

Heading to Matsumoto Museum of Art:

Sadly her exhibition has ended in Matsumoto museum (link, link), but her flower sculpture, Coke dotted walkway and small pumpkin sculpture are all on permanent display. All of those are free to see without paying the 410 yen admission. It is a straight 10 minute walk from Matsumoto station (google map) and I think Matsumoto makes an amazing day trip from Tokyo. The Nagano region is my favorite in Japan and I’ve seen a lot so give it a try. If you’re heading to Matsumoto I talk about cost and direction in my Matsumoto Castle sakura post.

See Yayoi Kusama: A place for my Soul exhibition in Tokyo and another exhibition in the United States

If you’re in Tokyo February 22 – May 2017 the “Yayoi Kusama: My Eternal Soul” exhibition will be at the National Art Center near Roppongi. You can also pick up Yayoi Kusama goods nearby at the Mori Art Museum Gift shop in Roppongi. The Mori Art Museum Gift shop is a really cool place to buy art related gifts. Some of my favorite bits in my house I bought at the Mori Art Museum Gift shop.

Also if you’re needing more Kusama and you’re in the States she will be touring starting in May at the Smithsonian (Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden) in Washington D.C. along with Seattle, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Ontario.  I’m really hoping to make it to the DC leg, wish me luck!

 

If you’re curious about my own Kusama collection check out my Instagram stories today  :smiley:

 

follow the Doll on bloglovin | Universal-Doll facebook | Mitsu on twitter “miss_mitsu” | metoomitsu on instagram  | metoomitsu tumblr – join/add/follow? :bow:

I came across an article in Model’s Press with a woman who works as “Press” in DRWCYS. Since Western apparel runs a bit differently I thought this article would be interesting to readers interested in the nuts and bolts of how Japanese fashion brands run. Model’s Press does a few of these interviews to show different career paths. I will try to translate some more to give people a better understanding of Japanese fashion brands work behind closed doors.

DRWCYS (ドロシーズ pronounced “Droshi’s”) is a brand I don’t speak about but it tends to be a bit older-skewing than this blog. It’s centered on 20-30 year old women and its keywords are “trend, casual, and bohemian”. It was created in 2008, but 2010 was its first shop so it’s been around for 10-13 years. It’s a brand that’s featured in Sweet magazine, JJ, Bijin Hakka, and VERY. So mainly 20-30 year old magazines.

This is not a full translation word for word as I’m lazy and I really need that Japanese refresher course I plan on taking Fall in Tokyo. So bear with me…

w700_e1ea6857fe9543368db37c9e0fd0c3976f21adc7cc640db8

photo by Models Press

 

Model’s Press interviews Press head Noriko Ikoma (生駒典子) a 32 year old who has been working as Press for three years.

Backstory of working Press at DWRCYS

Model’s Press (MP): How did you get started in the job?

Noriko: I entered the company as a sales assistant and after three months was sent to the head office. After that one of the people working in Press was taking maternity leave and they asked me to try it out. Since they usually never ask anyone without experience I jumped at the chance.

Models Press: Did you want to be part of the business side when you joined DRWCYS?

Noriko: Yes. I had previously worked as a shop staff of another company and wanted to get into the business side.

MP: But you didn’t plan to be Press per-se?

Noriko: While working as a shop staff I was a bit interested. A brand’s face and PR is really press so I was aware of it, and of course I could think of being it, but being almost 30 years old and not getting into the business side I didn’t think I had much chance.

MP: So you were happy when you heard you could join Press?

Noriko: I was happy. I thought this was my chance. Even though I had not worked long and had my worries, I wanted the chance to be up to the challenges.

MP: Did you have any worries?

Noriko: Even though I told myself “I can do this” my inexperience made my think “Can I even do this?” It made me grow as a person and in my own belief. Of course now I’m so pleased I was able to say yes.

What does being Press detail at DWRCYS

MP: What’s your job as Press at DWRCYS

Noriko: The main part of my job is corresponding with the company’s needs and getting those out to the magazines. Also four times a year we hold exhibitions and we’re doing the planning of those as well as budget planning, lease clothing for magazine shooting, catalog and lookbook planning and shooting as well. Along with dealing with the fashion shows of Kobe Collection and Tokyo Girl’s Collection. There’s a lot to do.

MP: A lot of Press seems to work outside of the corporate office?

Noriko: Quite a lot. Of course when working on magazine editorials as well as planning for fashion shows that involves dressing them and checking the looks. We also have to deal with other businesses for sales and promotional planning.

MP: Looking back, please tell us some of the hardship’s you’ve overcome?

Noriko: When you actually finish up a project such as a fashion show or a catalog or a magazine spread after all the planning, meetings and everything involved there is a real sense of accomplishment.

But at the beginning of each such project it feels like there are so many hurdles to get over to actually make the project a success. Discussing with the director and staff of how to make your ideas work and double checking all the photography, the caption and the credits. It can be a lot of trouble.

MP: How did you end up working at DRWCYS?

Noriko: A friend ended up inviting me to one of the exhibitions. I saw a piece of clothing and the design really spoke to me. I thought if I had to work I should work for a brand I really liked so I thought I should try for DRWCYS.

MP: What are your goals now?

Noriko: I have several goals I want to try to achieve but the overall point is I want to DRWCYS appeal to even more people.

DRWCYS Press Lifestyle

MP: Please tell us your beauty routine.

Noriko: I like to take long soaks in the bath while doing a mask pack. I also think it’s very important to exercise. I do yoga and pilates and I think sweating also helps my skin.

MP: How do you spend your days off?

Noriko: I do yoga and pilates. I also sometimes take a book to read in a cafe. I feel like being out and about helps me refresh.

MP: How do you usually get your fashon information?

Noriko: Usually through SNS (Social Networking Sites) such as Instagram and Pinterest. I really like looking at overseas snap style and overseas instagrammers.

In order to work at DRWCYS

MP: What kind of person is suitable to work for DRWCYS?

Noriko: Being a motivated person who is easy to work with is best. There are lots of jobs to do so being able to adapt to working in different jobs is necessary.

Also since Press involves visiting and dealing with other companies and other people being someone who is bright that can easily talk to others is a plus.

MP: Please tell us some tips to get through the interview process.

Noriko: Knowing yourself and showing off your own appeals and talents. I know it’s a basic technique but a nice friendly smile is so important. Dressing for the job you shouldn’t necessarily wear DRWCYS but knowing the brand’s style and showing off how you are stylish with a similar feel to DRWCYS is important. Of course looking your personal best is necessary.

The secrets of fulfilling your dream

MP: What advice could you give to women wanting to achieve their dreams?

Noriko: Whatever you wish for you must understand what it is you want, and knowing what it is the is how you start aiming to achieve it. Of course there will be tough times but you will savor the happier moments after tasting the bitterness of hard times.

MP:  Thank you very much

A day in Your Life

10:00 Arrive at the office and clean the press room, reply to mails and check the day’s schedule.

11:00 Lease out garments (to magazines etc…), check in returned garments

12:30 Lunch

1:30 Check the garments leased out, confirm magazine publication schedules and draw up materials for the release dates, read questionnaires submitted

8:00 Return to company

Ikoma Noriko Profile:

Got her first job in apparel in 2006. Started as a shop staff in April 2006. Moved to Drwcys in April 2014 as shop staff, started as Press in June 2014.

 

BONUS! Some DRWCYS looks for Spring 2017

drwcys-spring

Brands aimed at 30 year olds don’t chase the trends as hotly as the younger brands but there are a few trend notes. The big one being with otona kawaii brands for the past few years is going NAVY. Snidel has also introduced a lot of NAVY options for ladies. Flat shoes are a big boom as well and the Spring midi skirt has been a big otona kawaii silhouette for several Springs.

drwcysspring2

There’s so much PINK this season. Vibrant colors are a big comeback this Spring but this hue of PINK is really everywhere no matter the age range. Waistband details are another trend across all genres. Belts and sashes are on a lot of dresses and skirts this season. Oversized details like how big the sash size is, is another trend of the season.

drwcysspring3

V Neck is a suprising trend for me. It’s really big overseas but as stated in my clothing standards post the check isn’t really a show off usually in mainstream Japanese styles. Again more waistband details. Pinstripes and gingham are the two popping prints of the season. This seems like a more relaxed pinstripe.


Mitsu word salad:

A trend report and translation. Two posts in one, right guys?  :regret:  I told myself I would aim for two posts a month lately and already the start of the year I’m cutting it close. I will try to rev up a bit more the closer we get to full Spring fashions and lots of sakura and Japanese travel photos to post just in case you need help planning you Spring vacations or need some florals across your screen.  :heart:

I’m using Instagram stories to do ootd and make-up looks and I tweet uselessly. If you wanna know where I’m at online, probably one of those two places. :eyelashes:

follow the Doll on bloglovin | Universal-Doll facebook | Mitsu on twitter “miss_mitsu” | metoomitsu on instagram  | metoomitsu tumblr – join/add/follow? :bow: