F.A.K.E.

I actually had very few shops on my pre-planned list in Tokyo.  I knew about areas and planned on walking about until stumbling onto places as well as relying heavily on Superfuture's Tokyo maps.  The one shop that I did have in my mind was Candy, which was just so happened to be on my Elle Girl Tokyo shopping route.  I vaguely heard about Candy through the numerous exhibitions they have done with the likes of Craig Lawrence and from their brandlist, there's definitely a leniance towards the underground-y labels of London – KTZ, Gemma Slack, Astrid Anderson, Fanny & Jessy – the sort of clothes that I alas, can only wear in dribs and drabs with a total lack of conviction and others can pull off head-to-toe with bombastic flair.

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However, as I got to this strange mini Centre Pompidou-type building in Shibuya, I realised that Candy was actually under the umbrella of Fake which operates as a showroom and the overarching e-commerce site.  Under Fake Tokyo, sits Candy on the ground floor, a more feminine boutique Sister on the second floor and a gallery space on the third floor. 

Up at Sister it seemingly looked like a well-selected vintage store but actually delving into the rails threw up a few surprises that makes this vintage/boutique hybrid hard to categorise.  There is a definite mood of decades gone by without being too overly retro…

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They create their own printed tights, all the better to show off their selection of vintage shoes which spanned the decades but because they were all in such good condition, you could mistake them for being new. 

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I kept on gravitating towards all the early 90s shoes that could have been plucked out of Dolcis, my beloved naff shoe store of British high street yesteryear.  I spotted a few Miu Miu, Vivienne Westwood gems too…

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Familiar names would pop up quite unexpectedly at Sister such as David Longshaw's jewellery… I was trying to explain to the staff that David's girlfriend Kirsty Ward helps him out with the jewellery but something got a bit lost and I just nodded along with the chorus of "Kawai!!"

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This may be the first time I've seen Marios Schwab's S/S 11 collection on the rails with so many sales-pieces – printed totes, belts, t-shirts with lace-ups and tattoo prints – and actually made me fall back in love with a collection that I didn't fully 'get' the first time round…

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Hiroki Fuyuri (thanks Misha for the correction – I'm a name dunce), one of the staff was sweet enough to let me take her picture and actually in general, I've found shop staff in all the Tokyo shops I visited really inspiring in the way they fitted in with their retail surroundings.  All the better that Tokyo shops also tend to have really well-updated blogs where shop staff are happy to throw a few cute poses in the new arrivals and Sister's in-house blog is definitely a good example (they have an older archive blog…) 

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I also snapped Yumi, the buyer and director of Sister who was wearing a Peter Pilotto skirt in a coquettish way that I've never seen done before with Pilotto…

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These pair of vintage wedges didn't escape my totally pre-meditated shopping splurge…

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Pretty much everything is available to buy if you read Japanese, have Google Translate and can negotiate some sort of Japanese shipping deal.  So not at all complex then!  Still, I was basically using their exhaustive brandlist to use as a Japanese young designer cheat sheet.  There were some I knew but frankly, most were a mystery to me.  Sister did stock the ones that were vaguely in my head though… Akira Naka was one of them and for S/S 11, he's done a lot of landscape-derived prints…

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Malcolm Guerre might sound Western but is a Tokyo-based jewellery label that does lovely things with big blocky crystals and grosgrain ribbon…

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Sachio Kawasaki is another one I remember as I think he was a CSM graduate.  He's got a lot of lux leather pieces in at the moment // Mural does subtly psychedelic prints.

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Down the stairs was Candy whose interiors I sort of recongise from blurry Twitpic pics of people partying there going "CANDY is AWESOME!".  Like I said, the brandlist is definitely nu-wave/rave/grave-centric with a LOT of familiar London labels that are the sort that could say "But I'm HUGE in Japan…!" 

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However, what intrigued me most were their selection of Tokyo designers with menswear being a particular stronghold.  It has to be said that this trip has made me ever more drawn into the mystery world that is menswear with Steve enthusing over everything and me, unable to resist the lure of Tokyo menswear designers who fuse genres and sub-cultural references to create their own namesake style.  A lot of the Japanese fashion folk have commented on the rise of young menswear in Tokyo fashion which unfortuantely leaves a bit of a blank in womenswear.  Still, I'll borrow if I have to, especially when it comes to designers such as Christian Dada (seen here on the left).  For a better understanding of the intricacies of the Tokyo fashion scene, Tokyo Telephone does a fine fine job in blurbing about Dada and its brand of luxury punk

On the right is a sheer printed top from Phenomenon's S/S 11 collection which was RIGHT up my street regardless of its gender intention.  Phenomenon is definitely up there in my list of menswear brands that I'd be happy to wear and designer Takeshi Osumi seems to be unstoppable in his bid to become a cult favourite of Japan as well as internationally. 

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Tokyo Telephone also provides a really great explanation behind Cos-Play derived designers such as Junya Suzuki who designed this top that actually comprises a set of robot-derived pieces that are to be layered together….

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Shop and press manager Shogo was on hand to a) look the part representing the Candy aesthetic and b) guide me through all the new names that I was being confronted with.  He also pops up on the Candy blog a lot…

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Again, the e-shop was sort of essential in helping me wade through the names that I saw at the shop.  I liked the compositions of Runurunu, which seemed to use different cut-up sportswear parts to piece together tops and dresses.  I particularly liked the unexpected colour combinations….

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Balmung is a designer that I only know through the grapevine because it is actually now stocked in London at Primitive in Hackney.  I'll be checking Primitive out this weekend to continue my Tokyo-trippin' // Naoshi Sawayanagi does something that's actually GOOD to faded black denim

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Kazushihara does the job of mixing prints and layering for you with these combined leggings and skirts // Shinsuke Morishita jacket that has the right touch of Cyberdog-derived patterns – why does that deranged Camden joint keep dogging me these days? 

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14 Replies to “F.A.K.E.”

  1. Are you sure that the yellow and green lace-up wedges are vintage? Last year Anthropologie (and Modcloth as well) was selling a VERY similar pair! I can’t find a photo online but I swear they are the same shoes.
    As always, a great post!

  2. ^I think Sister sell a lot of deadstock, recent shoes too… not vintage but they are definitely used… the brand is Matiko… oh wells good that I got to them the second time round!

  3. I know I’ve said it before, but huge thanks for the links! We’re beaming from ear to ear at Telephone Towers!
    On a slightly more serous note, I’m really glad to see some positive coverage of Tokyo/Japan. The events of 3/11 have had phenomenally negative impact on the Japanese economy, so it’s more important than ever (as well as donations to charities, etc) to continue to show that Tokyo is actually okay and open for business and tourism as such. Vive la Tokyo fashion!

  4. I have those same shoes…they where from Anthropology though and they were on sale for 70 dollars I think.

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