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I will spell out how to enjoy walking.

Beyond Basics: Searching for a Twist for Grownups

Asaka Ikeda


Until I was in my twenties, I’d really go to Ginza only for work. In my mind, it was a district for sophisticated adult women. I didn’t feel completely up to it. But I’ve turned forty, close to the age, I think, when you can cross that threshold without breaking a sweat.

I went to the GINZA SIX opening when I worked as a magazine editor. Since then, I’ve tended to drop by in downtimes between shows and meetings. Whenever I go, I discover something new. Come to think of it, my first meeting immediately after going freelance was right here at The Grand Ginza on the thirteenth floor. When I need to find a gift for someone special, I head to GINZA SIX. Today, as long as time allows, I plan to enjoy some leisurely shopping, just for me.

I take in the wonderful holiday season décor as I head to the fourth floor and ESSEN.LAUTRĒAMONT, a Japanese brand that fuses simple forms with an absolute commitment to authentic craftsmanship. I’m always a sucker for designs that add an interesting twist to minimalism. This store is filled to the brim with items that make my heart flutter.

The quality of the materials really comes through in the knits and outerwear. The colors are fundamental, easy to coordinate. Even the apparently simple displays are loaded with coordinating hints, so you’ll want to check them out all throughout the store.

This stand-collar duffle coat (74,000 yen; all prices listed before tax) creates a not-too-casual silhouette for an effortless look. More than anything, made of high-end Super 100’s charme wool for a beautiful shimmer, the coat is silky and lightweight. It feels smooth on the skin. The longish length works perfectly with my personal style because I love ankle-length skirts. It comes in black, brown, and other colors but, today, I try on light gray.

I find myself picking out this long dress with its strikingly chic monotone checks (43,000 yen). The soft, relaxed texture is the product of a hard-twist wool-and-rayon weave. The voluminous cuffs and long bow at the chest give you room to express a nonchalant individuality.

I discover a classic check pattern on this pleated skirt (34,000 yen) as well! The in-season brown tones define it. Even in looks for fall and winter, you want some lightheartedness. It’s not heavy at all and has a faint translucency. The length is ideal, giving nice glimpses of your instep. It reflects the season’s trends wonderfully and effortlessly.

I take the escalator down to the third floor to Tara Jarmon, a contemporary brand from Paris. Just looking around this space, home to the elegant and feminine, is enough to tickle a girl’s heart. The brand is known as a favorite of real-world princesses around the world.

I enter the store and my gaze alights, first of all, on the décor, the adorable sofa in particular. The furniture and torso mannequins are straight from Paris and visually linked to the flagship on the Champs-Élysées. Even the aroma diffuser is found at the Paris store. You don’t have to go all the way to France to enjoy Parisian ambiance.

Putting on just one article from Tara Jarmon confers instant glamor. Chic shades, vivid hues—variation abounds.

“What color do you like?” “Green,” I say, without hesitation. This leads to the recommendation of this glittery lamé short-sleeved knit (26,000 yen). The crew neck and elastic ribs create a casual air at first glance. But it’s knitted with lamé yarn to emphasize both femininity and a strong presence. Each item seems a subtly calculated mixture of sweet and spice, basic and glamour, less and more. You might say this quality defines the brand.

I’m drawn in particular to the beige coat on the left (83,000 yen) with its differing tones inside and out and black trim that pulls everything together. It’s easy just to throw on, so it’d come in handy when you’re busy going in and out during runway season or getting around by car for the day. The navy blue version is available only in Japan, I’m told. Since I have a weakness for limited editions, I promise to myself, secretly, to buy it.

The illustrations on some of the hangers are by Miyuki Ohashi. This maison emphasizes sustainability and works with various brands and organizations, participating in campaigns for causes like women’s empowerment and animal rights. It worked with Christel Vie Ensemble Foundation, led by Christel Takigawa, on an initiative that lasted through this past November. When customers purchase an item with the tag, a portion of the proceeds goes to animal rights.

My personal shopping time is down to one last stop. I stroll the second floor with its extensive lineup, from high-end brands to jewelers, and duck into the wholly cream-colored Bijou de M MIO HARUTAKA, seeking jewelry that expresses a bit of whimsy.

My eyes immediately target the new rings. The ruby-happy watermelon ring (1,170,000 yen) is so realistic it even features black diamond seeds! The two-layer rind is green garnets and diamonds. A slice of watermelon is reproduced down to the details. The lemon ring (1,260,000 yen) also has a juicy finish. Just looking at it will make you pucker at this vivid representation of tartness.

There’s so much here that’s appealing, I keep saying over and over, “Oh, adorable!” “You’re free to try on any of it,” I’m told, so I decide to try it all on! one piece after another.

A somewhat intense snake motif is transformed by Bijou de M MIO HARUTAKA into this fetching creation. This bracelet with its slender profile and randomly arrayed diamonds and sapphires (2,100,000 yen) gives off a delicate sparkle to wrap your wrist in femininity.

Initial rings aren’t hard to find, but few designs let you combine a number of letters on one finger. Each one is thin. Even with four, there’s a good balance. You can choose from yellow or white gold, with or without diamonds—customize it to suit your personality. You might also consider buying one each time an anniversary comes around (from the fingertip, 120,000 yen, 172,000 yen, 92,000 yen, 120,000 yen).

And you’re not just limited to the alphabet. I discover some single earrings in hiragana (from the top, 178,000 yen, 136,000 yen, 147,000 yen, 102,000 yen)!! I look for my name and feel like lining them up. I want to buy the hiragana “A” for one ear and the hashtag for the other—but, unfortunately, I’ve never had my ears pierced. I’ll have to wait for ear clips and necklaces. (Incidentally, for a fee, you can have them convert the earrings into ear clips, though this does take time. Ask at the store!)

Good times fly by. You forget the time at GINZA SIX; it’s like an entertainer right here in Ginza. I can’t wait to come back!

Text: Asaka Ikeda Photos: Kanako Noguchi Edit: Yuka Okada (edit81)


Asaka Ikeda

Editor. Born in 1979 in Kagawa Prefecture. Worked in advertising and publishing before joining Hachette Fujingaho (now Hearst Fujingaho) in 2006. Served in the editorial departments of magazines like 25ans and Richesse before launching a freelance career in 2018. Currently edits, plans, and writes for women’s magazines and catalogs in fashion, jewelry, watches, and more.



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2019.12.02 UP