Allez, Brigitte! Allez!

So Emmanuel Macron has been inaugurated as the 25th President of France today.

A new First Lady of France walking down the red carpet…

So elegant and confident!

Blue really suits her. She looks beautiful,

Hope they will visit London one day soon. And I and Bella will be there along The Mall to cheer her on!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

One-shoulder look

For Bella the Fashionista, a one-shoulder look has been a staple look for the past 6 weeks. 

Hey, you rock it, Bella!

I took her to the vet for a routine check-up on her elbow, and I was very happy to be told that everything looked great. While the nurse took her around the surgery so she could say hi to everyone, I ran to the post office down the road to buy a cardboard box for mailing a Christmas parcel to mom. While I was queuing to pay for the box, I spotted a toy ball on sale. Ahhh, Bella will love it! Since her injury, full-size footballs which she used to play with were packed away because the pen was not large enough for them. However, the ball I found was a half-size one and perfect for her to push around in her enclosure.

See what happened next…

She went NUTS!

“Kicking your heels” time is almost over, Bella. Just be patient for two more weeks and you will have an entire floor to run around with the ball…

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

Smelly Fishy

Normally, I do not like slagging off anyone or anything. Not that I am meek or a pacifier, but I keep my own counsel most of the time. The reason why is because observing how some people, chiefly Donald Trump, spewing their hateful and useless personal opinions all over the world, I don’t see the point of adding yet another hate or insult to the world unless I really mean it.

However, my moment of rage arrived one late September afternoon when I was flicking through a copy of Evening Standard Magazine while sipping latte at Saint Espresso on Pentonville Road.

The article by Laura Craik was about Christopher Kane featuring Crocs during his show in London Fashion Week and her ambivalent feeling towards “ugly shoes”…

Sure, we all need comfy shoes every now and then. I don’t deny them to me or anyone. When I walk Bella, I would rather wear comfortable flats than heels.
Having said that, I have found these recent trends in which big name brands/designers tie-up with seemingly unremarkable mandate objects and elevate them to stratospheric heights, using their ginormous PR machines. They are not benignly celebrating those hardworking Crocs or Birkinstocks which have been a staple footwear of medical professional personnels for decades though. The designers pounce on those “fabulously ugly” items because the sights of them being mixed with their “exquisitely beautiful” are shocking and perfect attention grabbers. It doesn’t matter if they are lined with fur or come in limited edition hues, they are chunky ubber clogs which are comfortable but not beautiful. Ok, I admit they are an epitome of “form follows function” and they are beautiful in that sense. They are worthy to exist because they make some people’s life easier.

Nevertheless, a price tag of Christopher Kane Crocs SS17 will never be under £30.00 – a typical price for Medical Crocs. They are likely to be way more pricy than that only because the clogs have an (minuscule) intervention by a well-known darling of the British fashion industry. Since his sneakers cost between £280 – £525, I can easily visualize a pair of CK Crocs sporting a tag of £300. How can I take it seriously? They are having a laugh!

My opinion towards recent fashion trends/fads are ambivalent as Laura’s. A dilemma of wanting to understand contemporary culture objectively but not being able to do so without having a contempt towards them is always present within me.

At the end of the day, “being trendy” is not a byword for being chic or fashionable. Since those trends are churned out by big name designers who are bankrolled by fashion conglomerates, by being trendy, we are likely to make those already scandalously rich chief executives even richer. And I really don’t want to justify or legitimise their money making schemes by taking part in this “á la mode” game.

My trusted all time favourite, Zizi by Repetto…

This pair is my fourth in 15 years. They fit like gloves on my feet and are so comfortable all year around.

A French chanteur, Serge Gainsbourg, made these Oxford shoes world famous by living in the pair – he went through 30 pairs a year until his death in 1991…

Apparently, he had sensitive feet and found Repetto’s offering as his salvation. I must admit that these pair don’t require any breaking in even if they are worn on bare feet straight out of their box brand new. They have absolutely nothing whatsoever to rub or irritate your feet. They are amazing. I don’t know why Serge had to have 30 pairs a year because they are so very well made and tough. Maybe he liked his pair brilliantly white all the time? By being in white, the pair does show scratch marks after a few weeks of wearing. But the leather is extremely supple and easy to take care. However, I can’t imaging Serge or Jane polishing their shoes. It would be totally too uncool and petit bourgeois for them. Serge and Jane had to be nonchalant. FULL STOP.

I hope you are not thinking about chewing up my shoe laces, Bella…

I believe in being original and admiring in people’s originality. Let’s not be a slave but be a pioneer…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Where is our summer?

Today is 1st June and it’s blooming COLD! I found it so chilly this morning and ended up turning on heating. 

Now I am at Benugo, off Regent Street, and surrounded by people in not summer attire but in winter coats and scarves. I really don’t think it’s not that cold though, a woman, who is standing next to me right now, even dons a sheep skin gilet on top of her motorcycle jacket and wrapping her neck with a black pashmina for an extra measure! She looks chic but the fashion statement she is making is so wrong for this time of the year. Where is our summer?

When I hit the pavement, the heaven opened and drenched the street…

I don’t know what the heck is going on weather-wise, this year…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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