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Fashion, jewelry & watch, lifestyle, beauty, foods…
Unique editors who are familiar with each genre GINZA SIX aimlessly
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Spending Time Transfixed by Luxury Articles in a Global Ginza

Hiroko Kawashima

GINZA SIX EDITORS Vol.57

I’ve lived in Tokyo for about 30 years, but I spent my formative years, up to my early teens, living in a more rural part of Japan. Even now in my 40s, I haven’t entirely freed myself from a rural mindset. For me, the district of Ginza gives off a glamorous and glittering aura. I’ve edited an annual Ginza feature for a women’s magazine for over ten years, so I have that connection as well. The older I grow, the more acutely I’ve come to sense Ginza’ distinctiveness. When GINZA SIX opened, I remember interviewing one of Ginza’s former leaders, who opined that Ginza was on the way to becoming a global district. I think the prediction is coming true now. Naturally, when I go to Ginza, I go looking for authentic items suitable for adults. If I’m asked which GINZA SIX boutiques I’m interested in, I immediately rattle off three brands I admire—the kind you want to remain loyal to until you’re old and gray.

This first is Delvaux, a leather goods brand from Belgium. Here you’ll find products to treasure for a lifetime. Founded in 1829, one year before the Kingdom of Belgium was established, Delvaux was named an official proprietor to the Belgian royal family in 1883. It’s continued to maintain close ties to the royal family since then. It’s the world’s oldest luxury leather goods brand.

The store interior exudes a sense of refinement, like a museum. When it comes to the beautiful and elegant handbags displayed in a stately array…actually, let me say, the best part is the texture of the leather. Even an amateur like me can immediately see it’s of the highest quality.

Of the ones on display, I find some interesting and whimsical items. These limited-edition Miniatures Belgitude are bag-shaped charms, miniature versions of the brand’s iconic Brillant bag. Like the bags, they’re luxury items made by highly skilled craftspeople using the same time-honored production methods. The combination of punchy, surrealism-inspired design and luxury production values positively radiates a Belgian sensibility. They’re charms, but I can’t help thinking they’d also make adorable business card holders.

The real reason I’m here is to scope out my future partner in life, the Mutin saddle bag. I love the look of the Crispy Calf leather. The bag made its debut in fall/winter 2016. I’ve had my eye on it ever since. Today, I immediately try it out, placed diagonally across my body, then hanging from my shoulder, checking how it fits against my body. It’s great! The price, by the way, is 460,000 yen (all prices listed before tax). There’s still a long ways to go, but someday, someday, I’m sure this will be mine.

Already excited, I go next to Fabiana Filippi, which offers high-quality basics for adult women. It’s a representative brand from the Umbria region of Italy, a major producer of knitted fabrics. The exquisite, nuanced earth tones and rich textures, which feel marvelous against the skin, together create a refined air. It’s something you could easily imagine inspiring whispers like There’s something different about her

The brand’s signature motif is the chain detail that runs down the arm from the shoulder of the parka, worn here by a mannequin.

No sooner do I step into the store than I come across an enchanting dress (166,000 yen). The design layers a long knit of wool silk cashmere with a pleated dress—something you can’t see here because the photo isn’t a full body shot (for which I apologize; I hope you’ll go to the boutique and see for yourself!). The levels of stylishness achieved here are off the charts. Honestly, I went back and forth and nearly bought it on the spot.

I try this on after it’s recommended to me—a chestnut-brown silk blouse with a luxurious ribbon tie (138,000 yen) and a gorgeous wool-silk knit stole with fox fur (270,000 yen). It transforms me in an instant into a woman of luxury. I’ve found a new me! Encounters with the unknown like this are one of the real pleasures of shopping. Later, when I go back, I end up choosing a simple dress shirt featuring a luxuriously accented collar. My own Fabiana journey begins here.

Lastly, I go to PERRIN, a French leather goods brand established in 1893. This historic couture house celebrated its 125th anniversary this year. The boutique at GINZA SIX is their first in Japan. Having started as a glove maker, the brand’s bags feature an array of unconventional conceptual features.

The unique designs focus on close-at-hand stylishness and include clutches with an integrated glove.

This clutch bag (304,000 yen) was designed in collaboration with a world-renowned architect, the late Zaha Hadid. The design that so dramatically adorns the back of the hand is at once boldly avant-garde and the height of elegance. The exquisite form of the metal portion fits both left and right hands.

As an aside, my husband is French, and I visit France often. One of the things I love about the French sense of style is that they choose leather items that suit them perfectly, then cherish and maintain the articles with the greatest care through a long and rewarding ownership. When I first visited Paris as a student, I dropped into a glove shop near the Palais-Royal. I bought a pair gloves all but made for my hands, and I remember cherishing them for years and years. Since then, whenever I visit Paris in the winter, I go and look around a glove store.

At PERRIN, whose mainstay now is bags, I ask if they have any gloves they can recommend.

These are the ones they have. Within the L’Eiffel series, these gloves (110,000 yen) are more accessories than something to stave off the cold. But the supple leather seems to bind to the hand—the comfort’s amazing. They gently embrace even my largish hands. And the gold bangle-like metal at the wrists confers a stylishness that’s beyond ordinary.

These small handbags would probably go well with a kimono, too. Black leather seemed to catch my eye the most today, and at PERRIN, I get a clear demonstration that higher quality strengthens the appeal of black leather.

So, a moment of encountering the authentic at a famous place in Ginza. Sure-handed production and a story stand at the backdrop of these masterworks. That’s what makes being stylish even more fun—something that really struck me on this first fashion cruise of the fall.

Text: Hiroko Kawashima Photos: Sachiko Horasawa  Edit: Yuka Okada

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Hiroko Kawashima

Became a freelance fashion writer after working at an apparel trading company. She currently writes for Kateigaho and other magazines oriented to adult women on a broad range of topics, including fashion, jewelry, and timepieces. Married to a French man with an eclectic personality, she, her husband, and her son pulled up roots and moved to a rural area in northern France in September 2018 for a slower-paced life amid natural surroundings. Before moving abroad, Kawashima was a devoted student of pottery repairs using lacquer mixed with gold, as well as the practice of decorating lacquer ware with gold or silver powder (maki-e). She currently practices these two traditional Japanese crafts in France. Her dream is to operate a bed and breakfast in rural France with her family—ideally, Burgundy.
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2018.09.21 improves