Brands to explore: S for Shoko

sforshoko1 After following Shoko London`s instagram I couldn`t miss it when she lauched her brand “S for Shoko” earlier this year. The brand is inspired by 1960s, music and art and all the clothes are made in London. The bold, colourful and retro style patterns that many of the clothes are featuring are designed by Shoko herself.

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Shoko wearing a multi coloured tweed set from her AW collection.

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This far S for Shoko has released two collections: SS 2016 collection “Light, Light me on” and AW 2016 collection called “London Dreaming”. The Spring/Summer collection features mostly colours pink, white and red and the impression it gives me is very feminine and fresh. I personally feel that the most memorable pieces of this collection are the pastel shade multi coloured tweed items and the Nouvelle Vague dress which recently appeared on Kate Nash’s music video.

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the Nouvelle Vague dress

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S for Shoko Spring/Summer 2016

I personally liked S for Shoko`s SS collection but I must say that their AW collection is my favourite this far! “London Dreaming” collection`s main colours are deep red and navy blue and these two colours together create very retro feeling. New multi coloured tweed pieces are also introduced: this time in pink (the main colour) and red (the main colour). My favourite item from this collection is definitely the red sailor style pleat dress, it is one of the loveliest dresses I have seen for a while! The rose pattern that comes in navy blue + red combination in this collection looks also very iconic to me. It actually reminds me a little of some Scandinavia patterns from the 60s!AW16_2

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S for Shoko sailor dress in red

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LONDON tweed set

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So colourful and retro!

This far I like so many things about S for Shoko and I think that there is something unique and fresh about it. There are many brands that produces lovely clothes but I feel that these days it is getting harder and harder to create something original and new but in my opinion S for Shoko has succeeded in this. Shoko seems to be loyal to her own style and taste while designing her clothes and that is something I admire. I will look forward seeing how the brand will develop in future!

S for Shoko official website

image sources: link, link, link

How do you feel about S for Shoko this far? : )

Style adoration: Shoko London

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Red seems to be Shoko`s signature colour! Her dress reminds me of me of Anna Karina.

I have been planning to blog about Shoko London for a long time and now when she has finally released her fashion brand “S for Shoko” it felt like a perfect timing to write a few words about her!

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Shoko standing next to her book and LP album “Hope And Anchor”.

Shoko

Shoko London is a Japanese artist based in London and Tokyo. She is a lady of many talents: besides being an artist and illustrator who has made several collaborations with famous brands like Shiseido Shoko is also a singer, book author and a fashion designer. Among some other things!

shoko_pink shoko_vintageshoko_yellowHer style

I found out about Shoko and her work relatively short time ago but her great sense of style made me a fan right away. Especially her way to combine different colours in her outfits is something that I can`t stop admiring. Her style is girly, vintage inspired and she seems to prefer dreamy pastel colours but also more bold colours like red and navy blue (also the last two worn together!).

shoko_redsailorSeeing Shoko wearing red makes me also love red a lot, she does it so wonderfully! Somehow blonde haired Shoko wearing deep red and navy blue clothes makes me think about Brigitte Bardot or some other French lady from the 60s (1960`s actresses are apparently my weakness, lol)! I am getting obsessed about the idea of creating red + navy looks inspired by her but unfortunately my wardrobe still lacks of red pieces haha…

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I feel a sudden need for a red beret and tights… Eep!

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Her art

Shoko`s art style is a bit naivistic, cute, detailed and colourful. Her patterns and drawings are girly and lively and she seems to like using a little similar kind of colour scheme in both drawing and dressing up. Judging from her collaborations, singing career and London themed books she seems to be constantly working on several creative projects at the same time! I can`t help being impressed!

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melimelo handbags with patterns by Shoko

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Shoko has also done a collaboration collection with French brand Manoush

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Pink, girly and cute!

This summer Shoko also finally lauched her own clothing line “S for Shoko” that has already released two promising collections. I decided to write a small separate introduction post about her brand, you can find it here.

Shoko`s website

image sources: linklinklink

Exploring cute shops in Kyoto

When travelling I am always curious to check out some cute and creative local shops and especially stores with unique interiors interest me. In Japan many shops tend to put lots of effort into their interiors which really makes shopping there an experience. After reading some online recommendations and hearing some tips from my Japanese friends I have come across with many interesting shops and places so I thought why not to share some of them with you!

This summer when I visited Japan me and my boyfriend stayed one week in Kyoto and this time I was determined to see a few places that my Japanese friend recommended me. I was able to visit Kyoto for the first time last summer and I was actually supposed to visit some of these places already back then but unfortunately I run out of time. There is always so much to see that choosing where to go can be tricky! But yes: the shops featured in this post are located in Kyoto!

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Maiko Antiques

This small but fascinating shop was one that my local friend recommended me and my boyfriend to see. Maiko Antiques sells all kind of curious old Japanese things such as dolls, wooden things, vintage toys, jewellery, postcards, old photos etc. My friend told us that she used to work there part time during her studies: sounds like a dream to me!

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Old wooden blocks: Maiko Antiques offered several personal but affordable souvenir ideas!

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address: 157 Komatsuchō, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 605-0811, Japan

Mariebelle (Kyoto)

This small Chocolate shop was also recommended me by my friend: she said that this shop is a must thing for me to see since I like cute things. I found out that Mariebelle was founded in New York so it is an American brand but they have only a few shops around the world: in USA and Japan.

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The signature blue entrance to the Mariebelle.

When I entered Mariebelle Kyoto I was immediately impressed with their carefully created interior! All the products were beautifully presented and I really liked the blue shade they used in the interior and the packaging. Since the day was a bit rainy and the lighting inside was not very bright I feel that my photos don`t do justice for the cuteness of the shop..!

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The packaging is so beautiful!

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The pricing at the Mariebelle is a bit on the higher side since the chocolate they make is hand crafted. But I think the products are worth their price since they clearly put lots of effort into every little detail. I wanted to support the shop and buy something small to remember the visit so I ended up getting a cute tin box of chocolate powder. The staff packed my Hot Chocolate very beautifully: they even included some faux rose pendants and a cooling gel bag (to prevent the chocolate from melting) into the bag they gave me! I wish I had realised to take a picture of it…

address: 604-8112 京都市中京区柳馬場三条下ル 槌屋町83番地

Leur Getter (Kyoto)

Leur Getter is a girly Japanese Lolita style brand (I am talking about Lolita fashion, not Nakobov`s Lolita) that produces beautiful dresses that often have cute patterns. I had visited Osaka`s Leur Getter store once in summer 2015 because they stock also my favourite brand Katie, but to be honest otherwise the brand itself wasn´t too familiar to me. I actually came across with Kyoto`s Leur Getter accidentally while looking for another store called “Enfant” that used to stock also Katie, Milk and Leur Getter. Unfortunately the shop lady at Leur Getter told me that Enfant had been recently closed for good and now there was only this tiny Leur Getter store left.

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The tiny store front

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Leur Getter dresses

I was slightly disappointed but I must say that the tiny Leur Getter shop was also very fascinating and adorable. The shop is literally one of the smallest shops I have ever visited (even by Japanese standards) but still very charming! The shop staff lady was also very friendly and sweet and she talked a lot with my boyfriend (I wish I knew more Japanese…). We felt so welcome that we wanted to visit the store twice just to talk with the lady although we didn`t end up purchasing anything (I feel a little bad…). I also ended up taking some really cute pictures of the store but the lady kindly asked me to not post them online so I respect her wish: the only picture that I publish is from the store front. In Kyoto Leur Getter is located near the main shopping streets so I really recommend to pay a visit there if you enjoy girly fashion and aesthetics!

address: 京都市下京区寺町通四条下ル貞安前之町619-3-1階

Han

“Han” is a cute shop that we came across while randomly wandering around but I felt it was also worth mentioning! The selection of the shop is very good and there are lots of different (mostly smalls sized) design products and crafts available that would be perfect souvenirs or gifts. Besides Japanese brands and creators they also sell products by foreign designers: I even managed to spot some small Finnish brands that I hadn`t heard of before which was interesting! In any case I felt that their selection is well curated and everything presents certain kind of fresh, cute and colourful style quite well!

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Lunch boxes, jewellery, home decorations and accessories among other things!

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address: 京都府京都市中京区中京区 弁慶石町48 三条 あり も と ビル 1F

Katie AW collection “Alternative Queen”

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It has been already a bit over a month since Katie released their AW collection`s lookbook, but since I adore the brand so much I still wanted to share my thoughts about this collection!

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The model of the AW collection this year is Sara Mary (instagram:saramary12). Until this year Risa Nakamura used to model Katie`s lookbook pictures for several years.

I was slightly disappointed in Katie`s SS 2016 collection (“Rebel Lolita”): somehow the collection didn`t feel very “Katie” to me, but when I saw the AW 2016 lookbook it was love at first sight. I was also happy to see re-releases of some of their signature pieces because many of the older versions have already been on my second hand wishlist (but have turned out to be hard to find…).

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Some re-releases: a dot textured “Doll Agent one-piece” and “Fluffy long cardigan” in new colours.

The AW collection this year is named “Alternative Queen” and the general feeling it gives me is a mixture of grunge and girlyness – so pretty typical Katie I guess haha. But this time they have taken the grunge side even further you could say! This autumn Katie draws inspiration from Courtney Love and the collection even includes a few pieces that are basically reproductions of Love`s iconic outfits. These pieces will surely be popular and the “Nobody`s daughter” dress that came to the stores first is already sold out.

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These two dresses called “Retard Girl courtney dress” (that really is the name of the dress…. the name comes from a song by Hole) and “Nobody´s daughter baby dress” and they are based on dresses Courtney wore.

I must admit I don`t know that much about Courtney Love but I like her style. I actually ended up listening to her band “Hole” a little inspired by Katie heh… But I still need to figure out how I feel about their music! Courtney`s style in the 90s was really girly and cool: peter pan collared dresses, leopard pattern and lingerie style satin dresses.

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original dresses that Courteny Love wore (Miss World and Retard Girl).

Actually when I googled her pictures I realised that Katie has been inspired by her for years already and I noticed Courtney wearing many very familiar looking Katie-like pieces. Katie has for example produced clothes such as t-shirts and badges with graphics that are clearly inspired by Courtney`s band “Hole”. Already several years ago they also made their first version of the “Miss World” dress which was a hit product already back then.

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Risa Nakamura and Amo wearing the first Katie “Miss World” dress from A/W 2012 collection.

Apparently Courtney Love and her personal style may be a bit topical right now because I just found out Nasty Gal made a collaboration with her around last January. Unfortunately all the best pieces seem to be already sold out, meh, but luckily Katie offers some lovely pieces inspired by her too! ; )

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These outfits are some of my favourites from the collection. I love the red “UNDER PRETTIES turtle neck”! The velvet camisole dress which comes in dark red, black and pink is also very cute.

While Katie`s AW15 collection was sweet, pink, fluffy and just super cute their AW16 seems more edgy and a little more mature. The colour palette they have used is more toned down (last autumn`s fuchsia pink is gone! snift…) and there are a few new colour additions to the typical Katie colour scheme: red and charcoal grey. Like last autumn I still have a crush on red colour so seeing some Katie “classics” now available in red is great news for me. This collection includes more sheer, lingerie style pieces than their AW15 and also several velvet pieces that are cozy and cute for autumn and winter time.

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“Dress IN VELVET” set and “Miss World courtney dress”: I have a feeling that this dress will be one of the most popular pieces in this collection.

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These two looks are also among my faves. The Fluffy short cardigan on the right is surely one of my favourite items!

I personally like this collection a lot: it is quite different from last year but I think it includes many clothes I could see myself wearing. My ultimate favourites aka the things that go to my wishlist (certainly “wish”list haha) are the Under Pretties turtle neck (red), the Miss World dress, Dress in Velvet skirt (black), the big velvet hair bow (red) and the short Fluffy cardigan (red or vanilla maybe?).

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My favourite accessories from this collections are the velvet bows that come in two sizes.

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These necklaces are really cute but I´d probably prefer them with another text. :’)

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Classical one-strap shoes and a chocolate inspired hat box. Like Sara Mari already pointed out on her blog many accessories of this collection seem have a strong chocolate theme!

 

Sara Mari also shared her thoughts about the collection on her blog right after the release of the lookbook so her post about the subject might interest you as well! The looks I shared in this posts are only some of my personal favourites, you can find the whole lookbook from here.

How do you feel about this collection? Is it a hit or miss? ; ) Which pieces are your personal favourites?

image sources: all the Katie pictures, The Courtney Love pictures

Trends and popular pieces in Japan Summer 2016

Now it has been about two weeks since I returned from Japan and I finally managed to finish my first post inspired by the trip! First I am going to ramble a little about some trendy items that caught my eye during my trip!

I am not 100% aware what are “the official mainstream trends” (in Japan or generally) this summer but these pieces/elements are something that I ended up spotting quite often. Someone else could probably pay attention to different things than I did and of course I might have even missed out some really obvious trends. My personal information is based on what I saw people wearing in Kyoto and Tokyo and I am talking only about women`s fashion. :)

two jacket styles I have spotted: U.S military style jacket and the MA-1 bomber style jacket

Jackets by Wego, Ingni and orSlow

MA-1 AND MILITARY STYLE JACKETS / KHAKI

MA-1 jacket trend seems to be really strong in Japan right now and I remember this trend being popular already last winter: now trendy girls seemed to be wearing lighter summer versions of this popular style. Even though I saw some fashionable Japanese girls wearing MA-1 jackets already a few years ago I must admit I grew to like this trend really slowly and only rather recently. After seeing so many girls wearing cute over sized khaki green jackets I suddenly realised I had started to like this look a lot too! Well, maybe MA-1 style could be considered as one kind of classic? Hehe… The funny thing is that I never realised to pay attention if MA-1 jackets are a trend in Europe too (or more specifically in Finland) and I don`t remember spotting them that much… Randomly a few days ago I happened to check out H&M`s Autumn catalog and there they were: khaki green MA-1 jackets! So apparently this style is also a global trend at the moment? : )

This summer many Japanese brands offer MA-1 jackets in several colours such as pastel pink and cream but to me it seems like the classical khaki version is still the most popular by far. Generally speaking khaki seems to be really trendy colour this summer and I saw it almost everywhere in Japan: in jackets, tops, skirts etc. Besides bomber style MA-1 jackets I spotted other khaki coloured military style coats. I think some of the jackets even had “U.S Army” patches on them so first I thought they would be vintage but it I hard to tell. I noticed that at least WEGO is making them with the U.S patches (the first image from the left)… :’)

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E hyphen world gallery BonBon / Crayme / Ingni

CULOTTE PANTS / WIDE PANTS

Besides khaki coloured clothes I noticed that one of this summer`s biggest trend in Japan was Culottes and wide pants. I think they must be pretty practical and nice in Japanese summer! Most commonly I saw these pants worn in solid, often earthly tones such as (surprise, surprise!) khaki or black but sometimes also some patterns were used such as the flower pattern on BonBon`s version.

This is a trend I don`t see myself following (at least yet, heh…) since I hardly ever wear trousers but it suits others nicely! I am curious to see if this trend is going to remain popular also next summer or not since I don`t remember seeing this style much still a few years ago (at least in Finland, unfortunately I don`t know about Japan!). Besides Culotte style pants a bit similar looking style created with a long, loose skirt appeared popular!

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Monki`s denim button skirt vs. Katie`s version.

A-LINE DENIM BUTTON SKIRT / DENIM

Third kind of mainstream trend that I spotted in Japan is denim: one of the most popular items seemed to be a-line skirt with a button row in the front! I think I saw lots of these especially in Kyoto for some reason. I actually ended up buying the same style skirt from Monki just before my trip because I felt like I didn`t have enough basic versatile skirts. Buying the skirt turned out to be a great decision since I ended up wearing my skirt a loooot. It is really easy to combine with almost any top! Maybe this is why it is such a popular piece? ; )

Besides denim skirts I spotted lots of denim jackets (often oversized) and even some “all denim” coordinates with jeans and a same shade denim jacket! Loose, a little wide 80s style jeans seemed to be one of the most popular style.

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slip dresses by Wego and Rope’ Picnic

A CAMISOLE / A SLIP DRESS OVER A SHIRT 

When talking about tops wearing a lingerie style camisole over a t-shirt seemed to be super popular and this trend has been going on for a while already. Most commonly I saw loose black camisoles worn over a loose white t-shirt but of course other combinations appeared too. Usually the camisoles worn over the top were rather minimalistic and simple but also lacy lingerie style camisoles (and slip dresses) caught me eye sometimes.

Another version of this look was to wear lingerie like slip dress over a t-shirt. The interesting thing about this kind of style to me is that you could think that wearing lingerie looking pieces as outerwear would almost automatically make the look a bit sexy or brave but I felt that most of the time this kind of combo came across just effortless and even a bit casual. In Japan it is also suprisingly common to see people wearing tops and dresses like babydolls that reveal your shoulders over a t-shirt so this type of look doesn`t feel totally new to me.

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Wonder Rocket, Katie and Wego

PUFFY TOPS

Besides a “camisole over a t-shirt” -look one of the most popular tops this summer were puffy tops. When checking out different clothing shops I noticed several brands selling this style: Katie, Wego, Wonder Rocket, Bubbles… Just to name a few! I find this style really girly and cute and last summer I also ended up getting two sheer black tops like this myself.

This summer I saw puffy tops most often in light colours such as light yellow, white and pink and they were usually worn with a mini skirt. Besides solid tops also sheer versions of this style seemed to be kind of popular and for example Katie and Rose Marie Seoir stocked tops like this.

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Supreme.La.La. and nano・universe

V-NECK PINAFORE DRESS 

This trend wasn`t probably among the most mainstream trends but I managed to spot pinafore style dresses often enough to pay attention to them so I added them into the list anyway! Somehow it was really hard for me to find pictures of the exact type of pinafore dresses I saw in Japan and first I didn`t even remember the correct term for them (vest dress? jumper dress???). In the end I managed to find something similar enough and the nano・universe`s version is kind of close to what I mean but maybe slightly longer. Most often I spotted pinafore dresses in black with a very deep V-shaped neckline and with a fitted waistline. People who wore this style were usually really stylish and seemed to prefer rather minimalistic look.

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Katie`s Pancake hat and ONSPOTZ`s fedora

LIGHT-COLOURED FEDORA STYLE HAT

This trend was something I didn`t notice until my boyfriend pointed it out for me. When he commented about it I realised that many girls indeed were wearing fedoras or hats similar to them. Once again (……erh) I must admit that first I didn`t even know what name for this style of hats was! While writing this post I noticed that Universal Doll just had a very similar post about Japanese summer trends and I was curious to read what Mitsu had spotted. By reading her post I accidentally found out the specific term for the hats I saw hahah… So yes! Just like Mitsu already reported white and light coloured summer fedoras seemed really popular! Besides fedoras other a little similar style hats appeared popular too and I often saw hats that reminded me a little of Katie`s Pancake hat from their SS16.

That was about it! ^__^ I plan to keep blogging about some things that inspired and excited me during the trip but it will take a while before I have all my material edited and posts written (I am awfully slow at writing my posts, huh!). But yes, I think you can expect a small series of Japan themed posts coming up sooner or later! : ) Thanks for reading!

How do you feel about these trends? Have you spotted the same trends in Japan or elsewhere? : )