Next Stop: Gotemba

Next Stop: Gotemba

For some reason outlet mall shopping is one of those things that I'm always slightly ashamed to say that I'm doing.  Somehow hopping on the tube/bus to a sample sale in London or clicking about on eBay/flash sale/Yoox is not the same thing as planning a day trip with 1-2 hour train rides involved that is SOLEY focused on discounted shopping.  That's EFFORT. 

Sounds ridiculous when you think of the sort of things I do for a bargain – queuing in sweaty hot weather or snow (yes, that's you Christopher Kane sample sale‚Ķ), setting alarms for eBay auctions at 3am in the morning and sustaining elbow injuries (I bruise VERY easily like a defective apple…).  I suppose there's also the feeling of a designated outlet mall, filled with basic brick buildings geared towards sterilised discount shopping and lacking in the friendly camaraderie of a messy sample sale, that generally lessens the thrill seeking element of the stuff you buy.

The feeling of shoe-gazing shame definitely crept in as we took a two hour train ride to Gotemba right on the Mount Fuji trail, near the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park for one sole purpose.  To admire the landscape?  To go find inner peace at a temple?  To try a nearby onsen and stay in a traditional ryokan?  No, we got off the train, took a special bus to Gotemba Premium Outlets, part of the group that operate all over USA and sought to get discounted Prada/Miu Miu/Yohji/whatever was going with below-par katsu curry to fuel us for the day‚Ķ

If it was a clear day, you can in fact see Mount Fuji from the outlet centre.  It was pissing down with rain the day we went, so fortunately I didn't have to do the walk of shame, going from east to west side of the centre, whilst confronted by the magnitude of Fuji.  We err‚Ķ saw SOME landscape though.  The mall is built over some sort of a ravine and is set into a mountain so that there are trickling waters, craggy rocksand lush greenery to be seen from the less scenic brick outlet stores of Balenciaga and YSL.  We ticked the nature box!  Yay us!

In truth, it's all down to a certain Mr Oh who a year ago, hauled an envious load of discounted Jil Sander at Gotemba, and has since sworn by the centre's abilities to produce serious bargains.  It was at Jil Sander where I therefore did the same, with a collection that happens to rank right up there in my personal favourite Simons for Sander moments.  In the Jil Sander outlet store, there sat a rail full of S/S 08 pieces at 90% off.  Remember?  Those sunset colours gradiating from perfect pinks and oranges to a dove grey blue?  This collection passed by on Yoox at smaller discounts, but to see it all in person on a singular rail with crossed off prices triggered off a fruit machine KER-CHING in my head, that resulted in my buying a pair of candy pink trousers and orange corseted button-up dress.  Together with a miraculously matching vintage top, I can now emulate the exact shades of orange cream and strawberry flavours of Opal Fruits sweets (the actual sweet, not the wrappers…).  Worth the slightly shaming trek to Gotemba?  Too right…  




(Worn with vintage Charles Jourdan top, Gap x Pierre Hardy heels)


Leave a comment
  1. lippylash

    2011-06-04 at 1:53 PM

    Loving the dress!!! What we all do for some great deals 😉

  2. Copper Etiquette

    2011-06-04 at 1:59 PM

    Very very cute I love the color blocking! Copper Etiquette Always Appropriate

  3. Teodora

    2011-06-04 at 2:08 PM

    I love the dress – you can match it with so many things.

  4. Aryn

    2011-06-04 at 3:05 PM

    Hahaha, your writing always makes me laugh!! Also- lovely, lovely, lovely slacks! So cute!
    A plus,
    Driftwood and Daydreams

  5. saigon

    2011-06-04 at 3:51 PM

    great sense for combining. though too obvious. but all in all, very successful

  6. salome

    2011-06-04 at 5:31 PM

    amazing outfits….. love 😉

  7. Joy

    2011-06-04 at 6:18 PM

    The sorbet colours look great on you! I didn’t know YSL and Balenciaga even HAD outlets – I thought all top-tier luxury brands have too much of an ego and price point to do it. Everything is better in Japan I suppose!

  8. Brandon Acton-Bond

    2011-06-04 at 6:48 PM

    Have to say the best part of travelling to Asia is the outlet mall potential (ok not THE best part but certainly one of the top 10). When I think about the colours that rep you best it is this combo and the mint green light orange combo so I think you did pretty damn good! Think about it this way, Mt Fuji will always be there, SS08 Jil won’t!

  9. Jasmin

    2011-06-04 at 7:02 PM

    Cute outfit!!! Nice color combination!

  10. Jessica

    2011-06-04 at 8:41 PM

    Love these colors!

  11. Jo

    2011-06-04 at 9:47 PM

    Yummy, this looks deliciously edible 😉
    Lovely choice of shoes for such a bold outfit, very chic!


    2011-06-04 at 10:11 PM

    I love the last photo!

  13. Madeleine

    2011-06-04 at 10:42 PM
  14. Lydia Hibbing

    2011-06-04 at 11:05 PM

    You look so lovely in these colours. What a wonderful look 🙂

  15. Kit

    2011-06-05 at 12:06 AM

    I’m trying to stay away from online bargain sites as my bank balance is slightly off balance….argh FASHION!
    Thought I was looking at your cousin Elizabeth in the last pic.

  16. masha

    2011-06-05 at 1:12 AM

    I like the dress on the top

  17. Just Me Angelin

    2011-06-05 at 4:48 AM

    you look great!

  18. Liza

    2011-06-05 at 5:28 AM

    ooh I didn’t know about this gem! thanks susie!

  19. susie_bubble

    2011-06-05 at 12:08 PM

    Joy: Yup except the discounts weren’t that hefty there but they were definitely selling past seasons‚Ķ!
    Brandon: I’m going with your line “Mt Fuji will always be there, SS08 Jil Sander won’t” – that’s my line of defence – thanks!
    Kit: Ah‚Ķthe Lau genes‚Ķ we do all have a little of each other in us…

  20. Agnes

    2011-06-06 at 10:05 AM

    Super-cute outfit! Love the colors!

  21. may

    2011-06-06 at 1:59 PM

    these photos are so soft and lovely, which camera did you use to take them?

  22. Big Bag Girl

    2011-06-06 at 3:46 PM

    I particularly like these two colours combined together.
    That’s one of the new trends for this summer.. i like it!
    Check my blog, advices and thoughts on fashion, in Italian and English…

  23. little moon lover

    2011-06-06 at 5:01 PM

    love the color blocks on you.. it’s so retro… coolness!

  24. belt buckles

    2011-06-09 at 2:22 PM

    you look so hot!! I love the block colors!

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