Thursday, August 8, 2013

We're back in Tokyo!

Ah, Tokyo --  we are back in the capital of the land of the rising sun, and our hearts are beating fast with excitement!

The last time we were here, Mary was just a year old and Chichi Mary was still a dream inside of me waiting to be fulfilled. Three years after, we're back -- this time for a childrens wear trade show in search for more beautiful dresses for Chichi Mary.  Of course, we'll definitely be enjoying what Tokyo has to offer (more on that in a future post), but for now it's business first.

Mary really enjoying the red carpet.  But like before, we don't think she knows what it means yet  :)  Wearing her Eliane et Lena Sanary Dress, she is dressed for both comfort and style.  This is such a match for summer weather, as the weather in Tokyo was also scorching hot.

This trade show is a chapter of the fun and hip trade show we went to in NYC during our last trade show weekend there, and given the artistry and passion for detail of the Japanese, my expectations were pretty high.  Needless to say, they definitely delivered, as you can see in our photojournal below, where giant origami monsters, knitted octopuses, and cloth jelly fish all adorned the trade show hallways.  Mary definitely had so much fun interacting with all of the exhibits.

One reason I'm so excited about this trade show is the fact that the Japanese have their own strong sense of style.  Whether you're walking around in Ginza, Shibuya, or Harajuku (or a lot of other places in Tokyo for that matter), you get a sense that you're in some sort of fashion wonderland where anything goes.  A lot of them look awesome, some are too quirky for my tastes, and some are just downright weird.  I was half expecting to see metrosexual men wearing stilettos.  But say what you want -- you won't be able to deny that they have their own style.  My hope was that this sense of style combined with Japanese artistry means the trade show will be full of good surprises.

In the end, my expectations were probably unrealistic in that there weren't all that many Japanese brands being shown so I didn't see what I was hoping for.  That being said, there was one brand that really caught my eye and we will definitely be working with them in the future.  That's really why we go to these trade shows -- to see what's out there so we can maximize our exposure to global fashion and pick the best of the best for Chichi Mary and our customers.

Consistent with the New York chapter, the colorful and playful balloons look to be the trademark of this particular tradeshow.

One of the first things that greet you inside the showroom are these huge origami artwork.  I'm not sure if these are samurais or your typical monster (a la Godzilla) -- both of which would be at home in a Japanese setting  :)  I really appreciate the level of detail, artistry and hard work that went into creating these pieces and making them distinctively Japanese.

I'm not sure if Mary's in awe of the origami pieces or whether she's just thinking of the best way to touch and play with them.

Bingo.  Looks like touch and play is the answer.  I don't think jumping works, though :)

Walking around in a sea of jellyfish.  Mary's looking for the next thing to play with -- probably trying to figure out which things we'll allow her to touch and which will get her a stern "No touching, please!"

Mary loves just twirling with her dress.  She really loves the way it flows.

A little bit of respite after all the jumping around and playing hide and seek from me.  Mary is so independent -- sometimes to a fault.

A fun little corner to play indian complete with a small teepee.  Unfortunately, Mary doesn't fit.

People had amusing reactions to Mary when she hijacked our camera while sitting on her stroller and started taking photos herself.  In fairness, she took some pretty good shots.

The jellyfish now look a little different from Mary's perspective.

Mary was able to take decent pictures of this accessory brand.  We love how they decorated the booth with the tree and walls full of animals based on their accessories.

I don't remember whether Mary or I took this pic, but this shows one variety of the Japanese fashion sense.  This one is of the more stylish and edgy (but less wacky) variant.

A really impressive exhibit made up of knitted jellyfishes with a huge octopus centerpiece.  It was mesmerizing just looking at the obviously hand-knitted art installation.

Art or not, Mary decides these are for play so she runs circles around everything.  At some point, she trips on the squid on the floor and I didn't know whether to laugh or be angry.

Really enjoying the comfort that her Eliane et Lena dress gives her.  She's able to play around like the kid she is and still look stylish.  We love all the folds of this dress and the voluminous effect that they create.

After a few hours of playing among the exhibits, running around the hallways and generally having a great and active time, Mary chills out with a smartphone.

Capping the night off with a visit to a yakitori bar.  Everything we ordered from the goose liver to chicken intestines were capital-A Awesome!  And to think that this was just a random yakitori bar in Shibuya.

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