Having given you an idea about what you can expect from Tokyu Plaza Omotesando, Harajuku’s latest fashion institution (here if you missed it), I thought I would take you through a couple of my personal highlights from the building as you really do owe it to yourself to visit this new landmark, even if you might think that it is not your personal sartorial cup of tea.
First off, the setting is simply beautiful and makes you aware of so many elements of the Harajuku landscape that you just take for granted. I think it is because there are previous few high vantage points to look out from in Harajuku (although there is a certain vintage shop with a roof terrace) that you never really get a good view to take it all in from. In Tokyu Plaza there are little terraces where you can look out on the trees on Omotesando Doori, and once you are up on the roof you can watch the whole of the Harajuku fashion world scurrying around beneath you.
Next is my personal favorite shop in the plaza – Tokyo’s Tokyo. This does exist in a different form at Haneda airport (where it is a general pop-culture shop), but here in Tokyu Plaza it is a shop trying to combine pop culture with fashion – and succeeding.
Inside they have work by Anrealage (above), but also Ultra Violence collaborating with Araki Hirohiko’s wonderful Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, and a whole host of other manga/anime crossover fashion. On top of that, the store is fantastic and packed with animation cells and a wall where you can have your picture taken saying a random line from a number of famous manga. You have no choice what you might say – but that is part of the fun.
Goa has found itself another stockist in Tokyu Plaza as well, which gives me an opportunity to say how good a think their current collection is. Obviously it is the same mix of ethnic and military we know and (some of us) love, but this time the fabrics and treatment are fantastic and well worth the money. So if you are in the market for a tie-die poncho with just the right amount of damage – go for it!
Special mention has to go to the Tommy Hilfiger store which has some of the best merchandising you are ever likely to see. The fire escape below was shipped straight from NYC, there are tables made from courts, and the Tommy Hilfiger logo has been made out of fender amps and car parts on the first floor – definitely worth a look.
1st floor is the runway collections with a country club vibe,
and in the basement is streetwear with real American vintage thrown in for good measure. There is even a good amount of remake clothing, which is something I had no idea Tommy Hilfiger did, but talking to the man himself he said that he has always been a fan of Tokyo Vintage shops (as are we) and wanted to bring some vintage to Tokyo.
The fire escape.
Another highlight is the Humor shop packed with A-Net brands like Zucca and Tsumori Chisato which Rebecca and I always enjoy a good look around even if it is just a shade too cute for our personal style.
From there, there are a lot of shops that are clearly not aimed at me, but don’t let that put you off. Drink in the warm colours, and sink into Tokyo girly fashion – lord knows I am not going to stop you.
The view out to La Foret from the OMOHARA forrest, with a view of the trees of Yoyogi park in the distance. To people who say there is not greenery in central Tokyo, look again.
A final reminder to to read my interview with Tommy Hilfiger that should hopefully place this building in a better context (read it here). This is an area of Harajuku that means a huge amount to him, and as a fellow follower of Japanese fashion, it should to you too.