Toga Universe

Toga Universe

I have to thank the kind folks at Elle Girl Japan (yup, it still exists there…) who took me on a whirlwind shopping tour around Tokyo facilitating me the opportunity to take pictures without having to awkwardly pull out a piece of paper with a dorky bit of text in Japanese saying "I'm a fashion blogger.  I get this many hits a day.  I like your store.  Please allow me to take pictures for my blog."

Of course in many stores in Tokyo, like in most big cities, taking pictures is not normally allowed unless pre-arranged so in the case of going to Toga's Harajuku store, I was especially grateful for the Elle Girl peeps' help.  It wasn't that long ago that I heaped love over Toga, one of the more well-established Japanese labels that is fairly well stocked when compared to its other contemporaries.  Yasuka Furuta seems to have managed to blend her love of vintage clothes to create several lines of clothing that deconstruct and reconstruct until it makes complete sense.  It's actually quite hard to place a style genre on Toga clothing and that's precisely what I like about it – there's an ambiguity that works well when you're buying a piece or two (sadly for most, Toga isn't for bulk buying as most of the pieces are fairly expensive… which makes each piece all the more special…).  My own Toga count is now up to four pieces and they seemingly aren't linked to one another but it's a certain detail that I pick up on which makes it special be it a tactile bit of grey patent in a biker jacket or an original marble print on a pair of wrapover trousers.


I've already harped over the S/S 11 collection filled with flocked leopard print of all sorts which LN-CC and Feathers in London have picked upon.  In the Harajuku store, the full collection was on display.  Toga in abundance is pure joy to me when I normally just see it in dribs and drabs and in singular pieces buried on rails.  To see the full range kind of made me a little overly giddy…



In particular, it was great to see the full range of shoes that Toga have designed to complement the flocked leopard print…





Toga Archives is the mainline but the store also houses subsidiary lines such as Toga Picta, a line that indulges Christmas Tree fancies where old Toga pieces are deconstructed and decorated with vintage trimmings taken from Furuta's own collection.  The effect is something that is more dishevelled and haphazard than the mainline and perhaps less 'trend' orientated but definitely reflects Furuta's own pick n' mix design philosophy.  This is also the basis of Toga's other vintage up-cycling initiative wherby Furuta buys up deadstock of Dickies trousers and then embellishes them with trims that have come from Toga's studio renewing them.  If it weren't for the fact that Dickies material scratches the hell out of my thighs then I would have plumped for a pair…



Toga Pulla, the more 'casual' line to Toga was also fully present in the store and is definitely impossible to find in Europe.  I say 'casual' but with S/S 11 containing well-draped scarf prints (created by Furuta herself), lush navy dresses with interesting ruched detailing and military-inspired cut-out trenches, there is actually nothing remotely diffusion-y about Toga Pulla and really stands as its own line against the mainline. 


In an annexe off the store is a cosy hut housing Furuta's collection of vintage clothes that are also available to buy.  Her picks are concise but interesting.  I'll delve into Tokyo's choice selection of vintage in another post…



I couldn't leave without a few things in hand for the pure reason that my "I can't buy this in London/Europe" rule totally applied in this instance.  This Toga Archives stretch kilt/skirt with fringing needs a few more experimentations with its layering potential but whilst in Tokyo, I got it together with a vintage slip and a very un-Uniqlo UT shirt for Uniqlooks, to play around with the one-size stretchiness of the skirt…

(For UNIQLooks: Worn with vintage slip, Uniqlo UT floral print t-shirt, Zanita x Funkis clogs)




Perusing the A/W 11-12 lookbooks on a CD disc got me simultaneously excited and sad.  Having discovered the full Toga universe in its Tokyo Harajuku store, with all its lines and accessories, it's going to be a bit difficult knowing full well that there's always going to be limitation as to the selection of Toga stock in London/Europe.  I'm not going to lie though.  The trip fully impelled me to make going to Tokyo an annual occurence so there's hope yet.  This is Toga's A/W 11-12 Pulla collection full of cosy layerings of fleece, denim, velvet and satin all styled up in a way that for me sums up my ideal winter formula of five-plus layers…






For Toga Archives' mainline, it gets slightly more decorative as again and I suppose there are riffs off of a certain 'ladylike' dressing that stays true to the rest of the A/W 11-12 season.  The prim bows, capes of brocade, shaved furs and longer lengths of skirt though are imbued with a playfulness that sees geometric embroidery, unexpected layers and colours like yellow/lime and coral pink thrown in to ensure nothing is overly 'chi-chi'. 


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Leave a comment
  1. salome

    2011-05-31 at 10:51 AM

    Looooove love lvoe
    I want the green boots… .D

  2. Brigita

    2011-05-31 at 11:07 AM

    Shoes looks jummy
    Keep up the great work! 🙂
    new blog
    x Brigita

  3. Priscilla Oyedepo

    2011-05-31 at 11:10 AM

    I so want that white fringe material belt you have on? where can I get it?.. very cute:)

  4. bestie

    2011-05-31 at 11:12 AM

    Un. Frickin. Believable. I am drooling.

  5. Duck

    2011-05-31 at 11:39 AM

    Argh I desperately need to get myself to Tokyo or Antwerp or anywhere that isn’t London/Paris to get some new clothes! I’m tiring of wearing the same old brands, and you keep showing me wonderful ideas like Toga!…save..up…

  6. Natalie

    2011-05-31 at 11:59 AM

    very unique!

  7. BeLighter

    2011-05-31 at 12:00 PM

    Amazing photos! Love the footwear! And those vintage findings!!!

  8. Susan

    2011-05-31 at 12:20 PM

    I hadn’t thought about being unable to photograph in stores…makes sense though! Guess I’ve just been lucky so far! Having things you need to communicate written out in Japanese is a brilliant idea. I spent most of my time in Tokyo walking up to others and pointing at a particular place on a map with a clueless expression on my face. Did seem to work alright though!

  9. Leather Pants

    2011-05-31 at 12:28 PM

    Very nice collection & unique collection….
    thanks to share….

  10. Sarah

    2011-05-31 at 12:45 PM

    Oh these are such beautiful pictures, I am so glad that you got permission to take photos indoors.

  11. filippa

    2011-05-31 at 6:04 PM

    creepy retouch of her legs……… so anorectic.


    2011-06-01 at 12:04 AM

    i heart the footwears also! those are one truly bubble-icious find!

  13. Glam Fashionista

    2011-06-01 at 1:18 AM

    I love all the shoes especially the open toe leopard

  14. margie

    2011-06-01 at 3:37 AM

    thanks for your hsare
    great blog
    amazing clothes
    Amazing photos! Love the footwear! And those vintage findings!!! dell inspiron 1545 adapter

  15. adam

    2011-06-01 at 4:25 AM

    I love the style!especially the second
    why i post faiutlly?

  16. Jessica

    2011-06-01 at 8:08 AM

    Hope Japan’s alright . Gosh ! the clothes are gorgeous .

  17. high heel sandal

    2011-06-01 at 10:48 AM

    So cool!good post!

  18. Joy

    2011-08-09 at 11:42 AM

    The post is helpful,expect the more picture of the design dress.If there is fashion purse for the clothes is more perfect.

  19. ethan

    2011-09-21 at 5:16 PM

    Beautiful items, the last one is fabulous!
    canvas art prints

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