From Anhui, Rinko is a writer of pop music who is based here in Beijing. She is a lover of all things Japanese, from style to the language. She spent a half-year in Tokyo studying composition. Rinko is also the girlfriend of Ali Nosrati, founder and owner of the dowdy fourhundred. Next Thursday at Punk Bar in the basement of Opposite House, the dowdy fourhundred leather bags will be on display during a pretentious and decadent party that I am helping host.
From Hokkaido, Hitomi Oyama has been staying in China for over five years and has worked for radio, as a translator, and as a freelance journalist, writing for both Chinese and Japanese publications. Her main focuses are art and culture and a major hobby is handicrafts. She makes clothes and the white bag in the picture. I’m quite a fan of this look – she is so unmistakably Japanese and still so eclectic.
It’s rare that I encounter men looking halfway decent in suits here. This is too bad for me because several men’s magazines – including China’s GQ that is supposed to start in 2009 – have asked me to take photos of a more sartorial nature. The fact is that I am finding this request extremely challenging. I barely ever see men who look good in anywhere close to a traditional way. Perhaps I go to the wrong places. Hanging out in office towers is not my idea of a fun afternoon. Even when I do go the World Trade Center or other places with a good supply of white collars, I tend to be reminded that suits are just not part of China’s heritage. Perhaps they are also associated with migrant laborers or doughty employees of state-owned companies. Young men are not accustomed to seeing professionals looking good in well-fitting formal businesswear, and locals rarely make use of the local tailors the way this Japanese PR executive has done.
Let me just clarify: This suit is not from Senli and Frye. If it were, you could expect a better fit.
These hats are popular in Japan, from whence this young film student, studying directing, hails. He commented that there is not much good fashion for men in Beijing and everything he wears if bought in Tokyo. It’s nice to see a little bit of pattern and not the usual black on his slim tie. The mustache also adds a certain edge to otherwise precious look.
I’ve always had a thing for girls in masks. Maybe it is because I am half Middle Eastern. Masks just make girls look so mysterious. From Chiba, a suburb of Tokyo, Tomumi lives in the hutongs of Beijing and studying at the Central Drama Academy, which she chose because she knew there would be few foreign students thus enabling her to learn Chinese more easily. She much prefers Beijing to Shanghai because Beijing has so much history. She describes Shanghai as a modern city just like Tokyo, but without the great shopping. Returning home in a few months, she will see her Chinese boyfriend, now studying in Tokyo.