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GINZA SIX EDITORS

Fashion, jewelry & watch, lifestyle, beauty, foods…
Unique editors who are familiar with each genre GINZA SIX aimlessly
We spell way of enjoying that we found on foot.

Dream Door to Serendipity

Rica Ogura

GINZA SIX EDITORS Vol.71

You’ll find the world’s finest things in Ginza. GINZA SIX, located in what can be considered the heart of Ginza, is a fairyland of serendipity, a place for chance encounters with previously unknown worlds and filled with offerings ranging from the world’s ultimate jewelry and watches to innovative Japanese kimonos and sake. It’s not just things that please the eye; there’s a range of genres to satisfy one’s intellectual curiosity as well. It’s a special place to satisfy even the most acquisitive and inquisitive of souls. I always come away from GINZA SIX a little more informed than before. I find myself wanting to tell other people about it. My friends and I grow excited simply talking about it; then, we return and make delightful new discoveries. This continuing chain of serendipity is one of the main appeals of GINZA SIX.

I start my walk today hoping for such serendipity. I go first to Chopard on the first floor. It’s Christmastime, so, as you can see in the photo, I’m greeted by a Christmas tree fitted out with decorations resembling rings and bangles in the Happy Heart collection. Elation sweeps through me.

Given the nature of my job, I constantly visit the jewelry and watch boutiques on the first and second floors. But my starting point is always right here at Chopard. They offer high-end items, but there’s an open, accessible feel to the store. I always head straight there because it’s so much fun to look over the entire collection.

Chopard is known for its iconic Happy Diamond series, which feature moving diamonds gently dancing and twirling. But the timepieces in its L’Heure du Diamant collection have drawn some attention, too, of late. As the name “The Time of Diamonds” suggests, the large diamonds ringing the case are spectacular. Seen from the side, the bezel supporting the diamonds looks like woven lace; the wonder of this splendid handiwork takes your breath away. Historically, Chopard got its start as a producer of luxury watches. An official partner of the Cannes Film Festival, it’s known as a high-end jeweler whose creations routinely grace the red carpet. L’Heure du Diamant proves that Chopard is more than capable of producing masterpieces.

Well, we meet again! Someday I’d like to buy this opal model. It’s tucked away in my fantasy jewelry case. Chopard opals have a mysterious depth, like a Monet painting, with a delicate shimmer I’ve never seen elsewhere. Merely looking at them inspires vertiginous joy. And they present new and different looks in natural light, or indoor light, an ever-delightful and changing presence even if you happen to wear the watch all the time. I’ve seen lots of opal jewelry—opal is my birthstone—but I’ve never encountered opals so stunning. I’m also captivated by the supple vintage-looking Milanese bracelet, itself a striking article of jewelry.

Reality check: The watch is 9,550,000 yen (all prices listed before tax)! So I can’t easily say, “Yes, please, I’ll take this one.” Not yet. But I do find an opal version of the Happy Heart pendant (680,000 yen) to add to my real-world wish list.

I next visit JOTARO SAITO, a kimono brand I fell in love with recently on a photo shoot. Many GINZA SIX establishments feature wide-open storefronts, but the entrance to this boutique, toward the back of the fourth floor, is small. Like a traditional Kyoto row house, its world expands as you move toward the rear. Surprisingly made of denim and jersey fabrics, the stylish kimonos displayed in the window feature plenty of whimsical touches—with jersey-like lines and decorative rivets on the cuffs, for instance. But they also have a stately beauty. There’s a wonderful sensuality in these kimonos.

The boutique’s secret is that it knows everything there is to know about kimonos and their charms. Designer Jotaro Saito comes from a family that has established the foundations of modern fabric dyeing. His grandfather was a textile-dyeing artist and his father a modern kimono designer. “I started creating works with denim and jersey fabric because I wanted more people to enjoy kimonos in this day and age,” explained Jotaro Saito, who happens to be in the store. This isn’t originality for originality’s sake. Rather, the designs come from a desire to create a wider audience for kimonos. The kimonos brim with love, a quality that captivates many, and Jotaro Saito is finding growing success in the quest to broaden the kimono-loving population.

Jotaro Saito’s numerous fans, both men and women, are enraptured by his ideas, passion, and sensibility. This is why he frequently spends time in the boutique serving customers. “Would you like to try it on?” he asks today. Accepting the offer, I make my long-awaited debut in a jersey kimono selected by the very designer. There’s a tatami mat room in the rear of the boutique, where the boutique provides a kimono-dressing service to its customers.

I try on the kimono and peer into the mirror. The geometrically patterned neckpiece is thoroughly modern. I’m drawn closer to the world of the kimono, a style I never really thought suited me. Prices start in the 60,000 yen range, which is certainly reasonable. They’re washable at home, too, another plus for neophytes like me. I find a kimono with a lace neckpiece. It’s an article I’m certain would enliven conversations if worn to a party overseas, in place of a dress. Of course, they offer pure silk fabrics as well. The options are boundless.

Today, I also spend some time at the in-store café, which I’d been wondering about. Mr. Jotaro Saito, who’s also drawn attention for his interior designs, has chairs upholstered with his fabrics. They look lovely in this space. There’s both counter and table seating, so it’s comfortable, even if you’re by yourself.

I have the À La Mode (1,800 yen), a dish of sweets made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, and a flute of champagne (1,700 yen). The dish is arranged in a style as pitch-perfect as a Jotaro Saito kimono. Mont Blanc plays the leading role this season. Pears confer a fruity flavor that pairs perfectly with the champagne. I think I should come back here with a kimono-loving friend of mine.

Lastly, I go to a workshop at e.m.PICTURESQUE, located on the first belowground floor, which I discovered on my previous trip to GINZA SIX. I love workshops. When I have time, I like getting out and making things. I had no idea such workshops could be found right in the middle of Ginza, a place I visit daily. Plus it’s located inside a jewelry store—what a luxury!

I register to make a ring, choosing six vintage pieces in a flower motif and trying to combine them using wire and tools. I chose this particular ring pattern impulsively, simply because I found it charming. But in actually trying to make it, I find I struggle with the wire. When I ask, I learn the workshop is Level 4—advanced! Even so, the instructor provides patient, detailed instruction, and I end up finishing my own ring in just about an hour and a half.

I now have a ring I love, all the more because it’s a creation of my own. The workshop costs 4,000 yen to participate and 4,000 yen for materials—I’m somewhat embarrassed at the surprisingly modest cost. Beginning in January, the store will hold four workshops a week. I like it so much I decide to create a matching necklace and reserve a place in the necklace workshop.

Afterwards, I check out the store. Starting with e.m., popular for its edgy style, it offers jewelry with a pleasing mix of elegance and whimsy, suitable for daily wear by adult women, along with a wide array of design items like DRESS UP EVERY DAY accessories. The colored stone jewelry is designed to assert a bold and decisive presence, but also to tickle a woman’s heart, with a crystal pavé setting peeking out from behind the stone.

Exposed to the magic of DRESS UP EVERY DAY, trendy mother-of-pearl becomes a style that’s not just refined, but bold and expertly executed. I try on some earrings that pique my interest. I recommend visiting when you’re in the mood to buy—at 27,000 yen, instant decisions aren’t out of the question.

I also discover this charming bottle (2,600 yen). Containing pieces found at inside and outside the country, it’d make a great present for a friend who likes handmade things.

I’ve taken in the full range of sights now at three stores. When I head outside, it’s already dark. My real-world shopping list is fuller, and I’ve reserved a spot in a new workshop, all today at GINZA SIX. Another thing I did today? Vow to come back and experience the fun once again.

Text:Rica Ogura Photos:Takao Ota Edit:Yuka Okada

editors_ogura

Rica Ogura

Content curator. Born in Tokyo in 1972. After graduating from college, worked in the corporate world and devoted serious study to the fundamentals of editing at Kateigaho. Affiliated subsequently with Seven Seas and Departures, a glossy magazine for card members published by American Express, began freelancing in 2013. Drawing on her network of connections, writes and edits fashion and travel pieces for women’s magazines, membership magazines, and other publications, with a special focus on jewelry and watches.

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Chopard

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JOTARO SAITO

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e.m.PICTURESQUE

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2019.01.18 improves