A SHOOT WITH SHION. FINALLY!

At Gothic church, St Mary Aldermary, with Shion Oshikawa from Japan, where the magic happens.

I’ve been shooting street style of cool Japanese people, in London for around 26 years. I’ve been trying to do a proper photo-shoot with Shion for 6 of those, and I finally got my chance mid October 2020.
Let me tell you after all that time, it was well worth the wait.

Shion is a Barista at the Host Cafe, which resides in the amazing Gothic church, St Mary Aldermary, in the city of London,
We got permission to shoot in this amazing location, with it’s decorative, ornate high ceiling and interior. Being a church, it’s a calming and relaxed setting. Just perfect for a brief escape from the toils of modern city life.
I can highly recommend a visit during weekdays. It closes mid afternoon. Check it’s site and listings for full opening times.

Shion is not a professional model, but WOW!
You all know I champion all those petite women out there, the fashion world keeps ignoring.
Petite that she sure is. But again, WOW! Every time I shoot photos of this woman, she has an energy that is overflowing, and when she laughs, well let’s just say it’s on the bucket list for sure, an experience not to be missed.

We did 2 looks. A colourful pair late 60s, early 1970s of pleated floaty bottom chiffon trousers, with a floral blouse, and an alternative black chiffon floral print blouse with balloon sleeves.

The second look was that of a 1970s Studio 54 style disco groove, with brown suede leather shorts, a colourful waist tie lurex top, a poppy hat and an alternative airline cap, and high heel sandals by high end luxury French shoe brand Charles Jourdan,
to fit Shion’s super tiny feet.

Shion has so much energy and bottled up excitement.
With a bit of a shake and some direction, we managed to get it to overflow,
and I’m sure you will all agree, the images speak for themselves.
They all contain her fun energy signature of vintage style with a big smile.

Many thanks Shion, and to the folks at the Host Cafe and St Mary Aldermary church.

SWAY GALLERY KAMA ASA POP UP

Kitchenware can be and is sexy, fashionable and exciting. Really! It is. Listen up!

To all you chefs, cooks and master’s of the blade. Those of you that worship and get all excited at curves, edges and angles of functionality, especially when combined with beauty and design.
pop down to the Sway Gallery on Old Street, London EC1V.
There you can get your fix of sublime traditional Japanese kitchenware.

The folks at Kama Asa, have a unique pop up exhibition, and yes you can buy what you see and covet, for any chefs out there, wishing to enhance their skills and arsenal with the finest tools, fit for the craft of creating pleasure for the palette, the spirt,
as well as for the eyes.

The finest Japanese blades of excitement, large rice bowls, drop lids, long heat resistant chopstick for your tempura, tamago nabe, both copper or nonstick for domestic use, no need for high risk high temperature pan seasoning, knife stones of various grades,
pots and pans. Need to prepare your fresh daikon oroshi? the tools are al there.

Feel the Heart of Japanese Kitchen Utensils by Kama Asa   13th – 25th May 2019

KEIKO KIKKAWA – MANGA ARTIST

Keiko Kikkawa

The talented Japanese Manga Artist based in Poland, visited London for a solo exhibition of her work, at the Sway Gallery London titled, ARE YOU ME? – saga in manga linea-ARTIST: K:KO.

The lovely Keiko was kind enough to let me have a short Q and A interview with her at the gallery open event. Here is what took place infront of a small select few of her lovely hand illustrated line work and Manga style art.

Pat: I noticed you have several styles which I like. Why do you work in many different styles?
Keiko: I like very much working with line art, but actually, I haven’t quite found my my own style, I am still looking for it, so I like to try many new things.

Pat: I noticed your work is influence from both Japanese eyes, as well as western eyes.
Keiko: I like watching Japanese anime, especially the old ones like Akira.

Pat: After viewing my favourite work of yours a retro Shojo style piece, what was your motivation for it? Why shoji and why an 80s /90s style to it?
Keiko: Actually I really like yōkai 妖怪 Japanese monsters, and this is one of the yōkai stories. There are several in the exhibition. When I read about demonic monsters yōkai, it means much to me this style.

Pat: I notice there are many animals in your work. I suspect it’s because of your interest in yōkai, but is there any other reason?
Keiko: I didn’t really think about the fact there were animals, I just focused on the yōkai story.

Pat: If you don’t know much about Japanese folk law and historical tales, like the cunning fox tricking and possessing people, many people from the west might not see the subtle layers Japanese culture has, they may just foces on the many animals present in your work.
Keiko: But now you say it, I see that now, there are many animals. I never noticed it.

Please pop into down to the Sway Gallery London if you have some time free, to check out the work of the lovely Keiko Kikkawa. She gives talks and teaches Manga art classes. Well worth getting to know more about this artist, and various other events at the gallery.

The exhibition is on April 13th – May 8th

You can find out more about the artist and her work at

https://kejko.me/

www.instagram.com/kkejko

PHOTOGRAPHY BY PAT LYTTLE

VINTAGE HAORI STYLE

My beautiful and amazing Chinese fashion influencer friend and muse Harper Silin, purchased a vintage Haori the other day. Like many people, she was told it was a kimono, as that is what so many here in the west are told they are.

The Haori 羽織 is worn by women as outer or overwear to a Kimono. It is a light mid length jacket, normally not tied, so it is open to reveal the beauty of the Kimono and Obi under it.

Harper liked her black Haori very much. But the cost, the price was so much. Young Millennials.
You know how they are when it comes to money. More than we ever could dream of, yet so frugal and intent on a good bargain and tweeting, blogging or posting on Instagram about their latest haul.
And why not.

Harper looked great in all black, a great silhouette, her high street dress and her vintage Haori.
Lift your arms? What? she says. Hold out your arms like a tree. Reluctantly she fulfils my strange request. Look at the beautiful shape I say. Look how the sleeves hang and drop in a perfect right angle like a long square i say. Amazed, a smile comes to her face. When she smile’s and laughs, WOW. Forget your atom bombs and nuclear energy. More positive energy radiates from her than you can imagine.

The sales person in the shop did not tell her about the unique beauty of this item she purchased.
Just the typical you like, so buy and goodbye.
So when the lovely Harper showed me her purchase, I had to say it looks great, but you do know i have lots of these vintage Haori don’t you. Let’s try some, so after trying a few ranging from the 1940s to the 1980s, we opted for this one from the late 60s, with its colourful geo pattern, and its strange ubique paper like feel.

The shoot components consisted of a vintage belt to bind her super tiny waist, as an Obi was just too big and would be the star and not Harper in her Haori. Harper is an ambassador for the French bag brand GB David, so we had to have their popular cute cats eye bag. The Chantilly Le Chat Premier.

Next we added the way cool lace kitten heels with butterfly detail by Aruna Seth.
Harper has the most tiny and pretty feet, so to me, for this shot, it made sense to promote the pretty shoes by not wearing them, but to allude to them in a sensuous way, by showing off her bare feet, but holding the shoes. I think it works. Hope you do too.

The other look was a purple sparkly lurex mini dress from the late 1960s, working thigh the colours we matched with tiny court shoes with Japanese socks. Why do we only thinks of socks in the west, as only for children. Women rock socks, and if you’re into socks, there is only one place that rules, Japan. So we raided the treasure chest of cute socks for these, to complete the look.
For a few shots, we added a colour accent of a lime green wide brim floppy hat.

Hope you like the images and their energy.

Enjoy

 

JAPANESE STREET STYLE HITS CAMDEN SPRING 2018

Japanese Street Style hits Camden

In the wee early hours of the morning, I was scrolling through Instagram, and spotted the lovely Kiriko Takemura, better known as Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The Cute Superstar of Japanese J-pop, and ambassador of Kawaii fashion, was in London to perform at legendary Koko in cool, trendy and very colourful Camden. One could say, London’s very own Harajuku.

Sadly her post said the gig was “SOLD OUT”, so sadly I cannot share with you any pictures of the super cool and most pretty little one. You’ll just have to buy a copy of JAPANESE STREET STYLE
and have a look at page 85, to see the pictures I shot of the lovely woman I spotted on Omotesando in Harajuku looking way cool and super stylish, way before she became the superstar that she is today.

What I did manage to get you was a taster of the many cool and funky people, dressed in kawaii style or at the very least, fashionably touched by Japanese style, and I believe looked great. See for yourselves. I’m sure you’ll all agree.

Images featured show Effi from West London, wearing a playsuit by Cyberdog, a long sleeve rainbow coloured shirt by Japanese brand Galaxy, with cool socks from Takeshita Dori in harajuku, Tokyo and shoes from eBay.

Karen Nagato from London, dressed all in black in Gothic Lolita style, she wears a dress by Atelier Pierrot, a bag by Irregular Choice and Mon Lily sweet doll shoes by Honey Cherry.

Jibby from London who wears a pink vintage baby doll dress, with ankle boots from TK Max.

LONDON FASHION WEEK AW 2018 – Part 2

SOCKS WITH HEELS.

Here are those Kendall pearly metallic spiked block heel sandals by Gucci. Worn here with socks.

Ah yes!  That eternal argument. Socks with heels. We can can hear some of you in rage just over the thought of such a thing, others shaking your head, saying absolutely not among yourselves. We see you all. We hear those thoughts loud and clear.

The huge trend for funky and cute socks with heels that swept Japan back in the late 90s early 2000s made quite an impact and influence on the mainstream world of High end fashion, as it always does. Miuccia Prada was a keen watcher, and her Spring 2008 reflected it. Long socks with those beautiful secret garden flower heels. Think you can quite guess, at street fashion blog JSTREETSTYLE, we’re on the side of socks with heels. Ardent campaigners for the cause we’d say.

At London Fashion Week, you could see this trend in practice. Even the clear and present influence, culminating  in the guise of quite exciting offspring, Fendi, Vetements among the popular few on show.

PARIS FASHION WEEK SS 2018 Part 1

PARIS FASHION WEEK SS 2018 by JSTREETSTYLE
Those narrow cobbled stone streets are a calling. They tap you on the shoulder
to command your attention. “Over hear” they discretely whisper in your ear.
Unless that is you are in a car, then it’s screamed or shouted out of the window in no uncertain terms. The point is, one is invited to look where one wound not normally.
For then you might catch sight of the goings on. Not those goings on.
No! It’s Paris after all. That’s always happening.
We mean the sights of the super stylish stepping out of a car, walking up the road,
bag swaying, heels clicking, dress swaying and swishing, and it is indeed a sight and a spectacle worth an encounter of ones time, should you happen across it during the weak when all descend upon Grand Paris, for what she has up her sleeve as a teaser to the grand shows behind huge closed doors, only accessible to the elite, which is what Paris loves most. Le Discretion.

But as you all know, and coming back to our original point, it’s outside on the street where all the real action takes place and it is viewable, obtainable, if you know how, when and where, and if not, then we’ll bring it to you.

Here is a small taste of what is to come, what we liked and wanted to share.

JAPAN MATSURI 2017. LONDON

Japan Matsuri is a celebration of Japanese Culture, held at Trafalgar Square in London, on the 24th September 2017. The event was and is a typical Natsu Matsuri, Summer Festival with great Japanese food, and who doesn’t like Japanese food?

Seriously entertaining stage performances showcasing culture, stalls for satisfying ones curiosity or for some well deserved and needed retail therapy, martial arts performances, anime fans, cosplayers, yukata, kimono and haori on display and for sale, karaoke contests and so much more, and all viewed and experienced in the heart of London live by thousands of people on perfect hot sunny day.

For more images of the day’s event, and for a perfect taster of japanese culture in London, click to this Flickr link https://flic.kr/s/aHsm5NVb72

HYPER JAPAN 2017

On the street outside the 2017 Summer Hyper Japan event, the key or popular
Japanese street style trends seemed to be that of Decora and Fairy Kei.
A noticeable or popular colour palette appeared to be in place, so we aimed
to capture and bring those observations to you the fans.

Many of you will know or have noticed street style seems to have lost its edge in Japan
over the last 2 years. Things such as the uncertain economy lack of budget,
shops closing and going out of business faster than ever, could well be factors,
but the tried and tested faves like Decora, Fairy, Dolly Kei and Lolita are still popular
and especially with westerners.

Purple, blue hues, pinks and greens are popular the world over with teen culture,
so no surprise that we encountered lots of it over the weekend.

Talking about trends popular in Japan and in the west, you can’t ignore the growth in popularity all over of the shining star of the Goth world.
SteamPunk always seems to rise to the top, so it was no surprise that we encountered it on the weekend.
Some of you might be familiar with Performance Artist Ann Pendigrast.
She always makes her own hats, bags and dresses. Usually leaning towards the Lolita side of style, we found that this instance of spotting the lovely Ann, she had embraced the charms of the SteamPunk genre.

We often hear about the term bucket list and a visit to Japan, or at the very least to Tokyo should without a doubt feature on most people’s list. It is indeed a remarkable place with remarkable people. Those of you that like the idea of Japan and all its candy coloured excitement, buy like many are somewhat detured by the emense expence such a visit would cost, you can’t do worse than a visit to the Next Hyper Japan when it swings around next. For many it will probably be the closest you’ll come to being in Japan, and that will be pretty close to start with. All of Japan in one place on one day or a weekend.

Why not give it a try.

 

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