Tag Archives: japanese

Yohji Yamamoto at the V&A + dressing the bump accordingly

On a grey and rainy day like today there’s nothing better than cuddling up on the sofa with a cup of hot tea. But if you want to be a bit more active, you can always head for a fashion exhibition.

Even though I love (second-hand) clothes and shopping I tend to yawn and curl my lip in contempt when faced with catwalk shows, fashion weeks and the name-dropping of aaaaarrrhhhmazing designers.

It just bores me to death and I never learned to love the vacuous mingling and bitchy atmosphere of Copenhagen Fashion Week, when I worked as a fashion journalist.

But if there’s one designer that can get me up from the sofa it’s the ground-breaking Japanese Yohji Yamamoto. So last week I went to see the his exhibition at the V&A. It’s small but good.

Left-hand side is dedicated to a mannequin parade of some of his best designs, through the years. 9 out of 10 of his designs I would wear on the spot, and I was (almost) tempted to just tear a few dresses of the dolls and make a run for it 🙂

The right-hand side consists of a row of TV’s, showing Yohji Yamamoto’s catwalk shows  and videos about the controversial designer. Should you want to meet the designer himself, then I suggest you book a ticket for the talk on the 26th of June.

6 months pregnant or not, I felt I had to honour Mr. Yohji by wearing one of his designs to the exhibition. I only own two Yamamoto items: a skirt with a narrow waist (so that one was out of the question) and this dress:

So on it went. I had to leave the zipper half-open, but I still like the way it looks. If you want to see it in a non-pregnant state and read about where I bought it, click here.

I love how this last windblown picture reminds me of the poster from the exhibition. Noone does those avantgarde silhouettes quite like Yamamoto. They’re instantly recognisable.

Yohji Yamamoto at the V&A, until 10 july 2011.
Read more & book tickets

Muji – minimalist essentials you didn’t even know you needed

So, the third part of my high-street shopping trilogy (aka the day I went to Oxford street to buy winter boots and browse the stock at H&M) ended with a big shopping bang in Japanese chain Muji. They’re know for stocking well-produced and tasteful minimalist things with a quirky look.

Things you didn’t even know you wanted, like patchwork piglets, red acrylic reindeer and solar system magnets – or what about London in a box? Brilliant and perfect for presents.

What they also do really well is plastic storage units, picture frames, travel kits etc. I bought one of their refillable hand soap dispensers (£ 3.95) and some mint & cucumber soap (£ 3.50).

I also bought a mirror – great for travels and checking your hairdo in the bathroom (£ 7.50). And an acrylic picture frame (£ 6.95).

The frame was what I actually went in for. One of our friends is a talented photographer and he’d snapped a black and white photo of Sam and I on a boat cruise. It’s 15 by 15 cm and I couldn’t find a frame with those dimensions anywhere. So this clear acrylic frame is perfect, easy to assemble plus they  come in many different sizes.

Take a look a Muji’s website (they post orders to delivery locations within mainland Great Britain, the EU and mainland United States and Canada.)

Japanese fashion at the Barbican

I love clothes as a form of expression, as personal style and a way to portray your personality. I have a lot of fun playing with different outfits and love getting inspiration from people on the street.

But to be honest most things surrounding the concept “fashion”, and particularly fashion magazines, bore me to death. I really don’t need anyone to tell me what to wear, and their view of “the right taste” always seems to be restricted to the latest trends from a handful of approved designers. You can never stray too far away from the mainstream and somehow everyone ends up looking the same. Whenever I occasionally flick through a fashion magazine I always close it feeling slightly inferior because I don’t have this seasons “it” bag/coat/sunglasses/boots. It’s absurd, because you can never fully catch up with all the “must-haves”. And that way the wheels of consumerism keep on turning.

I just think there are so many things in life that are more important.

But I do have a big soft spot for Japanese fashion design with its focus on timelessness, structure and crazy form experiments. So I was very happy indeed when I saw a poster at Maida Vale tube stations informing me about a new exhibition at the Barbican. It’s called Future Beauty: 30 years of Japanese Fashion and opens October 15.

The exhibition is the first exhibition in Europe to comprehensively survey avant-garde Japanese fashion, from the early 1980s to the present. I can’t wait to check it out and will let you know how it is.

What: Future Beauty: 30 years of Japanese Fashion, 15 October 2010 – 6 February 2011
Where: Barbican Art Gallery

Mori & Margaret Atwood – yesterday’s finds from St. John’s Wood

Gik en hurtig tur over til St. John’s Wood i går og scannede gadens tre genbrugsbutikker. Intet af tøjet tiltalte mig, men som altid bugnede hylderne i Oxfam af læseoplevelser. Jeg hapsede en af yndlingsforfatterne Margaret Atwoods bøger, Bodily Harm og håber at den er på højde med to af mine favoritbøger fra hendes hånd: A Handmaid’s Tale og Life Before Man.

Og så den egentlige grund til at jeg var i området: for at hente take-away frokost hos japanske Mori. Indtil videre har de to butikker i hhv. St. John’s Wood og Marylebone, hvorfra man kan forsyne sig med diverse sushibokse, salater, karryretter og supper, som også kan spises i restauranten. Altsammen billigt og sundt (omkring 7-9 pund for en boks). De har også lækker, fedtfattig yoghurtis. Prøv den, hvis du er i området. Læs mere her.

Went for a walk to St. John’s Wood yesterday and quickly browsed the three charity shops on the high street. I didn’t find any exciting clothes but picked up a copy of Margaret Atwood‘s Bodily Harm in Oxfam’s brilliant book store. I can’t wait to read it as she is one of my favourite authors – hope it’s almost as good as two of my favourite Atwood novels: A Handmaid’s Tale and Life Before Man.

But the real reason for my visit to St. John’s Wood was that I was craving Japanese for lunch, so I picked up a sushi box and a salad (with delicious, creamy wafu dressing) from Mori. Currently they have two restaurant/take-aways in London: one in St. John’s Wood and another in Marylebone. Their food is fresh, yummy and pretty cheap (around 7-9 pounds for a sushi box) and apart from sushi they also sell curries, soups and salads and frozen yoghurt. Read more here.

Tokyo shopping – Yohji Yamamoto dress and leather bracelet

Foto: Mette Bassett

Jeg elsker japanske designeres avantgardistiske og formeksperimenterende tilgang til tøj. En klar favorit er Yohji Yamamoto , men jeg synes ikke jeg har råd til at købe det fra nyt, og den eneste YY ting i min garderobe har hidtil været denne nederdel.

Så da jeg spottede disse to ting i favorit kommissionsgenbrugs-butikken 10 Tow i Tokyo (skriver en separat post om den) måtte jeg slå til.

English: I really, really like the edginess and deconstructive avant-garde’ness of  japanese designers. Especially  Yohji Yamamoto. But I can’t really afford to buy his new stuff and only owned this skirt before.

So when I spotted these two items in my favourite consignment store, 10 Tow, in Tokyo (I’ll do a separate post on the shop) I knew I would regret it, if I didn’t buy them.

Foto: Mette Bassett

Beklager de uskarpe billeder, men her er det første køb. Den sorte kjole var sat helt vildt ned og kostede omkring 12000 yen, så vidt jeg husker = knap 800 kr. Jeg elsker den assymmetiske facon, stoffet er silke/uld-agtigt og super behageligt. Der er lommer foran og hul-detalje bagpå, over lænden:

English: Sorry about the blurry pictures. I really need to get a tripod. This black wool/silk dress is so comfortable and I love the assymmetrical raw cut. It was on sale and cost  around 12000 yen = 88 pounds. Pockets on the front and a funny “gap” detail on the back:

Foto: Mette Bassett

Jeg snuppede også lige dette flettede læderarmbånd fra linien Y’s Yamamoto. Det er vist egentlig til mænd, but who cares 🙂 Pris omkring 3000 yen = 200 kr.

English: I had to get this woven leather bracelet from Y’s Yamamoto as well. I thinks it’s from the men’s collection, but who cares 🙂 Price around 3000 yen = 22 pounds.

Foto: Mette Bassett

Foto: Mette Bassett

Yndlingsrestaurant – Misato

Foto: Mette Bassett

 Japanske Misato ligger i nummer 11 i Wardour Street i Soho. Der er tale om fastfood, i hvert fald går det stærkt på det lille, proppede sted, hvor folk står i kø for at komme ind gennem døren og stikke spisepindene i en bentoboks (madkasse-lignende boks med småretter) eller en af de mange risretter med for eksempel stegt makrel eller kylling og japansk karry.  

En sushi-bentoboks koster omkring 9 pund, og har man blot én gang haft pungen oppe på Sticks ‘n Sushi i København, så lærer man at sætte pris på den slags priser. Vi kommer i hvert fald tilbage igen og igen, på trods af køer og so-so service.  Læs mere her.  


Foto: Mette Bassett

In English: One of our favourite, cheap & japanese restaurants is Misato, 11 Wardour Street. They serve delicious and very filling bentoboxes, sushi and plenty of rice dishes with everything from fried mackerel to chicken w. curry sauce. 

Prices from 7-10 pounds for a main course = amazingly cheap and worth queuing for (as you always end up doing). Read more about it here.

Epping Forest & Ramen Seto

Forleden havde jeg fået den fikse ide at vi skulle gå en idyllisk tur i den kæmpemæssige  Epping Forest, der ligger øst

Foto: Mette Bassett

for London. Det var også både fint og idyllisk med ræve, hoppende harer og masser af egern…men også ekstremt mudret, hvilket mine læderstøvler vil bære præg af resten af deres liv.

Vi endte med at gå i ring og solen var ved at forsvinde, så vi besluttede os for at vende næsen hjemad inden skovidyl blev forvandlet til Blair Witch horror (den kedelige udgave, hvor man fryser langsomt ihjel).  Så vi nåede kun at se en brøkdel af skoven, som ellers er hjemsted for både hjorte og andre sjove dyr. Jeg tror vi tager tilbage til sommer i stedet. Du kan læse meget mere om skoven og printe kort her.

Foto: Mette Bassett

Bedst af det hele var, at efter alt den friske luft havde vi fortjent god mad af den dampende varme slags, så kursen gik mod et af vores favoritspisesteder i Soho, Ramen Seto. Ramen Seto ligger i Kingly Street (lige bag ved Liberty’s) og serverer japansk mad i form af små sprøde gyoza (halvmåne-formede forårsruller), sushi og sashimi.

De har også, som navnet antyder, specialiseret sig i Ramen-baserede retter. Ramen (udtales lamen) er nudler, som enten puttes i den varme suppe eller spises som tilbehør til grøntsags- og kødretter. Jeg fik Gomoku Ramen (se billedet – en smagspakket suppe med kylling og grøntsager.  Enkelt og nærende vintermåltid til omkring 7 pund…yum yum.