A Collage I made before going to Japan. I used it as a checklist during the trip to keep in mind which kind of items I wanted to look for.
I am really really trying to practise “Buy less, choose well” kind of attitude. One and half a year ago I decided to start keeping a proper wishlist* to avoid impulse buys. : ) Besides having a wishlist I have lately gotten really into making inspiration collages of clothes and items I like! I have always enjoyed displaying my collections and organizing things into nice looking compositions on my shelves. That is probably why I enjoy making digital collages as well! I often use at least some things from my wishlist but also other nice clothes and accessories that help me to make the wholeness more interesting and cute. : ) Generally speaking making collages like this can be fun and even a little bit useful! Hehe…
Clothes and things mostly by Katie and Bubbles.
I make the collages mostly for fun but at the same time I feel they give me extra inspiration and motivation. : ) Although the idea would be fascinating (hehe), the main point of my collages is not to try to get every single item featured but rather be inspired. Ideally doing collages with possible outfits can help me to see which items from my wishlist work together or if I already own something that could work in a little similar kind of coordinates in real life.
My newest collage! At the moment I am really into fuchsia x black combination… This time I decided to use a few items I already own.
I personally do all my collages with photoshop, but if you don`t have photoshop there are some mobile applications and such to create similar kind of stuff. My favourite application for this is aillis camera which allows you to do quick and simple collages with your phone. Another easy way to check how some items roughly look together is by print screening some arranged views from your computer. I use Mac and personally I do this by selecting several pictures and opening them all together in preview (and then taking a screenshot). If you find nice things and ideas from magazines (that you dare to cut) making cut and paste collages could also be a great idea! ^__^ Good luck!
*My wishlist is a folder on my computer where I collect images of products/clothes/etc. I like. Then I keep a list of the prices and rank everything to figure out which items I would like to buy the most. : )
Japan is a dreamland for cute and interesting stuff, so finding nice things to buy shouldn`t be a problem. Before travelling to Japan I was already fascinated by traditional Japanese wooden toys etc. so I tried to keep my eyes peeled for such things during my trip there last summer. In the end finding old traditional toys turned out to be harder than I thought! Maybe I looked from the wrong places… Anyway, instead I managed to find some kind of traditional and really fun souvenirs. Besides all these things were pretty affordable! All of the items I got were under 2000 yen, most of them were actually under 1000 yen (per item).
Here are my favourite souvenir kind of things from the trip:
“Souvenirs from Japan” -figurines
Japan has lots of interesting vending machines but my favourites were these “Souvenirs from Japan” -vending machines. I think there were at least three different kinds of vending machines and each of them included several different toys. The toys are based on traditional Japanese toys and even though they are made of plastic the quality is really nice! Me and my boyfriend just had to get several of them! For once we got super lucky and managed to get different toys every time expect once. These toys are slightly more expensive (400 yen) than most of vending machine toys, but still not too pricey I think. : )
I think I have found world`s cutest matchbooks… When we were visiting Okayama`s Aeon shopping centre I came across with a shop that sold all kind of local crafts. I immediately noticed these matchbooks! The packaging is simple, but so unique and creative. I can`t remember the exact price anymore, but it was definitely under 1000 yen, maybe 200-500 yen/per package? There were also several different animals to choose from but for some reason I ended up getting only these two sets (big regret…). I know for sure that I can`t bring myself to use these ever haha…
When visiting a flea market that took place at the garden of a temple in Kyoto we came across with a man who made traditional Japanese paper toys called hariko. The man had made several kinds of paper toys but I ended up buying only this small brooch. I think it was only about 800 yen and later I started to regret that I didn`t buy more things from him. His style to paint the figurines was really nice!
Traditional style dog plush
This soft toy was also bought from Okayama`s Aeon from a lovely design/crafts shop (which name I can`t unfortunately remember anymore). I have no idea what they call this type of toys or if it even is traditional style but I thought the dog was very sympathetic looking! I liked the crafty feeling on it. ; ) This toy was around 1500-1800 yen, I think.
I am not 100 % sure how you are supposed to use these towels but if I understood right maybe like dishcloth/teatowel? Feel free to correct me! In any case, these towels were super affordable! I think they cost only about 200-400 yen each and you were able to buy different kinds of towels from different places. Me and my boyfriend ended up getting one from Nara (towel with deers) and another from Okayama (with folklore hero Momotaro). Both towels were bought from pretty regular kind of souvenir shop. Again, Japanese packaging is just too beautiful to be opened…
Second hand kokeshi doll
One of my main missions during my trip was to find a perfect, possibly a bit older kokeshi doll. I did see lots of kokeshi dolls in several places but somehow none of them gave me this “ooh, this is the one“-feeling. I sometimes came across with a wooden box full of kokeshi dolls and they were all nice, but “just nice”. I couldn`t decide which of them was my favourite so I couldn`t bring myself to pick one… In the end of the trip I had already given up with kokeshi dolls until we went to Kamarakura for a day trip. There while walking on a small street, I noticed a wooden box in the front of a tiny shop. Inside it there were several kokeshi but one caught my eye immediately. Most kokeshi dolls I had seen were painted with red and black with maybe a pinch of green. Unlike the others, this one was painted with black and grey tones and I really liked the painting style! I saw that the doll was 1800 yen and I rushed to buy it! I believe that you can find even better kokeshi deals from flea markets and such but this kokeshi felt special to me so I didn`t mind. I must say I have become really attached to this doll during a short time. It is definitely one of my favourite things I got from Japan!
Lingerie looks by Lilicious. I think that the both styles have a nice vintage feeling in them.
I think that lingerie or lingerie-style pieces worn as outerwear with everyday clothes make really nice outfits! These kinds of looks are often sophisticated but still cute and a little sexy. Lingerie-style pieces seem to be trendy this autumn so they are available from several Japanese brands. Looking at lookbooks that feature this kind of style inspire me a lot, but the fun thing is that you can find similar style lingerie also as second hand. So recreating this kind of looks can be easy and affordable!
Tops by Honey Cinnamon and lilLilly.
Besides lingerie or lingerie-style pieces sheer items generally are great for layering cute and very larme-kei (a term to describe Larme magazine`s style) looks. I think that sheer tops made of mesh or lace look especially nice with solid ribbed turtle necks and long sleeved tops!
Risa Nakamura often wears coordinations with sheer layering items. Her collection with Bubbles naturally included also perfect clothes for this purpose like the bolero top pictured.
Retro girl (and poodles…)
I still see many Japanese brands producing clothes that give me nice retro/vintage vibes, though girly retro style isn`t probably as trendy now as it was some years ago. Because I am a 60s lover I still get excited about items that bring cute mod girls, boudoir babes or such to my mind. : ) Last autumn/winter I remember seeing some cute matching sets and I am secretly hoping to find similar stuff this year too! I´d love to find a perfect matching top x skirt set at some point! I wish I knew how to sew haha…
I came across with Japanese brand called “Pui” only recently and I absolutely adore this set by them! Too bad it is currently sold out…
Katie`s A/W lookbook styles with a little retro vibe. I remember seeing authentic vintage skirts with a poodle detail very similar to the skirt on the right.
As I already mentioned on my other post poodles seem to be doing at least a small comeback this autumn. At least when talking about Katie, poodles are very present on their Pink Hits A/W collection! Generally speaking I love how Katie seems to actively draw inspiration from vintage fashion every year: did you know that their poodle bag (bottom image) is based on a vintage Barbie`s poodle bag? Vintage Barbie seems to be one of Katie`s fashion idols since this is not the first time Katie has items inspired by her. ; )
Katie`s poodle bags are to die for…
Leopard / Dalmatian pattern
Risa Nakamura wearing Bubbles` dalmatian skirt and on the right Katie shop staff girl Hinako(?) wearing a cardigan with leopard collar detail.
Generally speaking I am not the biggest fan of animal prints. However about 6 years ago I started to like leopard pattern, which looks actually kind of classical to me. Especially when worn with black colour! I only have a few leopard pattern pieces but lately I have got interested in it again. I also recently found my love for dalmatian kind of pattern that I have seen appearing in Bubbles` and Wego`s recent collections for example. I love black x white combo, and the dalmatian pattern is really cute! Some other animal patterns like tiger or zebra are not (at least yet) my cup of tea, but I am all for the dalmatian and leopard hehe…
Lillilly`s dalmatian wintercoat and Peco version of Bubbles’ dalmatian skirt.
Classical vintage style coats
I adore the style of these two Titty&Co winter coats.
This year I have been eyeing rather classical autumn and winter coats and I adore Titty&Co`s selection! Their collection includes several classical, long wool coats which I could imagine so well on Catherine Deneuve or some other 60s actress. The faded lilac shade looks especially nice to me and I like the big collars my example coats have. I must say that the idea of a red winter coat with a retro feeling also fascinates me a little, but I am not sure do I lean more towards that or Titty&Co`s harmonic shades. Not like I was 100% sure if I am even getting a new winter jacket this year though, hehe… At least I should probably get rid of my old coats I haven`t worn after high school…
Thank you if you took your time and ended up reading about my inspirations and thoughts!
What things inspire you this autumn/winter? Did you share some Japanese fashion favourites with me? ; )
Girl`s style book is a book that is full of small ideas and inspiration for decorating a girl´s room (or anyone`s room who enjoys this kind of aesthetics haha). The book features several kinds of vintage toys such as pose dolls, roly-poly toys, plushes and girly accessories. There are also some interesting interior pictures included! For some reason a few of the pages are in black and white, but that didn`t bother me personally at all. : )
Girl`s style book was published in 2002 which surprised me a little because it doesn`t look too outdated and I still find the layout very appealing. It is interesting to see different kinds of old toys that I have never seen before, I wish I could read the text parts too! :’ ) There are also some toys that I have randomly seen on eBay before!
I got this book from Mandarake`s book selection from Japan last summer, but it seems to be available on amazon.jp for example. : ) If you don`t know Japanese there is an English version of the website available that makes ordering lots of easier!
I really like girly and vintage inspired clothes, and especially in Japan these styles are well presented and quite easily available. I think the brands there show a lot of creativity, I love how unique and cute ideas they often have. I also like the fact that several brands seem to be focused on certain kind of look instead of creating their collections purely based on current trends or to please larger audiences. Browsing Japanese fashion magazines inspires me a lot, especially “reading” Larme magazine which features girly but slightly more mature looks.
Again, I am not a trend expert or anything but I thought it could be fun to share some of my favorite autumn/winter pieces and ideas with you! I try not to follow trends too eagerly, but rather find inspiration and things that suit my existing style the best. : )
These two posts focus mainly on my current favourite brands, so I apologise if the result feels rather narrow or monotonous to some of you.
Modern sailor girl
lilLilly`s sailor style dress vs. Katie`s similar kind of dress
One of my favourite pieces this autumn are the sailor inspired dresses by lilLilly and Katie! I find these two designs surprisingly similar: both dresses have cute pockets and a button row in front. Instead of using the classical navy blue both brands have gone for a little different colors this time and I think that the result is very freshening! I am a fan of vintage inspired sailor looks but sometimes it is easy to accidentally create cosplay-like looks with sailor themed elements. That is something I personally try to avoid since it makes me feel a bit out of place.
lilLilly`s dress is made of velvet which seems to be a trend material in Japan this autumn. Lately I have seen several brands introducing velvet items! The both dresses become in three different colors (lilLilly: white, black and peach / Katie: pink, olive and black), my personal favorites are probably peach and black.
Sweet x leather
On left Risa Nakamura x Bubbles collaboration coordination featuring a faux leather skirt with lace trim. Katie`s autumn lookbook coordination on right also has a faux leather skirt, this time with girly ruffle trim.
Combining sweet and girly elements with leather or pvc is not a new idea, but this autumn it seems to be visibly popular again. The combinations I have personally liked the most feature black faux leather combined with lighter colors such as pink or white. Again, Katie`s A/W collection includes a few faux leather items suitable for this kind of looks. But since Katie is a little on the pricier side I was happy to see that Risa Nakamura`s collaboration collection with Bubbles also had slightly similar style skirt which I ended up grabbing.
A bit newer Japanese brand named Fallin´also features pvc/faux leather items in their new lookbook. To me their collection seems quite bold and fetish inspired rather than super sweet.
I love this old streetsnap of Risa wearing a fluffy sweater and a faux leather skirt! Too cute…
Fluffy and soft
Fluffy looks by lilLilly and Lilicious.
Fluffy materials have seemed popular already for a few years or so. Like last autumn/winter many Japanese brands seem to have fluffy cardigans, marabou shoes and such in their selections. I am still very into fluffy materials myself so I really like how much fluffyness especially lilLilly`s/Lilicious` A/W collection has. Like I already mentioned in my 60s inspiration post I am really into red so Lilicious` fluffy set above makes me drool a little haha.
Katie`s long fluffy pastel cardigans look comfy but cute!
My last autumn`s pom pom obsession hasn`t healed yet either so I am happy to see that several brands are still producing items with pom pom details… ; ) Poodles seem to be some kind of trend also this year (more about poodles in part 2) and meanwhile I have managed to develop a little crush on them haha! I must say that I was little surprised to like Ank Rouge`s poodle cardigan on bottom left though since usually I am allergic to cardigans with zippers. I used to have a few super hideous zipper cardigans when I was in my early teens, so I am still a little suspicious if I am ready to like this kind of designs. : D
Poodles and pom poms! Ank Rouge`s items are not usually exactly my style but I like several things from their autumn collection!