I managed to kill two birds with one stone and accomplish visit two of my bucket list destinations South Korea and Japan and neither disappointed. I only spent a weekend in Tokyo but it made a lifelong impression. It is definitely one of the most unique and quirky laces on the planet. Like South Korea it has the perfect mix of cultural and heritage sites vs modern architecture and lots of randomness. People like to dress up- I only went to the infamous Yoyogi park at night so I didn’t see the crowds of people casually dressed up as Anime cartoon characters but I did see my fair share of Harajuku / lolita girls. I was also equally fascinated with the fashionistas with a style similar to us here in London but with their own take and also the breathtakingly beautiful Geisha girl costumes which I thought were only worn in Kyoto. It was truly a fashion Paradise although a bit pricey. There were also several equally fascinating sights and scenes that I will definitely have to rediscover some day!
Green tea Mr Whippy!
The first thing I saw when I stepped out Mejiro station where I stayed (very central on the Yamanote line in a (cheap house share from air bnb) was this amazing dance show!
Me in a vintage blazer from a store in South Korea (cheaper than the Japanese vintage shops)
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and views from the top
Park outside the government building with random friendly guy who asked to be in my pic.
Sensoji Temple and market in Asakusa
The coolest family dressed up for a day at the shrine and the lovely mother insisted I took a pic with her adorable children!
More people dressed up for the visit to the shrine
Birthdeath Vintage store and stylish staff
Cool reggae inspired record and sportswear store
Yoyogi park at night
Main street in Harajuku
Artwork in Comme Des Garcons store
Poodle in Lee Jeans- they take doggy fashion very seriously
Harajuku / Lolita / Punk style
On my way back to rainy London I did a 24 hr stop in Dubai- which was very different to my main trip but I loved it too!
Aquarium in The Dubai Mall
Souk style section of the mall
After writing these posts I’m desperate to start planning my next trip especially as the gail force winds blow outside my window – we have stormy weather here in the UK. If any of you guys are travelling- happy travels and would love to hear about your trips!
Traditional Korean meal friends shared with 2 friends (I’m not that greedy!).
I’m so excited to finally write this post after a little break- have had a lot on with a new job and my new business; www.realmoftreasure.com, which I did a post about last year. 2013 was also the year that I fulfilled one of my dreams, visiting South Korea and Japan. I spent most of my time in South Korea, with a designer friend who showed me the coolest paces in this uber trendy country. Yes you heard right, South Korea is modern, fun, and very hip- not to be confused with North Korea which could be a separate universe. Sadly whilst the neighbouring people in North Korea endure terrible suffering with a nutjob dictactor, South Korean’s are lucky enough to enjoy a normal life and I can only hope and pray that one day the North will be the same (unlikely to be something accomplished by Dennis Rodman). Despite the occasional threats of war from the North which aren’t really taken seriously, South Korea is extremely safe, and the people were friendly and welcoming. Seoul, the capital city has a perfect mix of old traditional heritage sites juxtaposed against a modern urban setting with an abundance of chic bars, restaurants, shopping malls and edgy architecture. Here are my South Korea highlights and my post on Japan and a mini breaks to Dubai and Paris will be coming soon.
Spicy Octopus cooked on my table
Shared giant chicken and noodle dish
American brunch- with green tea ice cream with waffles for an Orienal twist
Fashion / vintage
Traditional Kanok houses
Beautiful Gyeongbok Palace in the city centre
Close up of the palace in the day
Stunning traditional clothes / jewellery and ornaments from the National Museum of Korea
Traditional Korean dance show
Random English names of bars / restaurants – Loved seeing the London influence and the bizarre cat cafe (which are coming to London soon I’ve heard- the irony).
Innovative interior of a restaurant
Love the design of the worlds largest church, Yoido, with over 1 million attendees.
The view from my friends apartment block (my South Korean residence) roof terrace
Psy is a big deal here
I escaped the city to visit the amazing Spa in the mountains, Resom Spa Castle which had green tea, and Chinese herb infused spring water pools with steam rooms and Saunas- heavenly!
Wishing I was back there! Oh well the rainy London will have to do for now.
Pre concert Moroccan Dinner in Camden
This week I had the unforgettable experience of seeing one of my favourite singers and style icon, Kelis, at Proud Camden. I’ve loved Kelis since her debut album, Kaleidoscope, which I played on repeat for God knows how long when I was at school! So I jumped at the chance to see her play a small gig for the launch of Proud’s new club night, Get Lucky. The never ending wait for Kelis to come on almost put a damper on the evening but when she came on all smiles and full of energy I kind of forgot my former misery. She made a grand entrance wining to Beenie man with a cheeky glimmer in her eye and then started with one of my all time favourite Kelis tracks, Trick me. I was a little sad that she remixed my other favourite song, Get Along With You, but she turned it into a dubstep mix probably to fit in with the party vibe. I guess it was a bit much to expect her to play sombre songs just so I could reminisce about my teenage angst. It was a great performance, a little bit too short but I still left full of love for her. Kelis really has a unique tone to her voice which I’m a bit obsessed with (I even love her speaking voice). She doesn’t do those Whitney power notes but she’s got such a beautiful tone. I can’t think of anyone else that sounds similar which is rare for artists, and her live voice was just as good as her recorded music. Plus I was excited that we both wore similar style keyhole dresses with midlength sleeves (ok the hers was a million times more glam and wasn’t really that similar but I’d like to think we share the same taste as I love the way she dresses- even the new crazy Cruella Devil look!). The hair accessories she wore were also exactly what I would expect from Kelis, fun and funky and she even pulled of glittery thigh high boots without looking trashy (don’t try this at home guys). If it wasn’t for the lateness this would have been the perfect evening but it was still one of the highlights of my year and hoping I get to see her again.
Kelis didn’t know the words to her new track Jerk Ribs from her new album FOOD but at least her notebook was stylish
Hey guys am entering a blog awards competition and am need of your nominations. Thanks for all your lovely comments so far – you guys are great – but if you wanna show me a bit more love please nominate- for best newcomer. Cheers xxx
This bank holiday Sunday I was given a complimentary ticket to the Breakin Convention at Sadlers Wells Theatre through a friend who was reviewing the event for SLIK Magazine. I’d heard about the convention but didn’t know too much about it. Now this momentous celebration of Hip Hop dance has got me hooked possibly for life. I am a lover of dance and have attended various classes of practically every type of dance throughout most of my life, but my first experience with breakdance was not great. I just remember not wanting to put my head on the floor and feeling very weak as I tried to to various plank like moves using my non existent arm strength. Despite this experience the breakin convention left me dreaming of being a hip hop dancer, especially when admiring the combined strength, femininity and sexiness of female crew Zamounda and the seductive Emilie Sudre (who danced half naked in heels but in a tasteful way). I’m not sure if I’ll take up breakdance but am definitely encouraged to continue the Hip Hop dance classes I started earlier on in the year. It rekindled my passion for dance and I was touched to see the diverse group of people from old ladies to young kids and entire families that were all brought together at Sadlers Wells to celebrate some of the worlds most talented and inspirational dancers.
Soweto Kinch with Olympic choreographer Kenrick and other dancers of Boy Blue Entertainment
The youngest members of this crew. Soul Mavericks, are the most adorable sister, only 5 and 9! (above)
Fierce and fabulous Zamounda
These guys used a technique called bone breaking to achieve extreme double jointed movements. Wonder if its as painful as it looks and sounds?
Emilie Sudre before she stripped off- can this this be a new dance craze- Breaking Burlesque
The legendary Electric Boogaloos.
My highlight was the the Ill abilities crew who all have disabilities such as deafness, amputated or incompletely formed limbs. These guys not only inspired me to continue dancing but also to pursue all of my passions and goals in spite of the obstacles I will inevitably face!