In Store: Natural selection

Proving that nothing can stop the evolution of high fashion in our fair city, seven new "select shops" are giving style seekers an excuse to keep spending. Retail addict Martin Webb joins the hunt.

Probably the best boutique in the world: 10 Corso Como Comme des Garcons

10 Corso Como Commes Des Garcons
Spiky, sexy Chimera Luxe

The numeral in the name of this mother of all select shops is pronounced "diece," in deference to the collaboration between Italian boutique 10 Corso Como and the Japanese superbrand affectionately known as "Gyaruson." Last month saw the scramble begin for the most desirable pieces from the second season of Junya Watanabe's MAN line. Other items tastefully positioned around the store's stark concrete interior include those from some of the world's most sought after brands, including Marni, AF Vandervorst, Vivienne Westwood and Balenciaga. Trendy but friendly English speaking staff are on hand to provide styling advice should you require it, but with fashion legend Carla Sozzani behind the selection process, you can hardly go wrong here.

Open 11am 8pm daily. 5 3 Minami Aoyama, Minato ku. Tel: 03 5774 7800. Nearest stn: Omotesando, exit A5, turn right at the Prada building.


WR Aoyama
Leftfield fashion heaven WR

The impeccable selections at this tranquil, oshare shopping oasis are spread over two sparkling floors and consist exclusively of striking clothes from cutting edge designers. Only the more wearable pieces make it into WR Aoyama (pronounced "double R"), but with names like Imitation of Christ, Marjan Pejorsky, Alice Roi and Nozomi Ishiguro, a visit here is always a lesson in fashion cum art. Director Harumi Fukuda keeps this secluded spot fresh and funky with stylist collaborations, art events and inspirational music. If it's style you're after, the painfully cool staff will be sure to let you in on a few insider secrets and lead you to that hyped little dress or must have pendant.

Open noon 8pm daily. 3 12 16 Kita Aoyama, Minato ku. Tel: 03 5468 2466. Nearest stn: Omotesando, behind Kinokuniya.


Norm Aoyama
Occupying the top floor of the ultra modern fashion complex that recently opened next to Blue Note Tokyo, Norm Aoyama is a select shop for the discriminating consumer. The retro modern interior, designed by Katayama Masamichi and featuring curved wood paneled ceilings and luxurious rugs, is certainly worth writing home about. Aimed at celebrities and the higher end of high society, Norm Aoyama boasts the full collection of man of the moment Maurizio Pecoraro and exclusives from Stefano Mortari and milliner Silvia Lucchi. If you have to ask how much, you don't want to know.

Open 11am 8pm Mon Sat, 11am 7pm Sun. A 2, 6 4 6 Minami Aoyama, Minato ku. Tel: 03 5467 1055. Nearest stn: Omotesando.


16 Août
The steps up to this divine boutique are neatly numbered in gold; when you see the 16 you know you've made it into one of Tokyo's hottest new boutiques. Miniature vases, lamps and handmade accessories are delicately displayed along shelves and inside glass cases. But it's the list of designer brands on offer that will be the biggest draw for fashionistas: Maurizio Pecoraro, Hussein Chalayan, Viktor & Rolf, E2, Barbara Bui Initials, Lucien Pellat Finet, and Castelbajac. Street style shoppers should look out for items from punk remake brand S.A.M.O., while accessory maker Beamon Erickson and leather craftsman Jas M.B. Preppies are also well provided for by the store's own high gauge logo knitwear.

Open 11am 8pm daily. 2F UO Bldg, 5 3 25 Minami Aoyama, Minato ku. Nearest stn: Omotesando exit A5, next to 10 Corso Como Comme Des Garcons.


Glam and glitz from noon to dusk at Defo

An acronym for Dangerously Elegant Fascinator's Organization, Defo is designed for styling young things with heaps of confidence and a sense of humor. Specializing in frilly and funny underwear-some with sequins and embroidery, others with puppy dog prints-Defo has the intimate air of a lingerie boutique. But there's a lot more to this bright and bubbly store. Cheerful accessories and prissy bags along with camisole tops and skimpy skirts by as yet undiscovered brands from as far afield as London, New York, New Zealand and Israel are all reasonably priced and lots of fun. At 8pm, Defo transforms from boutique to bar, inviting you to sprawl over the Pucci sofa or prop yourself up at the pristine white bar while mingling with the resident cool and camp crowd.

Shop open noon 8pm daily. Bar open 8pm late daily. 5 44 11 Jingumae, Shibuya ku. Tel: 03 5778 4718. Nearest stn: Omotesando, exit A2, past Las Chicas.


Chimera Luxe
As part of the drive to upgrade the shopping experience in Shibuya, last month Parco opened the swanky Zero Gate building at the foot of Spain Zakka. In keeping with the French disco venue La Fabrique downstairs, Chimera Luxe's second floor shop bears a distinct dance culture edge. Its glittery, circus themed window display, a collaboration between artist Namaiki and stylist Tomoki Yuma, beckons shoppers into a mazelike interior filled with hanging steel racks and poles and painted entirely in nightclub black. The clothes here are perfect for after hours posing, and with names like Levi's Red, Soph.Net, Plein Sud and Fake London on offer, you can expect a little punkish label cred edge over your fellow prowlers.

Open 11am 9pm daily. 2F Zero Gate Bldg, 6 9 Udagawacho, Shibuya ku. Tel: 03 5459 0049. Nearest stn: Shibuya.


Restir Shibuya
Shibuya style for gyaru made good is what's on offer at this newly opened store on the first floor of Mark City. Having caused a storm with a classy stand alone store in Ginza, this Osaka based boutique offers the supremely sexy silhouettes all the rage among tanned and toned amazones. It's big, pink and crowded with teenage trendies. The store's own brand dominates the selection, but small offerings from accessible designers like Paul & Joe and Anna Molinari are also on display. For the urban warrior boyfriend, there are thigh hugging Roberto Cavalli jeans and vintage remake T shirts from Burro. If you're not prepared to bare it all, try mounting the silver platform where rows of dance music CDs are available for buying and in store listening.

Open 10am 9pm. 1F Shibuya Mark City, 1 12 3 Dogenzaka, Shibuya ku. Tel: 03 5459 3171. Nearest stn: Shibuya.

Photos by Anatole Papfilippou

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Shibuya’s Zenmall (29-4 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku; 03-3770-1641), known for offering large clothing for men, is holding a two-day Early Bird Pre-Summer Sale. The sale will take place on the mornings of April 12 (Sat) and 13 (Sun) for three hours (9am-noon) each day. During these times, nearly everything will be marked 20-80 percent off. Some of the bargains include suits with a spare pair of pants for \9,800 (sizes 3-8L), and summer casual jackets for \8,000 (3-6L). Imported designer suits by makers like Calvin Klein and Boss are also marked down to \39,000 and \59,000, respectively. Those who spend over \10,000 can take part in the Cash Grabbing Contest, where shoppers can dig into a box full of cash. Spend over \30,000 for two chances to grab, and \50,000 for three. Don't miss this rare opportunity, as it could be one of the few chances for those looking to buy large sizes in Japan, especially at affordable prices.

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Ash 03-3770-3755
Clinique TCA
Club Boy Beau
Crunch 03-5459-123-
Dr. Allen Leroy Robinson
Hair Dressers Archecal 03-0449-6106
Hayato New York 03-3498-9113
Japan Electrolysis Clinic (Ginza)
Maiko Make Over Studio Shiki
My Boo Nail Salon 03-5428-1121
Neal's Yard Natural Therapy Center
Roksen Bar Cosmetic 03-5658-7675
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Who Ga 03-5570-1773

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