Japan offers a heady mixture of style inspiration from the sleek and minimal to the downright batty. And recently, fashion has been honing in on the kaleidoscopic, more-is-more epicentre of Tokyo…
Follow the way of the Harajuku girl
Harajuku is a district in Tokyo which has become famous for its incredible street style. The girls here take an almost theatrical approach to dressing. Think towering platforms, multicoloured tights, pastel wigs, puffy doll-like dresses and all manner of kitsch, plastic and faux fur accessories. It’s mad, it’s eclectic and it’s incredibly fun. Grimes often takes her cue from the Harajuku girls in both her music videos and ordinary life by mashing up textures, fabrics and clashing pieces. How to work the look? Think outside your comfort zone. The mini mink patata bag by Colour Temperature gives serious Japanese sass when paired with the Kamushki wishbone ear cuff, socks and Joshua Sanders sandals.
Stickers, patches and the customise aesthetic
The haberdashery, DIY, thrift store vibe has taken the catwalks by storm with people rushing to monogram everything from bomber jackets to phone covers. This almost school-girl sensibility of piling on crazily colourful stickers and wacky patches, is so reminiscent of Tokyo. It mirrors the profusion of photobooths in the city where people are encouraged to layer hearts, teddies and anything cute over their snaps. To get in on this trend, grab yourself something denim like the open-backed frayed top by Marques Almeida. Then unleash your inner teen, and stick on any buttons, pins or badges that grab your eye. Putting your own stamp on something has never been cooler.
A new way to blush
Forget everything you know about applying blusher. Dabbing it on the cheekbones? So passé. Japanese girls sweep it just under the eyeline to emulate the cartoon heroines of the much-lauded anime films. Kenzo has adopted a version of the look for Spring/Summer 17 that falls somewhere between 70s disco queen and Japanese belle.
Celebrity Chef, Anna Barnett on food, fashion and throwing the ultimate dinner party
Starting out in the world of fashion and events, Anna found success working for the likes of MTV and House of Holland. However, her lifelong passion for cooking (as well as her skills in the kitchen), were too much to ignore, and she made the leap to focus full-time on all things food. Her Independent column and blog, The Reluctant Vegetarian, gained her a loyal fan base and in 2015 she released her first book Eat The Week. Now, she juggles many plates, whether it's writing for top publications, event catering, or hosting pop-up supper clubs, no day is the same for Anna.
We caught up with foodie extraordinaire to chat careers, personal style and her all-time favourite haunts. Plus, she shares with us her top entertaining tips.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
It’s a pretty hectic time of the year for me, I’ve just finished a series of events for. I’m now researching and writing everything for a month’s worth of Grazia pages (I provide a recipe and edit their food news pages each week) and I’m planning my next shoot for Vogue (I supply bimonthly recipes). I’m also working on putting a podcast together and currently in negotiations about my next book which I’m hoping will be ‘The Reluctant Vegetarian’.
What does an average working day look like for you?
Every day is so different, sometimes it’s cooking, styling and shooting recipes all day, others it’s endless cooking and preparations for events or catering jobs. Sometimes it’s just writing. Other days it’s meetings and running around. There’s pretty much always a dog walk in there too.
You previously worked in fashion, what prompted you to switch careers?
I had always been surrounded by friends who’d taken a punt and started something they were passionate about, so I drew inspiration from them. I wanted to start my own thing. I was always cooking a lot, putting on supper clubs but also working and travelling a lot in fashion. When it got too much to balance, and there was just not enough hours in the day to do it all, I decided to really focus all my attention on everything food.
How has your personal style changed now you work in food, not fashion?
I probably get dressed up less but love it when I do. That said I’ve bought a lot of good shoes of late so I’m definitely still passionate about clothes, and shoes in particular.
What would be your go-to outfit when hosting?
Probably skinny jeans with plenty of stretch, a comfortable top, and some mid height boots - comfortable but semi dressy. No baggy sleeves as you don’t want them dipping in sauces or getting the way!
Where do you like to shop for ingredients?
I love Broadway Market near my house in East London. They have a great farmer's market every Saturday and there’s also several amazing fruit and veg stores, with endless great produce. There’s a huge variety of everything, and I’ll always head there over going to a supermarket.
What is your all-time favourite restaurant?
It used to be Topogigio on Brewer Street (London). My grandparents used to take us and knew the family that ran this incredible hidden Italian restaurant, but it sadly closed a couple of years ago. Now, my ultimate restaurant recommendation is Da Adolfo just off the coast of Positano, Italy. It’s not fancy at all but serves up the most incredible food and overlooks the ocean.
Where would you like to travel next for food inspiration?
I’m planning to spend some more time in Asia, I cook a lot of vegetarian dishes (for my vegetarian husband) and there’s so much inspiration to be drawn from the Asian cuisine.
What do you have in the pipeline for 2017?
Hopefully my next book. I’m keen to do more pop-up supper clubs, cook more, eat a little less and travel.
Anna’s entertaining tips
- Get organised. Plan, plan and plan some more! You can never be too organised when it comes to these things.
- Preparation. Get as much prepared ahead of the event as possible. Lay the table and get as much food ready as possible.
- Always give yourself a dish, which can be pretty much made up ahead of serving so you’ve got time to get on and prepare the next course or so you can easily sit down and enjoy the meal with minimum fuss or rushing around.
- Make sure there’s plenty of booze.
- Always cook more than less. It’s great when you have enough to go round and can offer seconds, everyone loves that.
- No bright lights. Make sure you’ve got plenty of candles and cosy lighting.
Anna's Top 5 M Project Picks
We've shared our pick of the must-see European exhibitions this year, now it's time to go worldwide...
Tatsuo Miyajima at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney
For a totally immersive and unique experience, be sure to head to Tatsuo Miyajima’s Sydney show. The renowned contemporary Japanese artist has taken over the museum’s galleries with his impressive room-scale works that incorporate dazzling LED light installations and other-worldly sound performances.
Until March 5th 2017
Robert Rauschenberg at MOMA, New York
Don’t miss this landmark show celebrating the sixty-year career of one of the most prolific artists of the twentieth century, Robert Rauschenberg. Never one to define his practice by the traditional boundaries of art, the exhibit showcases Rauschenberg's work in all its varied guises as it journeys between painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, installation and performance. Recognising Rauschenberg’s highly collaborative nature, the show will incorporate pieces that he worked on with other big name artists such as Jasper Johns, Cy Twombly and Merce Cunningham.
May 21–September 17, 2017
It’s the new year! And while January seems typically to be characterised by gruelling detoxes, diets and self-punishment, we refuse to believe the very first month of 2017 needs to be all bad. Turn the idea of ‘having the blues’ on its head by following our list of fun, inspiring and enriching blue experiences. Take that pessimists!
- Listen to some Muddy Waters – one of the most influential artists of all time, he is widely regarded as the father of modern Chicago blues.
- Watch The Blue Lagoon. Brooke Shields still inspires serious eyebrow-envy. And slightly unkempt, thick, full brows have never been more in fashion.
- Touch the sumptuous blue velvet on Chanael K's divine choker. This is a piece that can easily get you back in the party spirit. Pair with some easy denim and trainers for instant laidback cool.
- Smell Bleu de Chanel, the musky masculine scent with notes of frankincense, ginger, sandalwood and pink pepper.
- Eat blueberries in a protein-packed, superfood-laden smoothie and start the year full of energy.