I remembered a conversation I had at Aiiro café, while I was getting dressed for Fushimi Inari. A half Japanese half Brazilian man was telling me about how he’s seen the Tokyo fashion scene change from bright and rebellious in the late 90’s to being very safe and cookie cutter in the early 00's. He blamed the rise of fast fashion like Uniqlo, H&M, and similar stores. Now while there has been a rise in trendy poor quality pieces available in mass, there is still some individual responsibility in my opinion. I shop from stores like these and find pieces that integrate well into my wardrobe and that also will last more than a few washes. But whatever the cause I did see a lack of risk taking in the Tokyo fashion scene.
Tokyo occupies a place in the western mindset as the future of fashion and that framework is what I try and embody with my own style. I see the future of fashion as one where gender norms are thrown out the window and bodies are empowered to drape themselves in shapes and silhouettes that would make people in the 1930's gasp. When I packed for Kyoto and Nara I wanted to do something a little different from the street style looks I had worn previously. I wanted to bring a more regal and avant-garde look to the streets of these ancient capitals.
While Kyoto is primarily known for Fushimi Inari and the Sagano Bamboo Forrest there are plenty of other smaller sites that dot the cityscape and fill it with a rich beauty. Just a short walk from our hostel was a collection of shrines that were absolutely stunning. The sun was setting as Sejan and I came across this moat and the direction of the dwindling sunlight was perfect. I paired my favorite skirt with a shirt, from Topman. An example of using these fast fashion brands to create a complex and beautiful outfit. I thought the graphic black and white thump print collage would provide a great contrast with the bright yellow. I choose my blue lipstick to give another pop of color. Plus yellow and blue make green so it was such a wonderful color moment.
Kyoto has the energy of a city that is thousands of years old. I have such a new found respect for stylists since I've been traveling the world. Finding an outfit that can fit in to space and both absorb the energy while also allowing the wearer to stand out is hard. But picking my outfit fo the Sagano Bamboo Forrest was easy. I knew that I wanted to wear my white cotton dress from Eloquii underneath my vintage African print jacket. To pay homage to my surroundings without overdoing it I chose my forrest green lipstick from called Ivy from Coloured Raine.
I wanted a simple outfit to stand against the repetition of the vermillion Torii gates. While not the most practical outfit for climbing 38 stories and hiking 4km I was definitely the best-dressed person on the mountain. I choose my sleeveless black cape dress because I had a vision of me climbing the steps while the cape swished back and forth in the wind. I wanted to bring elegance to this historic and religious landmark.
The final look of my brief sojourn south was my Eloquii skirt with a vintage pleated blouse. I felt very regal while I was feeding the deer and I paired my strawberry lip from Anastasia Beverly Hills to give a warm and woodsy feeling to the overall concept.
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