各ジャンルに精通する個性豊かなエディターたちが、GINZA SIXをぶらぶらと

The Door to New Style Opens in Ginza

坪田 あさみ フリーエディター


I’ve decided life peaks at 60. That means, in my 40s, I’m still a fledgling. With the gorgeous tanned skin of an elegant Italian woman, with any number of gold chain necklaces wrapped around my neck, with supple, toned legs, I’ll slip into high heels. My wrinkles, my gray hair, the freckles—blemishes?—exposed by my low décolleté neckline, I’ll wear as a badge of honor, uncaging with full confidence all the sex appeal an adult has to offer. The young, they can’t compete! Not with such powerful presence, the presence and cultivation of an adult. Yet, this outlook has yet to take root in Japan.

But I’m not after cheap tromp l’oeil. I don’t want that kind of style. I want something else, something true, something that lies beyond. My philosophy of dress is that you can’t completely separate dress from your lifestyle or how you live—or separate how you live from how you dress. Of course, just taking the leap isn’t generally enough to get you all the way there, but my target year is 60. I have time.

Who will I be in ten years? When I ponder on such things, I find there’s no better place to uncover hints than the wonderland of GINZA SIX. Today, I’m going there to focus exclusively on Italian brands and make my rounds at a few stores I like.

I first visit Gente di Mare on the fourth floor, a store shimmering with personality and featuring an interior inspired by the sunny breezes of southern Italy and the Mediterranean. Italian brands conjure austere, classical associations, but Gente di Mare presents a host of Italian casual brands with a very contemporary feel, a mixed-label boutique with easy-to-wear fashions for adults. Starting with a primary focus on men’s clothing, Gente di Mare was renovated this past February to include fashions for all. In addition to apparel, the spacious interior features knick-knacks, accessories, and interior décor for one’s total and complete enjoyment.

I’m in the new ladies part of the store. Aspesi, Circolo, Duno—I see all the popular brands. So many choices for a great, mature summer style!

When I was a young editor at a street style magazine, and even since becoming a freelancer, I’ve strolled the fields of the casual. So I’m not necessary going to convert to conservatism just because I’m older. But once you reach 40, your face and your body, I think, have a hard time keeping up in a simple casual style. That’s why I’m so thrilled when I discover elegant, adult casualwear brands. I feel like my range of style instantly expands.

I put on this stretch cotton jacket (59,400 yen; tax included for all prices) from Circolo, which is, I’m told, a popular standard. I’d been wearing almost all boxy, long-hemmed men’s-style jackets. So, for me, the petite dimensions and easy-breezy comfort feel really fresh. Italianism, I realize once again, is about the silhouette, always aware of its femininity. Even in a jacket like this, one wears the curves. But it’s not too serious. I like the stress-free comfort, too. These days, with so many calls for video conferences, you have to convey that you’re put together and sharp with your upper body alone. Even at home, I see myself totally comfortable in this.

The clothing in the store is Italian, and so are the accessories. There’s a full line of Italian brands. The simple designs and color schemes of shoes from Philippe Model, the increasingly popular sneaker brand (from 59,400 yen), are easy to pair with any style. And the store has a goodly number of them. With a different touch of casualness than a sports brand, the shoes give off an adult sense of classy ease. The brand is also planning a popup shop on the third floor of GINZA SIX starting June 23.

For me, someone who lives by the ocean, I need things that will look good at the beach, like this stole (25,300 yen). You can never have enough of them. The fun, cute pattern and light, easy-to-wrap texture I whirl around my neck or head to protect against the sun or put it in a basket bag as accent—so many ways to use it! Wash it at home, and it dries almost instantly. Perfect for summer.

These buffalo horn bangles from L’Indochineur, which go so well with my own I might just wear them right out of the store, are very reasonably priced: 1,430 yen for one. The impact isn’t excessive even if you wear several at once. They’d go really well with the bangles and watches I already have. The subtle colors look chic. The ring on my ring finger (3,850 yen) is large but fits right in with my tan, creating an elegant casualness.

You can also buy kitchenware from Florence with fun and colorful designs, as well as a luxury fragrance from Capri called Carthusia. Just looking about around the store sets you down amid the swirl of a foreign locale. It’s worth checking out if you’re looking for a gift.

Moving on….as you get older, when you need your shoes to be practical, the designs tend to compromise against any ambitions of chic. But I want to get closer to the styles worn by dignified Italian women who take pride in their femininity. Naturally, then, I visit Gianvito Rossi on the second floor, which opened this past February. The time is ripe!

This popular brand is designed by Gianvito Rossi himself, whose father was a master of Italian footwear. This is the only store in Tokyo dedicated exclusively to this brand. You can get the shoes at other boutiques and department stores, but only part of the collection is available. Here, you get the entire unique spectrum of the brand. It’s a clear can’t-miss spot, even if you aren’t a Gianvito fan (yet).

Elegant, feminine, but not without a contemporary edge, plus so comfortable to wear—it’s all part of the charm and comfort of minutely gauged handmade shoes. Gianvito Rossi are often featured in women’s magazines and renowned as the “pumps you can run in.” I almost always wear flats now, so my calf muscles aren’t what they used to be, but I might be able to wear these pumps, I think. I try some on.

I’m wearing the brand’s iconic pumps with the 8.5-centimeter heels (86,900 yen). The slender stilettos supporting my bodyweight look stunning, but they’re also quite stable. I don’t wobble. They don’t call for any of that extra energy you normally need to walk in high heels, and there isn’t any of the typical sense of tension. You really could go running in them—I really get this now.

Walking in pumps on Italian cobblestone has got to be many times harder than strolling on Tokyo asphalt, but mature Italian women can strut with clear confidence because, I suppose, the long history of Italian craftsmanship has been assiduously passed down to the country’s younger generation of designer brands.

I’m wearing a dark olive pair in suede. I’m ecstatic about the exquisite color, which has bite and nuance in equal measure. They’re not meant to be sweet, but, oh! How sensual! They’ll no doubt give a big boost to your feminine factor as an adult woman.

Along with suede, there’s smooth leather and patent leather—three types in all and over 15 color variations. I find myself entranced by the beautiful colors. I think it would probably take me a few days to choose between them all.

But my first priority is comfort, when choosing shoes I can wear daily for work, so I try on a number of stable flats as well. Though I’ve never met him, I want to shout Bravo! to Gianvito for forms that so look graceful, even as flats. This is the flat version of the popular Plexi (88,000 yen).

The design combines leather and transparent PVC that lets your skin show through. There’s nothing unsophisticated about these flats. The pointed toes are smart, too. This PVC, re-modified many times over to improve it, I’m told, feels really very soft on your feet. It’s typical of this brand not to compromise in the use of any of its materials, not just in the matter of leather. My trust in luxury brands deepens. They get softer, too, when the temperature rises. In mid-summer, when you’re apt to go barefoot, they’re bound to fit even more comfortably.

It’s the same for these casual strap sandals (83,600 yen). Where Gianvito Rossi is involved, the chic factor at least doubles. Metallic silver is absolutely best for summer. It won’t show dirt as much as white. It’s modern, strikingly lovely, and goes with anything in your closet. It’s an all-around performer. The straps wrapping my ankles are rubber, eliminating any stress in putting them on or taking them off. For someone like me, not known for patience, it’s a godsend.

Also on display here is the new Tropea, with their too-cute pop colors and a design accented by Nappa leather braided straps. They’re full of the kind of playfulness an adult can really appreciate.

There’s a brand of handbags I’d heard about, still not widely known in Japan, but popular with Italian women, who have a penchant for the authentic and things that magically highlight their own personalities. So I go to Serapian on the third floor, a venerable Milanese establishment founded in 1928. My eyes are instantly drawn to the striking beauty of the mosaic tile wall adorning the bright interior.

This store is the only Serapian store in Japan to offer a bespoke service. You can make a full order of the bag of your choice in hundreds of combinations of lamb leather. At the first meeting, you’re connected to a craftsperson in Italy via Zoom, which….wow! That sounds exciting! It takes about four months for your order to arrive, but this somehow seems the precise timeline you’d expect for the luxury of getting your hands on a special masterpiece.

Incidentally, the chair I’m sitting in here is also appointed with a mosaic design. A subtle luxury pervades the store. In Italy, apparently, some bold, wealthy souls custom-order the entire leather interiors of their cars. The time and expense involved! Far beyond the realm of the plebian imagination.

The closer I examine this mosaic pattern, the more impressed I am with its intricacy. Long strips of leather are woven through fine slits, without any warpage or slack, which is a delicate process since if the weaving were done with a heavy hand, these strips could break the base leather.

The Milan workshop is staffed by four experienced craftspeople. Even for standard products, they apparently add little touches of whimsy and personality. Which means, in other words, that each item is a one-of-a-kind, with one lucky person to own it!

Especially popular right now is the Petra, which gives you the mosaic pattern in a compact form. The gusset is solid. While the dimensions are small, all your accessories will fit inside. A removable shoulder strap lets you take it with you even when you’re in a more active mood.

There’s nothing more beautiful than the monotone mosaic. I thought this combination of high-quality leather and craftsmanship would command a relatively high price. Actually, the price, at 147,000 yen is delightfully reasonable. I can see why this brand has so many adherents among Italian women who recognize authentic quality. I immediately put it on my I-want-this-bag list.

There’s also an ample lineup of luxe accessories here. Which is perfect, because I’d been looking for a wallet. I can’t help admiring the compact wallets in bright pink and orange and mosaic designs.

This mask case (15,400 yen), fabricated in response to COVID-19, is a popular gift. Can you imagine going out to eat and taking a mask case this chic with you? I think I’m in love. Though in reality I can see myself stuffing a ton of receipts in there until it’s bursting, and I laugh thinking about it. Authentic elegance may still be a long ways off.

It’s often said a lot of people in their 40s lose their way when it comes to style, because they keep wearing the things they once really liked based on the belief that they ‘know’ themselves, without realizing such items don’t really work anymore. It’s a trap that’s easy to fall into. Actually, it’s not that things no longer look good on you as you age, it’s that you have stepped up to the next phase of your life. When this happens, it’s important to imagine the you that you want to be. That’s what opens the doors to a new style. There’s no better place to dream constructively along these lines than GINZA SIX. My journey to discover the ideal me ten years from now continues.

Text: Asami Tsubota Photos: Makiko Obuchi Edited: Yuka Okada(81)


坪田 あさみ

出版社勤務を経てフリーのエディター・ライターとして独立。大人世代の女性ファッション誌をはじめ、書籍、カタログ、webコンテンツなどの企画・編集・ライティング全般に携わる。マリソルオンラインにて「おしゃれと暮らしと時々名品」を連載中。オムレツサンドが人気の逗子にあるカフェ「サンダウナー 東京オムレツ」も経営する。
Instagram: @asamit1201


2021.05.15 UP