Tokyo Time // Part I

Ohayou gozaimasu, long time no see everyone :) What a life altering trip this has been. Never have I ever felt more comfortable, genuinely happy, and above all; complete as a human being. Before I get into this, I’d just like to say I am particularly ever grateful to the Shinkawa family for their over the top generosity, love, and hospitality. You are family.

Second, thank you Dad for doing what you do. All I have ever done is try to learn from you in business. It’s not always easy being your daughter, but for everyone else it’s an enviable position. Thirdly, thank you Shelli for coming to Japan with me. You are the most ideal travel buddy a gal can ask for. A true friend indeed. This was one for the books and I hope to do it again :)

Some of you on Instagram asked me if I speak Japanese, because you could kind of hear a slight accent or slur in my voice on my InstaStories. I should mention that when I was really young, my brother and I took Japanese lessons where we could read and write better than speak. I wish that my Granny would have kept the verbal part going at home because I spent the last month relearning everything and then some. What’s nice is that language and those sounds never really go away. I landed, and all of a sudden basic sentences start flying outta my mouth. My driver could understand me, then locals assumed I spoke fluently (which really tripped me out) and it’s like I just fit into the fibers after that.

IMG_0446 2IMG_0414

6/2/17: SFO – Haneda Airport flying JAL with my monogrammed Mon Purse goods. I watched Beauty and the Beast and The Great Wall, ate a delicious bento box for dinner, and zonked out.

Key Tip: Arrange for a pocket wifi before you get to the airport or hotel. A few of you on Instagram were curious as to how I was using video and posting so much! This little cell pack is picked up at the airport, you plug in, and you’re up and running on secure network. Not once did I use data on this trip. Plus, the cell pack holds a 12hr battery charge!

Check in 6/3/17: Hotel Mitsui Garden Premier, Ginza Tokyo. Our home for a while. I loved staying here. The views of Tokyo are panoramic, a 9 min walk to Tsukiji Fish Market, 3 min to Shimbashi Station (the subway), and chock full of tiny delicious curry houses. I would absolutely stay here again, and hopefully soon.

Strolling Tsukiji Market: Kristine Marie Photography

I shot with photographer Kristine here at famous Tsukiji Market one morning before lunch. I had met her through Instagram and loved her work. Next thing you know we’re shooting in the heart of the fish market, dodging bikes, giant squid, and fish mongers :D It was getting warm, so afterwards Shelli came to meet us for some fresh sashimi bowls (you may have caught this on Instastories.) Eating here is nothing short of mind blowing. We won’t be eating sashimi or fish in the states for a very long time….

IMG_1053
Tokyo Time: Watch via Lilienthal Berlin

IMG_1025IMG_1036.JPG

12_Tokyo_Fashion_Photographer_Tsukiji_Ginza_Kristine_Marie_Photography_Shoes_Sashimi
When shooting, I always wear a watch to keep us on track. Watch via Lilienthal Berlin. Bucket Bag via Mon Purse

32_Tokyo_Fashion_Photographer_Tsukiji_Ginza_Kristine_Marie_Photography_Shoes_Sashimi28_Tokyo_Fashion_Photographer_Tsukiji_Ginza_Kristine_Marie_Photography_Shoes_Sashimi

A Typical Morning: Jet lag unfortunately hit around 2am for me, however we really liked waking up at 6am naturally to start our day. On average we would walk about 13,000 steps on a non shrine day. We would wake up, eat breakfast or go to the 7-11 or Lawsons for quick coffee and Japanese pastries. 7-11’s here are nothing like the U.S. Here you can eat cheaply and incredibly well for the super hungry or super tired. It’s just plain ridiculous I tell ya. Just ask Anthony Bourdain.

IMG_1348
My morning view here at the Mitsui, 22 floors up. Franco Sarto loafers ($80), Shop Morning Lavender Hat & Sunnies, the JP Subway card, and favorite Thacker NYC Bag.

Local’s Favorites: One morning we visited Kanako at her Local Coffee Stand. I was beginning to miss American lattes and I was getting those caffeine headaches late in the day. Here at Local Coffee Stand, they serve exceptional ones (even though the coffee in Japan is pretty good.) Kanako is the daughter of Fumito Shinkawa, my Dad’s dear friend and business buddy here in Tokyo. We have known her since she was in elementary school and when Shinkawa was not in the office, he was taking us out for dinner, drinks, site seeing, and day trips that inevitably turned into ridiculous adventures.IMG_1331

IMG_2306 2
It is high hydrangea season here, this flower market was one of my favorites in Aoyama with a tea and pastry cafe in the back.

Soft Serve: I legitimately had about 1 soft serve cone every day. It was perfect weather for it, 75-80 degrees with no humidity and cool breeze. The soft serve here is not very sweet at all unlike the stuff they sling in the U.S. Shinkawa took us to a Premium Matcha Soft Serve in Asakusa on our first exploring day, and he was elated because the line was out the door and around the corner. It was worth the wait because our taste buds were blown.

IMG_2302
Matcha cone in Harajuku, wearing Via Spiga sandals. I was so happy because I ordered and paid for my cone in Japanese with no hesitation. This was Day 3 and Shelli and I were getting really good at ordering quickly.
IMG_2286
Kyoto Cone
IMG_1341
I’m not one for malls, but Omotesando’s entrance to the mall in Harajuku is actually art. Ride the escalator up and you’re surrounded by displaced mirrors.
IMG_0789 2
Harajuku corners
IMG_0802
Sit down // Be humble (in Via Spiga)

IMG_0788 2

IMG_2271
All these people and not once did I feel lost.

Yoyogi Park: One of our favorite park days here in Tokyo. Mrs. Shinkawa took the day prancing around with us here. It’s kind of like entering another world even though you’re in the heart of Harajuku and Shibuya district. She said to not walk in the middle of the path because “you will trip the Gods.” Here, we went to the temple, bowed and prayed to the wealth and marriage tree, and even witnessed a Japanese wedding that was more fit for royalty (you probably saw that on InstaStories.) What’s more fun is that we wrote our names on a copper plate for the new roof of the temple, so we will forever be permanent here :)

IMG_1337
Sake Barrel Donations
IMG_1334
Yoyogi’s lilac fields wearing Via Spiga sneakers
IMG_1332
Taken before the snapping turtle surprised me
IMG_1798
Yoyogi’s mini lake wearing Lovers + Friends denim jacket

IMG_1333IMG_1340 2IMG_1799

IMG_1795
All my friends are animals

Summer Style: I knew it was going to be warm, but the weather actually was perfect. Mid 70’s-low 80’s with almost no humidity and breezy evenings. June is the start of tropical rain, and we only experienced one evening of that. I packed quite light for this trip and wore my hat nearly every day. My best advice would be to pack hats and shoes you can walk long distances in. Luckily, I brought the whole Via Spiga and Franco Sarto shoe collection with me and not one blister.

Men are always in fitted suits. School children are in uniform with little hats, they’re the cutest. Hell, dogs are better dressed here than most humans. Women all dress very well and on the conservative side. They’re usually wearing a sun hat and flowy pants or skirts. You’ll hear their little heels running through the train station or sandals paired with linen pants or sundresses. It’s really fun to people watch and take inspiration from how they like to wear their clothes.

IMG_0998
Hat: Shop Morning Lavender. Tank: Z Supply

IMG_2270

IMG_2308 2
Top: Shop Clayton. Pants: Thacker NYC. Sandals: Via Spiga

IMG_1786

IMG_2309
Convertible Pouch Bag: Thacker NYC

IMG_1020IMG_1785IMG_1028IMG_2307IMG_1048

Kyoto: Unfortunately, we did not spend enough time in Kyoto. Taking the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto, it is about a 2.5 hr trip. We kept our hotel and made accommodations at the same Mitsui in Kyoto. Upon arriving (around 10am) we threw our over night bags into the lobby, packed up the cameras, and walked to famous Nishiki Market for street food before our adventures to the shrines. You saw the video I took at this market…it’s complete and utter sensory overload. What you didn’t see is me knawing on a King crab leg that nearly made me black out. Shelli nearly fainted when she ate her made to order yakiniku (beef skewer.) I personally still think about that fresh matcha manju with matcha powder coating my lil face. I could spend all day here, but we had things to see.

IMG_1610IMG_1750IMG_1580

IMG_1780
Walking shoes for our first Temple in Kyoto: Kiyomizu- Dera
IMG_1781
Can you see the little temple poking out? We hiked way up, the air is indeed fresher here.

Nara: Nara Park, in Kyoto is home to the bowing deer. These deer are presumed to be messengers of the Gods and are symbols of this city. They do indeed bow for your cookies which is incredibly charming. I’ve had plenty of conversations with the little ones. A few males got aggressive and head butted me while I paid for their cookies, but I let that go a long time ago:D

IMG_1778IMG_1779IMG_1777

Fushimi Inari Taisha aka The Fox Shrine: Fushimi Inari Taisha is the head shrine of Inari and one of the most famous in all of Kyoto. This is a very iconic spot, so maybe you have seen the infamous Torii Gates before. It’s unreal in person. It’s almost eerily haunting when you pass through the tunnel of red gates, and there are indeed 1,000 of them leading you up the mountain. Torii gates are here to symbolize leaving of the physical world and entering the spiritual one. This is why you’ll see people clap three times and bow upon entering a gate or shrine to summon the Gods before making an offering (or wish.)

IMG_1770
Protect this house.

IMG_1768

IMG_1769
Walking with a Ghost

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for continuing to read and follow along with me. Everyone says Japan is a magical place, and they are true for saying that. But, for those who are Japanese and Japanese American, there is an internal feeling and sense of pride (at least for me) that makes you a more complete and whole human being. And it’s simply just being surrounded by your people. Not once did I feel lost in translation.

I watched little elementary kids give up their seats and usher elderly into them on the train. It damn near made me tear up. Everything is clean, shiny, and spotless. Not once did I see a homeless person. Are there homeless in Japan? People bow and are gracious, helpful, and kind. The food, regardless of who you are, you will always eat well and never go hungry.

Part II will be coming up next week, so until then :)

Special thanks to the brands who came along with me:

Franco Sarto

Via Spiga

Mon Purse

Thacker NYC

 

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

Ruffle Season // Three Dots

They say truffle season is the best season. I don’t disagree. However, ruffles are a very close second best.

I wouldn’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers, unless it’s in the form of ruffle tops like the one I’m wearing from Three Dots. This is a brand that I’ve fallen for, and I have already worn this lil guy on three separate occasions. The Three Dot’s collection pieces this Spring are incredibly easy to wear, I love their soft jersey tees and tanks. This asymmetrical top has been my favorite though and the movement you get with the ruffles are just plain fun.

You know me by now, I always dress down. But anytime I want a bit of oomph into what would be a simple outfit, you best believe I count on Three Dots to elevate all the basics. Always.

IMG_3004IMG_2982-2IMG_2976IMG_2971IMG_2972IMG_2967-2IMG_2969-2IMG_2988-2IMG_2996-2

Shot by Julia O Test

Special thanks to Three Dots

Ruffle Top: found here on Shopbop

Location: Potrero Hill, SF

NYFW Day 3

What a whirlwind Day 3 was. 2 shows, a presentation, shooting last looks, and the flight home. I woke up early to check out of The Hudson only to move down the street to The Giraffe Hotel to meet Julia. By 10am we were in our Uber, headed to Industria Studios to see the Christopher Esber presentation. I loved this collection, it was sort of an avant garde take on the parallels of machines and the strength of a woman. I thought it was beautiful in a very tough way.

img_1331img_1340img_1405

img_2176img_2182img_2189img_2190img_2221img_2224

By noon, Julia and I were headed to Pier 59 Studios for the Katty Xiaomara show. I changed into another look right before hand. This was taken right outside, and I really do think that Pier 59 is my favorite venue.

img_0972img_0976

The Katty Xiaomara show was amazing. I sat closest to the front of house while Julia shot in the media pit. Below are some of my favorite looks.

img_2314img_2315img_2316

After exiting the Katty show, Julia and I made it over to the Memere Presentation in the same studio across the way. I was so happy we saw this collection, it’s incredibly romantic and inspiring for Spring. The icing were the fresh white roses scattered along the floor, it was the perfect way to end our NYFW experience.

img_2312img_2308img_2327

Briefly after the Memere Collection, I swapped my outfit for Lioness pants and coach gloves so we could get a few shots in my favorite venue before I left for the airport. Pier 59 Studios are my favorite, mainly because it is in fact a hub for production. You have all the different stages, all the behind the scenes going on, and I loved being in the throws of it all. Julia, thank you for capturing my final moments here :) Couldn’t have done it without you.

img_2068img_2419img_2423

And there you have it. That is a wrap on NYFW Fall 2017. Mark my words, I am planning on going back in September. I haven’t been that excited, inspired, or exhausted like this in what seems like forever and I’m really happy that I made the trip happen. I’ll be doing some more posts on my travel tips and what I brought a long with me in more detail, so look out for those soon.

This week, @twelfthknight and I will be in Vegas for a wedding and I’m lucky enough to shoot while out there. So much is happening this month so I can’t wait to share with you. Thank you so much for reading and keeping up with me.

img_2333

What I wore:

Grey Coat: The Fifth Label ($106)

Black Culottes: Lioness Official ($52)

Nando Muzi Oxfords: ($450 direct here ) Sentiero Shoes

Get away with me: Wine Country

Sometimes I feel like I’m always searching for some resolve or peace of mind. Maybe I’ve always been restless. Not sure what I’m always searching for exactly, but I know that to be completely content with oneself and where they’re at in life is quite rare. Striving for more but better yet figuring out how to get there is always on my mind, day in day out. If you’re anything like me, it’s exhausting am I right?

A few days in Paso Robles (2 hrs north of LA) with the furbaby and @Twelfthknight helped me reach some calm finally in a long time. Every dip in our hotel pool, a morning tour of Hearst Castle, and some really nice time spent wine tasting and eating…can’t get more relaxing than that.

Hearst literally built his dream. And so will I, one way or another.

As always, thank you for reading and keep striving :)

Where we went:

Ecluse Winery, Paso Robles

Calcareous Vineyards, Paso Robles

Hearst Castle, San Simeon

What I Wore:

Desi Perkins x Quay Sunglasses 

Becca Swim: Black One Piece

Hat: Harwen House Designs

Brand Spotlight: Clayton

Hi everyone. Not sure about you, but I’m so looking forward to cooler weather. For me, that means more sweaters, and light layers, but I want to have fun with them at the same time. Bodysuits are a way of doing that, which brings me to my favorite brand currently: Clayton.

Clayton’s affordable and easy to wear line are currently sold through my two favorite sites Revolve and Shopbop. I genuinely have been a fan of their jersey knits for a little while now, they’re the quintessential LA girl brand. So when they came out with all these bodysuits, I decided to try them out. Of course, the most flattering way to wear a one piece is with a high waist, so I opted to combine both trends together, and voile. Easy, effortless, and also proving that you don’t have to be built like a Kardashian to wear the trend…I think you guys will be seeing more of these looks from me. What do you think?

All photos shot by Rachel Radcliffe, Piedmont CA

ootd sfblogger jeansclayton revolveclothing bodysuitootd sfblogger bodysuitsweater weather outfit bodysuitootd-sfblogger-outfitclayton sfblogger revolveclothingootd revolveclothing

Shop Clayton at Revolve or Shopbop

What I’m wearing:

The Raina Bodysuit (here)

Farleigh Mom Jeans (Asos)

Tan Long Cardigan (Asos)

Take 10% off your Revolve order with promocode “Tulip” at checkout

Tis the Season

Tis the season for holiday looks, so I teamed up with The Glam App (see previous post) and Piedmont photographer Julie Reichle to shoot something extra special. I’m not big on color to be honest, I love my neutrals and as a curveball, I’m actually wearing a bodysuit under an asymmetrical skirt. Hope you enjoy these photos, it’s great to shoot in my hometown!

To all my readers near and far, from London to Tokyo, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and holiday season. Thank you for taking the time to read and keep up with me whether it’s here or on Instagram.  Your patience and kind comments throughout the year has been encouraging and without them I wouldn’t be able to do half the things this blog and Instagram has brought me these past few months. Most of you I’ve never met, but I feel like you’ve been overwhelmingly supportive more than people I know personally.

So cheers to a fast approaching end of the year, new brand partnerships, new content, and new adventures. But most of all, cheers to you guys for being supportive, enthusiastic, and hopping along with me as I embark on some really cool projects. Can’t wait for you to see.

~Lauren

121715_LaurenN_211

121715_LaurenN_213

121715_LaurenN_190

121715_LaurenN_272

121715_LaurenN_218

121715_LaurenN_229

Shot by Julie Reichle

Makeup by Emily Sims for The Glam App

Bodysuit: Lulus

Skirt: Blq Basiq

Shoes: Lulus

Bag: Baggu

Necklace: Mirina Collections “Promo Code shoes20” for 20% off yours

No Way, No

This would have been a really light “What I Wore” post, however I’ve come down with some severe writer’s block the past couple of days do to circumstances that have since put me in some sort of mood. I have now composed myself, as well as my thoughts and I’d like to communicate them as best I can.

Relationships are hard. I’m really talking about the relationship you have with yourself. Even though I have a great guy that is kind, supportive, and thoughtful whom I proudly stand by, you will often times find me alone (never lonely though, there’s a big difference.) I’m perfectly content being by myself, always have been. That takes a certain amount of confidence absolutely. But even the people who have a tough outer shell have feelings. I’ve been hurt one too many times (professionally and personally) to even begin to tell you how hard of a person I’ve become, I’m getting much better though. The silver lining to all this is that with all the lows (many painful) and hurdles life throws at you, it has made me really self aware. After all, the most important relationship you can have is with yourself.

The older I get the more this saying “it’s best to be alone than in poor company” rings true. Quality over quantity. Stick up for yourself, fight for those who will fight for you. Bonus points if you look good doing it. And finally… don’t look back, you’re not going that way :)

Will I ever be too far away when you feel alone? (No way, no) - Magic
Will I ever be too far away when you feel alone? (No way, no) – Magic

sspiedmont_42

sspiedmont_38

sspiedmont_24
Will I ever back down my sword to protect our home? (No way, no) – Magic

sspiedmont_50

sspiedmont_41

Unfamiliar with the lyrics I’m referencing? Watch the music vid here:

 No Way, No

What I’m wearing:

Top: Mate the Label

Jeans: J Brand

Shoes: Boutique 9

Necklace: J Crew (gifted by Stylewich)

Aviators: Le Specs

All shot by Anna Wu Photography in my hometown of Piedmont, CA