Sunday, March 28, 2010

Is Everybody Happy?

Alexandros Vasmoulakis first US solo exhibition at LeBasse Projects
6023 Washington Blvd. / Culver City, CA 90232 / 310.558.0200
*** on view until April 17th, 2010

At the opening last week, I had a chance to meet this playful artist, who flew in from Spain for his first US solo show! Alexandros Vasmoulakis, who is from Greece, has shown his work throughout Europe's streets + galleries. I love his whimsical artwork of sketchy women in surreal environments!

Take a look at more works up at LeBasse Projects "Is Everybody Happy?"
You can also view Alexandros Vasmoulakis's work on his website

*** one of many building murals throughout Europe
I hope to see some one day *-*

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Electric Roppongi

Roppongi has been modernized w/new complexes + museums. It's also known for it's nightlife. We visited Roppongi Hills (Tokyo City View, Mori Arts Museum & Mori Arts Center Gallery), Tokyo Midtown (upscale fashion + design complex) and 21_21 Design Sight (design museum from Issey Miyake and Tadao Ando).

postcards designed by Taiko Matsuo / Mori Arts center museum shop
I love the graphics & colors!
famous spider sculpture in front of the Roppongi Hills building
entrance to the Roppongi Hills building
poster for the current art exhibition at Mori Arts Center/Roppongi Hills
Takashi Murakami box of cookies & Fluffy Shacho stuffed toy
entrance tickets to the "Tokyo City View" and "Mori Arts Center"
view of city + Tokyo Tower from the Tokyo City View/Roppongi Hills

view looking down from the Tokyo City View/Roppongi Hills
sunset view from the Tokyo City View/Roppongi Hills
street art + sculptures outside Roppongi Hills
Entrance to 21_21 Design Sight, where we saw the current show
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: LIFE=WORKS=PROJECTS
21_21 Design Sight night view
local paper I picked up on show at Tokyo Midtown

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Electric Aoyama

Walk from Harajuku & blend into Aoyama, where you'll see a morph of teenybop into grown-up! This was, by far, my favorite area of Tokyo ~ innovative architectural, designer + modern boutiques & hip cafes/bars!

On the main strip of Omotesando there's the Fumihiko Maki-designed SPIRAL building (cafe/bar, shops, art/design/fashion events). Shop for delicate jewelry + accessories from Razu Creation at Bon Voyage & see the latest art exhibit on the ground floor. Then take the spiral up and shop at the SPIRAL MARKET!

Keep walking until you see the famous Toyo Ito & Associates-designed Tod's building (top photo) ... then take a turn into a bunch of small streets filled with gems! This is where some famous shops are: Prada, Vivienne Westwood & Bathing Ape to name a few. For edgy Japanese designers, check out THE CONTEMPORARY FIX .

This area definitely inspired me for my Leanna Lin jewelry line! Some AMAZING jewelry boutiques I went into were Bellecapri (vintage), Q-POT (cute*whimsical) & MHT (space designed by Marc Newson)!

TOKYOFASHION.COM is also a great resource when researching the latest Tokyo fashion!

cool graphic SPIRAL banners
SPIRAL building designed by Fumihiko Maki
tunnel leading to the bottom floor of the ...
Herzog & de Meuron-designed bubble glass PRADA building
lots of people took photos next to this famous building & so we did too!
Sign on small street led me to ...
the tiniest bread shop! I had to have a melon pan :)

Me in front of Crayon House: yummy organic food + book store
* we had afternoon tea & went back another nite for dinner!
Mustard door led me to this cute cafe ...
with a cute welcoming illustration *-*
I love the funky window display at Vivienne Westwood
cute statue in front of boutique
great art deco garage door to ...
fun vintage jewelry shop called Bellecapri

Friday, March 19, 2010

Electric Harajuku

This funky area is where the teenybop culture is. Above is the JR Yamanote line/Harajuku stop at the beginning of Takeshiti Dori, the street to buy trendy & cosplay fashion. The "Cosplayers" (crazy cartoon like costumes) hang out in front of the Meiji Jingu shrine, which is to the side of this station. Since I was there on Friday, I didn't get to see them (next time). ***below is how I explored the wonderful area of Harajuku throughout the day (scroll down because I posted a lot of photos)

Exit the JR Yamanote station & walk under the bubbly archway to Takeshiti Dori! Look at the trendy fashion, while enjoying a crepe! This is where I had fun looking at the Lolita fashion & fun jewelry for inspiration to my Leanna Lin jewelry line!

TOKYOFASHION.COM is also a great resource when researching the latest Tokyo fashion!

my eye went 1st to this cutest donut shop at side entrance to Takeshiti Dori
bubbly archway leading to the famous Takeshiti Dori street
one of many crepe stops on Takeshiti Dori
Cosplay boutique w/cute sales girls dressed as Lolitas
Bambi & Faline boutique w/dotty pink door!
Fafi (one of my favorite artists) had exclusive things in here!
Pet Paradise - quirky pet boutique
I had to get Richy a toy here!

After walking through Takeshita Dori it led to the higher end boutiques along Cat Street. Here there were more expensive + modern/hip boutiques (junior girl has grown up)! I also stumbled upon 2 unique jewelry stores called JAM HOME MADE (edgy + delicate) and DICOKICK (funky + graphic) ... I was officially inspired! Two other great stores for men + women were BEAMS stores (chain of Fred Segal-like stores) and KHAJU Ships Jet Blue (got a sparkly crystal pink star ring here :)
Modern architecture of JAM HOME MADE
There's Louie (my husband) w/Tim & Kyoko (our friends)
DICOKICK jewelry & accessories shop
airstream beer bar along Cat Street area
People walking along Cat Street area

Lastly we walked over the bridge to Kiddy Land, which is 5 stories of cuteness - I was in heaven! I had to get some hello kitty charms to make a necklace for myself :) Then we ended the shopping day wandering through Laforet Harajuku (levels of trendy boutiques). They love shopping malls in Tokyo & this caters to the hipper crowd ... tons of FUN!!! I found the Mademoiselle Yulia CD. She's an eccentric electronic DJ from Tokyo who has a jewelry line called Giza.
bridge across to Dior, MoMa & Kiddyland
*walk this street to Aoyama area to see amazing architecture
Kiddy Land - need I say more?!

Electric TOKYO

TOKYO is the one city that I've been wanting to visit for years! I've always been fascinated by the eclectic fashion, art, architecture & cute toys ... oh yeah, they also have the yummiest food, desserts & perfectly packaged treats!

January 2010: I finally took the plunge & started planning ... with the help of our dear friends, Tim & Kyoko (who were visiting their family). It's always an extra bonus when a local shows you the ropes *-*

*** After a 12 hr. flight & 2 hr. bus ride to the city, we finally made it!

Cherry Blossom season was almost here & people were in the spirits, creating it's flavored sweets w/delicate graphic packaging. It was also "White Day" (march 14th). This holiday is 1 month after Valentine's Day, where the men give gifts to women they like in return (on V-day women give gifts to the men that they like).

In the few next blogs, I'll be posting about areas that inspired me the most for my Leanna Lin jewelry collections!

*** I used these handy tools to get around: Tokyo Subway map, Wallpaper City Guide to Tokyo app, iPronunciation app & TimeOut Tokyo book!

TOKYOFASHION.COM is also a great resource when researching the latest Tokyo fashion!
row of vending machines on side street of Aoyama
cute posters in Ikebukuro station
looking out from the Shibuya station: one of the busiest hubs!

I whipped out my camera to get a shot of this Hello Kitty bus!
freshest fish bowls for lunch at the Tsukiji Market
best organic seasonal veggie tempura at Crayon House in Aoyama
best homemade black sesame ice cream w/fruit at Crayon House in Aoyama
our last meal in Tokyo: traditional Japanese breakfast at the Park Hotel
cherry blossom flavors at Starbucks & treats at airport, where we spent our last yen!