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RagTag
Fashion addicts take heart: Even poor earthlings can walk out of RagTag with some almost-new Commes des, a semi-fresh pair of Margiela' and crisp Helmut Lang denim without starving for a month. RagTag sells second-hand designer clothes with that never-been-worn look, not surprising in a society where fashion trends are snuffed out in a blink. The shops stock street wear and high fashion for both sexes, from Hysteric glamour to Yohji Yamamoto and all sorts of accessories. Best buys are the skirts from Comme des Garšons, Junya Watanabe and Yohji Yamamoto (from JY8900-JY12,900), tops by A/T (JY5900) and a men's burgundy pullover by Belgian designer Dries van Noten (JY7900). You'll pay five times that price for these items in a regular store. One caution: Visit regularly to get the real bargains. Naturally, the best buys go fast.

RagTag, Takeshita dori, Harajuku (03-3478-0287); other stores in Shibuya and Shimokitazawa


Martin Margiela
Last season, Maison Martin Margiela's catwalk collection caused some serious jaw dropping. Usually fashion editors leave the room with new resolutions of harsh diets and strict fitness schedules after having witnessed one too many miniskirts, tiny tops and bare bellies. This time they probably left with insatiable appetites: Margiela's collection was completely in XXXXL. Jeans, you had to fold in front to wrap around the waist, trench coats with belts that had never been so useful, sweaters that fell off shoulders. Martin Margiela recently opened his first Tokyo shop in an old house left in its original form minus a rough layer of white paint. You enter via the bathroom, tub and all, and continue through the various rooms, with soft white carpets, that hold his collections. Closets are changing rooms. You can sit on the cushions in the windowsills or watch a catwalk video in the basement. Although the oversized collection hardly stays on the hangers, there are actually some wearable things too, if you can afford them. Collection number6 (basic garments for women) includes beautiful knitted scarves and basics. If your budget is limited, go for the belt-ring (JY2800) or belt-bracelet (JY3000).

3-3-3 Ebisu Minami, Shibuya-ku; Tel 03-5725-2427


Funky lamps and toasters at Scelta

Scelta
In Tokyo new discoveries lurk around each corner, and Scelta is one such find. Even non-fans of '60s and '70s furniture and clothes, will be converted. Usually retro shops are hyped, wannabe and ridiculously expensive, and while this boutique is no exception in terms of price, it's far from pretentious. The owner knows what he's selling to his freaky poet clients with dangling ciggies, heels and raucous voices, who hang around on the stylish couches, having a bit of relevant conversation. The scene is straight out of Wallpaper*. Scelta also stocks truly cool stuff, ranging from an Astrud Gilberto record in tiptop shape (just the cover is worth the money), to Pucci Print headscarves, playboy coffee tables, furry carpets and glass cabinets. The gold-plated YSL cigarette holder will make you wonder why the hell you ever stopped smoking. If the kaleidoscopic orange and brown toaster (so '70s) makes your head spin, take a seat in the Scelta Kitchen upstairs, a bar and restaurant where, no doubt, they serve martinis.

14-10 Daikanyama Shibuya-ku (03-3770-7410)


ADVERTISERS
Ash 03-3770-3755
Biodanza
Boots
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
Hugo BOSS
Japan Electrolysis Clinic (Ginza)
Maiko Make Over Studio Shiki
My Boo Nail Salon 03-5428-1121
Neal's Yard Natural Therapy Center
03-3405-7216
Roksen Bar Cosmetic 03-5658-7675
Sin Den
Takagi Skin Clinic
Tamariba.inc.
Tokyo Skin Clinic
Toni&Guy Japan 03-3797-5790
Watanabe Hair Dressing 03-3405-1188
Who Ga 03-5570-1773

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