I’ve had tons of topics to post lately but I keep coming back to Ank Rouge. Some fall trends I want to talk about, summer tips, Disney Tokyo survival guide, more vintage, some skincare reviews, some make-up reviews. But I keep going to back to want to talk about Ank Rouge, since this blog started as a trend blog and it’s still my interest.

Ank Rouge basics:

katakana:アンクルージュ
since: 2010.
number of stores: 10
head: Rie Matsuoka
style: Sweet girly now Larme Street
insta: https://www.instagram.com/ankrouge_official/
webstore: http://ailand-store.jp/

Some Ank Rouge History and Okarie distancing

Ank Rouge started in 2010 by Popteen model Rie Matsuoka, aka Okarie (松岡里枝 croozblog, insta) . She has helping with the design and look of the brand under the title “Creative Director” and in the beginning Ank was Okarie and Okarie wore Ank. She may have been the Creative Director but she was also the image model aka the face of Ank Rouge.

Since 2015 there’s been quite a distancing of Okarie’s tastes and Ank Rouge and now Ank Rouge is a different animal. Okarie is now very Seiso/Otona Kawaii and prefers magazines such as Bijin Hakka and Sweet. Ank Rouge is now very street Larme. I’m going to show the new collection first, some old images and also some thoughts on the new Ank Rouge look.

Ank Rouge new style “Innocent Black” for Fall 2016

For the Fall Ank Rouge now has two new image models: Vivi main model Emma Jasmine(瑛茉ジャスミン insta) and Larme model Nana Katou (加藤ナナ insta)

Their theme for this collection is Innocent Black. The main concept for the collection is girly and monotone looks. It’s not just sweet but coquetteish feeling. A street and girly mix giving a casual and playful atmosphere. Using black at least twice is the center of this look. <- their words translated

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I wish they showed off the clothes better but when they’re making such a dramatic change I guess lighting was needed to carry this new Ank Rouge.

In the past I’ve always seen Ank Rouge as a more tailored Liz Lisa or sometimes just a Liz Lisa knock off. :sweatbubble: Now it seems they’ve gone full Larme and if anything gotten edgey and appear very inspired by One*Spo.

Ank Rouge of Old

If you’re not familiar with old Ank Rouge here you go:

Ank from 2012:

Ank from 2014(?):

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Ank from 2015:

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It’s obvious they were slow moving from Liz Lisa to Seiso and Larme, but this Street is a brand new thing for Ank.

Fall Collection Innocent Black worn by Shop Staff

You know this blog. The photoset of a collection is well and good but how are everyday girls wearing this? Specifically for this the Ank shop staff.

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Well Ank Rouge has really stuck to the Street Larme profile with its shop staff. Some are still trying to bring the old Ank Rouge in combination, but it’s mostly Street Larme.

Trends to note for Fall 2016

Ank has shown off several trends to talk about for 2016. These are mostly Larme trends with a few trends heading into all fashion. All Fashion trends marked with a heart

  • Slip Dresses ♥
  • Chokers especially Ribbon chokers ♥
  • Collar details
  • Sukajans done different ways ♥
  • Robe-tie jackets ♥
  • Velvet ♥
  • Lace dresses ♥
  • “Dad” caps
  • Baby pink x black x white

Final Notes

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Although Ank Rouge has been talking up all these Street Larme looks. This set-up is their current Fall top seller. A more traditional Ank look.

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Ank is part of a larger clothing group the Ailand group featuring Cecil McBee and Be Radiance. None really known for their prints, but I feel this print done in skirt and onepiece style is really worth noting. It reminds me of classic Jesus Diamanate and MA*RS prints but of a better quality than current MA*RS. My old style readers should pay notice to this cute print  :hearts3:

Is this change bad? Good? It’s for the chirruns!

I’ve been talking about the differences, but I don’t think this is necessarily a bad change in Ank Rouge. Lately there’s so much grown up fashion dominating Shibuya 109 brands. The Onee-gyaru and basics boom has taken over so many brands. It feels like there’s quite a pressure to grow up. I’m glad there’s a bit more youthful style in Ank Rouge. However I can’t see this winning over longtime Ank fans so I guess we’ll see how next season looks?

 Long time no blog? Yup

Everytime I post here lately I feel like I have to apologize for being slow. Blame Disney, Olympics and Pokemon Go this time. Really though it’s my aging computer and the problems that causes. If only I didn’t have to use my laptop to blog, but editing photos is necessary. Next year though! New computer! Hopefully I can afford it! Currently though I have some trips to take and trips are fun new computers are just new computers  :regret:

In the meantime I’m currently doing a 10 day Japanese and Korean face mask review on Snapchat. :happydance: If you want to see some shaky camerawork, me looking dumb in masks, and my derp voice you’ve got it (yay?). If not you can wait for the full monty to go on the blog later.

 

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I decided to blog about Larme again, but to be honest I’ve felt recent issues of the magazine taking a different clothing turn than usual. I really like how Larme has picked up speed with the overseas audience and people see it as not so much OTT but more Seiso-like.

However… I picked up a recent issue of Larme magazine and I’m a bit befuddled by some of the outfits. Now I don’t buy magazines when I’m in America because I’m cheap and I’m like a little squirrel pilling up my acorns so I can spend in Japan two months out of the year. So I had a gap between issue 013 and issue 019.

But issue 019 is the December issue and there are just some head scratching pages. It feels odd to say something IN Larme magazine ISN’T Larme, but well that’s just what I thought.

Now Emii-chan kindly scanned some pages from Larme 019 if you’d like to check her blog  (you should be reading her blog anyways because the time she spends being a resource is always impressive).

Excuse my quickly shot potato iPhone photos. This was not for all the tumblr reblogs just to show the odd face of Larme right now. Many of the outfits in the magazine were very Larme, but I am still a bit wary.

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The cover which looks super Larme and beautiful.

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This is the opening fashion spread which looks more Vivi or Jelly to me. I just can’t see the Larme in this. I don’t hate the style, it’s not about my clothing choices just not Larme.

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This London Calling Duffle coat spread doesn’t really feature Larme outfits. Instead it’s more comfortable in Seventeen or another casual-kei teen’s magazine.

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Instead this “street snap” of a model features a much more Larme-kei Duffle coat style.

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I don’t know what to say about this look but well it’s just not Larme.

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This unflattering outfit (in a subsection about dressing flattering for your height) is also not Larme.

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Whole lot of nope. Red matte tights and patent shoes?

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Very cute, but not what Larme is known for.

I found a few more examples but I don’t feel like harping on. Now I am wondering whether Larme magazine will take a more encompassing look on what is Larme-kei to get a larger audience, but at the cost of diluting its look?

This could just be a blip but I’m a bit wary of this direction.

So I’m going to talk about trends by Larme brands, but keep in mind I am not really sure on the direction because 019 left me perplexed.

Larme Magazine Possible Spring 2016 Trends

 

Larme Trend One – Biggest Trend! SHOULDERS

Off shoulder, shoulder accents, it’s all about the shoulders this year.

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Titty & Co | Rosary Moon | Honey Salon | Honey Mi Honey

Long-time fashion diva Donna Karan has said to always show off your shoulders because they never sag or wrinkle or really show fat. Beyond that it’s collarbones for everyone.

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Subtrends to fit the shoulder trend:

Giant earrings –  lilLilly has been touting giant colored heart earrings (above) that suit the off-shoulder look. OneSpo also has a cute pair of rhinestone huge heartsI don’t expect chokers to be as hot because it breaks up the off shoulder look a bit oddly.

Cardigans – Because Spring can be too much of a cold-shoulder. Har har.

Larme Spring Trend Two – Flouncy Bustiers

larmespring-flouncy-bustier

Honey Salon | monLily | Titty & Co

Often with gaucho pants or a midi-skirt. Gone are the days of figure hugging bustiers and in are flouncy frill worth loose bustiers. Lots of good options for less-busty girls.

Larme Spring Trend Three – Relaxed Girly Set-ups

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(Left Rosary Moon | Right Titty&Co exhibition)

A Winter-to-Spring look. Although this is more of a sporty look Larme seems to be doing more sporty casual looks in its magazine. Even writing how to dress with sneakers and Uggs. Set-ups are everywhere and don’t want to die. This sporty trend is a new look for Larme brands.

 

Other trends of note – Frills!, Gingham Accessories, Sukajan, Lace Overdresses

larmespringtrendsmix

Rosary Moon | Titty & Co

Frills will grow and grow across Larme fashion I think. The tiny prarie flower print with a frill bust is a good Spring trend look. While the Lace over by Titty looks a bit boring I expect Larme to spice their styling up better. Of course delicate lace blouses are forever a Larme staple. One of the Larme essential buys I’d recommend when starting a Larme wardrobe.

larmetrend-sukajan

OneSpo | MonLily

Sukajan! The colorful satin bomber jackets. They’re really becoming popular this season. Onespo has done some really cute looks with them like this sweatshirt style. monLily is not a true sukajan but bomber jackets will show up more in Larme because of the sukajan trend.

Also… denim and gingham shoes, knee length everything.

Thankfully Larme isn’t short of cute clothes to focus on and getting back to refining what the real Larme look is. I hope Spring magazines pick up again and give Larme the style honing it deserves.

….I wonder if I said Larme 80 times in this post.  :mrgreen:

It’s hard writing a fashion blog about Japanese subculture fashion when its being terribly restrained and uninventive. I feel like an old grandma railing against basics and normcore. I am a broken record of complaints. I spend a lot of time being negative about the state of most Japanese fashion.

It just all looks the same, how do you choose which pair of black pants to buy? How are these brands creating brand loyalty? How are these brands distancing themselves from each other? I don’t have a problem with black pants or any other basics I just find the sameness a bit boring.

And it’s really hitting fever pitch because many runway designers are getting back to prints and funky styles and inventive color palettes. That’s where these brands get some of their ideas from. Yet it’s not transferring to what is currently on the hangers.

So instead of my general crankiness I’m going to highlight a few brands doing fun looks for Fall that are relatively affordable. And this is my taste preferences so please note, but hey it’s my blog.

…and there are some brands still doing non-normcore that I didn’t shout out in this post. MA*RS, Datura, Rady and the like are still chugging along doing cute looks that represent their style without bowing down to over simplicity.

Instead I chose to feature some brands doing trend items, but with a twist. I’ve bolded trend talk for the lazy readers or just as a heads up.

Merry Jenny

I’ve spotlighted them in the past through seasonal styles or shop staff looks. I only own a few pieces from the brand but I find myself always wanting to wear them.

They’re an aomojikei brand but also they tend to be leaning towards Larme-kei this season. The Merry Jenny is quirky and youthful and probably wants to start a zine. Wes Anderson lite is how I’d categorize the look.

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This is their best selling piece and the third best seller on giant Runway-Channel. Chiffon layering is a trend of the season along with velvet. Instead of the multitude of felt fedoras peddled this season, Merry Jenny has decided on a loose faux-fur hat. Trendy patent chunky ankle boots round out the look. Simple, no prints, but definitely not normcore.

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A weird light knit, loose pants in faux suede and pearl lace-up shoes. Funky takes on lots of trends including suede, wide pants, lace-up shoes, and mock turtlenecks. This look especially could fit into a Wes Anderson movie.

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It’s an odd shoe and not for everyone, but definitely different!

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A more simple style but they took the tulle-skirt trend further with a shiny satin under skirt and a contrasting belt-line.

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A pretty typical aomojikei look, but the bag is really a point of interest. I’m trying to tell myself I do not need a shirt bag.

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Loose dresses are a big aomoji and Larme look for the season. The eyemask trend translated to a clutch bag.

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The print is really dainty and mixable into Larme looks (with a belt probably).

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They love to do quirky accessories and this was part of a group of earrings, necklace and iphone case that matched.

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Parade was their theme this season and they’ve taken that to the popular pin badges as shoe accents. The light navy really compliments the rest of the collection.

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Another big seller is this appliqué hangbag sweater with attached pearl handle.

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 12.28.02 PMTheir biggest seller has been the Mickey and Minnie tight skirts. Although it doesn’t show up well the ears are 3-d and pop up above the skirt. You can see them well in this instagram post

If you’re into Merry Jenny’s look I really recommend their instagram https://instagram.com/merryjenny_instagram/ there’s a lot of good styling with their pieces on the instagram beyond the shopping site.

Runway-Channel via Tenso or From Japan or White Rabbit is the easiest way to pick up these looks. They even have lately put up a how-to guide in English.

 

Do you like Merry Jenny? Want to see more brands outside of normcore and basics? I hope so but I’d love to hear your comments below  :star2:

 

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Honey Cinnamon has won the revamped Shibuya 109 stage contest and will soon open in Shibuya 109. Shibuya 109 every year used to do stages and for a while they created mega brands such as Gilfy, Sly and Delyle and to a lesser extent Marple Q and such (link, link).

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Honey Cinnamon (ハニーシナモン website: http://honeycinnamon.jp/) is produced by current Larme model and former SKE48 member Kanako Hiramatsu (平松可奈子). The brand is under the x-9 design lab company (エックスナインデザインラボ ) which until Honey Cinnamon had produced graphic design and styling for brands such as Ingni and Murua. X-design lab is a small company with only 20 members mostly women. This is their first official brand.

 

Shibuya 109 Stage – Modern style

In a way to revamp falling sales at Shibuya 109 the mall decided to do a more modern stage.

Old stage style: Previously Tokyu Group (which owns Shibuya 109) would choose 5 brands based on their designs and let them stay in Shibuya 109 on a trial basis. Usually retailers in Japan have to buy rent space for a year in advance, so this was a sweet deal. The best one stayed and became a permanent Shibuya 109 store.

New stage style:

 

shibuya109-stage-directions

After submitted applications, five to ten shops are picked to go to the Shibuya 109 net shop. In this case six were. While in the net shop Shibuya 109 promised to promote the six brands and the shop with the best sales was picked to win the stage. The winner receives a space in Shibuya 109.

shibuya109-sales

The six chosen net shops had to pay 10,000 yen a month to be in the system and royalties to Shibuya 109 for hosting their clothing. A bit steep but interesting.

In the mix were three basic “NY/Casual/LA” buzzword stores named Fitting Room Tokyo, Catz and Mile 6737. A store with a Harajuku flavor and interesting “Punyus” style prints called Kobinai. Along with Kurogyaru gal unit Black Diamond produced clothing Galeo (still on sale btw). And Larme influenced Honey Cinnamon the final winner of the stage.

Honey Cinnamon Spring 2015 Exhibition

It’s safe to say Larme-kei won the Shibuya 109 stage because Honey Cinnamon is very Larme styled. In terms of other brands it looks halfway between Fint / Ank Rouge and Swankiss. They recently held an exhibition for their Spring 2015 style and the brand has a lot of Larme trends in the looks.

 

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Spring 2015 looks with lots of reds, whites and pinks.

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Off shoulder blouses, cardigans with retro details, fruits accents, knee length, lingerie inspiration, gingham and lace. Lots of popular Spring Larme trends.

(all photos above from Shibuya 109 press)

Spring 2015 catalog looks

Honey Cinnamon now has a webshop (http://honeycinnamo.thebase.in/) to buy their current looks. The styling is simple but soft and cute.

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Lots of cute looks. Personal favorites are the gingham knee-length skirt, the ruffle denim suspender skirt, and the knit bustiers.

A bit sad on how basic the shoes are and the overall lack of details on some items. I feel Larme taste is buying something for either the a) color b) cut or c) details since it’s not a very print based look. I don’t think they’re selling pairs of shoes but it’s a bit… simple. A styling pickle along with the white shoes white socks combination and white stockings white heels. Eeps!

Again if you missed it:

Spring 2015 Larme-style trends are – 

Off shoulder blouses, cardigans with retro details, fruits accents, knee length, lingerie inspiration, gingham and lace.

The first Honey Cinnamon store opens in Shibuya 109 on March 9th. Best of luck to a new brand. :bow:

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