Romantic Standard Clothing, mocha Boutique, and the Most Romantic Dress Ever!



Cotton muslin dress and crochet lace top: mocha
Braided Hair Headband: Shibuya-109-2
Sideways Cross Necklace: classicdesigns’ Etsy shop
Wicker Clutch Handbag: indio (Shibuya)
Gold feather wrap ring: Forever 21
Beaded Bracelets: handmade by me
Gold watch: vintage
Shoes: Can we not talk about the shoes, please?  (FitFlops, if you must know:-)

While I was in Tokyo I visited a small clothing store called mocha, located about a 10-minute walk from Shibuya station.



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DIY Flowered Ballet Flats

Like I wrote in an earlier post, I’ve had flowers on the brain.  (Thus all those fabric flower patterns in that post, and in my Threadbanger roundup.)  I was going to do these as a DIY tutorial for my Tuesday Threadbanger post, but then realized they weren’t really worthy of a full-fledged tutorial.  I got the idea from a lovely pair of furfur flowered ballet flats I spotted online recently.  (I do love furfur!)  To make them was almost embarrassingly easy, but here’s the how-to if you guys are interested:

You Need: (more…)

Leave Comment Article About Tokyo Fashion

Yup – Japanese fashion (both street style and designer lines) is one of the best-kept fashion secrets in the world – and now the New York Times is in on it. (Thanks Jenn for the tip!! Luv ya!) I’ve often lamented on this blog that very few Japanese lines are available for purchase outside of Japan (and nearby Asia, if that) – and there’s a dearth of information regarding Japanese brands as well. (In the U.S. for instance, almost every company out there knows: no website, no company. In Japan, so few companies actually have their own multi-page website – and if they do, often it’s just a landing page, poorly-made, or impossible to navigate! They’re slo-o-o-wly catching up with the times, though. So strange from a country so technologically-advanced in many other ways…and fashion/style sites in a blog format? Still on their way. There’s no Japanese FashionToast just yet.;-)
Very few established brands actually participate in the annual renamed Japan Fashion Week (I can’t believe I’ve missed going to NINE of them already!) – and very few venture out beyond the country’s borders, let alone sell online (both domestically and abroad). There is very little cohesiveness to the industry as a whole – and the Japanese government has once again royally screwed things up by appointing 3 “style ambassadors” to introduce other nations to their idea of “Japanese style.” (Said “ambassadors” are working to spread the Lolita style, the secondhand mashup style, and the “schoolgirl” style – such a tiny facet of the incredibly diverse fashion landscape that is Japan. )
But I’m sure you’re already familiar with style sites such as Dropsnap, Bijin-Tokei, Japanese Streets, Style-Arena, where you can see thousands of images of Japanese street style in all their uncategorizeable glory. (And if you have a hankering to buy Japanese-style fashions but don’t want to deal with the mess of international forwarding, try Japanese-style/Asian-trendy shopping sites that do ship internationally, like AsiaJam, TokyoStyle, and YesStyle!)

But by and large Japan’s up-and-coming brands and stylish in-the-know people keep to themselves, according to the article below.

I love that the article mentions furfur – a brand I’m in love with (and that Jane from SeaofShoes purchased some items from when she was in Tokyo in July of last year)…I just sniffed out where you can purchase items from them online: at nuan and from Rakuten – for the reader who emailed me re: where to purchase their stuff. (nuan only ships to an address in Japan but with Rakuten, depending on the seller, they may ship overseas. And there are forwarding companies that can forward parcels overseas for you to get around this little annoyance.) But Jane’s fabulous cardigan that she posted on Sea of Shoes is nowhere to be found!! Japanese fashion has a super-quick turnover. (An ambitious DIY, perhaps??)

But I was not familiar with the other brand the article above mentions: Garcia Marquez Gauche. Hmm…must investigate more.
And another update on one of my fave Japanese brands: if six was nine and L.G.B. (I wrote about them here) has collaborated for the costume design on the film Filth and Wisdom (2008), directed by Madonna. Yes, that Madonna!! I had no idea – must rent film NOW.

-Carly J. Cais
photo from
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Richly Hawtin’ A/W 2010 Collection

Richly.Hawtin, a label born from a collaboration between Producer and DJ Richie Hawtin and fashion designer Isolde Richly, was conceived in Tokyo in 2008 and presented in Berlin-Mitte to the public in May of 2009. The designers created a limited-edition run of 100 t-shirts designed and manufactured in Japan, for the event. (see below)
The shirts are still available for purchase here. The t-shirts are priced at 120 Euros each ($172!!)

In creating their line, the duo “sought to use fashion as a physical medium to embody and explore the fleeting, intangible elegance of minimalist music and Japan’s beauty.”

Hawtin, head of Minus Recordings, infuses the pieces in the line with an urban sensibility derived from his music, and the line strives to bring a minimalist Asian aesthetic to its design-sense. “Richly’s and Hawtin’s affinity for the quiet stillness found in Japan’s snow-covered landscapes, calm seas and trees is seen in the gradients of grey that mark the elegantly stripped down clothing.”

I love that despite the line being awash in grays, the pieces are anything but drab. Masculine and feminine are interchangeable; it skates the line between structured sportswear and asymmetrical modernism. And that drip-stained bag is calling my name!

The Spring/Summer line will be available Feburary 2010 in select Japanese retailers – I’ll keep you guys posted .

Read more about the line on their website, or in an article about them from Gradient Magazine.

What do you guys think of them? (I’m guessing the pieces from the official line are going to be priced similarly to the $170 T-shirt. I love their aesthetic…just not too sure I can afford it! I’m not sure they’re the next Rick Owens just yet:-) But I still want that bag!

-Carly J. Cais

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Don’t Buy, DIY: Embellished Short-Sleeve Sweater

Okay, there’s not much of a price difference there, but still…

Fa la la la la! I love the holidays!!

But one thing I don’t love is all the correspondence it entails. Email just won’t cut it at this time of year.

Sorry for the short absence from the WWW – just been overwhelmed with sending holiday packages, cards, New Year’s greetings, baking Christmas cookies, and gift-shopping.

7 packages, 27 cards, 11 packages of cookies, 9 holiday letters with photos later…I always overachieve this time of year and end up dropping off the face of the planet for about a week. Plus, spending an hour and a half standing in line at the post office yesterday (in THREE separate lines – one for parking, one for the automatic postal machine, and one for the window) can put anyone into a bit of a bah humbug mood. Or make one go postal. Yuk yuk yuk. Can anyone relate?

But I love the holidays – all the festivities of, all the traditions – seriously, the most happy times growing up.

So anyway…
I wanted to share a DIY I finished a little while ago with all of you.

Perhaps you or your SO has a fuzzy gray sweater or fleece in need of a makeover?

Who says winter sweaters have to be long-sleeved? This one is super-cute with armwarmers, gloves, or another layer underneath for when the weather outside is frightful.

Scanned from Vivi December 2009 issue. What can I say – I love this magazine maybe a bit too much!:-)

So I figured, why not make this from an oversized sweater? (after the jump)


You Need:
oversized sweater (nubby knit or fleece, preferably men’s)  //  9 faceted sew-on jewels

scissors  //  pins  //  needle and thread  //  sewing machine  //  sewing machine needle for knits

How To:

1. Cut off sleeves and trim neckline into a V-neck.

2. Turn under sleeve cuffs and stitch raw edges down. (not pictured)

3. To size the sweater smaller (if using a men’s sweater), try on sweater and pinch extra fabric at back of neck until V-neck lays properly on your collarbone (i.e., not too wide). Have a friend stick a pin in the excess, take off the shirt, and turn inside-out. Pin in a line down the center back, all the way to the hem.

4. Unpick the bottom hem of the shirt so you can flatten the line you pinned all the way down to the cut edge of the fabric. (Probably about 1″ or so on either side of the line you pinned.)

5. Sew CB line all the way to the cut edge. (not pictured)

6. Turn hem under once more and re-stitch hemline. (not pictured)

7. Cut off excess of CB seam. (not pictured – obviously, I got lazy here)

8. Turn under seam allowance around neckline, and stitch down. (not pictured)

9. Sew jewels around neckline.


I’m thinking about resetting the sleeves so the shoulder seam is shorter, which I think might make this less matronly and more like the original.

But maybe I’ll leave it as is!These little jewels were in a multisize pack of 25 for about $3.99 at Jo-Ann’s. And the shirt was $6.99 at Goodwill. Super-warm!

Happy DIY’ing…and Happy Birthday to me! (It’s today!) Not quite sure the appropriate emotional response…but hopefully I’m another year wiser! (Maybe to avoid the P.O. after December 15 next year?)



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