They’ve been framed

This is one of the images of Sonya and Glenn of Echobelly captured by Hubbie last last weekend

The image depicts the magic of Echobelly well. Their music is so deep and sensual. I can hardly wait to visit their gig again!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Artist on Regent St

I saw a guy painting a streetsacpe of Regent Street while I was hurrying towards my dentist on Harley Street.

He was busy moving his brush on the canvas and completely oblivious of curious passers-by. In the distance, the spire of All Souls Church was blending into a typical wintry sky of London…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Sonya & Glenn

Last Saturday, our flat was turned into a temporary photographic studio…

I drove to Hubbie’s office the previous evening so he could bring home all the equipments he would need for the shoot.

So who were his subjects?

Our friend, Glenn and Sonya from Echobelly!

They wanted Hubbie to take their promotional photos. We met through our mutual friends and became good friends. They both are lovely people, very warm, intelligent and caring. And we love their music too.

Hubbie took these images at one of their recent gigs…

Their new album will be released in spring and I can hardly wait!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Fei Wang Eyewear

As Bella and I hit the pavement, we bumped into my friend, Fei, and her film crew offloading a heap of bags and cases from a car. ‘Bella needs to go and spend her penny. We’ll be right back!’ They were here at my apartment to shoot video clips for her new website.

Fei is an owner / designer of a luxury eyewear brand, Fei Wang. The brand specialises in handmade bespoke sunglasses and spectacles made from vintage acetate sheets. All her high-end models are made in a small independent factory in UK by a team of highly skilled technicians.

I learnt about her brand by chance during my hunt for sunglasses which would compliment my Asian facial feature. Her designs were chic yet individual. And the testimonial of her creative philosophy was overflowing with her passion about making beautiful eyewears. They impressed me so much and I decided to meet her in person and to order a pair for myself.

Her collection is amazing and highly covetable…

I honestly can’t remember how long ago we first met but my first impression of her is still vivid and alive. She was courteous and elegant yet her easy manner put me at ease instantaneously. Her warm personality soon won me over and we chatted like we had known each other for a long time. And we became good friends ever since.

While Bella and I kept ourselves tucked away so we wouldn’t photobomb accidentally, Fei, an art director, a D.O.P (director of photography) and a stylist were busy setting up the scenes…

The stylist, checking Fei’s make-up & hair…

The atmosphere of the shoot was very chilled and happy.

Another touching up before shooting another clip…

Fei is a very hands-on kind of designer…

She oversees a whole process of manufacturing by keeping in close touch with the workshop and exercising a rigorous quality control. The result is not only amazing looking sunglasses but also they are very comfortable to wear.

Late autumn afternoon was so short and the outside was already dark at 5 pm…

Fei gets her inspiration from the glamorous world of old and new…

Those individuals express themselves without giving themselves away. The paradox is created by them not baring their souls by hiding behind their shades.  As a result they transform themselves to a beautiful enigma. How intriguing and seductive is that?

You can see more of Fei’s inspirations in her Instagram here.

This is one of my Fei Wang shades…

From the distance, the frame appears black. However, the acetate has a fine geometric pattern.

Fei sources acetate sheets from vintage stocks in Italy, and therefore, the number she can produce from them is limited…

While most of the well-known big name fashion houses use injection-moulded plastic for their eyewear lines and charge several hundreds of pound for them, her products are truly hand-made and luxurious…

I love this pair of cat’s eye because it makes me feel like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Uroco @ Spitalfields Market

My old friend Lala and her husband David run a beautiful stall at Spitalfields Market. In my humble opinion, I think their stall is the most original and inimitable amongst all the shops in the weekend market.

I acquainted with Lala years back when she had a stall at Portbello Market. She was selling handcrafted bags and accessories and I fell in love with one of her cross-body bags in emerald green silk kimono fabric. I was impressed by not only her well-designed bag but also her bubbly personality and eventually, we became friends.

Their brand, UROCO, specializes in vintage Japanese kimono and their original handcrafted accessories made from vintage kimono fabrics in silk and cotton.

Thanks to the recent fashion collections shown by major fashion maisons, opulence and exoticism are back in vogue. Hooray! We have finally turned on our heel and walked away from geek-chic of the past few seasons. Instead of a drab mono colour, we can feast our eyes on luscious hues of exquisite kimonos.

Lala and David fly out to Japan regularly and handpick their materials. They are expert in spotting gems and therefore their collection is immaculate and pristine.

Can anything rival this beautifully hand-painted kimono robe for a celebration of glamour and femininity?

Nowadays, examples of incorporating kimonos into everyday wardrobes are prevalent and abundant on the streets and in social media. Kimono’s flowy silhouette makes them easy to be thrown over almost on any outfit and they drape and cascade beautifully. By donning one, one can achieve a glamorous BOHO look instantaneously. It is not a mystery that Lala and David’s rare finds fly away from their stall every weekend.

Apart from their exquisite kimono robes, Lala and David offer their handcrafted collection of accessories. Those items are intensively handmade, often hand-stitched and hand-finished. All of them are ingeniously recycled from genuine antiques which they came across during their sourcing trips to Japan.

If you are not ready for flaunting your individuality with a full-length kimono, these Obi-style belts are the next best thing to glamorize any mundane dress or jumpsuit.

Or how about UROCO’s original silk snoods?

Again, they are cut from vintage silk kimono, and therefore, they are truly unique and one-off. Another plus point is the smoothness of silk which never irritates the skin. I know more than a few men who hate wearing anything scratchy around their neck because their post-Gilletted skin is so sensitive. Hubbie flinches from the idea of having to wear an itchy woolly scarf or a tight turtleneck jumper at anytime, protesting it is his equivalent of the cilice – a hair shirt. I’m sure UROCO’s snood will be perfect for his baby soft skin…

Lala and David with their creations. Each one of the items on sale is the result of their labour of love.

It is almost November and Christmas is only 55 days away. Why don’t you pop over for gift-hunting one weekend? By the way, Saturday’s Spitalfields Market is far more relaxed and nicer than a more famous Sunday affair.

Bandaging and a lampshade free Bella.

We both were then happily oblivious of the fate which awaited us around the corner. I wonder when Bella’s shaven fur will grow back to a normal state because at the moment, she resembles a partly clipped runaway sheep! (sob sob sob)

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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