Japanese Fashion – Fall 2014 Coordinate #2

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Hello everyone! I am back with another Fall Coordinate post, and this time is with a Fall Dress!

This fall, another trend is vintage looking flower prints. I personally love flower prints on dresses so I was instantly hooked on this dress from the start just because of that. It’s another outfit from Noela, and can you blame me? They have amazing clothes! This particular dress I bought in their Autumn set Fair, which was a dress and a cardigan for 16,000 yen. I chose a navy blue cardigan with the dress for the set, which is not shown in this post.

What do I love about this dress? First up is the collar and the coloring of the dress. This dress came in a few different colors, but the other colors were a bit too vintage looking for me (and in my opinion, a bit like “grandma’s old couch”), but this white was perfect! The base of the dress is white and the flowers are shades of grey, with the collar being a really dark brown color. As always, I love collars on dresses so this was a perfect match for me. 

SAM_0508Lastly is the cut of the dress. Noela dresses always have amazing cuts and this dress was no exception! It hits my waist at the perfect place, cinching it in. The sleeves are sleeveless, but there is still a bit of a cap to it, so it’s easy to wear with a cardigan!

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This dress was actually my graduation dress from my MBA program at the end of September, so this is a full length shot of me to give a better idea of how the dress fits. I paired it with a pair of black tights and a pair of black pumps, but to make it a bit less formal, I wear it with flats instead.

What do you think of Floral prints? Let me know what you think of this dress in the comments below! Follow me on Instagram @nihonchique to see pictures of other outfits I wear, as well as things going on in Japan!

Noela Website

 

Japanese Entertainment: The Relationship Between Japanese Idols And Their Fans

While I was writing my thesis for my MBA today, which is on the topic of Johnny’s and Associates and the Japanese music industry, the topic of the relationship between a Japanese Idol and their fans popped into my head. Actually, it had been in my head for a while now ever since an article by the Yomiyuri Newspaper about Koyama Keiichiro, a member of my favorite Idol group NEWS,  was released about a week and a half ago. Koyama became a news caster for “News Every” in Spring of 2010 and this January he became a main caster for four out of five weekdays, when the program runs. This article was about the human connection and how through news casting he has been able to connect more with many people, and his fans, more than before. Though he says it’s rare for idol groups to have that deep of a connection, I still think this reflects the relationship between idol groups and their fans.

What exactly is the relationship between Japanese idols and their fans? You can describe it in different ways but I like to simply describe it as like one of a girlfriend and boyfriend, or best friends, but also like parent and child.

The appeal of the Japanese idol is simple, they aren’t perfect. These idols are produced by an management company that trains them from when they are kids to sing and dance and act and be an all around entertainer. From when they enter into the company they are put into the spotlight. They aren’t told or trained to be perfect though and in fact, they are put on variety shows and other television shows where they are made to do wacky things and their personality really shows through. Of course there are parts of this that are artificially produced and controlled, like not having a boyfriend or girlfriend (in public at least) and being clean cut and not having a bad-boy or bad-girl image, but for the most part they are the boy or girl next door. They seem like a normal person that just walked off the street, not a celebrity that is far from reach.

Another aspect of this is that the fans have a say in what the Idol does. Since the fans are spending money on entertainment, the idol and the management company must give them just that. So, the management company and the idols listens closely to the fans to see what they want, and they give it to them. They also sometimes put on events specifically where the fans get to decide themselves what they want, like choosing the set-list for a concert or in AKB48’s case, the fans can vote on who they want to be the “center”, the person who is the focus of the whole routine. This way, the fans feel like they had a hand in the idol growing and the fans grow a long with them, or see them grow up like a parent. I see a lot of mothers and their daughters go to concerts together and support the idol together; the daughter sees the idol as supporting them like a girlfriend would a boyfriend and the mother sees it as supporting the idol like they would their own child.  When idol fans grow up and have their own family and children, another younger idol group has debuted and then their daughter gets into them and the cycle continues.

I also think that Idols give fans a dream, something to shoot for. While the idols grow up and reach their goals, the fans are inspired by them trying so hard, so they work hard for their dream while supporting the idol too. I have met many people that say that being a fan of an idol group has changed their life and made them have a dream and find something that they love or helped them at a hard time in their life. It might be dramatic to say this, but I feel the same way as well. If I hadn’t found my love for Japanese Idols, I wouldn’t have realized my love for Japanese entertainment and I wouldn’t have wanted to move to Japan and live here. So in a way, they help create dreams and the Idols cheer us on as well.

So in a nutshell, this is the relationship. The Idol gives entertainment and gives the fans something to support, the appeal being that they aren’t perfect and they can support the idol growing up and the fans take pride in being apart of that. The Fans spend money on the idol and they get the feeling of satisfaction and pride at being apart of something. They each give and receive something and its unique and pure in a way. Sure there is business behind it and brilliant marketing, but this relationship is something unique to Japan I think.

What do you think about the relationship between Japanese idols and their fans? Have they inspired you in someway? Let me know what you think about this topic below! I think it would be an interesting discussion!

Japanese Fashion: Earth Music&Ecology Golden Week Set 2014

Golden week is one of the peak times to buy things in Japan because there are lots of sale! Since there are many public holidays at the end of April/ Beginning of May each year, many people take a full week off from work and travel, thus called “golden week” . This also includes shopping as well and A lot of stores have sales, and not just on clothes but almost anything you can think of!  This year was the first year that I have been into the clothing brand “Earth Music&Ecology”, so of course I had to check out what deals they had to offer!  Since August of last year, this brand has slowly creeped into being my favorite clothing brand here in Japan.

For golden week, they offered 2 different sets but I decided to just buy one of the sets, the reason being I don’t think longer longer skirts look good on me.

The set that I bought consisted of 2 pieces: A cut off sleeve polka-dot top and a high wasted skirt with ruffles on the pockets. The top has a mesh cut-out that looks like a collar so its easy to wear so you don’t have to wear any necklaces with it and the cut off sleeves are ruffled. The skirt comes with a belt already so you don’t have to buy your own and it is already pair for the right color that goes with your skirt. Though there are ruffles on both the skirt and the top, I don’t think its overdone and I think it gives the outfit a perfect girly feeling to it!

As you can see, I bought 2 of the same set but in different colors because I liked it so much! The first set that I bought is pictured below: It consists of a navy blue top with white polka dots and a mint colored skirt with a camel colored belt.

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I really love navy blue recently because I went blonde towards the beginning of the year, and navy contrast nicely with my hair color. Mint is also a very in color in Japan, and around the world in  general recently, so I have bought a number of mint colored items since the beginning of spring. I decided on a mint colored skirt because I thought it would go nicely with the navy blue and I had a few other tops in my wardrobe that would be able to with it as well.

Pictured below is the the second color combination of the set that I bough. This time I bought the the top in white with black polka dots and the skirt in a almost mustard yellow color.
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This was the original color combination that I fell in love with and was featured in the Earth Music and Ecology summer catalogue. I think for summer, a white top with black polka dots is a timeless piece that will be in your closet for a long time and and can paired with many things, including the mint colored skirt above as well!  Recently I have been into yellow pieces (yes, because of my hair again….) I wanted the yellow skirt because I didn’t have a yellow skirt in my wardrobe yet.

Normally the top and skirt are both 4,200 yen+ tax (Approx. 42$USD) each, but with the set deal that was offered during Golden week, it was 6000 yen + tax, (Approx. $60USD) which is almost 2000 yen off of the original price. That is the equivalent of about $20 USD off of the original price, which is great for a brand like Earth!

Though the golden week price is over, If you would like to see more about these items or are interested in the brand, please check out the Earth Music&Ecology Website and web-store! They offer the website in English as well (look at the bar on the left side of the screen to change it). On the website, they have The Summer catalogue to view that was released in the middle of April and this set is included inside of it.

Earth Music&Ecology Website

Earth Music&Ecology Web store (Only Ships inside of Japan)

*DISCLAIMER: I was not sponsored by the company for writing this blog post. I used my own money to buy these products*