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    Entries in Far East (7)



    We've talked about Men's Top 10 Trends in 2011 a couple of weeks ago, and now it's time to reveal what the women of Harajuku were rocking last year. Harajuku is one of the fashion hotspots of Japan, it is colourful, bold, and playful. In this little trend report, we can see that the Far East shared some similar trends with the West last year, but in terms of colour and pattern use, Harajuku girls always go the extra mile.


    See Through

    When I think of see through materials, the iconic trend would have to be YSL's 1969 sculpture gowns. Since 2010, this trend was popular among all styles, in 2011, Harajuku girls mainly use it with contrast materials.


    Mixed Materials

    Combinations of different materials have been introduced by many big brands since the Fall of 2011, and it soon became trendy for the Harajuku girls, who are really good at pulling it off. The denim and leather match was particularly popular.



    2011 Tartan was big among boys and girls in Harajuku, men wearing kilts, and the women love tartan coats, vintage style is preferable.


    Colour Block

     Everybody knows this trend last year, it was very popular before the earthquake struck Japan, but then did not seem to fit with the mood of the country. But the Harajuku girls brought it back to lighten up people's mood.


    Volume Coat

    This look was seen in many big brands in A/W 2011, Japanese girls generally like oversize knits to contrast their tiny frames. Last year, big sleeves were particulaly popular, with beige, camel, and grey colour to soften it up.


    White Tights 

    White tights appeared in Harajuku from late 2010, and became more popular in 2011. It represents the lolita spirit which is always popular in Japan, it was also a big element in Bottega Veneta 2011 Fall collection.



    The 'collar trend' was probably one of the most dominant trend last year. Who knew a tiny collar could make such a difference to one's style! Some say the collar trend in Japan began when Princess Diana visited Japan in 1986.



    Following the boys, platforms was big for girls as well. Platforms are always trendy, but you can see a lot of Converse, Dr. Martens platforms last year.


    Vintage Glasses

    2011, vintage glasses were very popular. They name girls that dare to wear big old school glasses "Akiba Girl" in Harajuku. 


    American Apparel Bag

    Cool, simple, chic, and cheap, the American Apparel tote bag was very popular among the Harajuku girls, especially the younger crowd.


    Source & images from

    STP's Far East Feature: 2011 Men's Top 10 Trends @ Tokyo Harajuku

    Since I've been living in the East and the West for the past 6 years, it's always an hobby (and also my job) to observate the fashion between both sides. I found a survey done by Japan's street style/ trend report website, and I thought it might be fun to show people last year's top 10 biggest trend in Tokyo's fashion central, Harajuku.


    Super Short Shorts

    Cotton shorts became popular in 2010, but in 2011, they are even shorter! How short is super short? The key is to be at least beyond the knees. In the spring, summer, Harajuku men were embracing men's hot pants and showing off their lean legs that would even make girls jealous.


    Kilt/ Tartan Skirt

    Since 2008, man's skirt trend started to appear in Harajuku. Since tartan was a popular element last year, obviously men in skirts became the much more manly, men in kilt.


    Side Parting

    2011's theme was "Classic", approximately 8:2 ratio side parting hair style was very popular. Maybe Harajuku was also blown by Mad Men's stylish wind?



    More and more guys on the street of Harajuku can be seen with a bicycle. The boom happened after the big earthquake struck Japan last year and many people couldn't get home without the metro. Now people are persuing a more fashionable, environment friendly lifestyle. 


    Denim on Denim

    This late 80s till 90s trend has been popular amongst the girls in Harajuku since 2008, but in 2011, the men are owning this look.



    Men's high heels was a big trend in 2010, in 2011, thanks to Parda's S/S men's platform shoes, Harajuku men tried many different material platforms. This kinda punk-y look was also favoured by girls.



    German luxury brand Mode Creation Munich became one of the hottest brand in Harajuku last year, the reason they became trendy again was because they re-branded themselves to a more street trend brand by collaborating with some of the coolest designers and bloggers from Harajuku. A luxury brand to a street brand, good strategy.


    1 Time Fold Up

    To give a slim silhouette a final finish is to follow Harajuku's golden "1 Time Fold Up" rule. In the summer guys can show their ankles, in the winer, they chose a bright colour socks to give it a twist.



    How hard is to wear sweatpants cool? It's probably as hard as trying to make a men's brief a fashion item. But it might just be because it's a difficult challenge, it became creative Harajuku men's popular element last year. The important note is to match them with formal wear or harder material. The guys looked quite playful, don't you think?



    The idea is to use flashy patterns but traditional suit wear to create a contrast and bold look. Denim on Denim can also fall in this category, but by using patterns and textiles it's even more advanced. Isn't the old man on the right the pimpest but in the same time the cutest old man you've ever seen?

    Source & images from

    Far East Feature: Bubble Tea will change your world

    When I heard Bubbleology, the original Taiwanese bubble tea was coming to Leeds for one day, I was so super excited I shivered and drooled for 2 days (stroke?). Bubble tea, also called pearl tea, is a traditional Taiwanese drink that became very popular in Asia in the 80s, and now world wide. An innovative drink combined with beverages and desserts.

    "Having a cuppa." is such an important thing in British culture, in Asia, tea is also in our daily lifes, our bones, our blood, and our history. In Chinese culture, we create poems for good teas, we have wars fighting for them, we can say sorry, thank you, or good bye with the gesture of making a cup of tea, we need them in weddings, graduations, any occasion.

    If you ever get to go to Taiwan, you will find little tea shops in every corner. In there, you get to customize your own favorite teas, from what kind of tea, warmth, how much sugar, to what do you want to add in there, including bubbles, jello, or even aloe vera and so on.

    That's why when I went to Victoria Quarter last Saturday, and had my first drink of bubble tea for the last 15 months, I was so happy I could kick someone in the face(?). The Bubbleology's bubble tea is exactly how I remembered, the taste, the bubble, even the machine that packaged the cup! 

    So if you're in London, you are very lucky as you can just pop into their shops. If you're in the North like me, join my prayers for them to expand here in the very near future. All hail Bubble Tea!


    My Internship In The Fashion Industry

    Blumarine A/W 08 show in Taipei 101's 84th floor.MS YAMING multi brand show including MMM, Balenciaga, CDG, Junya Watanabe, R by 45RPM, Undercover.Stephane Dou A/W 08.Blumarine after party.Blumarine A/W 08 backstage.Jimmy Choo bags piled up before the photo shoot.

    Lately we've been busy planning several new fashion projects and it reminded me of the time I did my Fashion PR internship back in Taipei. It was amazing to be involved in fashion shows and openings for brands like Maison Martin Margiela, Comme Des Garçons, Balenciaga, Jimmy Choo, Georg Jensen, Blumarine and many many more.

    My internship started in the summer of 2008, with fashion PR agency STARFiSH Concept. As then a second year fashion marketing student, I knew it was crucial to take the initiative and be active. STARFiSH Concept has an impressive track record of working with international brands, so I sent my CV to them even though I knew they were not recruiting for interns. A few days later, I got a phone call from one of the directors herself, and after the interview, 2 months in the Taiwan fashion world began.
    I started with the not so glamorous stuff. My job included photocopying, answering phone calls, sealing invitations and arranging press kits (arranging each press release in the right order and into the right envelope part, not the advanced writing press release part!). After a while, my superb photocopying and envelope sealing skills landed me more important role in the company. By the end of my internship, I was lucky that I got to see every step of the process of constructing a successful event. One minute I could be sitting in the same table and having a meeting with brands like Georg Jensen, Blumarine, and Banana Republic and the next minute ordering food for the whole production team before a show. At the events one of my jobs was to remember all the A-list guest's names and where they would be sitting on the front row, so I can greet them and take them to their seat. The next day I would be taking a £2,000 Blumarine dress to tailor to fix, guarding it with my life. Other jobs included contacting journalists, confirming RSVPs from the important guests, model castings, and handling lots and lots of the unplanned situations that would happen at an event... Well actually the agency directors would handle most of them, I would handle situations like when I accidentally pressed the emergency button in the bathroom of Georg Jensen's Taiwan headquarters.
    Maison Martin Margiela rehearsal.Me and colleagues after MS YAMING show.Those two months were an amazing experience for me. The fashion industry is an extremely fast paced and brutal world, and in many ways is very different to other professions. But just like other industries, fashion has it's own cycles and it's own rules. When I started my fashion marketing and communication course at IED, I quickly realised fashion can be one of the most superficial industries, yet there's so much thought and creativity put into the strategy behind a brand, a show, or a collection. 
    During my internship, my directors were always looking for talented people to join their team. From what i could see, the fashion marketing/ communication/ PR they (and the industry in general) were looking for people that have a knowledge of fashion, fast reactions, understand trends, tact, decent writer, and good looking or well dressed... and very few people can reach all of those levels, I wish I could have even 60% of the elements I listed. That's why it often needs a team with different strengths to execute a fashion event, and then many of these teams to create a fashion industry.
    Looking at where I am based now, I think this is what needs to happen in Leeds. We need to grow and develop the best individuals we can. This means we can then have great teams creating amazing events and projects. If we do this often enough and more importantly well enough, we can begin to build an industry here. At Hebe we often talk about 'creating the industry we want to work in' and hopefully we will be able to contribute to and help that happen.
    This is Taiwanese fashion brand Stephane Dou's A/W 08 fashion show that I was involved with.

    STP's Far East Feature: Kung Fu 

    Today I was kicked in the back of the chair by someone here in the Hebe Media office. It made me want to get my Kung Fu on! It also got me thinking of some of the great Kung Fu movies I used to watch as a kid. 

    Kung Fu, played such an important role in the Far East movie movement. In 1949, a of bunch of martial arts academies put together a fund to shoot a film about a legendary hero Wong Fei-Hung with not just acting, but actual kung fu fights in it. Since then, Kung Fu movies grew in popularity. Every decade, there were new Kung Fu stars to take the genre to the next level. The greatest star of all was Bruce Lee, his brand new performing style attracted global attention. After he died, all the studios tried to create a different Kung Fu star to fill his spot, including Jackie Chan. But people weren't buying it, no one can replace Bruce Lee.

    "After Bruce Lee passed away, the whole movie industry went down. Everyone thinks he is the best, no one wanted to watch other Kung Fu movies, I was very disappointed at the time." - Jackie Chan

    Luckily, a few years later they found back into people's hearts: Kung Fu comedy. And finally, Jackie Chan's career took off from this point. In the 80s, Kung Fu became a great support for action films, a few action directors even made it to the Hollywood and are still playing important roles there like Yuen Woo-ping for Matrix, Charlie's Angel, etc. Jet Li became famous afterwards in the 90s by playing the legend Wong Fei-Hung. 

    Some people think that one of the popular themes in Kung Fu movies, you know the one, where the Kung Fu master beats some foreigner, are a comfort for the memories of the Chinese being invaded by foreign intruders. For kids (like me!), Kung Fu characters were just like Superman for us, giving us the feeling of knowing someone out there with great power, is fighting the big man and protecting us. And also it is just a lot of fun to learn from the tv how to Kick people in the face with style ;)