Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tales from Tokyo part 1: Shopping in strange places

I'm back from Tokyo (and London and Cambridge and Amsterdam, but that's another story) and had a great time as usual! I only bought a few movie posters, but of course I shopped a lot of other stuff. A great help was the new book Tokyo Underground from Super 7. It's a detailed guide to shops selling designer toys, T-shirts and other amazing stuff, complete with maps (always a necessity to find anything in Tokyo!) Among the highlights I found through the book were Hardcore Chocolate in Shimokitazawa, which sell rock'n'roll, wrestling and B-movie wear; Graniph, great for unique T-shirts with shops in Shinjuku and elsewhere; and Secret Base in Harajuku, home of the bizarre Skullbrain toys.

But the most mysterious shop (at least for an un-initiated shopper like me) is Original Fake. Located in super-trendy Ayoma, in an exclusive basement shop next to Gucci, Prada and BAPE, I had a really hard time figuring out exactly what they sell! Most of the items seem to be either variations of artist KAWS' signature weird toys, or clothing with very subtle, almost invisible designs (like the XX embroidered on the sleeve of an extremely expensive plain black T-shirt!) - but almost nothing seemed to be actually for sale! Still, the space is amazing, with the signature feature being the almost 3 meter high KAWS "Companion" in the entrance - take a look...

Watch out for more Tokyo tales very soon!

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