One of the most interesting recent tasks was choosing some Japanese magazines to buy for inspiration and I went to Kinokuniya near Bryant Park to browse. I know Winnie is a big fan of Vivi and regularly posts scans on her blog, but it was great to see these magazines in the flesh and to also browse some of the other titles the store offers. I didn't get a chance to look, but there's apparently some cute Japanese stationery on the ground floor, perfect for all those exhibition doodles I create. Think of the Japan Centre in London, but without the sushi (sobs).
I'd been reading on the blogosphere about the magazines/lookbooks that certain designers produce in Japan, often with a free gift, but I never thought you could get them anywhere outside of the country. Might just have to go back for the Eley Kishimoto umbrella to replace my battered old brolly
It's hard to put my finger on what makes fashion in Asia streets ahead and able to interpret current and future trends swiftly. For example, many of these magazines also serve as catalogues and with my limited (scrap that, non-existent) understanding of Japanese, I could see that many of the items were available to purchase online. There is an overwhelming amount to choose from, with every style and possibility covered (in six handy colours), a total contrast to Western magazines where you're just left to fend for yourself in locating the items. It's also nice to also have a mixture of celebrity, designer and blogger inspiration.
There are quirkily styled photoshoots galore
Sections guide you on numerous ways to create outfits; I wonder whether these magazines are responsible for the kind of street style seen here, or whether they were more of a response. Chicken and egg situations aside, I quite like the layering possibilities shown here though you do run the risk of looking very similar to a fellow Vivi lover. If step-by-step outfit creation wasn't enough, there's also beauty guides, hair tutorials and even diet tips, providing a reference point for every part of your lifestyle.
And lastly, a whole page devoted to lace! Though these magazines can be quite pricey due to import prices, they're are a lot cheaper than visiting the country itself, so I'll perhaps be making do with Jille for the time being since it was a rather reasonable $8. Of course this is part of a bigger plan; I've managed to find a Korean-speaking buddy to help me tackle Gmarket, where they sell similar fast-fashion in endless combinations. I've figured that most clothes sold and marked up in shops are pretty similar to those sold on these sites, so I'm going to try and find things at a reduced cost. This is my solution to getting my Far East fashion-fix until I save enough pennies to go!
Cute little purse freebie