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

Like a Postcard or Magic Carpet: Talking to People from Far-Off Lands

野村 由芽 編集者


From around March 2020, when we stopped being able to go out whenever we liked, I increasingly ordered clothing from designers based overseas. Night after night (usually it was late at night when I’d try to cheer myself up by buying clothes), I’d scroll through Instagram looking for people who made wonderful clothes on their own, or browse the online sites of overseas boutiques. I didn’t travel abroad much before. But trapped inside as I was, dealing with the pressure of not being able to go out and knowing you’re not supposed to go out, I found myself wanting to find out more about the lives of people in faraway places and to see what they saw. This grew stronger each day. I bought clothes as if hypnotized, spending nearly all my daily earnings. Looking back, I think it’s something I needed to do in order to get through that period.

The clothes arriving from across the seas often had handwritten messages that read something like “Thank you for your support!” The designers’ passion was palpable. It made me feel like I was holding hands with them or giving them a big hug. And when I put the clothes on, it was as though I knew the designer—who, of course, I didn’t actually know. I felt somehow that I’d stepped foot in the places where they lived. Clothing became something like a postcard from abroad, or a magical mode of transport.

Clothing has a functional side; it protects you from the heat and cold. It has a social side; it’s a mode of self-expression and badge of social standing. But it has yet another side. As someone who wants to find joy in life even under difficult circumstances with no clear end in sight, I want to believe clothing can bring people together. Taking this idea to heart, I visited some GINZA SIX stores to take my mind, on a magic carpet, to the peoples, cultures, and the time spent in far-off lands.

With these thoughts in mind, I go first to FUEGUIA 1833 Ginza on the third floor, a fragrance brand founded in Buenos Aires, Argentina, by Julian Bedel, who has family in the Patagonia region of South America. I hear “Buenos Aires” and I’m reminded of Happy Together, a Wong Kar-wai romance set in that city starring Leslie Cheung and Tony Leung Chiu-wai. I’m spellbound recalling the grandeur and mystery of Iguazu Falls and the sights and sounds of the local tango bar. Julian was apparently born into an artistic family of architects and poets and also had a successful career as a luthier. My recollection of the movie was so strangely vivid, I couldn’t help wondering why. Could it have been… Julian? Did he somehow lead me here?

I find myself wondering why Julian so suddenly entered the world of fragrance. The store attendant tells me it was because Julian felt the world in general was lacking in the truly authentic. His fragrances use absolutely no artificial ingredients. Each is his own blend of up to 100 plants, with inspiration drawn freely from the history, art, music, and nature of Argentina. The initiative and drive he has shown in creating this line of original, sustainable fragrances I hope will rub off on me, too.

His collection of perfumes, displayed in an orderly manner inside the store, currently features 99 varieties, with each variety coming in three sizes. Each of the names, too, is wonderful. For example, this one, the descriptive and romantic Valle De La Luna (“Valley of the Moon”; 23,100 yen / 30 ml; *all prices listed before tax), named after actual places in Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile, made a deep impression. (Incidentally, this fragrance incorporates a costly ingredient that comes from iris roots cut and stored in complete darkness for three years. Many brands use artificial irises, but Julian prefers natural irises because, he says, combining the beauty of the iris with other ingredients allows the exquisite expression of scents beyond iris.) Other perfumes in the collection, Elogio de la Sombra (“Praise for Darkness”) (18,700 yen / 30 ml) and Dunas De Un Cuerpo (“Dune of a Body”) (19,800 yen / 30 ml), evoke sensations of personal introspection and desire. All of the names juxtapose disparate images, a common device in Japanese haiku. Juxtaposing things that don’t normally go together can conjure up magical worlds. More than anything, I get the sense Julian had fun coming up with these names, which, on the receiving end, fills me with excitement. Into which of these stories should I throw myself? It gives you a different perspective on selecting a fragrance. For me, that’s a new discovery.

Le Cave Vintage (from 50,000 yen each), which was sold first at GINZA SIX and comes in a wooden box made from fallen trees, is also amazing. The scent of fragrances based on ordinary alcohol eventually dissipates, but this collection of vintage perfumes relies on a distillation technique that sustains the scents “until your grandchildren’s generation.” Hearing this, I think about how the fragrance of a loved one will remain forever, even after they pass away, or even after I die. I imagine how reassuring this might be. FUEGUIA 1833 has this power. Taking in the world Julian has created, I’m immersed in memory and recall some important things I’d forgotten, which leaves me a little teary-eyed.

The store’s low-backed chairs, a favorite of Julian, were designed by the late Charlotte Perriand, who had deep ties to Japan. When I look around, I see elements of Japanese tearooms and exposed pillar construction. Plus, the dim lighting is designed to focus attention on the scents themselves. These design elements mix and merge to create an intimate, cozy space that inspires nostalgia and prompts me to venture into a new world, a space and time of happiness on multiple levels.

Next, I make my way to Florence, Italy. Founded by Guccio Gucci in 1921, GUCCI was in the spotlight in 2015 when Allessandro Michele was appointed creative director. GUCCI Watch & Jewelry on the second floor is the brand’s boutique specializing in watches and jewelry.

The GINZA SIX location opened just this past spring. It’s the latest version of the jewelry store first opened by the brand on Place Vendôme in Paris in 2019.

GUCCI is well known for its striking double-G logo from its founder’s initials, but I was also drawn here by the brand’s initiatives with shops and artists with strong personalities of their own. For example, waltz, a cassette tape specialist in Nakameguro, was selected for Gucci Places, which highlights the places that inspired the brand. Gucci Places also collaborates with photographer Petra Collins, who has roots in Hungary and whose photographs transform the everyday rural scenery where she spent her childhood into fantastical dreamscapes.

Having said this though, I’ve only just recently gotten curious about fashion jewelry. Stepping into this glittering shop and seeing nearly every product tucked carefully away in a showcase made me a bit nervous to be honest, though it was my own choice to come. Though when I look more closely inside the showcases, I find I do have something to say; I mean, there were a lot of bold and charming designs. The lion’s head motif. The cat with diamonds in its eyes and a complacent look on its face. The little heart and diamond design on the face of a watch modeled on a playing card. These are friendly treasures that glint with subtlety.

I have a cat at home. The store attendant who learns of this proposes something they think I might like: a cat’s head ring (249,700 yen) with an onyx gemstone on the front and a three-dimensional cat hidden on the back.

Hey, I’m not “wearing a cat!”—a Japanese expression that means to hide your personality. Is there a way to say that in Italian? I look it up myself. It seems the expression “fare la gatta morta,” to “make like a dead cat,” comes close. I’ll have to ask someone who speaks Italian where this came from.

Incidentally, the watch collection includes a design with a cat on the watch face (125,400 yen). The popular Grip series features a watch, exclusive to Japan, with “Gucci” written in Japanese katakana (253,000 yen).

“Italian women of advanced years who wear eye-catching fashion jewelry around their necks amid wrinkles and blemishes is magnificent.” I remember my senior editor saying this to me. It really left an impression. When I looked up GUCCI after getting home, I learned that Michele’s grandmother was a jewelry collector. Someday, when I’m older, I, too, want to put on GUCCI in grand style and walk the streets of Florence, or Paris—all the great cities of the world.

The last store I visit is the new Patou on the third floor. The brand was originally founded in Paris in 1914 by Jean Patou under his own name and became Patou in September 2018. Guillaume Henry is its artistic director.

When it was first founded, it sought to free women from highly restrictive clothing, offering instead dresses without corsets, shorter skirts, and sporty lines suitable for city wear. The brand took sides with women who wanted to break free of the old customs. The store at GINZA SIX, where an uprightness stands alongside a real sense of freedom, opened with the brand’s largest sales floor anywhere in the world this spring.

Delicate, refined lace; breezy, romantic marine looks, bags with a Mouth of Truth motif. I’m feeling light-headed before the huge array of Patou clothing and accessories. If wishes came true, I’d have it all. I opt to try on a maxi dress made of cotton poplin with a little red flower design (126,500 yen). Ooh, so light! Doesn’t lose its shape! Maybe I’ll grasp a corner of the skirt and take a twirl! I’m all a-flutter again and again. This Frill Strap Sailor Hat (49,500 yen) looks lifted straight from a film by Agnès Varda, the Paris-based filmmaker. These days, you don’t see many hats shaped like this. I reach for it without thinking and put it on. The subtle blend of strangeness and beauty are so pleasant I can’t help but grin to myself.

I clearly see the affection of the brand’s new director, Guillaume, for the ‘unusual within the everyday’ and ‘something with a little frivolity.’ The look is elegant—you want to hold your head high—but there’s also a marvelously askew appeal that appears imported directly from a dream or fantasy. The items here radiate a broadmindedness, as if an adult has set up a ladder leading up to a dream, welcoming with open arms all those who take up the invitation.

The hows and whys of wearing clothing are totally up to you. For me right now, when I’m feeling I may grow accustomed to this condition of having lost so much contact with the world, I try to give myself a lift by recognizing that dialogue with others living near and far isn’t necessarily restricted. Putting on clothes helps me feel as if I’m engaged in conversation with the people who designed and made them.

Text: Yume Nomura(me and you) Photo: Mariko Kobayashi Edit: Yuka Okada(81)


野村 由芽

1986年生まれ。編集者/文章を書く。広告会社に勤めたのち、2012年CINRA入社。 カルチャーメディア“CINRA.NET”の編集、企画、営業を経て、2017年に同僚の竹中万季と共「自分らしく生きる女性を祝福するライフ&カルチャーコミュニティ“She is”」を立ち上げ、編集長を務める。2021年4月にCINRAを退職し、同月、竹中万季と共に株式会社ミーアンドユー(me and you, inc.)を立ち上げ、取締役に就任。 個人と個人の対話を出発点に、遠くの誰かにまで想像や語りを広げる活動を行う。
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FUEGUIA 1833 Ginza


GUCCI Watch & Jewelry




2021.06.16 UP