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 BUYLINE
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.
 PAST ISSUES
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IN STORE ARCHIVE:
535: Anything goes
Add a little spunk to your life at Tokyo's zakka housewares shops. Hanna Kite visits five of the best.
531: To a tee
Tokyo’s hottest T-shirt shops boast designs by some of Japan’s top talents. Hanna Kite dresses down.
527: Treasure chests
Hanna Kite checks out five Tokyo jewelers that offer the perfect setting for your next shopping excursion.
523: Arts and crafts movement
Trina O’Hara goes in search of the Japanese creative spirit.
519: Bra-vo
Move over, Hello Kitty. Sexy has finally replaced cute in Tokyo's lingerie stores. Hanna Kite reports.
515: Bowled over
Trina O'Hara tracks down the latest tableware to suit any time of day.
511: East meets nest
Trina O'Hara finds that Tokyo's flea markets and shrine sales suit all types of personalities and interests.
503: The write stuff
Hanna Kite takes notes at Tokyo's finest pen and paper boutiques.
499: Blasts from the past
Tokyo trendsetters have a knack for making old fashions new again. Jennifer Au goes back in time at the city's coolest vintage clothing stores.
495: In the bag
From haute to mass-market, designer to dowdy, Tokyo has a tote to suit every taste and budget. Jennifer Au tracks down the best.
491: Paper chase
Steve Trautlein goes on a search for Tokyo's best English booksellers.
487: Happy trails
A love affair with the great outdoors is easily consummated at these Tokyo retailers. Steve Trautlein gears up.
483: Top hats
Whether it’s a rooftop barbecue, a riverside picnic or an afternoon stroll, there will be times this summer when you’ll want to keep the sun off your face. †Martin Webb hunts down Tokyo’s best headwear suppliers so you can stay shady in style.
479: Oriental express
This summer, all things Asian are hot stuff. Martin Webb finds out how to get the look without breaking the bank.
474: Haute haven
Forget Roppongi Hills’ aspirations to be the city’s cultural hub. This is the consumer capital of the world, and it’s all about shopping. Martin Webb reports.
468: New kit on the block
Backed by street-wise fashion chain store Beams, these seven new stores are upping the style quotient in Daikanyama. Martin Webb sizes up this brand new shopping experience.
463: Can buy me love
Stuck for ideas about how to make Valentine’s Day extra memorable this year? Martin Webb shops around for some great gift ideas for lucky ladies.
452: Perfect timing
For the rushed residents of our fair metropolis, keeping an eye on time is one of life's little necessities.
448: House of style
The newly open Marunouchi Building is drawing legions of eager shoppers from all over Japan
445: Present perfect
Tired of wasting your yen on last-minute gifts at duty free?
441: Toy story
Martin Webb tackles every parent's annual ennui and finds playthings that could earn you more peace and quiet than you bargained for
437: Natural selection
Seven new "select shops" are giving style seekers an excuse to keep spending
433: Window shopping
Stephen Cotterill indulges his yen and peers into the retail oasis that is Glassarea Aoyama
429: Jet, set, go!
With the holiday high season just around the corner, trendy travelers are in hot pursuit of packing accessories
425: Loud and clear
No home is complete without a sound system, and for audiophiles, time at home revolves around those little black boxes
421: Red brick revival
Once at the heart of Yokohama's bustling port industry, Akarenga Soko has a new lease of life as an exclusive entertainment and retail complex
417: Eye browse
An eyewear boom has seen new stores open and old favorites prosper
413: Sporting goodies
Shibuya sportswear
409: Go Figure
An army of action figures
405: Puff 'n' Stuff
Tokyo's best cigar shops
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377
375
373
371
368
367
366
364
362
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355
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336

Bra-vo

Move over, Hello Kitty. Sexy has finally replaced cute in Tokyo's lingerie stores. Hanna Kite reports.

Recently, fashion designers have been moving away from kawaii, drape-like clothes towards more feminine, fitted garments, and Japanese lingerie has followed suit. Although it's still possible to find unabashedly housewife- and schoolgirl-style wear, some of the most seductive corsets and camisoles in the world have been released in Japan this past year. It's time, ladies, to show your curves. If you know a man who owes you a gift for White Day on March 14, take him to one of these five lingerie specialty stores and fashion import boutiques, where this season's collections have just hit the shelves.

 

Changes United Arrows
Rumor has it that lingerie designer Jean Yu intends to create shades of silk for every skin color on the planet. Though that may seem a tad ambitious, keep in mind that this is the woman who introduced the world to 1.5mm adjustable silk straps and who proved that polka dots can be sexy. Changes United Arrows' newly refurbished lingerie section stocks Miss Chloe and other brands, but the centerpiece is their Jean Yu collection, imported from Jean herself in New York. The spring/summer offerings are filled with breezy silk pieces in seasonal pastels sure to make any urban woman soon. Prices run from the upper ¥20,000 to the ¥40,000 range.

5-17-9 Jingumae. Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5464-2711. Open Mon-Fri noon-8pm, Sat, Sun and hols, 11am-8pm. Nearest stn: Harajuku.

 

Issey Miyake By Naoki Takizawa
This season's Issey Miyake collection celebrates the physical. Their popular "Body shoes," available in pink and beige, are basically Converse body suits that come complete with white laces. Miyake's other pieces have Velcro, elastic cord and all kinds of athletic detailing. Their body wear is not quite as sporty. Instead, it has a very cool bohemian tattoo motif designed to accentuate the chest, shoulders, back and waist. The pattern on their beige and dark navy bra (¥18,000), underwear (¥10,000) and camisole (¥20,000) was inspired by artist Tadanori Yokoo's painting Mona Lisa. Let's just say we can't describe that work in this magazine.

Roppongi Hills Keyakizaka Dori, 6-12-4 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5772-2777. Open 11am-9pm. Nearest stn: Roppongi.

 

Valisiere

One way to tell "too cutesy" lingerie from "very sexy" lingerie is the flower motif. Some designers modernize florals into a kind of abstract art, while others think huge petals automatically equal lots of oomph. Valisiere, the top shop of the Australia-based Triumph Company, is somewhere in the middle. A rose is still a rose, but the design accentuates, instead of overwhelms, the bra. Valisiere's namesake is a Paris lace company that stocks bras, camisoles, underwear, thongs and slips sewn from top-quality materials from around the world. The pieces in this season's collection run from ¥4,800 to ¥22,000, and Valisiere carries a wide variety of fashionable silk nightgowns and slips in both spring colors and classic black. The shop can be rented out for private fittings in the morning.

3-5-15 Kita Aoyama, Minato-ku. Tel:03-5775-1419. Open daily 11am-8pm. Nearest Stn: Omotesando.

 

Lingerie Aqua Girl
A trip through Lingerie Aqua Girl feels a bit like exploring your high school costume closet. With all the lace, boas, hats, heels and sunglasses on offer, it's apparent that Aqua Girl is more than a lingerie shop. Underwear-wise, the mainstays are imported pieces from New York based on Helena Stuart's Only Hearts brand. At Aqua Girl, Stuart's turquoise lace bra with black trim is ¥5,900, and the underwear is ¥4,500; the set is also available in black.

3-7-10 Kita Aoyama, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5778-5570. Open daily noon-8pm. Nearest stn: Omotesando.

Photos by Martin Hladik

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