Friday, March 20, 2009
Our styling and couture class went on an excursion to Bendigo to view the exhibit entitled the Golden Age of Couture. The exhibit were made up of exquisite clothes and magnificent photos from 1940s to 1950s from London and Paris.
The clothes apparently were donated by the clienteles of Dior, Chanel, Balenciaga, Fath and others. The entire collection were on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Unfortunately, photo taking was not allowed. Pity.
There were many magnificent dresses there. I was impresses by most of them. Some I didn't really like. There were miniature dolls showing the clothes and it was just amazing looking at the details. the beading on the dresses were also awe inspiring. It's sad that these kinds of high quality work is no longer as prevalent as before.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
What can I say about the trip? It was a cold, wacky, and totally inspiring experience. I knew there was a reason why I've always wanted to go to Japan, not just because it was the land of manga and animes although that's a very good reason, too.
It was strange seeing temples and shrines in the middle of the concrete jungle. It was fun watching people hurry along dressed in their business, preppy, and out-of-this-world outfits. I loved lookinga at the architectures at Omotesando and Ginza, Omotesando has edgier buildings from my point of view. Pity I wasn't able to see all the other designer buildings.
I smile as I remember the high-pitched greetings whether it was at Takashimaya or at Yoshinoya. I grimace a bit while recalling being pushed quashed inside the monorail while a polite white-gloved wearing staff pushed the crowd in. I laugh as I remember the horrified look of V when I explained to him the concept of the maid cafe. How he tried not to look embarrassed while we were being served by a very cute girl dressed in a french maid who could not speak a word of english but tried to entertain us, anyway. Maybe I was channeling my inner child, but I was so happy surrounded by cuteness. Even their commercials are cute.
I went there to be inspired, and, boy, was I inspired. Yes, the Japanese are known to have a cattle-mentality, follow the pack, so to speak, and yet, inspite of this or maybe because of this, they also have the ability to break away from the pack and do something marvelous. I'm not a fan of Rei Kawakubo's clothes but I can admire the genius behind the deconstructive clothes she makes. Neatness and cleanliness also seem to be one of the hallmarks of the culture. Whether it be in Tokyo Central or downtown Ueno or nearby Mitaka, things seem to be in order. Houses and buildings are neatly separated or stand neatly together.
That wasn't my first impression though, when we were riding the Skyliner and seeing parts of Narita. My first impmression was that it looked like Hong Kong without the haze. It was reinforced when we arrived at Ueno. Again, it looked like Hong Kong, albeit with wider streets and cleaner surroundings. When we started checking out the tourist sites, I thought, "Now it looks like Beijing but with more stylish people following the traffic/pedestrian lights."
Then we ate at tiny shops and went into department stores and finally it hit me, this is Japan. There maybe similarities but Japan, I should say Tokyo since I haven't seen the rest of Japan, has its own qualities. Its own quirks. But what I love the most is seeing beautiful people. By beautiful, I mean people who look like they like dressing up, who look great in what they're wearing and who are confident as they giggle and walk down the streets. I can also stare endlessly at the perfectly trimmed / pruned bushes, as well as at the elegant buildings.
And the food? Love their miso. Sounds weird but I seem to have developed a love for miso. =)
Can't wait till next time when we go to Kyoto and Osaka. Fingers crossed.
I wonder if they also have cute greetings like this?