We all Love Princesses

Thursday, December 29, 2011
It is highly likely that you have seen these images blasting around the Internet. They have become a viral sensation and I am in love with all of them. A graphic design student in the UK re-created life-like photos of our favorite Disney Princesses. Here are a few of my favorites~! Check out Jirka's amazing work and more princesses on her blog! http://jirkavinse.wordpress.com/



Sleeping Beauty





*Photos courtesy of  : http://jirkavinse.wordpress.com/

Seoul Searching

Monday, December 26, 2011
Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!

I hate to see the holiday season coming to an end, but I'm excited for the beginning of a new year! Thursday night I will be packing up my suitcase and heading to Seoul, South Korea to celebrate NYE with our neighboring country in Asia!  I spent the latter part of my day making itineraries and finalizing some looks for the 31st :) Thinking a little 'Glam Bam thank ya Mam'..... plus an enormous jacket aaaaand maybe even a ski mask as it's quite chilly this time of year!

*Tips on sites to seek out, restaurants to try and places to people watch are always welcome :)

The Holidays ABROAD

Tuesday, December 20, 2011
 It will be my second Christmas spent in Japan and I think I am getting the hang of it. I know where to go to get my Christmas dinner menu items, where to find bulbs that go with my tree's color theme and know where to go to get my light show fix.

This year I have been receiving the same question from friends back home and you lovely readers, "What is the difference between the way Americans celebrate Christmas and New Years compared to the Japanese?" I decided to write a little article about being abroad.  Separating this blog from my usual Style and Fashion, I hope the article can sum up what my "opinions" are regarding the comparison.

Holidays Abroad

"A Sterotypical Standpoint"

Students in America tend to lose all concentration on their studies as they anxiously await their holiday vacation. Employees decorate their desktops and fill tree-shaped, glass bowls full of peppermint candy canes as they discuss their fellow co-workers questionable behavior at last year’s Christmas party, and ladies swarm to department stores in hopes that it will be the last stop to find the perfect party dress. Multiple charities organize kiosks in malls in hopes for generous shopper’s donations and the majority of city streets are lined with assortment of lights, bells and faux snow sprayed storefronts. This is the Holiday season in America. The time of year when families reunite after months of separation to celebrate the Christian based religion and the beginning of a New Year.

Across the ocean, December 25th, Japanese school children head to class in their standard uniform, the trains are jammed packed with Salary men and few storefront windows showcase kitchy décor of cotton stuffed Saint Nick’s, plastic brown reindeer and faux trees decorated with bright gold tinsel. Similar to the US the main shopping areas are decorating beautifully with lights weaving through the branches of the street-lined trees and poinsettias are sold at every flower shop.  Rarely do you see angels or caroling, and in my two years here I have yet to see an old man dressed up as Santa with a herd of eager children in line to meet him.  In contrast to America’s commercial yet family oriented holiday, Japanese Christmas is a feeble replica of media based celebrations they have mimicked from Western ideas of the holiday.

With about a 1% Christian following in Japan, Christmas is thought of as a Romantic holiday. While Americans typically spend the day and those leading up to the holiday, with their family and distant relatives, Japanese go to work and school as planned and schedule an evening with their latest love affair. At lunch and work Japanese girlfriends gloat to one another about their impending dinner reservations on the Eve of Christmas as their not-so-lucky colleagues sulk in a depressive state of embarrassment for not having one. Romance is the idea of Christmas within the Japanese community. Young Japanese women anticipate a dinner date invitation for the day before Christmas, which typically indicates a step forward in a current relationship or initiation of a future one. 
The tradition of Christmas cake is prevalent in the Japanese culture. Many bakeries and shops push to sell their cakes by the end of Christmas Eve. The remaining cakes are said to be called “Old Cakes.” In Japan the metaphor is used when describing a woman over the age of 25 who does not have a date or husband on Christmas. (Let's hope that the age limit has gone up, considering that 25 is anything but old.)

Unlike the Japanese, Americans often say farewell to their short term flings and embrace the travel home for the holidays solo. Family is of main importance on this holiday and unless married or in a serious relationship it is uncommon to spend with a new lover. In Japan however young Japanese men who have planned a romantic evening on Christmas Eve for himself and his date, often book the fancy restaurants and hotels with their main squeeze or new love interest.

 The tradition of Cake isn’t the only culinary tradition for Japanese on their Christmas holiday. While foreigners in Tokyo are catering their turkey dinners from Restaurants around the city and paying high prices for ham at Nissin, Japanese are picking up their pre-ordered buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Christmas chicken dinner is the tradition rather than turkey or ham.

Although Japanese find Christmas to be for romance and courting they head home for family time to celebrate the New Year. Contrary to Americans who dress up in sequins, suits and hit the town in hopes to find that special someone to lock lips with when the clock strikes midnight. Champagne is poured by the bottles in the US as many shout out their New Year resolution, most commonly losing weight or quit smoking. While the Americans are half obliterated and cheering under fireworks, Japanese spend the New Year holiday huddled around their traditional Kotatsu with immediate family.  While Americans keep an internal dialogue of new resolutions, Japanese gather at the local temples in hopes of good fortune for the New Year. Wishing for health, love, happiness, and education achievements. 

Holidays are celebrating in a variety of different styles, traditions and values. Many American families install their own customs and rituals just as Japanese celebrate individually from their neighbors. However, there is a heap of differing traditions between the Japanese and American holiday season. Making celebrating abroad one of the major assimilation's for a foreigner living in Japan, just as it would be to be immersed into the American conventionalism of Christmas and New Years.  So if you find yourself abroad it may be fun to eat some KFC, buy a fresh cake and wish for good future fortunes at the same time stuff your face with turkey, candy canes and champagne. You can really have your cake and eat it too.

* Thank you to the Temple University Students who shared their stories and traditions :)



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I saw a glimpse of the Spring/Summer collection during Mercedes Benz Tokyo Fashion week, however I was still very eager to see the rest of the collection, which is named IDENTITY.  Each collection has been named after an eight-letter word, which must begin with a letter from the word, MASTERMIND. Starting with M and working down to D. Right now Homma is on I.

Walking through the fashion Showroom in Minami Aoyama, I was immediately drawn by the diversity of fabrics consisting of organic cottons, distressed jacquard, woven knits, tweeds, linen and even a t-shirt fabric resistant to odor. IDENTITY is what one may acquire when rocking one of these self-expressive pieces this spring. Lace dresses, damaged denim jackets, leather lace-up shorts and daring hand embroidered knits generated a mass mental wish-list in my mind as I grazed the racks around the perimeter of the flat.

To read more of my article for GAIJINCHANNEL.COM click HERE

Here is a preview of some of the collector pieces you can see this Spring:

IDENTITY- The collection's name

Notable details such as skulls embedded on delicate fabrics.

Signature Skulls on distressed denim

Order resistant T-Shirts

Hand drawn art by the designer on one of a kind Jackets

Hand embroidered dresses


Designer Homma with Nigo on Eyescream Magazine. Look out for the Mastermind x Bape Collaboration

OZOC Spring/Summer Exhibition

Monday, December 12, 2011

Have the Cherry Blossoms bloomed yet?! I know I am a little ahead of myself, but after leaving OZOC Spring/Summer showroom I can't wait any longer for next season's fashion. The room was filled with artistically displayed fresh flowers surrounded by bold colors and fresh designs I am sure to see all over TOKYO this Spring. Tangerine, pale teals and floral prints.. EEEK!

I loved the mix of youthful styling with sophisticated trenches and delicate fabrics paired with denims and burn-out t-shirts. This collection is not for those afraid of color and patterns, but definitely encourages the typical monochromatic dresser to "hang loose" and go for a self expressive look for a change.

Creative Director Kanako Ishida, knows what the girls want and knew how to deliver it. Ozoc Spring/Summer screams GIRLIE. I can't wait for my purchases to arrive and to rock them this April :)!

What do you think of the socks with sandals combo?

The trench is cute, but how does it look with a mirror kissy face? WOW caught in the act LOL

This skirt was TO DIE FOR! It came in two different colors and was beautiful. I picked one up for Spring.

Creative Director and Blogger Kanako Ishida

 Dear Santa.. I want that feather skirt xoxo Chanyn

Lights are Shining Brightly

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It will be my second Christmas in Tokyo. CRAY CRAY time flies! Unlike last year, I now know where to go find the lovely light shows and American no saizu decorated trees that give me a taste of home. I stumbled upon this beauty in an alley in Minami Aoyama after checking out the Mastermind Showroom. (Blog Post on it's way, LOVE that brand.)
 Of course, I stopped for a photo op and poked my nose in to smell the fresh pine and cheese next to the festive lights. Aw Christmas you bring out the best of me :)

Knit Sweater: Marc Jacobs
Skirt: H&M
Tights: tutuanna
Boots: Shibuya 109

The Weather Outside if Frightful, But the Lighting is so Delightful

With the cool front approaching, most are racing from train to destination as fast as possible. I on the other hand, am taking advantage of this great lighting and shooting the lovely change of season.

Welcome to Winter everyone!

A Taste of America

I was fortunate to go on an American Holiday with my hubs for Thanksgiving. As much as I love this island I call home, there was something about the first breath of Seattle air that had my heart in it's hand when I stepped outside the terminal.

Rain or shine I was thrilled to be back in the crispy Northwest where Coffee is available in all seasonal flavors and you can drink amazing quality vino for under 10 bucks. California and Washington know what they are doing with wine. :) Beyond the initial culture shock of driving, traffic and generous serving sizes, I was in heaven to be surrounded by family, familiarity, and bargain shopping :)

An evening spent bowling, an afternoon at the mall and mornings waking up with multiple nieces and nephews were all filled with memories that will linger until the next time we all gather in America again.

Until then let's see what this Winter in Japan is all about! I am bringing out the heavy knit sweaters, thick leggings and some amazing faux fur hats that I can't just keep in the closet. Time to hit up one of the many ice skating rinks, check out the light displays and start decorating for X-MAS..!


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