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GINZA SIX EDITORS

ファッション、ジュエリー&ウォッチ、ライフスタイル、ビューティ、フード…
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
歩いて見つけた楽しみ方を綴ります。

A Microcosm of Ginza: Discovering Stores True to Your Life

大森 葉子

GINZA SIX EDITORS Vol.50

I have a problem when I go to department stores. These places contain a floor for young women and a floor for more mature women, but nothing in between. When I go to either floor, I can’t help feeling like an outsider. I don’t feel I can stride about the place as if I owned it—if it were my style to do so. I’ve felt irritated by this for the past few years. Yes, I’m in my 40s. In the old days, I would have been regarded as a mature woman, but I grew up dressing casually [smiling awkwardly]!

So when GINZA SIX opened and I set foot inside for the first time, I was overcome with excitement. A universe for me, my generation, in Ginza! In this feature, I’ll introduce four stores, which I can particularly recommend, of those that represent a microcosm for my generation.

My first stop is PARIGOT, a select store that features a cat as its symbol. When I established a satellite editorial department in Hiroshima for the web magazine mi-mollet, where I’m chief editor, I reported from the chain’s flagship store, located in Onomichi. The store carries 300 different brands and carefully replaces its products each season. With each visit, I enjoy encountering new brands.

The variety of denim brands on offer is particularly impressive—normally, around 30 brands are available. I always visit at the start of the season to find out about new trends. The other day, I purchased a black denim item by AALTO, a Paris-based brand run by a Finnish designer.

The store also began carrying the Mame Kurogouchi brand well before the other select stores. It devotes one rack to the brand each season, so every season I come back to check out this rack to see what the brand has to offer. The store also features numerous simple, yet striking brands, like INSCRIRE and MAISON FLANEUR.

I came here for my research, but I couldn’t help trying on a Mame Kurogouchi dress (seriously)!
There’s an edge here, but it has a “coquettish” air overall, a brand signature. Given the chief editor—I was only appointed to this post this month—should attend many parties, I peer into the mirror and say, “The more of these colorful dresses I own, the better, right?”

This PARIGOT original hat, made by a long-standing hat maker in Onomichi as part of the Setouchi Artisan Project (11,000 yen – all prices presented here are before tax), makes you never feel pressed on your head. Featuring a broad  rim, it’s made of a natural folding foldable material. I feel solemn for a moment. I think: “I have to buy this to tackle the oppressive heat this year.”

This is another portion of the range of original items from the Setouchi Artisan Project. I learn that this masking tape is designed by Maekawa-san, the staff member showing me around the store today. (Apparently, she spent time in the UK studying design!) I smile as I recall the numbers of cats you see on the streets of Onomichi.

My next visit is to EQUIPMENT, a brand born in Paris in 1976. This particular store has the distinction of being the flagship and the first store in Japan, so I get to check out everything from old staples to new products for the season in one visit. I’ve been a fan of EQUIPMENT for many years, and I own blouses and dresses from the brand. mi-mollet also ran an event here once—I think I also bought some stuff then!

What I particularly love is the smooth texture of EQUIPMENT silks. I’m immediately engrossed in discharging my obligation to check out the new products [smiling].

What I pick up are a star-patterned blouse (30,000 yen) and a spotted blouse (30,000 yen), both part of the Slim Signature range. I’ve been considering these for a while now. They’re adorable and leave me at an utter loss as to what to do. When I wear a Slim Signature blouse, I leave the top three buttons undone. The fabric is soft and smooth; simply slipping it on makes your style so cool.

I also took a shine to the cotton blouse (29,000 yen) being worn by Kuroyanagi-san, the press officer showing me around. “I like it because it adds sophistication to a cuffed design,” I declare. I’d like to try it on the next time it’s in stock, I add.

After checking out lots of different items, I end up buying a top that’s on sale. It’s remarkably comfortable. I put it on to wear right away and set sail from the store in high spirits. (Apparently, this is the first time anyone’s done this since this GINZA SIX EDITORS series started!)

My next port of call is MAISON CHRISTIAN DIOR GINZA. I’ve been curious about this store since it opened in April, so I’m really excited to be here at last.  The space is designed to look like a Parisian apartment, and it’s filled with fragrances, soaps, candles, body cream, and silk scarves.

One of my interests in visiting is to try out a counselling session from a pro. For my visit, Umei-san, a fragrance specialist, is set to select fragrances that suit me perfectly.

The approach to counselling is unexpected. There are no direct questions along the lines of “What sort of scents do you like?” All the questions seemed aimed at delving deeply into my unconscious mind. Some examples: “When do you want to wear it?” “What sorts of places does it remind you of?” and “You said waters. Do you mean the sea or a lake?” Even so, the scent he picks out is a perfect match for my feelings and preferences, leaving me wondering how on earth he could know what I like.

Umei-san had this to say: “We want this space to capture the imagination. Basically, we want people to experience fragrances. That means we don’t base the selection of our scents on type. Instead, we try to choose fragrances that suit the situations the customer has in mind.” It’s great fun, not least because it’s a bit like fortune-telling.

The collection is an already strong lineup, with more than 20 signature fragrances. Apparently, other new scents will join the lineup in the near future.

The fragrances picked out for me were, from right in the photo, are “Oud Ispahan,” with a smooth and sensual scent evocative of oriental roses in bloom, and “La Colle Noire,” delivering a fruity scent that reminds one of the nectar of plump roses (both 36,500 yen for 250 ml). When you apply them, they react with the moisture in your skin, transforming the scent into one unique to you. I was utterly fascinated by my scent. Quite without thinking, I tell Umei-san this is something I want to smell all the time [smiling].

Candles and soaps are also featured here, as well as a collection of silk scarves that can be worn to bring out the scent of the perfumes. The motif of this season is horoscope.

I love the size, which makes them highly versatile. They can be worn around the neck as a scarf; around the head as a turban; or wrapped around the handle of a bag.

They can also be tied around the wrist instead of a bangle. It’s stylish idea for seasons when you bare your arms.

My final stop is AYA farm, which sells “fresh” dried fruits that can only be found at GINZA SIX. I received some once as a gift from an acquaintance, and I’ll never forget my first taste. How can dried fruits be fresh, you ask? The answer is that they’re unusually juicy compared to typical dried fruit. Their distinguishing trait, apparently, is that they’re slowly dried and ripened at lower temperatures than regular dried fruit, which concentrates flavors and sweetness and preserves the juice.

You can’t normally taste the wares here, but as I was reporting, I managed to wrangle permission to do so—one of the less onerous perks of my job! This season’s selection includes Shiranui tangerines from Kumamoto Prefecture, Irwin mangoes from Okinawa Prefecture, and Askaruby strawberries from Tokushima. The lineup changes with the seasons. In the fall, it’s expected to feature Japanese pears, Western pears, and persimmons.

This assortment (4,629 yen), which contains all the varieties, is very popular. Try bringing it to a house party to introduce the guests to the delightful flavor of these treats!

I can also recommend these semi-dried fruits as the perfect gift. Chewier than regular dried fruit, they’re also fantastically delicious.

After sampling the fruits, I decide to purchase the melon and strawberries (2,222 yen for the pair). I’m thinking the melon will go well with dry-cured ham and that I might pop the strawberries into a glass with champagne. Can I really allow myself such extravagant pleasures?!?

After buying this souvenir for myself, I make my way out, beaming and reflecting once again on the joys of shopping at GINZA SIX.

Text: Yoko Omori Photos: Kanako Noguchi Text: Yuka Okada

editors_omori

大森 葉子

1974年生まれ。95年婦人画報社(現ハースト婦人画報社)、2000年講談社入社。 「with」「gli(グリ)」「GLAMOROUS(グラマラス)」の美容、読み物記事を担当。「mi-mollet(ミモレ)」には立ち上げから参加、7月1日より編集長に就任。音楽、映画、落語……カルチャーミーハーな44歳。口グセは、「あぁ、旅に出たい!」。なお「ミモレ」は毎日正午に更新中(http://mi-mollet.com/)、コチラで「日々のツレヅレ」を綴っております(http://mi-mollet.com/category/y-omori)
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2018.07.27 UP