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GINZA SIX EDITORS

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A Power Spot in Ginza: Filling Up on Refined Luxury

藤冈笃子

GINZA SIX EDITORS Vol.86

It’s hot and humid here in Tokyo in early September, but signs of fall are beginning to seep into the air. Soon I’ll be on my way to Europe to cover Fashion Week, but today I chose to stroll around GINZA SIX—lined with luxury boutiques displaying cruise collections, Japan specials, and more, all arranged side by side—and maybe get an advance peek. It feels much like taking a stroll down Avenue Montaigne in Paris or Via Monte Napoleone in Milan. As a fashion journalist, I’m always on the lookout for new information. There’s so much here to catch the eye. I feel I want to pick things up without thinking and find so much I would personally like to own. And in this way begins a short hour-and-a-half trip filled with luxury and enticements.
I first visit Ginza Tsutaya Books, a palace of books.

The GINZA SIX location in particular is known for its collection of unique titles. It’s my perpetual favorite. Whenever I’m here, I browse the photography section, where you’ll always find special limited editions. If you inquire, a store’s white-gloved photography concierge will turn the pages for you while providing helpful explanations. My concierge today is Fumiaki Banba.

On this occasion, I’m after a photography collection from the English photographer David Bailey (390,000 yen; all prices listed before tax). To make it easier to leaf through and enjoy this huge book, it’s displayed on a custom desk designed by Marc Newson (amazingly, the book and desk are sold together!), which is positioned at the entrance of the photography section. In the distant past, seeking out and pining for fashion and London, I’d gaze intently into his black-and-white photos, all but boring holes through them. David Bailey was my hero in the London of that distant time.
In Britain, when the class system remains fairly entrenched, a fishmonger’s son conquered the world’s fashion magazines as the industry’s top photographer and became a major figure of the counterculture—truly a 60s success story. He was the embodiment of pop culture in London at a time when the establishment was tumbling down.

The book is divided by era, from the 1960s to the present. The photos of the leading celebrities of the day are sharp black-and-whites, sometimes whimsically cropped. You look at them again and again and never tire. Or, perhaps it’s better to say, you can study them for hours. They’re materials from which the imagination springs; will the source ever run dry? The photos almost speak the lives of their subjects.

Jean Shrimpton, supermodel and erstwhile lover of David Bailey, was also a conqueror of the 60s. Twiggy may have been more famous in Japan, but globally, in the fashion magazines of the time, Shrimpton was by far the more prominent figure. When Shrimpton rushed in, soaking wet, and met Diana Vreeland, famed editor-in-chief of American Vogue, for the first time, Vreeland reportedly cried out, “Adorable!” Shrimpton was the legendary muse of Swinging London; even her passport photo was perfect, it’s said. Among the fashion shots of Shrimpton taken by Bailey that graced magazine covers are innumerable masterpieces. You’ll find a selection of these in this volume. After his relationship with Jean Shrimpton ended, David Bailey married Catherine Deneuve; they later divorced…

Oh, here’s Federico Fellini, the director, and Marcello Mastroianni, and here’s Jeanne Moreau! Every time I turn the page, I encounter, once again, brimming from every page, the essence of Bailey’s vision. Every portrait I look at makes me smile. I could study each one forever—but the time, the time… I feel rushed and turn the pages reluctantly.

Fashion has strong ties to counterculture: photography, music, literature, art, dance—all these modes of expression stimulate creative individuals. The 60s and 70s are themselves a fount of inspiration. The photos that transformed the symbolic figures of these decades into icons express something beyond their subject matter. At times, they presaged what was to come. The much-discussed film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, currently in theaters, takes up the 1969 murder of actress Sharon Tate, in which Sharon, eight months pregnant, and several friends, including her former fiancé, celebrity hair stylist Jay Sebring, were murdered in the mansion of the director Roman Polanski, Tate’s husband, while he was away in London shooting a film. Tate hadn’t been married to Polanski for long. The photo here shows them when they were perhaps at their happiest, before tragedy struck. She was murdered by members of the Manson Family, a cult led by Charles Manson. The photo gives a sense of this historical backdrop, a time when the hippy movement began tilting towards cultism.

Needing a change of pace, I next go to Giuseppe Zanotti, a gorgeous Italian shoe brand.

During Milan Fashion Week, there’s great vibrancy and glamour on Via Monte Napoleone. Perfume drifts through the air. I could chat there on the streets forever, as if I actually lived there. There’s an unending stream of people at the Giuseppe Zanotti boutique in particular. At the GINZA SIX boutique as well, you’ll find rows of iconic shoes that express peak glamour.

This is what Zanotti is all about! These white boots have metallic gold heels with a patterned uneven surface, as if they’d been embossed. Giuseppe Zanotti’s magical powers of sophistication give a simple look to this stunning combination of white and gold. It’s chic to wear white boots in winter. Wearing these, no matter what else you wear, will transform you into a Milanese sophisticate.

Giuseppe Zanotti’s second magical power is to make sparkle itself the essence of the brand. Without fail, at the showroom in Via Monte Napoleone each season, he sets out jeweled shoes that confer brilliance upon every step (above photo: 220,000 yen). As diamond rings are for fingers, these shoes are exquisite jewelry for the feet. They’re gorgeous in a way that makes the people around you catch their breath. The large, dazzling flower, apparently created to grace the red carpet or a special evening occasion, sparkles on the ankle. Who would wear these shoes? What dress would they wear? The thought buoys my spirits. You’ll want to keep these jeweled shoes for special occasions.

This is the third magical power of Giuseppe Zanotti. I find myself succumbing to temptation. “Feel free to try a pair on,” says an encouraging voice. With that, I choose a pair of black flats (105,000 yen) from the Zanotti lineup, more or less intended for ordinary outings. There’s a ribbon of rhinestones on the toe; there’s an intense sense of Zanotti’s spirit in the air. By chance, they go pretty well, I think, with the sweater and pleated skirt I happen to be wearing, my signature look. I discover the shoes look great not just in evening dress, but with the clothes in which I regularly venture out into the world. The enticing world of Zanotti is a knockout.

Italian brands really grab hold of a woman’s heart. And, as if drawn by magic, I go next to Fendi.

Fendi, a long-standing proprietor of fur and leather goods, operates a boutique in the corner of GINZA SIX along Ginza Chuo Avenue. Founded in 1925, the shop was passed down to the founder’s five daughters, who expanded it with modern styles. Currently, its creative director is Silvia Fendi, from the family’s third generation. Karl Lagerfeld joined the company in 1965 at the tender age of 27: this 54-year collaboration is the great glory of Fendi’s history. Regrettably, Karl Lagerfeld passed away this year in February, two days before Fendi was to show its collection. He reportedly was giving instructions over the phone until the very end. It happened suddenly; no one expected it. David Bowie’s “Heroes” played at the end of the show to honor Karl’s prodigious achievements. It still rings in my ear. One reason I came to Fendi today was I’d heard that a number of items incorporated the FF logo based on the calligraphy handwritten by Karl in 1981. And, indeed, from fur coats to handbag buckles, this turns out to be true! It’s somewhat like Karl’s last statement. Highly refined and with an affecting presence, this FF calligraphy is perhaps a gift Karl Lagerfeld has bequeathed us. I definitely want something with this logo.

His gorgeous sketches are displayed in the elevator leading to the VIP room. The strong bond with Fendi is palpable. His distinctive kitsch color schemes and flowing sketches breathe eternal life into the brand.

Peekaboo X-Lite, a hot handbag line at the moment, is now available in a large-sized crocodile leather bag (3,500,000 yen). The large dimensions make it ideal for carrying numerous documents, and it looks versatile enough for work. I reach for it without thinking. The bright, brown crocodile leather goes well with any style. One could carry it with all sorts of looks, and it’s surprisingly light. The splendid craftsmanship gives a strong sense of Fendi’s depths as a fashion maison.

The FF logo, an integral part of Fendi’s history, remains as popular as ever. Initially used in the liners, it first appeared in 1969 with Fendi’s prêt-à-porter fur coat collection, becoming an icon of the brand thereafter. Starting with the popular Baguette handbag, it’s woven into various items in Jacquard fabric and prints and occurs as a fur accent as well. This tailored coat (516,000 yen) is accented with gorgeous, whimsical fur pockets bearing the FF logo.

Anyone coming to Fendi would want to run their hands through the maison’s iconic top-of-the-line fur. Wrapping yourself in soft fur exercises a soothing magic over both body and mind. It’s a kind of happiness to which all women can surely relate. If you’re reasonably careful, the fur will last 100 years, I’m told. Three generations will wear it, after which it returns to the earth. In the fourth floor VIP room, I get advice from the fur expert on hand. Seeing various furs and running your hands through them is the ultimate experience. The refinement of this black and white blouson (23,681,000 yen) makes it perfect, of course, for special evenings; but it would also go surprisingly well with a pair of sporty jeans. Having said this, the use of high-grade bobcat fur in a casual design speaks to Fendi’s wonderful combination of sensibility and technique. The brand feels all the more appealing.

GINZA SIX offers the opportunity to visit, in a short span of time, the pinnacles of Milanese and Parisian luxury brands. The customer service is thoughtful and attentive. It’s a real pleasure to experience the underlying strength of these long-standing brands—brands that are about so much more than the quality of their products. It’s a rare experience one can experience not just on famed shopping boulevards overseas, but at GINZA SIX. The true strength of a brand isn’t just technique, and it isn’t just design. I’m convinced it’s the high standard for overall capabilities, including the service customers receive at its boutiques. You can experience this exalted quality at GINZA SIX while strolling about and soaking up this aura of luxury, as if you were at a power spot in the heart of Ginza.

Text:Atsuko Fujioka Photos:Kanako Noguchi Edit:Yuka Okada(edit81)

editors_fujioka

藤冈笃子

经过国际羊毛秘书处(IWS)女装时装指导员,作为时装记者开始活动。朝日新闻,每日新闻,AERA,FIGARO japon被从报纸到时尚杂志广泛的媒体执笔。当,另外,连载不停在25ans,GINGER,GIZELE等的日本的时尚杂志,刊登在中国版的Ray或者Glamorous也的时候。也负责信息知识辞典"imidasu"的时装专业的写作编辑,在手机版的imidasu(http://imidas.jp)解释时装用语的"花的LAN方法"超人气。在容易知道专门用语,解释的原稿得到公认,异行业企业,团体等的讲演也家电,化妆品多。1年两次举行的"藤冈笃子时装·倾向速报研讨会"以编辑,服饰的采购员或者设计师为中心受到高的评价,是日本第一的动员数。如果"买主变化的话,卖方著作变化"(日本效率协会)。社团法人日本流行色协会时装顾问。日本和法国协会理事。自2016年度起就任神户艺术工科大学艺术工学部时装设计学科客座教授。

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2019.09.26 UP