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A 30 something blogging about her love affair with Fashion.....among other things!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Korea Krazy

Have you watch Japanese TV recently? Everywhere channel to zap to, there is some Korean boys or girls band singing or some Korean drama being aired. Some channels even have so much program around Korean stars that one may wonder if they are watching Korean TV?
Japan is going through what they call the "second wave of Korean Boom". Translation, the Koreans are invading Japan with their music, fashion and culture. The first wave started with the famous Korean drama "Fuyu no Sonata" in 2003, and from that moment Japanese have been obsessed with Korea. Korean actors became famous and adored all over the place. And the Korean economy took a boost with many Japanese visiting Korea and shopping like crazy.
Now since 2010, the second wave has started but it is more about singers. Bands like Kara, Girls Generation, Tohoushinkei 2PM (to name a few) perform regularly in Japan in front of millions of fans. And up and coming K-pop singers are making their mark in small Korean towns in Tokyo.
I have been hooked on Korea ever since I visited in 2000. Everything was so beautiful and people were nice. I visited the temples, ate in small stalls at markets and shopped like crazy. I went again in Seoul in 2002 with my hubby for a week of shopping. I loved shopping in Bangkok last Winter but I am sorry to say that Bangkok has nothing on Seoul night markets. The later are open until the wee hours of night offering all kinds of goods for a very unbeatable price. Plus you can bargain (if you learn how to say lower the price in Korean, which I did). Mind you, I did not shop designers but the quality of the clothes are very good. I shopped an entire Winter wardrobe for $200. And to this day, I still have some items I bought in Seoul that I enjoy.

I am not an expert on Korean Fashion but after watching so many Korean dramas, this much I know: Korean fashion is out of this world crazy. I just adore it. It is bold mixed with a tad of fantasy and lots of cuteness. Some things are not for me but I still find them very fashion forward. Take for example this Leopard sweater in green. I mean,who does this? And the first time I saw it, the girl wearing it accessorize with a red knitted scarf. Talk about a crazy color palette.

Suzy Bae wearing a green leopard sweater in Dream High

Apparently, Korean girls love to layer and accessorize a lot. They also enjoy mixing styles and colors. I also have the feeling that most of them are into really cute stuff, too cute for my taste. They also enjoy wearing heels like Japanese girls, maybe because they are on the short side.
I wish I could go back to Seoul, not only for the shopping but just to enjoy myself. It would be a girls only  trip so that we could shop till we drop, enjoy some coffee in those wonderful coffee shops I found last time I went there (They have big couches and great sweets), eat Chijimi and just relax.

Korean fashion trends I die over:

Oversized tee with prints

Funky sweaters

Cape style coats

Korean drama fashion I lust over:

Actress Yoon Eun Hye in My Fair Lady: the red bob, the tutu skirt paired with a simple grey tee and the fierce outfits. Le sigh!

Actress Suzy Bae in Dream High: total drool over her capy coats and cute accessories (check out the gloves)

And currently watching Hana yori Dango, the Korean version. I mean what kind of men dress like that?

Random: for those like me who absolutely adore Forever 21, know that it was created by a Korean couple living in the US in 1984. Learn more here and here

And for those of you suckers of fun videos, here are some I enjoy from Korea

Mister from Kara


I am your man from 2PM

Saturday, August 20, 2011

DiM: Furoshiki bag

Have you ever heard of a Furoshiki bag?

A Furoshiki bag is a piece of cloth that Japanese people use to wrap things in like lunch bags (bento), bottles, mainly anything that you want to transport from one place to another. I like furoshiki bags because we do have the same tradition at home. Whenever you need to transport big bowls of food around, we wrap them in cloth.
Anyway, a while back during Afrika Festa I saw a Japanese lady wearing a Furoshiki bag. I told her that her bag was fancy and she responded that she just wrapped a scarf around two bag handles and that was it. I thought about doing the same thing for months after that. My obsession took a peek when at my son's school mothers monthly meeting some Japanese ladies offered to teach us how to do various Furoshiki styles. I did not have time to stay for the entire lesson but I snagged a paper with all the furoshiki styles and how to reproduce them. Here is an image similar to the one I snagged.

From the Japanese Ministry of Environment

So after multi months of waiting, here I am trying to do the bag by myself.

Here is what I need:
- Any big enough squared scarf (but not too big)
- bag handles

1- Take the ring and put two ends of the scarf through it, then tie them making a beautiful bow

2- Repeat the same with the other two ends and smooth the edges.
 You have your own Furoshiki bag.

Next step: find some better cloth, preferably a Japanese one

What I like the most about the bag is that you can untie it and make it over using other scarves. And it cost only 100Y for the bag handles at Daiso. If you want fancier bag handles, you can check your local craft store. As for myself, I am happy with the Daiso cheap bag handles (although I just noticed that they are too small. I want something big so I can carry my bag on my shoulders)

One last point:  If you are afraid of the contents of your bag spilling, use a sturdier smaller bag that you would put inside your Furoshiki bag.

So what do you think?

Some cuter and better looking Furoshiki bag


It is raining, it is chilly, and I found this in my closet

Remember when I cured my obsession of jumpsuits by by buying three in a row. Well I ended up giving  one away, and wearing the two others only twice.
Today I am wearing the one I like the most.

Scarf - gifted
Jumpsuit - Shimamura
Shoes - Bonita
Hoop earrings - H&M
Beaded bracelet - can't remember
Ring - can't remember

My new fave pose

Had this scarf since 1999, the last thing I received before boarding the plane to Japan (except hugs and kisses)

Do you have things in your closet that...

you love but can't remember where you got them? It is the case with the last two accessories

And I was happy to discover that even though I gained weight, it still fitted me. (That is why I always buy clothes a size bigger. I know I am prone to gain weight. Besides, I do not like tight clothes). Another thing I discover about the jumpsuit is that its color is grey or non-color like they say in Japan. When I bought it I thought it was dark green. I guess it was due to the lighting of the store. I am a bit disappointed but I still like it. It is so comfortable, it is like I am walking naked. (No strike that, I would not feel comfortable walking naked). It is like I am wearing sweats, which I do when I sleep.
Now, the question I ask myself is why if the jjumpsuit is so comfy, I only wore it twice since I bought it back in September 2010. I have no answer but plenty of excuses I will not bore you with. I just hope, I will get to wear it more in the following months before Winter.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Heat+Fast= breezy outfit

Heat, hot, thirst. 31 degrees inside the house. Don't even ask me about how hot is it outside!

I went to Yokohama to run some errands and by the time I got home I was sweating like a pig (why do they say that, I never seen pigs sweat.Then again, I have never been close enough to a pig to check).
Thank GOD I wore something breezy.

Here is what I whore:

My son snapped this pic while I was giving him instructions

Scarf - Jerusalem Halal Meats
Oversized tee or top - H&M
Red orange pants - H&M
Sandals - Dollhouse via Ross
Bag - Some random shop in Seoul

I also liked what I wore yesterday, although I did not take pics. I went to Sakuragicho to meet with my friend Chrissy from Taiwan. She came to Japan with her parents and decide to rekindle with her friends from college. We were tight back then bonding over Sex and the City and clothes and boys. On that day we went shopping at Collete Mare and had fun checking stuff out. Then we went to the park next to my house to watch Fireworks joined by a Japanese former college mate. Japanese Summer equals Fireworks. Back when my hubby and I just married, we would go anywhere to check them out. But now with kids, it is so much work with the huge crowd, we do not attend them. How lucky that the park  next door provides a great view minus the crowd.
I wore my flower printed shirt from Thai and my white pants. It was a no fuss, no muss outfit.

With my friend Chrissy after the fireworks

These past weeks, that is all I have been wearing: easy to put on, breezy outfits. If I could, I would walk around wearing short shorts and barely there tees. But I can't so I stick to maxi dresses, maxi skirts, and tee shirts with not so heavy pants.
Summer is over for me. My son will start school next week which means that I will be busy taking him to school but also socialising with the mothers who will all be back to Japan. I had a great Summer, doing activities with the kiddies but also experimenting with my outfits and my blogs. I gained a lot of weight but that did not stop me from stepping out of my comfort zone (jeans and flats). Come to think of, I only wore my Mummy jeans (aka my blue skinny jeans) once. Every other time I was out, I wore maxi skirts, maxi dresses, bold prints and colors. I could not be prouder of myself. I just hope that by the time school starts again, I will not fall back into my mommy ways and wear the same variation of the same outfit.
Will see!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ramadan Mubarak!

The holy month of Ramadan started a few days ago. That means that Muslims all over the world will be fasting, praying and trying to get closer to GOD. Ramadan is a joyous month but it is also a tiring month because we have to wake up early to eat breakfast, cook at odd hours, trying to be patient without lots of energy. But it is all for a good cause so I will not be complaining.
I went to the Mosque today. I do not go often due to several reasons, mainly excuses. I am happy to report that I will go often during this month of Ramadan and I am grateful for that.

This is what I wore:

White scarf - Walmart
Dress - tailor made at home
black pants - Ross
Striped shoes - Zara

After looking everywhere for something suitable for the Mosque I found this dress inside my suitcase.  The last time I wore it I was pregnant with my second boy. I was back home, 7 months pregnant with all my clothes being too tight. I needed some new clothes. Too lazy to go shopping-besides I am not sure they have shops specialising in maternity dress back home- I decided to use the pile of cloths I had sitting at my mom's and make myself some pregnancy appropriate clothes. I took the material to the local tailor and showed him my designs. He promised to deliver cute and maternity suitable dresses in a week. A week passed by, then two. Nothing. I became so impatient that I sent my cousin to talk to him -because I knew I would blow in his face. After my cousin transmitted my threats, he finally finished on the clothes. I gave him 5 things to make : an Indian style tunic, a caftan, two empire waist maxi dresses and a simple top. The tunic and the caftan were a marvel but he botched the rest of the outfits. The neck of this dress is not well made, and the sequins and lace details he put on it are really cheap looking. And you should see the details on the other dress. They are so ugly they make me puke. I was mad but too disgusted to even complain. I just silently decided that he lost my business right then and there. Needless to say that the dress was not worn after I gave birth because I did not like it. This is the main reason why I hate going to the tailors and prefer to shop retail.
Anyway, after today, I changed my mind about the dress. It is very airy hence perfect for this Summer's heat. And getting a few compliments on it only added to the new found love.

The cheap looking details (lace and sequins)

Decided to wear my striped shoes since I do not very often, my red patent leather shoes would have been better though

Poorely photographed jewelry: filigree earrings bought I do not remember where and my favorite Sonia Rykiel necklace bought some almost 10 years ago

This dress is made out of a cloth called Khartoum back home. It is very airy. Back home women use it to make Summer outfits. It is also very affordable.

Khartoum material

One can wear the cloth like a Meulfeu, or Mauritanian women traditional dress by tieing some ends of the clothes on the shoulders and rolling the huge piece of clothes around the body to cover it entirely. It is very airy and I find it to be very feminine.

Mauritanian women wearing what we call in Senegal Meulfeu
Actually I used to wear it like that until I realised that I was not an expert at tying the cloth properly. And since I hate pulling and readjusting my clothes, I just decided to make it into two dresses. I now want more Khartoum in my life. But next time I get one, I will have a good tailor make a shape out of it so I can tie it properly. Imagine me walking around in the streets of Yokohama wearing a Meulfeu? Fun!

Best wishes for the holy month.
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