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mydeco on tour: Greetings from Tokyo 11 January, 2010

Posted by katiehodgkiss in Uncategorized.
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Konichiwa readers, this is my second and final blog from Tokyo, Japan.

Truth be told, I am a rather lazy tourist – usually the only sights I bother seeing are the shops (my credit-card has been over-used around the world). Luckily, Tokyo’s upmarket Ginza district has much more to offer than expensive clothing: here the stores themselves are monuments of style.

Image credit: Contemporist

‘Glitzy Ginza’ certainly deserves its nickname. This district is a mecca for those looking for luxury: Chanel, Hermès, Gucci and Dior all have flagship stores here, each with its own form of extravagant architecture competing for your attention. Maison Hermès (pictured above) was apparently the project that brought the glamour back to Ginza (until the nineties this area was home only to discount stores and high-street chains). The translucent tower is certainly impressive, but I can only hope that the recession isn’t hitting Hermès too hard, because their window-cleaning bills must be huge…

Image credit: Micheal John Grist

Whilst the budgets for architecture might be big in Tokyo, the space designers have to work with is not. In a city of skyscrapers, the only way is up – but the De Beers headquarters (above) prove this is no excuse for boring design. The contorted structure gives this tower-block a surreal façade, yet the fluidity of the distortion means this structure is as smooth as the wealthy businessmen you’ll find shopping inside it.

Image credit: PingMag

Like much of Tokyo, Ginza is best visited at night. Only when the sun goes down does the city really light up, and buildings which are drab by day suddenly come to life. This is something Peter Marino was obviously aware of when he designed Chanel’s flagship store in Ginza – cloaked in a curtain of shimmering LEDs, the ‘feature wall’ can shift into different colours, show film images or even represent the signature tweed of a classic Chanel suit. Blackpool illuminations this ain’t.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end – tomorrow I must return to the homeland, and so this will be the last blog from mydeco on tour for a while. If you have any comments about this post, please don’t hesitate to leave them (only if the blog is popular can I justify being sent to glamorous locations for ‘work’). See you back in the U.K.!

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Comments»

1. Fiona Jenkins - 21 February, 2010

I must say, I am thoroughly enjoying Miss Hodgkiss’s informative and endlessly witty blogs on this site. I have been visiting this website for some time now but reading her blogs is certainly becoming a highlight of mine. More from KH in future please – a genuine pleasure to read.


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