Friday, December 31, 2010

Day 186/365: Wear a 1980s Snow Jacket and *look* what happens...

Ken Done in the snow! What an amazing, *inspiring* New Year's Eve!
We've spent the morning wandering (and slipping) in the Kyoto snow. Just Wonderful!

Now, you'll get to see more of my *New Year* KD super-special fleece jumper tomorrow, but for now just marvel at my *lovely* leggings which are truly Ken Done and 1980s inspired! And direct from Japan too (Uniqlo: we heart you xo).

So here's to your *best* New Year's Eve, as we move from 2010 to 2011... the year in which we all prove just What Ken Be Done if doing *good* and having *fun* is top of focus! Hooray! あけましておめでとうございます xo xo xo

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 185/365: Pocket knife + pins + pillow case =

Today we've been walking the Kyoto alleys of Gion and Ponto-cho. These are the haunts of traditional Japan, and wonderful for sightseeing. That said, it's freezing and there are tiny, tiny snow flakes indicating that colder weather is still to come. I even had to get out the Ken Done umbrella for real today!
My show item today is a scarf I re-fashioned this morning with a pocket knife and safety pins. Before I took to it, it was a pillow case found in an op-shop in Bonbeach, Melbourne.

I must admit even I realise what a colour spectacle I am in wintery Kyoto, but the locals seem both bemused and happy with a *special* ray of Ken Done sunshine this winter! :-)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 184/365: Do a deer! Done a deer!

Personally, I don't think the deer is frightened of my garish outfit, its just turning to face the LiP to be part of my blog post today! Say, "Cheese!"
I've started reading Osamu Tezuka's 8-part comic on the life of Buddha, and thought therefore it might well be time to return to Nara and see the Daibutsu Great Buddha (which is one of the largest bronze Buddha statues in the world and it's situated inside the Todai-ji Hall, the largest wooden building in the world). My favourite fact is the Buddha's ears are 2.5m long!
The photo with the deer is because these animals are now "national treasures" in Nara, and are allowed to roam free. And what do you get when you cross Buddha with a deer? Sento-kun, a cool little comic mascot who has been designed to celebrate the 1300th anniversary of Nara. Now my Ken Done skirt today isn't quite depicting Sento-kun, but it does nicely pay comic-style homage to Australia's beach culture through a rather wonderful female character. And I just *love* that I wore what is essentially an over-the-bathers skirt in winter in Japan!
(Pattern seem familiar? See also Day 170/365 and Day 146/365).

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day 183/365: How do you do your art?

It's hard not to love Kyoto's artisan culture. Everywhere you go there is a gesture here and there to seeing the world in an artistic way...
Then there is the side that loves *good* food and *good* drink. And as someone who spent time in Japan over 10 years ago, I had wondered whether the infamous beer vending machine was long gone. But not in Kyoto, thankfully! Art and beer are sometimes worthy of celebration, and if you needed to be reminded why this beverage and Ken Done 1980s style work, re-watch this video: yes!
Thinking to yourself, 'But Jackie, you've worn that jacket.'
No way! Thanks to Ken Done reversible clothes see Day 173/365 for Way 1, and then see how this side today has the smaller squares of KD art-styling...
(It's my second time wearing a reversible Ken Done too! See Day 132/365 and Day 3/365 also for a similar, but different reversible anorak. The Man must be dizzy!!)
I now need a bath to rest these walking feet...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 182/365: "Wish you were here Sydney" in Kyoto!

Goodbye Tokyo, and Hello Kyoto! And boy, is it cold here!

This photo below is for all our friends who are familiar with the Live-in Photographer's (LiP's) kitsch 'meat wall of art' at home. It was too much of a *good* shot to miss!

(Plus its another chance to show-off my 1980s ski jacket. I've been getting some pretty incredulous stares in this get up; probably as all the locals are wondering if I'm a 1980s skier trapped in time!)
And my t-shirt today (only for showing indoors) is this *beauty* which seems to combine the best of Sydney with a nod to the temples of Kyoto. Wish you were here! xo

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 181/365: Me and many other bewildered tourists...

Don't I look tired? So I should, I've just spent most of the day trying to track down all the costumed and exciting young Japanese kids in Harujuku... but to no avail... (and that's why I now have a beer in my hand!)
The first time we went to Harujuku we followed a throng of people who looked to be heading in the right direction, only to find ourselves on our way to a massive Japanese boy-band pop concert by Shinee... So we stopped, and checked our various maps, then read the Lonely Planet. We decided it might have been too early in the day, so we consoled ourselves by visiting the Shibuya crossing - you know - just for some 'quiet time'!

The second time we went back to Harujuku we joined even more bewildered looking tourists who were ALL referring to maps and Lonely Planets (although we all try and do it as inconspicuously as possible!). Everyone is desperately trying to find a stack of cool young Japanese kids... and sure, there are a few kids in some good get-up. But you can see these great styles anywhere in Tokyo nowadays. I'm beginning to think this Harujuku thing is a myth - a tourist attraction slowly dying...

And shucks, I guess I'm just a little disappointed as I'd worn my especially touristy Ken Done koala laden sweat shirt and all! Still, KD's koala's are smiling - so I will too! :-)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 180/365 (2): Giving my heart to 'The Ken Done Special'

Now for this to truly be a Japanese Christmas, you'll have to press play on this YouTube clip below, then start reading. This song is playing on repeat everywhere :-)
(And yes, it certainly helps that it's a quintessential 80's classic!)

Well, I'm taking this day on with gusto!

Here I am at the observation deck of the Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills. Quite a spectacular view to watch the Christmas Man in his moustache making any possible stop-overs in Japan... we are 270 metres above sea level! You can see I am wearing my Rudolph-inspired puff-ball earrings just in case the 'big man in red' needs any help locating us!
Plus I've taken as many opportunities today to find some good Christmas kitsch too... Roppongi Hills is all a bit too flash for over-doing things in a tacky style, but I did manage to find this little Chrissy tableau. I'm particularly taken with the waterfall AND Christmas tree AND Christmas Star... Plus, very nearby here they were selling mulled red wine and Bratwurst sausages. Now that's pretty *good* for a winter Christmas lunch :-)
As you can imagine, I'm all dressed up for this festive day. And again, I'm celebrating by wearing an exclusive Ken Done remixed dress by Helen of The Social Studio. *Gorgeous!*
I'm not Done yet with the day, but so far it has truly been a Fantasy Christmas! Hope you are well and Season's Greetings for all xo xo

Day 180/365: Being *good* for *goodness* sake!

A wee post this morning to wish you all a *wonderful* day.

I feel so very *lucky* that I'm celebrating my Christmas Day with each and every one of you, and that together we are doing *good* and having fun on this special What Ken Be Done journey xo

Special mention goes to the 'Man in the Moustache' for making me this *spectacular* Christmas card!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 179/365: 'Twas the Inspired Day Before Christmas...

Phew! It's both Christmas Eve and Inspiration-Done-Friday all wrapped into one day. I think I woke up feeling my own expectation of wanting to celebrate what truly inspires me today (besides The Guru, naturally). So it is with *joy* that I'm showing this truly inspired Social Studio hood designed by Helen. Here I am brimming with *goodwill* and fashion-clash in the Tokyo town of Mikata.
We were visiting The Ghibli Museum as I can never get enough inspiration from comics and animation, and Ghibli's creator Miyazaki is a true master of Japanese anime. Unfortunately the museum was a bit of a let down - the crowds were enormous - and the layout got a bit too much for this Ken Done caped hooded crusader. Still, this robot looked like he needed some KD-Love so we stopped a moment.
This is me later back in Shinjuku with some more comic locals...
And having followed my own inspirations for the day, I was only too happy to follow the LiP to the wonderful Tiki Tiki Hawaiian Bar for some *much needed* refreshments and to begin our own celebrations as the holiday season descends!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 178/365: Me and My Done Meet Mount Fuji

The truth is, a short-stay traveller in Japan is pretty lucky to get to see Mount Fuji in winter because it can often be covered in cloud. As the Lonely Planet says, it's a "notoriously shy mountain". But Fuji-san must have known I was coming in my Ken Done today because it was out in all its *glory*!
Check out the truly spectacular scenery in the Hakone region, on Lake Ashi.
And before it all gets too Zen, or I begin to panic that my rather *awful* beige and blue Ken Done jumper may be the only thing out of place in this serene scene... along comes a Pirate Ship! I'll say it again: Thank You Japan for your delightful cross-stylings! Today ends up being a *perfect* day to wear such a strange Ken Done fleecy jumper (that I joyously found in a Penrith op-shop). So this Done has made its own pilgrimage from the foot of the Blue Mountains to the foot of Mount Fuji.... :-)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 177/365

Here I am out the front of Japan Government Offices in Shinjuku. As you well know, I've always liked a bit of grandeur and these austere, but massive buildings seemed well suited for my colourful, colourful look. It was supposed to rain today, so I have been happily lugging this donated *gorgeous* Ken Done umbrella around all day. No rain in sight actually, but that didn't stop me entertaining people as I wandered about looking for a drop... here... there... somewhere... nowhere.
Lunch today was in an amazing basement restaurant called Nakajima in downtown Shinjuku. They specialise in sardines. Of course, I went raw. Very happy making.
And then on the way home I couldn't resist placing the Ken Done umbrella in a more traditional site. I know, I know, it's all a little bit too gaudy - but this is me and Ken Done we're talking about!
Oh, and see my *excellent* necklace? Real silk, real cool - all The Social Studio xo

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 176/365: I Was (Almost) Lost in Translation...

Here I am at an overpass quite near Shinjuku, Tokyo. We've just arrived after our 3-hour bullet train journey. You can see me sporting a fine, fine pair of Ken Done leggings/pants donated by the ever-delightful Cousin Christine.
I just *love* these pants for the wonderful detail of the shells. And clearly even Ken was pleased with himself, as he dated them '88. 1980s fashion at its finest, yes?!
Plus, look below at a painting Cousin Christine showed us at her house when we visited. It demonstrates that Ken has a long standing love-affair with beach culture. This painting of a shell was at the beginning of his art career, in 1974.
And an in-Japan story of a crisis averted. Journeying today with all our travel bags of *goodies* we hopped off the bullet train at Tokyo, and as the train was heading out, the LiP enquires, 'where's your new tea-pot bag?' Oh no!
We head straight to the 'Lost & Found' office at the station to find a man at his desk asleep. Imagine me if you will - with my limited Japanese, in a complete tizz - trying to tell the still sleepy attendant that I'd left my *special* tea pot bag, in a plastic bag, on the train. Confused, he asked what it looked like, I kept saying 'bag'... then 'tea pot'... then 'silver'... then 'leather'... then 'interesting'... then 'amazing' (you see, I could only recall adjectives from Year 8 Japanese!) I then added hand gestures to show its exquisite tea pot shape, alas to no avail. He had no idea what was going on... had I lost a bag OR a tea pot OR my mind?

Finally we played the drawing game, and I sketched an *uncanny likeness* of my leather tea pot, including shoulder strap and three-dimensional spout. Completely confused, but at least knowing which train I was on, he placed a call and they found my bag. I couldn't understand everything, but even I got the moment when he figured out that I was actually describing a tea-pot bag inside a plastic bag quite well. As he laughed with bemusement, all I could say was, 'funny'. He heartily agreed, although I'm not sure whether it was me or my bag that was being laughed at. Anyway, after another convoluted trek across multiple platforms, I arrived at another station office. I knew I was in the right place as all the men in the office were laughing at me too. With my beloved tea pot safely back, the LiP and I resolved to always count our bags before alighting a carriage. Phew! (And thank you, safe and helpful Japan x)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 175/365: Celebrating *good* design

I think most people would agree that Japan is a country that celebrates *good* design in all aspects of life...

Take the famous shinkansen (bullet train) that soundlessly sped us from Osaka to Himeji today. My travelling companion, the Live-In-Photographer, was very happy to be experiencing this technological dream (that also allows you to drink alcohol on board too!)...
We were off to see Himeji Castle, Japan's most famous castle. It's known as the 'white heron', and it literally dominates Himeji town. It's actually being restored for the next five years so you can't see it all at the moment, but we still got a good look around (including us having to wear the obligatory tourist slippers as we looked inside parts of the castle... and my feet were way too big... Occupational Health & Safety-Nightmare, I tell you!)
Today I'm decked out in Ken Done-mania. There's the leggings (from Day 163/365), the anorak (from Day 173/365), and then my new donated scarf celebrating the Harbour Bridge and Opera House from A.Fan (which is actually a repeat of a scarf I've already shown you on Day 43/365). See, no wonder many Japanese people enjoy Ken Done: he celebrates *good* design in so, so many ways!
And finally, to my own omiyage (souvenir) purchase. Himeji is known for its specialty leather crafts. So what did I spoil myself with? A silver leather teapot bag! And I was so excited, I sampled a 'Sparkling Chardonnay" chu-hai on the shinkansen home. All *good* I tell you! xo

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 174/365: A day when things are not quite what they seem...

Here's me next to Princess Knight, one of Osamu Tezuka's famous manga characters (you might also be familiar with his other comic heroes, Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion). I'm particularly fond of Princess Knight because her story is about being raised as a boy because a girl cannot take the throne. So she must act one way, and deal with the conflict in her heart at times.

I like the metaphor because it proved only too useful today, as I wore my Ken Done 'fanny-pack' or 'bum-bag' if you prefer (neither descriptor is that *good* is it, really?!). Things here are not quite as they seem because I'm pretty sure this travelling bag is a fake Ken Done. When I bought it I thought it was genuine, but look at the beginning of the 'Ken' signature on the bottom of the bag. An imitation, methinks.
But what's so bad about an imitation? And when does an 'imitation' do as good a job, or better than the 'real' thing? Princess Knight is a real hero in her own story. And I was *super excited* when I found out that the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum was in Takarazuka. Why? Because this town is also famous for the very popular Takarazuka Revue too. The Revue is well-known for an inversion of the well-known Japanese Kabuki theatre: in the Takarazuka women play all the parts, including male leads. Plus the theatre pieces are often homages to Hollywood type musicals, so the costumes are gaudy, camp and exciting all at the same time (see: kind of like Ken Done fashion too?!) Below I'm posing with one of the statues in the town commemorating the fine Takarazuka tradition.
And finally, you'll get to see more of it, but I can't tell you how happy I am to be wearing this 1980s ski jacket that I found in a Frankston op-shop. The label says, 'Gear by Margot' and it is truly 80s gold. I'll unveil all its *goodness* over my trip, but to start with, look at the inside of the jacket: it has it's own sign-posted sunglasses holder. Now if only I had sunglasses like these, I'd give the Takarazuka Revue some camp competition!