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Racked's Japan correspondent Misha Janette is the subject of a newly-unveiled window display at the iconic Isetan department store flagship in Tokyo. What's it like to create a window display about, um, yourself? Check out Misha's firsthand account here.
What's it like having a window display at a top Japanese department store dedicated to yourself? As of Wednesday I can now check this off my bucket list—and I will call myself qualified to answer. Vogue Japan has chosen Tokyo's 12 top bloggers (seven fashion bloggers and five Voguette bloggers) and given each a window at uber-ritzy Isetan department store, aka the Bergdorf's of Tokyo.
Vogue Japan and its fellow Conde Nast titles have gone digital via the iPad/iPhone recently, and to promote this, they decided to put fashion leaders from both the real and online-worlds into Isetan's windows with pictures from our blogs. They also gave us a chance to dress mannequins in some of Tokyo's top fashion brands.
Confession: Most of us are already industry professionals who keep blogs as information dumping grounds. But it's still unprecedented to have niche/highbrow fashion personalities being given the spotlight, as Japanese society traditionally favors mainstream celebrities or nothing at all.
Our windows feature our names (or the names of our websites) in letters a mile high and cardboard cutouts of each of us in the outfit we chose for our mannequins. I was given futuristic avant-garde brand Somarta and kitschy-casual Muveil to work with and I walked the Tokyo streets in shoes by Lady Gaga shoes designer Noritaka Tatehana for my photoshoot.
Then, we gathered up personal items that were to be used as props. I donated some of my couture hats by Nobuki Hizume. Windows are dressed late at night, and I ventured to the department store at about 1 a.m. to assist in completing the layout. We were working under dire circumstances—power shortages in Tokyo due to the earthquake kept lights low, and we had angry construction workers telling us we were wasting electricity on "frivolous" fashion. In fact, plans to have our Twitter feeds scrolling real-time on giant monitors in each window were scrapped due to energy worries, as were plans to light up the windows after business hours.
My window alone took four hours and six pairs of hands to complete: a stylist, two window dressers, two handymen, and an assistant. They use tools not unlike a fashion stylist does—including double sided tape and wire on the clothing. The response has been incredible, and the "Japan Senses" theme couldn't be more fitting in this rather unsettled post-quake city.
So who are these featured bloggers? Those of us below are international and blog bilingually, if not only in English. Check us out:
· Misha Janette (moi) at TokyoFashionDiaries.com: A fashion journalist and stylist for newspapers and magazines; an avid bookkeeper of Japanese fashion online.
· Tokyo Dandy at TokyoDandy.com: Tokyo's party boys, chronicling the more shocking side of Tokyo nightlife.
· Yoon at Hypebeast.com/blog/yoon: A fashion icon, Yoon is wife of hip-hop star Verbal and designer of their brand Ambush.
· Tiffany Godoy at Colette.fr/tiffanygodoy: Tiffany has authored several books on Japanese fashion and started her own magazine, The Reality Show.
· Mai-chan at MaiSassyGirl.Blogspot.com: Tokyo's premier party photo snapper. If there's a party, Mai's there.