I’ve been missing Japan lately since I got back. It’s been nonstop here, with a wedding weekend in Napa, shoots piling up, meetings, and what not. But it’s fine, Summer is off to a good start which will continue to get even more eventful.
Looking back on some of my best and functional looks for Japan’s nearly perfect weather, I’ve put together a few of my favorites from Three Dots. I’ve worn Three Dots many times before as you probably have seen by now. Their cottons and linens are so soft, comfortable, and breathable. They pack well and are easy for layering which is why I brought them to roam all over Japan with me!
My favorite Summer skirt. These pockets are so deep, they held everything from rice balls to my subway change and keys. This is actually my most worn skirt this trip and I particularly like how it was the perfect length, not too long and not too short. For size reference, I am wearing an XS at 5’3” which fits true.
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.
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.
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….
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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.
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
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.)
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:
Summer weather is on the horizon, and to me that still means a light jacket for us Bay Area dwellers. Speaking of Summer, I’ll be in Tokyo in a few weeks with friend Shelli and my Dad (who will be bopping all over Asia for business.) I look forward to shooting summer looks overseas and getting out of my creative rut. Not to mention all the food, art, and just being with my people. What about you, any summer travels?
P.S. I’ve linked everything I’m wearing at the bottom of this post, would you believe all these pieces I’m wearing are under $100?
This Spring I’m adding a little swagger to my step with the help of Coach. This little “swagger” bag is small but mighty with it’s detachable strap and hardware.
If you’re like me and have been a fan of Coach since way back when, you could imagine how happy I was to partner with them. Thank you Coach for this fun little bag. I’ve been toting it all over San Francisco, up hills and for matcha runs :)
P.S. I’m so happy that Boba Guys has now opened in my favorite SF neighborhood, Potrero Hill. They make a mean matcha latte and they nailed their interior from tile flooring to ceiling :D Hope to see you there one of these days, until then!
I’m not entirely sure what I would’ve done without my travel bag from Lo & Sons on this trip to New York. Would you believe that this light weight carry on fit my 13.5″macbook, 2 chargers, wallet, phone, snacks, and a moto jacket effortlessly through TSA and fit under my seat with no struggle? Here’s the kicker, I didn’t need to carry it through the airport. I just fed it over my suitcase handle and it sat on top of my Samsonite as I rolled up :D
If you’re reading this post currently, I am enroute to Nevada and yes, I did bring this bag with me. It’s a lifesaver and makes everything about packing and traveling so much easier.
My travel style is quite casual and made for efficiency. I was tired way before I ever got on my flight, so this look is a no fuss no muss type of deal. Slip on loafy sneakers from Carrano (available here) to make the checkpoint faster, a sweatshirt from Majestik Supply (available here) and a long line coat from State of Being the Label (found here on Revolve for $63)
Shot inside NYC’s World Trade Center Station, by photographer Lauren Listor (@laurelcreative)
Above on street level at The Hudson River Greenway.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I woke up early and ready to brave the cold and the snow for Day 2. I ran downstairs to the cafe at The Hudson for breakfast and coffee, changed into my warmest coat, and bolted out the door. I was immediately hit in the face by 30mph winds. This look was shot by Julia O Test, my shutterbug from S.F. She was staying at Hotel Giraffe not too far away, so we decided to spend the day together show hopping, eating, and shooting.
It may not sound like a hectic day, but if you think about it, you spend half your time in a taxi or Uber stuck in traffic the majority of the day, or just battling the weather. When you do make it to a show, you’re standing in line for at least 30 minutes in a sea of intimidating people, and then 30 minutes later, the show is done. Rinse and repeat. It’s a lot, physically, so the best advice I have is to keep a banana or snacks on you at all times :D
First look: This long coat is by The Fifth Label from Revolve.com. I kept a luna bar in my big ol pocket here. This was by far my longest and warmest coat and I don’t know what I’d do without it. It kept me very comfortable in well below 32 degree weather. I layered my look with warm knits from 525 America, cropped thick denim from Joes’s Jeans, and my new insanely comfy Italian shoes from Sentiero (on Maiden Lane in SF.)
Julia shot this look outside The Hudson in 5minutes before our Uber picked us up to see the Pret a Porter Show.
The Pret a Porter show was really fun, great energy, and a mix of Menswear and Womenswear. Check out my little clip below. (I couldn’t capture many photos from this show unfortunately.)
After the show, I changed into a new outfit and we were off to another.
This look was shot outside The Time Warner Building on our way to the Verdad Show. This faux fur jacket was found at Crossroads Trading Company, turtleneck from 525 America, Denim from Joes’s Jeans, and booties from Steve Madden.
Again, I wish I took photos from this show, but in the moment I was just taking it all in. Did you see my video on Instastories though? :D
After this show it was time for dinner, so Julia, myself, and Christina (@classtige) decided to get ramen to warm ourselves from being out all day. Ippudo had a 2hr wait time, and we were starving. So we walked around the corner to Ramen Zundo-Ya in the East Village. It was delicious, fast service, and just what we needed.
That was a wrap on Day 2. I went back early to the hotel to prep for the longest and final day of Day 3 which included a hair appointment at Amika Style Blow, 2 shows, a presentation, and then the plane ride home. Between the cold, wind, rain, and noise of the city, I was exhausted and yet on a high from all the inspiration I was taking in. Looking forward to sharing with you my final day on Monday.
It’s been one hell of a trip here in NYC. NYFW has been exciting, intimidating, inspiring, and exhausting….but I wouldn’t have it any other way. With Storm Nico derailing all flights the day I was supposed to arrive plus a few cancellations, I was very well prepared to accept that I wasn’t going to be able to attend after all. And with the stroke of luck Friday morning, I somehow made it to SFO for my 8am flight. When I got there, Kelly (aka @birdieshoots) texted me to say that her flight was again canceled and would not be making it. I was rather devastated quite frankly. We were supposed to do this together. So now, it was all on me. I already missed two of my shows on Thursday, and now I would be scrambling to make up for lost time.
I arrived at JFK at 5:30pm, exhausted from all the stress prior, cold, and a little out of my comfort zone. My Uber promptly picked me up and we were off to The Hudson Hotel which would be home for the weekend. I met Christina (aka @classtige) for dinner at Momofuku and shortly after I passed out in my bed and slept like a log.
Taken before my hair appointment at Amika Style Blow, Lauren Listor (aka @laurelcreative) was able to squeeze me in for a shoot. She shoots everyone, any major blogger you follow, you bet she’s shot them. Thank you Lauren for such a fun morning. I love that she captured an iconic version of NYC for me, you have to get the yellow cabs in right?
Prior to seeing the shows for the day, I went to the Shopstyle event at Canoe Studios. I’m sure by now you saw all of that action on Instagram and Instastories. It was really fun and I saw some familiar faces from SF. I also got a monogrammed leather portfolio case from Gigi New York as a nice souvenir :)
My first show was for Jimmy Burner at the Stewart Hotel. Fun, urban, street style. Watch the Final walk here: Jimmy Burner
In the evening I attended the Francesca Liberatore Show at Skylight Clarkson. I geeked out when I saw Kelly Cutrone, Miss Alexander J, and Dorothy Wang all within 3 feet of me. It was a beautiful show to say the least and the energy that comes from seeing a live show like this is unreal.
Day 1 was simply getting my bearings. Day 2 and 3 are by far my most packed and most exciting, so I can’t wait to share with you those photos as they come :) I’m really grateful for the experience and I’m so glad I was able to pull this off so that I can share everything with you. Stay tuned.
Coming in red hot today, with the help of Pascaline Paris. I’m currently packing for NY tomorrow, but I wanted to share with you this set before I take off. If you’re not familiar with Pascaline’s store on Sacramento Street, please do pop in and pay her a visit. She’s so insightful, and every fiber of her being is that of a sophisticated and smart woman. I believe that Pascaline has single handedly brought Parisian designers to San Francisco and it’s quite brilliant. Her eye and taste level is of the highest quality, and it really does show.
If I was ever a type of jacket in a past life, I’d definitely be a moto. Cupid must’ve shot me early because this jacket by Serge Pariente immediately grabbed my eye. It’s warm, soft, and functional. I put it on and instantly felt way cooler than normal : D A good jacket will do that now and then.
These motorcycle boots can be found at Pascaline’s as well. They’re by Atelier Voisin and are so comfortable even with a big heel that I didn’t really want to take them off. They’re just a durable, chic, and basic staple that would last a lifetime.Thank you Pascaline for bringing Paris to this city. And though I’ve never been to Paris myself, Parisian style is so effortless, so cool, and yet so refined all at the same time. If in the city, be sure to stop by and see her for yourself. Next up, NYFW!
“The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.” – Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
I’m currently in the midst of gearing up for NYFW in February, and I’ve been happily riding the waves that come with planning such a trip. Luckily I have some wing women who will be joining me and I look forward to sharing my point of view of the festivities as they unfold with you all very soon.
I personally have always liked brick walls. They’re there for a reason, literally and figuratively speaking. I think I’ve been hitting brick walls ever since grade school when peers told me that I couldn’t do something or thought I was weird for having different interests than them. Even as an adult, being in a creative field and being self employed comes with a certain type of judgement. There’s a huge risk factor here, but that’s kind of what we as creative entrepreneurs thrive off of. We see potential and more importantly the map in which to get there, wherever “there” may be.
This will be quite an exciting trip in two weeks…and I look forward to sharing everything here with you. It’s going to be freezing. I’m not sure how I’m going to deal with that but will deal nonetheless. All I know is that it’s going to be fun and I’m excited to get a new perspective and inspiration along the way.
I’ll be covering some of my prep that I’ve been doing here in the city in a post to come next week, so look out for that if you’re interested. Until then, thanks for reading!