Friday, 10 July 2015

Qpot Cafe x Sailor Moon Cafe





I can not emphasize enough how hard we tried to get into this cafe. Qpot is pretty exclusive so you usually need a reservation to even enter it, but the Sailor Moon collaboration meant that the demand for entry was super high, so a ticket system was put in place whereby tickets were sold from 8:30am for intervals throughout the day. This meant you had to get up pretty damn early to snag one, also everyone has to be present to get tickets, so one person cant obtain tickets for a full party.Unfortunately for us, my friends and I hate getting up early on our days off so we instead tried going a little later. we failed twice getting there after 1pm and then finally got a ticket on a Thursday at 1pm, for a slot at 6:30pm. Luckily the cafe is in Omotesando so there were plenty of shops and restaurants to keep us busy. The cafe was a little out of the way, as Omotesando is a big place, so I suggest using a map if you want to find it.



The outside was pretty decked out with Sailor Moon decorations, opposite the cafe there is also a Qpot Jewelry store that sells sweet-themed accessories, The Sailor Moon accessories sold out pretty quickly, but I managd to grab a pastel mint and pink Sailor Jupiter cupcake necklace. It looked good enough to eat, complete with icing and gummy-like bow! The jewel sparkles brilliantly too.



We were asked to pick our menu choices from the outside, I chose the Special Sailor Moon Holy Grail parfait and Sailor Moon "Shiny make-up" rose tea. All the items on the menu were fairly expensive, but they were excellently crafted and the presentation was amazing.



The parfait was designed to look like the Holy Grail chalice in the original Sailor Moon series, complete with heart-shaped strawberries and shortcake wings. The stop part was raspberry sorbet and whipped cream, beneath was layers of ice cream, orange cream and cornflakes. Yes somehow Japanese sweet restaurants love putting cornflakes in their ice cream desserts. Then finally the bottom layer was delicious berry coulis; despite the chocolate pattern there was no chocolate sauce, it was just a pattern on the glass! I can say without a doubt it was the best parfait I have ever eaten, the flavours were selected carefully and there was a variety of textures too. The parfait and drink set was 2900yen together.



The rose tea was a deep purple, but when the gum syrup was added. it slowly turned in to a hot pink!


My friend ordered the giant macaron, it was filled with whipped cream and berries and she even got the keep the plate! It was a star-shaped and gold decorated plate with an Usagi design. The macaron and drink together came to 3900yen, but you get to keep the plate too, which explains why it is a little more expensive.


Finally my outfit run-down. I wore a bubblegum colored pastel school uniform from "Bubbles" in Shibuya 109 and my glittery pastel pink WeGo bag and Sailor Moon broach. This outfit was pretty comfortable and soft, it seemed like a little more casual take on Mahou Kei. Of course I wore Usagi's trademark hair buns.

This cafe is running until the end of July and I totally suggest visiting, for any Sailor Moon Otaku and enthusiasts, or even someone who loves cute sweets. The jewellery is sold out, but can be pre-ordered on the Qpot website or at any of the stores.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Tower Records x Super Mario Cafe in Shibuya



Tower records in Shibuya usually has some kind of collaboration, I made a post a few months ago about the Rilakkuma cafe collaboration they held, but this one was even better!
I loved how they made the food and drinks retro-themed for a feel of the good old Mario that I remember as a child.



Tower records never go over the top with decorating for collaborations, but you can count on them filling the store with giant plush characters. There were little posters dotted around and outside of Tower records they painted one of the beams to look like a big green pipe. On the big screen they showed little 8-bit Mario animations promoting the collaboration.
Collaboration food is always expensive, however this time they included a drink set; you could have the Super Mario coffee and one item from the menu for about 2,400 yen. There was a "?" tiramisu and some kind of Mario themed octopus-ink pasta. I opted for the sweet tiramisu, it was pretty delicious although it was yellow and didn't really taste like tirimasu. They added whipped cream and made it look like Lakitu flying on a cloud, which was a nice touch.
If you bought something from the main menu you got a random Mario toy. I won the biggest and best; Bowser!


We arrived about 9pm, so it was pretty empty and the staff allowed us to have whichever plushies we wanted at our table. Of course I chose this GIANT Yoshi.

There was a little stage outside for taking a memorial photo, to make it look like you are jumping out of a pipe. They even included the famous Tower Records logo "No Music, No Life".
There is the same collaboration running at Tower Records in Omotesando and Ebisu and in the other stores the menu is different, so I want to visit them all..


Finally my outfit run down;

I was very inspired by the shop staff at Swankiss in Shibuya 109, wearing this Swankiss long, white lace one-piece, gold-rimmed glasses and pink platforms. I included my usual face-stickers, sparkles and hair-buns to add some mahou-kei to it. It was pretty humid that day, but this outfit pick was very airy, too.


Apolia and Caramel Ribbon Photoshoot - Behind the scenes




Apolia and Caramel Ribbon are rising stars in terms of Japanese indie brands and are both inspired by Mahou shoujo designs, creating beautifully intricate pieces that are fit for a real magic girl. The owners of both brand are actually real life BFFs, and help each other at events around Japan. Both of them were extremely nice and cute and patient with my Japanese, as our meetings were conducted in Japanese. Mahou Kei is getting increasingly popular in Harajuku, especially same brands such as Nile Perch having multiple stores in Harajuku with their airy fairy pastel pieces. As much as I love Nile Perch, some of their designs seem a little lazy, while  Apolia and Caramel Ribbon are two of the most detailed brands I have ever seen; I will do a rundown of them now.

Apolia





Apolia is a clothing range that truly brings magic to life. Their influences are drawn from Harajuku, magical girls, Pastel-Kei, and Visual Kei. Unlike Cult-party kei there is something both cute and sexy about their designs, as a lot of the pieces have a silhouette similar to negligees or night wear and use of extremely cute stockings and suspenders and corsets.
Apolia actually create everything - dresses, corsets, stockings, accessories, scarves and even eye patches! This is another thing that surprises me about Apolia, how versatile the designer is! She can make anything and piece together a full perfectly matching outfit, not a lot of designers can do that. Although the pieces seem elaborate when put together, they also work in casual outfits too!




Please check Apolia here;
https://kieitokyo.com/ja/brands/apolia
http://apolia-00-apolia.tumblr.com/

Caramel Ribbon

Caramel ribbon is primarily an accessory brand, making earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces and even nails. They are, much like Apolia, super intricate and detailed and bursting with mahou shoujo magic. Although the influences of Sailor Moon, Madoka and Precure are there, each piece is very unique in its own way. Everything I have seen from Caramel ribbon looks as if it has been plucked out of a magical girl anime. They come in a rainbow of colors and in person the crystals and jewels sparkle brightly and they are a necessary piece for any aspiring magical girl.






Please check out Caramel Ribbon here;

Instagram - caramelribbonvv
Blog - http://ameblo.jp/caramelribbonvv/

The makeup artist was called Miyuki, she actually custom makes her the eyelashes she used for this shoot, you can buy her eyelashes in Dangerous Nude in Shinjuku ALTA!

www.myk.opal.ne.jp
Twitter; myk_jellyfish

Now you have an idea of the brand and makeup artist, I will talk about the photoshoot.

The photoshoot was broken i to four outfits, the concept was a normal girl who loves magical girl things, she falls asleep on a bed with her favorite things and has wonderful dreams of fantasy worlds and becoming different characters. These are some photos taken on my camera phone, I will create a new post when the final edited versions are finished.

Look 1



The first look was the natural look of a girl who loves magical girls. Natural makeup and hair was used, but the outfit itself was pretty decadent. It was a red and white night set complete with a giant head-eating bow and opulent jewelry. The outfit was super soft and made from delicate cotton, the details on everything were incredible, down to the last stitch, This outfit seemed somehow angelic, with the bodice having little angel wings and crosses sewn into it.
The set was a bed covered in the magical girls "favorite things" including plush animals, cosmetics, flowers and pieces of Caramel ribbon jewelry.

Look 2



This outfit was very magical girl inspired, everything about it was so dreamy!
It was a corset and pannier skirt two piece with an elaborate collar with two drooping stars. The skirt had two little pastel pink coils dangling from it, it kind of reminded me of Mami Tomoe's hair in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica! The headdress was kind of old-school Lolita style but intensely decorated with pastel goodness. This outfit used a rainbow of pastel colours but they somehow fit perfectly. The friend of the owner of Apolia made her a special Magical Girl wand just for the shoot made out of foam! It was still a little wet with paint at the time of the shoot, so I had to be really careful. Again, everything was made, even down to the shoes and the little rainbow nails.
The makeup artist was truly amazing, it is hard to see in the photographs but the eyelashes have little keys and padlocks on and flecks of gold. Small details like that made this shoot utter perfection.

Look 3




 This outfit called "Maria" was very interesting and different to anything I have done before. The atmosphere was so solemn and the concept was sleeping again, maybe even death. I will post up more pictures as I get them but the main part of this outfit was a beautifully embroidered top with crosses and stars, then a very long flowing skirt and white veil and pastel blue platts. This was a very unique take on the Virgin Mary perhaps, with crosses strewn around the set, which was super creepy looking!, The makeup was very white, blue, sparkly and icy.

Look 4





The last outfit, much like the other three is something completely different!
This character would be the most "evil" of the three, adorning dark colaors and kowa-kawaii makeup.
The dress itself, looks like it could be worn by the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, with a red and black color scheme, puffy sleeves and a white color and accompanied with a giant crown. Again, it was beautifully decorated with charms,gems, and lace. The crown was huge, but covered in hearts and stars and spidery black lace to add to the creepiness.
The hair and makeup of this character was my favorite - the lips were drawn as though they were sewn together, the eyes were smokey and an opulent eyepatch was added, adorned with little charms and even had little silver fish dangling from it! The wig was very short and black and red, it was my first time to wear something like that and it felt so different, which made this so fun for me.


We shot for about seven hours, with four different looks and four different sets. The designers, who also created the sets, where amazing, as were the photographer and makeup artist, this was the best and the most well-orchestrated shoot I have ever been a part of, I am so happy and excited to see the outcome!

Please support the designers.