I occasionally scan YahooNews Japan (the google of Japan) for gyaru items and I stumbled across this AbemaTV program about Gyaru technology.

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It starts off with a reporter searching out interesting stories in Shibuya. In a completely non-scripted non-planned way (sarcasm)

The reporter’s reaction is “uhhhh what’s this?”

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They stumbled across two gyaru that call themselves “Gyaruden (ギャル電)” = Electric Gal.

Their names are Mao-san (pink hair) and Kyouko-san (grey hair). And say “ギャルによるギャルのためのテクノロジー” Because we are gyaru we make technology for gyaru. But really this story goes deeper than that and involves two interesting gyaru so let’s get into it!

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They started making flashy (pun intended) six months ago. And they do it for the “party people” (パリピ paripi some gyaru slang for you)

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The reporter then goes to visit their workspace where they make their Gyaru-den accessories.

It’s located in a place called Rainbow Souko (レインボー倉庫 site) which is a chain of coffee shops and workspace collectives. Their space is at Rainbow Souko 2 (here’s a map of how its laid out).

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Mao in fab deco glasses at work building a LED lightup earring.

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Like the one she’s wearing.

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Predictably the reporter gets a gyaru makeover and learns to construct her own LED earrings.

Then she sits down and asks about the girls lives. Kyouko-san says she hasn’t really had any schooling instead she’s learned on the streets. And the reporter is like “Oh you’re self taught” and Kyouko goes “Ohhhh you can say that”. Her current profession is pole dancer (usually pole dancers in Japan work as gogo dancers in clubs and keep their tops on. Judgement free either way just an FYI).

Mao-san says she is a college student at a trade school learning about electrical construction. But she says she wants to keep her own style doing it.

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The reporter asks why did they get into this?

Kyouko says “The Singularity”.

Which is some deep stuff.

Let’s let wiki take care of this:

The technological singularity (also, simply, the singularity)[1] is the hypothesis that the invention of artificial superintelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization.

Yup. Lots to take in there.

Either way they’re doing some cool original stuff. Check out their twitter: https://twitter.com/galden999

Here’s the static news story on Abema times about the Gyaruden group (here) and official Youtube video (here) and they also got to be in a Nike Japan commercial (here).

I think it’s a new way to look at being flashy in a style that’s definitely toned down.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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The strawberry champagne was a big seller.

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

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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:

 

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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…

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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

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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.

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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.

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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:

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Brand introductions are sparse around here, but I’d like to shout out Japanese accessories brand Memnon that does Larme style accessories.

The brand says they are a small accessories brand made for women who want girly things, and think of their pieces as “dessert in a bag“. This brand speaks to me about why I feel in love with Japanese fashion: quirky individual items that are at a solid price.

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Memnon (メムノン) started in 2010 by the clothing giant BEAMS. The brand which predates Larme, but it’s quickly become a Larme relatable brand. Actually I went searching for photos of Memnon in my Larme magazines and the first photoshoot I opened of the first magazine they were featured.

I think learning a bit about Memnon’s style is really at the core of Larme. They’re womenly but girly. They are inspired by retro items and make-up. It’s a mid-range price point. They’re a bit spicy sweet not the florals of girly items. Their palette is mostly pinks, reds, black and white with the occasional trend color popping in. A lot of ways I’d describe Larme style, but I’m only talking about Memnon.

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Here’s a shot from the Verybrain instagram (favorite of RisaDoll aka Risa Nakamura) with a VeryBrain set-up and Memnon record bag.

I was able to visit the Memnon pop-up at Shinjuku Isetan 2nd floor and took a few pictures and bought some bits. If you’re interested in Larme style, Shinjuku Isetan on the 2nd floor often holds a lot of higher price tag Larme brands.

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One of their most popular styles is the lip bag clutch. They’ve done it in velvet and lately patents for the current season’s patent trends.

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This was from their last year’s collection. I love their idea of a powder puff bag. All make-up is good make-up.

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Their lip love letter key cases, wallets and phone cases are very popular. They’ve also done their shoe pen case in several colors.

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Their possible second most popular style is their eyeshadow wallet clutch. They also did a quad eyeshadow mini wallet.

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The Memnon pop-up at Isetan Girls (2f Shinjuku) was laid out like a Larme brand. Sweet, girly and retro.

Memnon isn’t a brand with a full store, but if you’re interested in the brand you can always purchase online or check out their next pop-up! :makeup:

Social updates: They do not have a store and their website is constantly under construction. The best way to check for updates on the brand is their twitter: https://twitter.com/memnon_tokyo

Next time to buy in Tokyo will be at Cannabis Ladies in Shinjuku Lumine 2 from 11/24-12/04/2016.

To buy online webstore La Cuna del Flor sells most of the Memnon collection.

 

I didn’t intend to take as long between posts but real life, preparing for my trip and this //asmanyexpletivesasicanthinkof// election has take the fire out of my blogging. No worries some really interesting posts to come soon!

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