Louis Vuitton and Dries Van Noten
It seems that last year's batwing tops may well be recycled into this year - as they now translate quite nicely into a theme that dominated quite a few collections during the fashion weeks just past. Several designers, from Louis Vuittion and Alexander Wang, to Dries Van Noten were heavily influenced by japanese kimonos, obi belts and silk patterns. Additionally, pale cheeks and bold lipsticks like below.
Get the look
Make up is a great way to try out a look without spending a fortune. MAC makeup arguably do the best lipsticks - at least they are the only ones that stay on! Keep to reds and warm oranges for this look - the Japanese don't really do browns as it doesn't go with their skin tone (according to a Japanese friend). I was at Selfridges today and tested out these colours at £14 a go:
For a cheaper selection, Topshop's make up collection has some great orange/red lipsticks that will fit the bill. When wearing these colours, remember how bright they are. If your lips are making a statement then tone down on everything else - it's big lips OR big eyes etc. Also, if you can manage it without looking ghostly, try and pale down your skin - if nothing else just dust your skin with powder instead of a bronzer - and wear a tame blusher if at all. Notice that the Japanese often put a light cream eyeshadow under their eyes, try it - it works on some people, and those that it does look brilliant.
Kimonos are the easy way to get an instant Japanese edge to an outfit. I challenge anyone to say that they don't look good in one. Topshop and River Island have some fantastic high street options, with various prints. Remember that the true Japaenese style is a painted print - so make sure that the style you choose mirrors this or is completely plain. These are my favourites:
River Island (this one is my absolute fave)
You just have to remember that it isn't simply a covering-up piece of clothing, it still needs to fit you. Make sure the design has shoulder definition in the tailoring and that it sits correctly on your shoulders. Also, make sure that it flatters you - ie: if you are shorter, make sure that it doesn't overwhelm you and is short enough on the body. Also, if you are wearing one make sure you pair it with a tailored skirt or trousers or tight fitting jeans to contrast the floatiness of your top half.
Alexander Wang SS11
Belts - are also a great way to add a Japanese touch to your look. Obi belts are wide, and often decorated such as the one above. These will start to come more and more into stores as the year goes on - at the moment a lot of people have just bought into the skinny belt look. However, wider belts are really flattering - especially if you were a patterned one with something plain. There aren't masses of them in the mainstream highstreet yet, but loads in thrift stores and markets in London like Portobello and Camden. Team them up with your oversize shirt from last year, or a plain oversize tee for a daytime look:
Mango Obi Belt -great for work!
South Molton St Style