The journey began with an immersive presentation of the “Virginia” assortment in Earth Studio on the foot of Tokyo Tower, and ended with a Q&A on the Alexachung model pop-up in Isetan, Shinjuku’s luxurious buying behemoth. In between, the group loved karaoke, extra karaoke, robotic cabaret, sake stops in Shibuya’s micro bars, whiskey-and-cokes (just a bit Coca Cola for Alexa) within the Golden Gai district and a menu of teppanyaki, sushi and sashimi (noodles, over rice, for Alexa). From the Britpop tunes belted out at 4am, to the needs that appeared to return true on the Meiji Shrine, right here’s all the things you have to learn about Alexa Chung’s Japan journey.
The karaoke was bigger than life
Alexa is thought for her penchant for karaoke (did you hear about her firm’s inaugural Christmas celebration?), therefore the choice to premiere her fourth assortment within the motherland of the musical sport. The cubicles in Tokyo’s Rainbow Karaoke – a hidden gem discovered by Alexa’s PA within the Shibuya district – slightly peculiarly resembled workplace board rooms, however that didn’t cease Chung and co from ripping by of membership classics, golden oldies and rap songs. Alexa kicked off proceedings with a word-perfect rendition of Nelly’s “Sizzling In Right here” and the group adopted with the likes of Madonna’s “Vogue”, “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis, “Nation Home” by Blur and “Bigger Than Life” by The Backstreet Boys. Nobody was spared from the mic.
Tokyo by no means ever sleeps
Put up-karaoke on the night of the “Virginia” assortment launch, the night time was younger (ish) and the celebrations continued with a visit to the Golden Gai district in Shinjuku. Well-known for its maze of tiny consuming dens, the group discovered Ally’s Bar located in one of many slim alleyways and even narrower passageways. With a couple of screens tacked onto the wall for yep, you guessed it, extra karaoke, and a makeshift bar with no menu, however Ally providing “something you want”, it was Japanese nightlife at its best: a very wacky time-warp.
Illy Jankovich was the girl behind-the-scenes
The hand-painted presentation set and the props on the Alexachung pop-up store in Isetan have been impressed by Charleston Farmhouse – the Sussex retreat of the Bloomsbury Group – and created by artist Illy Jankovich, a buddy of Alexa’s from New York. Jankovich sketched all of the drawings in 24 hours, two weeks earlier than the journey, after which enlarged, printed and wallpapered her illustrations onto cut-outs as soon as in Tokyo. A complete of 45 pots of paint, plus plaster, rooster wire, papier-mâché, cardboard, MDF, fur and stuffing have been used over the 4 days she spent setting up the designs in a distant warehouse in Tama on the outskirts of Tokyo. Your complete undertaking took some 150 hours to create and finesse.
Whereas Loft and Kiddy Land got here up trumps for sometimes Japanese souvenirs, Alexa hand-selected her vacation items from Tokyu Fingers, and offered Vogue with three Moomin-decorated present luggage upon our arrival. The primary contained a blue-and-white neckerchief, the second a pack of passport-sized notebooks and two of her favorite pens, and the third a fig candle. “I simply wished you to have good issues when away from residence,” she justified of her spree.
The bar with no piano
Tucked down a aspect road in Shibuya was located Alexa’s favorite bar, a tiny, chintzy parlour accessible solely by a ladder. Sufficiently big to suit the group in and a few who gave the impression to be nonplussed by the dialog of rowdy Londoners, the truth that Bar Piano housed no working piano was not even probably the most surreal half. Go to to marvel at one man, Hayao Matsumura, and his means to suit a complete classic market’s value of trinkets into one dinky lounge.
Jet lag delirium reached new heights on the Robotic Restaurant
Dinner and a present in Tokyo meant buckling in for a three-part robotic fantasy present after feasting on teppanyaki. Gigantic cyborg creations fought digital monsters, whereas dancers wearing wildly ambiguous however seemingly futuristic costumes banged drums and waved all method of props. “Fantasy present” doesn’t even do it justice, you need to see it to consider the robotic regalia.
Sushi got here with a free T-shirt
A slap-up dinner at Narukiyo Izakaya, the place the group sat on the ground, supped sake and smoked inside (nonetheless OK in Tokyo), ended with the proprietor throwing complimentary orange and inexperienced T-shirts on the celebration. Alexa chosen orange and promptly put hers on over a verify, ruffle-embellished gown from the “Virginia” assortment. So, in case you see an unashamedly shiny brand T-shirt crop within the subsequent Alexachung clothes drops, you’ll know the place the inspiration got here from.
The magic of the Meiji Shrine
Over a short while, the group managed to cowl quite a lot of floor, together with three journeys to the Meiji Shrine, the place company are inspired to jot down out their needs on picket plates referred to as emas and depart them on the shrine within the hope that they’re granted. When Alexa’s first want – to be reunited with a misplaced iPhone – got here true, naturally the crew gravitated again there every day. She’s nonetheless ready on needs quantity two and three, however her vacation to Kyoto (tacked on the tip of the work journey with buddy and Alexachung artwork director Fifi Brown) will throw up some extra alternatives for wish-making.