In a recent article in Travel + Leisure, Lynn Yaeger writes: “Five minutes after you arrive in Tokyo, you’re struck by it: this is the most stylish city you’ve ever been in, a place where fashion is taken so seriously that many of its women and men are themselves veritable works of art.”
I’m not sure if fashion victims in Tokyo are works of art, but it is an interesting angle to view the phenomenon. For decades, Tokyo has been the place where the cutting edge of fashion can be found all over the city. If you live there and care about fashion, life could become expensive and tiring. (This is one of the reasons I fled to New York almost 20 years ago. New York is crude, and people here are not as chic as people in Paris, not as stylish as people in Tokyo. Things are quite casual and relaxed in New York City.)
My kid brother no longer belongs to the hip, young generation of Tokyo, but I was curious to check what he was wearing during a recent stay in Japan. Like any fashion conscience person, young men in Tokyo are very picky about their shoes. To tell the truth, I couldn’t completely comprehend the trend in men’s shoes this time… In one occasion, my brother was wearing ‘red enamel shoes’ which were kind of a visual assault on my senses (my eyes can only stand looking at a red Ferrari or a red Valentino Garavani dress) and couldn’t remember what kind of clothes he was wearing that day. The only thing I could understand about the men’s shoes in Tokyo was making a strong statement with a pair of shoes. They were more or less the same in shape, but varied in colors, materials and patterns (crocodile, snake, leopard…).
On the last day in Tokyo, we got together at Omotesando after his meeting with clients. He appeared in shoes which seemed to be a pair of Tod’s and a nice Dolce & Gabbana suit. It was a relief to me.
The image has nothing to do with this post, but it’s a common scene in Tokyo.