I spent a lot bit of text complaining on twitter about shopping in Japan for winter clothing trends this last trip. I’m someone who makes almost epic shopping hauls from Japan. My clothing is mostly from there and visiting for a month twice a year means I usually haul good to keep a steady rotation of fun outfits going throughout the year and stop spending on shipping and overseas buying fees. But like I talked about in the Gyaru has ruined me but that’s okay post, I over consumed. But even since then in Spring I was a bit of a piggy buyer.

Now not so much but still enough to talk about trends and enjoy the bits I did buy. I also talk about two discount select shops to find cute clothes in Tokyo. And the clothing I regret not buying because we always miss the ones that get away.

 

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The loot! Maybe you can see I had a theme?

Deeper descriptions below with winter clothing trends bolded and CAPPED along with some Spring trend discussion.

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This sweatshirt was bought from the Kumatan pop-up at Honey Mi Honey. Kumatan is Chinatsu Wakatsuki‘s new line after breaking up with W*C. She’s been trying to do actual clothing beyond just Kumatan character items. The Kumatan brand which is only on-line and at pop-ups for now and I’m not much of an on-line shopper now. I finally went to the pop-up and really loved so much of the Kumatan season. Well made clothing, great price-point and odd and fun sayings.

This sweatshirt combines a lot of trends together: PINK which is continuing heavy into Spring. FUR TEXTURE, and EMBROIDERY (of the lettering). I loved the solid zipper in the back which also helps out the ZIPPER as ACCENT trend.

 

 

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I really like the Merry Jenny brand and I usually buy one item a season and wear it for several seasons afterwards. So my choice was this piece from their Fall collection. I bought it in BLACK because I’m a bit obsessed with all black dressing lately.

As for the trends first point is the MOCK TURTLENECK which has been booming this season. Then BOWS are everywhere as are 3D MOTIFS.

 

 

 

 

boughtjapan-onespo-fallitems I decided to group all the ONE*SPO items together. OneSpo won for my brand of the season. Great price point (I got everything pictured for $160) and original pieces. I got the dress in black but pink shows of its corset back details (my all black life growing!). All of their pieces are so comfortable. I wore them all during my Christmas Walt Disney World trip (I’m in the dress in my newest instagram photo)

The right parka and skirt are from their Spring 2017 line called “Time Leap Girl”. A lot of trends to talk about with them for spring including: SHEER SKIRTS, PINK, CIRCLE ZIPPER PULLS (not shown), and FLORAL EMBROIDERY.

Trends for Winter include SATIN RIBBON ACCENTS, CORSET STYLE and MILITARY BERETS.

 

bubblestokyo-bought-winter This parka was my first Bubbles Tokyo purchase. They’re really a brand on the rise. In 2015 they opened a store in Shibuya 109 and this year they moved to a much nicer well lit store on the 7th floor. They also have a stand-alone store in Harajuku that is complete with a swing and photo wall. Beyond the cuteness of their stores their clothing is fun, edgy but girly and shockingly well made for the price.

I bought this hoodie mainly for walking my dog but it’s really comfortable and made of a thick fluffy sweat material. Trends include SATIN RIBBON, CIRCLE ZIPPER PULL, WORKOUT MEETS DAYWEAR

 

bought-earrings-trends-japan My big list was earrings and fun accessories. I planned to buy some fun CHOKER necklaces and such, but I never did. Instead I ended up with this great two pair of earrings. The left are from Honey Salon by Foppish. I kept really loving everything they did this season and I thought I would buy some clothes from them this season, but nothing felt perfect. Instead I ended up this the heart earrings. I’ll definitely be wearing them in Spring 2017. BIG DANGLING EARRINGS continue to be a SPRING trend and a Larme trend. The lil Lilly ones were more of a impulse buy, but I’ve worn them lots so impulse accessories buys aren’t so bad.

 

Discount Tokyo current fashion shops: (me) & mocha

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Two discount import select shops stuck out for me during my shopping. By discount I mean about 2,000 yen-5,000 yen cheaper or $20-$50 cheaper than the brand shops I am speaking about above. Not to the deep discounts if you troll Alibaba or such. They have overhead like brick-and-mortar stores in busy places and shop staff to pay.

(me) in Harajuku (twitter) mainly deals with Korean/Chinese imports and has a lot of current Korean trends. They’ve usually got one-of or two-of items. I bought two things from them last Fall and they’ve held up very well. Since it’s lots of items in a tiny store check back often to see new items. Ageha queen Sakurina shops there occasionally. (me) is located in the back of Takeshita past the lights

mocha (twitter instagram) in Koenji is a shop I discovered this season and it turns out is the sister shop to (me). I was actually shocked by how many on trend items they had inside. They’re another shop like (me) that imports mostly one-off or two-off items. I bought a fuzzy white camisole with faux leather adjustable straps from mocha for 3,700 yen or $33.00. I’ve worn it a lot and really love the leather strap details and took it with me for Disney (my mark if I like something and find it comfortable since I’ll spend 12 hours standing and moving a lot in it). Mocha on the main Koenji shotengai or shopping street. They also have a Shimokitazawa location.

 

Things I regret not buying:

A fancy dress for nice dinners. New Years Eve is coming up and I’ll be in an old dress. I’m stupidly sad about that. But there’s something about getting dressed in a nice new dress and going out to dinner on a special occasion. I’ll get over it and I bought things more practical for me.

Rienda’s suprisngly good Onee-Gyaru outings this season. On one of my last days I was out with Emi and Lea and we ended up in Shibuya 109. I had ZERO interest in Oneegyaru this year mainly because of the sad collection Duras put out this year and Rienda’s online items. But when we actually went in the Rienda store and tried on items, I was shocked by how much I liked pieces they flattered a lot of body shapes well and their prices were really good. Check out Emi x Lea’s youtube for some items they bought at Rienda.

This corset onepiece from SLY. It’s so body flattering yet comfortable. The laces are adjustable and it actually wasn’t that short of a dress on my tall body. But I said the sweater material was too thick and worried the fussy weather of Atlanta would put it out rotation. Now it’s quite cold in Atlanta so I’m ready to get into a cute sweater dress.

But I’ve worn all of my winter trends picks already since arriving back to the States so I guess I did pretty well.

 

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A big trend happening in fashion houses across the world from Burberry to Tom Ford to Tommy Hillfiger is the “See now buy now” approach to fashion. The see now buy now approach is what walks down the runway is immediately available to purchase on-line to the everyday consumer. Instead of months waiting for a item you saw on the runway I’ll with arrive via express shipping days after seeing a leggy model strut it down the runway. From runway to street view in moments has been the dream for fashionistas but it’s becoming a reality.

For Burberry and Moschino and others this means the Winter 2017 shows that happened last month. You can read all about the nuts and bolts of how brands like Burberry are doing this in this business of fashion article: How Burberry is Operationalising ‘See Now, Buy Now’.

Is see now buy now happening in Japanese fashion? Not yet, but signs point to maybe.

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Merry Jenny Spring 2017 now with gorgeous freckles

There are big hurdles for Japanese fashion because it’s not made to work that way. This month’s Japanese high brand fashion week: Amazon Tokyo Fashion Week was a Spring/Summer 2017 affair. Most off-the-rack brands only go a season out so it would be Spring Summer 2017 for now. Instead of the high brands one more season ahead, New York Milan and Paris all showed Winter 2017 looks.

Most off-the-rack brands (all Shibuya 109 brands, Shibuya Lumine brands etc…) do not do fashion shows, or when they do they are mid-season to push more season sales (Tokyo Girls Collection, Kobe Collection etc…). Instead they do exhibitions ( 展示会 tenjikai) which are showrooms of the clothing and from seeing these samples select shops (which carry a wide variety of brands online or in stores) and models/talent/press can preorder these items. These preorders come out pretty much the same time as they do to the everyday consumer but doing these exhibitions generates hype from models and talent and sales for the season from select shops.

Giant clothing company Mark Styler (aka Runway Channel website) which runs Mercury Duo, Dazzlin, Laguna Moon, Murua, Emoda, Gyda, Evris, Merry Jenny, Eat Me, Jouetie and others has decided to make a tiny change. This week during running their three days of exhibitions they also decided to release catalog and preorders on the Runway Channel website for the Spring 2017 collection. Thus far only Merry Jenny and Evris Spring 2016 are available but only for a week. But this is a significant shift by a very large clothing company to get closer to the see now buy now approach.

The clothing preorders which release from Janurary to March is the traditional “1st collection” time for Spring/Summer releases. Which about 30 items from Evris and 13 items from Merry Jenny this isn’t a huge amount for such a giant as Mark Styler.

I’m very interested to see how Mark Styler’s plan works. They chose two of the brands that skew younger and have few stores compared to the giants of Dazzlin or Murua. Checking the webstore rankings many Evris Spring 2017 items are in the top 30 so it’s showing promise in this infant stage. It is worth noting that the Evris phone case is the biggest preorder item because it’s much easier to decide what your phone is going to wear 6 months from now than yourself.

This approach is not new to Japanese fashion accessories centric brand Honey mi Honey and girly adult Rosary Moon do tend to put their collections up far in advance and often right after the exhibitions for preorder. However both are smaller brands run by smaller companies. Neither capable of shoving the trends.

Some pros to consider: It’s definitely not as close to see now buy now as Western high brands are doing, but this is also a start of dropping the curtain between the tastemakers of buyers and press and the everyday consumer. A more socialist fashion plan? I’m for it!

Some cons to consider: The concerns as business of fashion has put them is do these early presales hurt the regular season sales? Are people over shopped before the season even starts.

 

After all that how about some visuals?

Evris Spring Summer 2017 First Collection

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Trends to note: Contrast denim (I see this becoming big ss17), Embroidery carrying on. Printed and lace over jackets instead of the thin cardigans from last year, chokers, low necks, and vintage-feel items.

Merry Jenny Spring Summer First Collection

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Trends to note: mules carrying on from Fall 2016, wide pants continuing, sheer overdresses, frills and flounces (big Spring 2017 trend across all brands).

The first pair of pants actually have pearls sewn to the front. I’m all about it.

 

A week only seems quite short to test the waters, but hopefully this trend continues. I’m enjoying the curtain a little lifted.

 

 

I’ve gotten a little bored of Snapchat so I’ve fully moved to instagram stories. I used to not post much on Insta, but I’ll try again  :heartguy:

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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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Merry Jenny (メリージェニー) is an aomojikei brand by Mark Styler (that does Murua, Emoda, Dazzlin, and Jouetie). It was started in 2012 by Yui Yoshikawa (吉河唯 blog models press interview here). She previously modeled in Vivi as a reader model (読者モデル), and was Dazzlin’s Visual Director. Merry Jenny follows in Dazzlin’s footsteps but also contains a unique almost Wes Anderson influence.

Merry Jenny quick details:

katakana: メリージェニー

About the brand: The concept is a happy girl 18-23 (all these narrow age windows for brands, so crazy). Since a happy girl is “Merry” and a popular girl’s name is Jenny the moniker “Merry Jenny” came about.

The main theme is “Innocent Kitsch Girl”.

This season’s theme is “Pranky Little Girl” a mischievous little lady

Stores: 4. Two in Tokyo. Two in Osaka

social: site | brand blog | instagram | twitter

Merry Jenny Autumn Runway

Like all Mark Styler brands Merry Jenny does a runway collection. Sadly like all Mark Styler brands the look is a bit more dolled up. If it was buyable like runway style I’d put it top 10 of favorite brands.

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Check out all the bows and other 3-d elements set in rich jewel tones that make the look seem retro youthful not childlike. The collection reminded me a lot of Miu Miu and Olympia Tan’s collections.

Kitsch from Merry Jenny AW 2014

Although their regular line isn’t as polished as the runway it still offers tons of kitsch and is one of the main reasons to enjoy the brand.

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Sweater sets are super trending everywere in Japanese fashion but Merry Jenny made the design their own by doing a quirky scribble print and making the bottom skirt flare instead of the popular straight style.

 

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I don’t know why but I think this is fabulous.

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This phone case sold out immediately. Love the traditional ribbon flap bookmark accent.

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Scribble line patterns across sweaters are popular especially in a navy/white or black/white combination but added kitsch was the astronaut.

Merry Jenny Shinjuku Lumine EST Shop Staff

On the second floor of Shinjuku Lumine EST is tucked the Harajuku-leaning aomojikei group of brands with Nadia, Jouetie, Lowry’s Farm and Merry Jenny. It’s a tiny store, but all Merry Jenny stores are. They’re always stocked and have super cute friendly shop staff.

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Of course houndstooth was the name of the game last Winter season so they’re both on the houndstooth prints.

Headbows were big last year and are even bigger this year.

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Check out their flatforms. Not so popular this year. Instead it’s flatter loafers, furry shoes and heels with bows.

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Sweater set-ups which had some traction last year are now all the rage.

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Her make-up in a lovely aomojikei style. I’m a bit unsure if she’s in circle lens, they’re getting so natural now.

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Her hair was so polished and smooth, I’m curious if she got a straight perm!

More aomojikei brands? What’s Aomojikei and more aomojikei brand talks and staff snaps

Need more shop staff snaps? Over 150 and growing here

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