Wednesday, 21 November 2012


Book is rolling along, full steam ahead into production and design (by the wonderful PONY in London) -- here is sneak preview off the prestel catalog with Kumamiki, organizer of Harajuku fashion walk, a shot taken at the san-x office of Rilakkuma, Vani of 6%dokidoki and Hello Kitty's bedroom, as well as spreads by Junko Mizuno and tokidoki (one of the few non-Japanese designers who are in the book).

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Osamu Watanabe

Despite having officially finished the book, and going into the design process, when I came across the Fake Cream work of Osamu Watanabe, I knew we had to have it in the book. His work has everything this book encapsulates -- sacchirine sweet, pastel-colored, romantic, frilly, over-embellished, no limits love for kawaii. Asides from his opulently decorated fake cream unicorns, giraffes, crocodiles, etc, he has made homages to Botecelli and Rodin, as well as a cream Zen garden and seated Buddha.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Last shoot: kokeshi!

At Naruko Onsen in Tohoku at the moment which is possibly the cutest village in Japan. This region is home to the kokeshi doll, a traditional wooden doll which is experiencing something of a revival at the moment (mostly due to the Tohoku disaster and the fact that these areas are still struggling). Naruko Onsen is kokeshi heaven! Spent the weekend sitting in hotsprings at Bentenkaku ryokan, learnt how to do the matsuri dance (although couldnt remember any of the steps) and joined in the festival carrying the mikoshi (portable shrine). The locals are super friendly, and everywhere you look, there are kokeshi motifs and several craftsmen's studios-- this village is SO cute -- Japan at it's best! Thanks Naruko Onsen for the loveliest weekend shooting this book, esp. the people at Bentenkaku ryokan. Photos: Kokeshi telephone box, kokeshi firetruck, festival peeps, kokeshi on the portable shrine, kokeshi street signs and hand rails, kokeshi coffee stirrer. <333

Thursday, 16 August 2012


Interviewed Yukiko Yokoo at her house in Nakano and currently working with her on hopefully banging out a cover.
Check out her work, we love it <3333 Surely if you have been in Japan, at some point you have played on this game! A curry eating game within the game. (the taiko drums are eating curry....) Why go to the gym when you can play happy hardcore on the taiko game? (゚口゚; Psy trance taiko? The characters in this have had too much coffee?

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Monday, 30 July 2012


Is "cute" therapeutic and healing? 
Went to Tsukuba science city to talk with Dr. Takanori Shibata, at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology who developed Paro, the robotic seal which has been used for medical purposes, such as a companion for aged people suffering from dementia. Paro also helped those affected by the 3/11 disaster and is unbelievably lifelike, responsive and adorable. Great interview!
Paro being cute
Paro annoyed w/ the flash:

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Sumida River fireworks and Yukata

Went to the  spectacular Sumida River Fireworks, one of the most anticipated summer masturi of the year. This year summer kimono (yukata) are particularly popular and most girls were decked in their cutest kits, looking absolutely stunning. The designs of the fabric are a joy to look at, and range from bold Taisho retro motifs to fluffy pink gyaru style patterns. Shot a plethora of girls and their fabulous ensembles -- the fashion, aided by the etheral atmosphere of Asakusa downtown, and the Sensoji temple backdrop makes for one of the best shoots in the book.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Yumiko Igarashi & BOO

One of the famous girls manga titles is Candy Candy, illustrated by Yumiko Igarashi which was originally serialized in Nakayoshi magazine. The protagonist, Candice is an orphan growing up in the US in the beginning of the 20th century, and her day to day struggles are beautifully depicted in this staple coming-of-age manga. Candy Candy is a title that Japanese girls grow up with, and even though it first appeared in manga form in the early 70s, girls today are still captivated by Candy's cheerful manner and ganbarre (fighting) spirit. Igarashi is seriously one of the most adorable ladies we have ever met! Picture: Igarashi and Geoff's dog, BOO> 

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

hangry and angry

Shot the rather adorable designer Gashicon at the H Naoto HQ. Character driven design with unusual cuts and a gothy tinge. Got some great horror manga tips too. <333

Monday, 16 July 2012


If anyone asked me who the most influential and important person in Harajuku fashion is, hands down,  I would say Aoki from the legendary magazine,  FRUITS. The term FRUITS has become synonymous with Tokyo street fashion, and the magazine itself created a platform for kids to get published and encouraged increasingly creative and off the wall ensembles. If the world knows about Harajuku street fashion, it is very much due to FRUITS mag, and the  PHAIDON book. Moreover, the full length street snap aesthetic is shamelessly ripped off by other photographers and websites.  Went to Aoki's studio in Harajuku, nice, super chill guy -- the image above is the very first FRUITS cover.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Fake sweets festival

We love sweet food....even if it is plastic. More for our epic food section

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Cute Room

This is one of the swimmer staff in her bedroom. I don't know what to say, asides from w(゚o゚)w
PS she lives here with her boyfriend!!!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Lovely Lolita

Cute, girly, frilly overload!! Shot 3 of the most well known gothic lolita models; Rin rin, Chikage and Yui Minakata who grace the pages of Kera, Gothic Lolita Bible, and the catalogs for brands such as Baby the Stars Shine Bright and Angelic Pretty. Meticulously self styled, adorable Rococo dolls with the most amazing coquettish poses! Chikage has also been modeling this style for 10 years -- great interview, thank you!!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Kintaro Ame

Went to a kintaro ame factory in downtown Tokyo, which is in it's 5th generation of making these classic sweets. A long, tooth dissolving tube is made of various parts, which can be cut anywhere to  get an identical face.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Puro Land

If you follow the cult of HK, you will have a transcendental, religious experience at PUROLAND, the mecca for Kitty-chan and friends, and home of HK's London home. It proved to be so very British. The Hello Kitty donuts made me feel delirious and I am currently recovering.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Hello Kitty x Eva

Covered 40 subjects (10 more to go!)  and busy transcribing tapes and writing now. I need a holiday,...perhaps on this wonderful plane!! Thanks Eva Air <333

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Takuya Angel

Takuya Angel is probably the most iconic designer of the Harajuku look, his fashion ranges from pop to cybergoth to corsets and the production quality is impeccable. His outfits have been exhibited in museums all over the world, including the Victoria & Albert.  Shot a box full of his beautiful gear @ the studio! Pic: kera! magazine model Kurebayashi and law student/ drummer Yamaronta playing pacman...for 3 hours...toooooo cute

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


Nameneko, the gang of 4 delinquent kitties, frequently seen on yankee motorbikes, playing in a band, and smoking in the toilet was an early 80s phenomenon, resulting in sales of over 5 million dollars worth of nameneko related goods, and is still the number one selling animal products company in Japan. Met with designer Satoru Tsuda, who is possibly the coolest person in the world.

6%DOKIDOKI girls

Shot the dizzyingly saccharine, rainbow colored, hallucinatory Harajuku institution that is 6%DOKIDOKI and their foxy shop girls.