Decora, neon and monsters… oh my

There are 2 ways to experience the Monster Cafe in Harajuku. During lunchtime on a weekday we pretty much had the place to ourselves. The night crowd, based on other posts I have seen, is another story altogether. On previous trips we focused on more traditional Japanese food adventures. But this last trip we squeezed in a couple themed restaurants. While the food itself is nothing to write home about, the experience is. Sebastian doesn’t let you down when it comes to being fully immersed in his colorful world when you set foot in the Monster Cafe. You are truly transported to another realm of existence.

the carousel dance party at monster cafe in harajuku

We dined in a booth between the Bar area and the Mel-Tea Room. Its hard to pick a favorite space as they are all so colorful and unique. I liked that I had a dripping ice cream cone above me and could see the lip wall in the background. We don’t eat meat, only seafood, so ordered the few choices the menu had. Some shrimp, french fries and the sushi roll. Like I said, nothing fantastic but simple food. Everything was served with color palettes of dips which was adorable

monster cafe lunch with view of mell-tea room

Looking back, I was originally drawn to decora before I fell head-over-heels into lolita. That would be thanks to Fruits magazine and an online search for alternative uses for traditional kimono that somehow spiraled into alternative Japanese street fashion. I am grateful for the detour. My sewing was so blah back then, there was no spark, no muse. Now, I am not about to start jumping genres on you, but I do like to mix things up and play with elements of different street styles. So here is my homage to Monster Cafe and Sebastian Masuda. (more…)

Saturday Style: Mori Girl

Taking a minor detour from my vacation photo log.  But not really.  Here we are back home and our first weekend “to do” is a trip to Mitsuwa the Japanese market in NJ.  It isn’t the same, but is the closest you can get to Japan here on the East Coast.  I figured it was also a good day to try out a new Japanese fashion style.

japanese fashion mori girl

Its a pretty big departure from my first love, Lolita.  Have to say I don’t miss the petticoat. This is the outfit I picked out at Wonder Rocket in Harajuku.  I was very nervous wearing it out for the first time.  In Mars (my favorite shop for cute Japanese goods) the shop girl told me she really liked my style.  That totally put me at ease.  So a big Arigato goes out to Stephanie for boosting my confidence.

I went for what I hope is a mix mostly of mori girl with touches of natural and otome kei.  How did I do?

wonder rocket mori girl style

Outfit Breakdown:  Skirt, sweater, cardigan, collar and socks are all from Wonder Rocket.  Purse is from Ahcahcum Muchacha.  Bracelet is from Baby the Star Shine Bright.  Watch fob necklace and butterfly pin are vintage pieces from my Grandmother (and 2 of only a handful of items I still have from my childhood.) Pretty sure I found the shoes at Nordstrom Rack of all places.

Love Toxic Freebie in Nicola

love toxic eyeglasses jewlery

Just picked up the August edition of  Nicola magazine.  It’s target market is Japanese teens and focuses on the fashion lifestyle trifecta of clothing, hair, and makeup.  This month’s edition includes a promotion from Love Toxic that includes an eyeglasses pin/badge and a neko mimi (cat ears) make up bag.  The glasses are so cute.  I can’t wait to pair them up with my  Mingili London Ice Cream Pop cardigan once the weather cools down a bit.

The spread in Nicola magazine showing the Love Toxic promotion gift.Flipping through the magazine is a major flashback for me.  I was Nicola’s target market back in the 1980’s.  You could have literally handed this edition to me then and it would have been the epitome of coolness.  Terms such as “grody,” “like totally,” and “for sure” are now replaced with “kawaii!!”  I never expected to feel nostalgic over neon, shoulder revealing sweatshirts, and plastic jewelry… but there you have it.  My original My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, Rainbow Bright, and Smurfs are back on trend but have long since passed from my possession.

Two coordinating looks from Love Toxic.

I had a little fun playing around with different items from Love Toxic and the brand’s line is pretty versatile.   You could pull together a dressier look or a very casual look easily.  If you want to put together your own coordinate be sure to check out the Code Colle X Love Toxic dress up game online.

Code Colle X Love Toxic Dress Up Game

Harajuku Holiday Sew-a-thon

I have a creative job working in digital marketing, but I like to dabble in more traditional crafts in my spare time.  It is such a rush making something by hand that you can use.  Taking advantage of the long holiday weekend I had some fun.

It would be an understatement to say that I like Japanese Alternative Fashion.  The challenge – my comfortable U.S. size medium is a Plus Size by Japan’s standards.  Some of the most extraordinary designs are out of reach for me.  So I mustered up my determination and whipped up a cutsew blouse and one piece dress this weekend.

Pink 100% Cotton Cutsew T-shirt

I favor a more relaxed form of Lolita fashion, so a comfortable cutsew shirt is a critical staple; works well under a jumperskirt or as is with a skirt.  As far as patterns go, I use them more as guides than as rules.  For this I took some liberties using New Look’s pattern 6078.

The collar was a bit of a challenge, as I wanted a pullover and the pattern was for a button up, but it worked out very well in the end.  My only regret with this piece is the ruffle at the hem.  I used left over fabric from another project and there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room.  Would have preferred the ruffle be about a 1/2 inch wider, but this was all I could mange.

Rose Print 100% Cotton Cutsew Onepiece Dress

The dress again is made from knit/jersey.  I was going for something more Otome Kei than Lolita with this. My muse was Milk.  I followed Vogue pattern V8411 pretty closely for the dress, but added neck straps and altered the pleating a bit.

Added a little decorative stitch as well across the front. It is a subtle touch that added some extra structure to support the weight of the pleating.

The inspirtion for this weekend’s projects: Aoki Misako, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Angelic Pretty, Milk and Emily Temple Cute.

Well it’s back to work tomorrow.  Hope everyone had a lovely holiday.  Happy 2012!

Sweet Dreams, Sheri