“My Storytime” Volume 3 is now on MilkB magazine

My Storytime Volume 3My Storytime Volume 3

I decided to tell the story on “good evening” from Japan in this 3rd issue.  Here is the English translation. Enjoy. ox

Put a little fantasy and humour into simple.

An imaginary world such as the Neverending Story…or the world created by a British Photographer, Tim Walker… or Yuriy Norshteyn, a Russian animator best known for his animated shorts, Hedgehog in the Fog (who influenced  Osamu Tezuka in Japan known for Astro Boy), is what Kotoe Matsuura  the Japanese designer of “good evening”, is captured and inspired by.  When thinking of a new collection, she visualizes a scene within this imaginary world, and combines the textile that she wants to uses and the a chapter in the story.  And in this fantasy world, there always existed two things: “children” as a core character…and “humour”.

“good evening” is all about putting a little fantasy and humour into simple.  True to its concept, one can see these in her collections such as the back frill blouse that looks very simple from the front, yet on the back has beautiful frills with pearl like buttons from the top to the bottom, or the layered camisole that uses layered fabric with soft pale colours, contrasted with a vivid red strap.  Looking at the 2011 SS’s collection makes one feel like strolling along the beach on a beautiful day.  The 2011 AW uses many frills and gathering, and maintains its romance feeling in a simple style.  One could also not miss the increase in the Adult’s range that has been very much been a focus as well for those who like to have a mother-daughter matching look (100% coolness guaranteed!).

Kotoe is an  ex-Web designer and clothing shop owner who has always had a strong interest in design in all aspects–from fashion, graphics, interior, products to architecture.  She says that her simple desire to “want to design”, and passion, were linked by fate with the right people at the right time. Customers immediately are drawn through the simple design…but one can also see the precision as well as the attention to details and the high quality each items provides from the quality of the fabric to stitching.  Quality is truly important and she continues to make her clothes in Japan, through high quality, yet unnamed sources.

Quickly having been picked up by Isetan in Shinjuku (a high end department store in Tokyo) after its introduction of collection, and featured in magazines such as Sesame in Japan, good evening is popular amongst those parents who are very design conscious.  Yes, those who have a view about their lifestyle (not specific to clothes only), but also who are picky about details and has an independent view of the world.  Currently in Asia, good evening is sold in Hong Kong, Korea and Indonesia.  The plan is to expand more internationally this year, says Kotoe.

Another obvious point is the beautiful photos taken by Tomooh Nozawa that captures clients into the “good evening” world.  For the past 2 collections, models have been sought directly by good evening by posting a “models wanted” entry in their blog.  Even with very short notice, many apply to become the models, and only few qualify to the final stage.  Kotoe explains that given the first screening is based on just a photograph, even if the model seems to have a potential interesting look, when the photo does not show a good expression of an overall balance of face/body, it is difficult to pass the first stage.  Ultimately, the ones with more of a unique and interesting look rather than an orthodox beauty is what they look for.  While photoshoots with children can be difficult (as children may not feel comfortable), Kotoe’s beloved dog, Vinci soothes kids who may be nervous by sleeping and snoring, and making everyone laugh.

On the weekends, Kotoe goes to galleries and exhibitions, or drives to be with nature (probably with Vinci), and enjoys the weekend more quietly.  She loves receiving photos from clients and their children especially when they are playing in the nature wearing good evenings clothes.  Maybe you will be the next customer captured by her magical world!?

Concert for Japan at the Four Seasons- Hong Kong Bankers Rock for Japan

Concert for Japan

Great to see such continuous support here in Hong Kong such as this Concert for Japan that will be held tomorrow at the Four Seasons Hotel.  There will be a great mixture of bands from Japan (including Yuto Miyazawa- some of you may have seen him on Ellen De Generes, but a guitar prodigy), to some other great bands from Hong Kong(including my husband!) and even amazing bands that have been flown for this event from the U.S.. Tickets are not cheap…HKD1,000 but they have all been sold out!  There will be auctions and raffles including an autographed T-shirts by Simone Legno (actually, a dear friend- the designer of tokidoki) and much much more (including a set of cozen from Storytime).  This is also an event that is very dear and close to my husband Jim, who I am so proud of for pulling this together (of course with friends) after his recent surgery…Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Je T'aime Japon Bag

Also, these cute bags from atsuyo et akiko will be sold at the event.  We had sold this at a previous event at the Tasmanian Ballroom and it was SOLD OUT! FYI- All proceeds of the event will goto The Tokyo Volunteer Network for Disaster Relie, JEN, Etic,and Japan NPO Center.

Fun and creative Bodebo are here!

So bold and stylish…Bodebo is here.  Take a look at the Dora jacket..or the Sassi and Matti dress.  It is guaranteed that the the little ones will have fun wearing these this summer!

Adorable shoes from Peep are IN!

Baby Sandals (Coffee)

Do you ever reflect back on how tiny your child’s feet were, and how quickly they grow? That is how I feel when I look at the shoes by Peep that we have in at Storytime.  Designed and Made in Japan by those who have the utmost care for quality, design and comfort, I only wish I knew about them when our daughter was this age!!!  Popular not only in Japan but also in Europe such as in Bonton in France, — I promise you will not be disappointed with any of these shoes. They are an absolute MUST (and great as a gift as well).

Wing Tip Shoes (Beige)

Wing Tip Shoes (Beige)

How clever!!!!

T-strap (red)

Also…for those with toddlers, we will be getting in slip on sandals made of jeans from Okayama-prefecture soon. Stay tuned!

Romantic pieces from Nellystella are in!

Blake Dress

Carol Playsuit by Nellystella

Beautiful and romantic items from Nellystella have finally arrived into Storytime.  I wish I can share and show  these amazing pieces…the quality of work (the embroideries), the smooth fabric…. you will not be disappointed!!! Enjoy. ox

Ninna Shorts

Chloe Dress

Sienna Trench

Gambare Japan, Thank you World!

Over the past week, I have attempted to write this post over and over.  It has been a tough week and hard to write it without being emotional.

While there are so many views on what the truth is, what is obvious is the difference in the way the news is portrayed, and the difference in the way people react from it.  I am amazed and proud to see how people in Japan have been handling this, and also uniting to help others. Needless to say, it makes me very proud to be Japanese.

What we can’t forget is, the loss and the suffering people are going through in the Tohoku area and the brave people on the ground in Fukushima trying to cool the nuclear plant despite the risk.  We also can’t forget the support we have from around the world, and I am also very grateful to see so many fund raising activities that are occurring here in Hong Kong from Starbucks to so many other events (more to come on a music charity event that will be happening in Hong Kong for those of you who are interested).

I would also like to thank all of my friends and the designers from around the world who have reached out for support….Thank you. This means so much.

gambare Japan

Suvi Ainoa is in!

Deep Navy Blue polk a dot jacket by Suvi Ainoa

In Finnish, Suvi is a girl’s name and it also means “summer”. Ainoa means “the only one”.  Suvi Ainoa is a handmade lifestyle brand from California that does not follow any trend- it is just a simple way to live, and something that brings joy to life.  Something that will not make you laugh, but make you smile. We are excited to have Suvi Ainoa join our boutique.  Enjoy :-)  


These pants are charcoal gray that comes in either pink, blue or yellow pom poms!

Nico Nico

bird tee by nico nico

A contemporary organic brand from California, Nico Nico are IN!  Easy to wear, comfortable items for both boys and girls between the ages of 18 months to 8 years old.  Enjoy! ox

nico nico

nico nico

Eric Clapton Rocks Hong Kong!

We went to one of the best concerts EVER last Friday. Eric Clapton and his entire band was AMAZING!!! It brought tears to my eyes (and this does not happen that often, really!).   From “I shot the sheriff”, “Wonderful Tonight” to “Layla”…they really ROCKED Hong Kong.  He was in Seoul last night and I think he will start his US tour after that. I hope I can go see him again.  What an honour to be able to share the same time and place with a living legend.  And…I hope we can take Kaili to one of his concerts one day, too.  

Eric Clapton

Spring summer items from Zozio are IN!

Robe Louise by Zozio

Robe Louise-back

Gorgeous dresses from Zozio are in for the warm weather. Love the whole concept of East meets West from this brand!

Kurage one piece by Zozio

Robe Moroccan by zozio