In 2004, if you would have told 13 year old Claude, that one day she’d be walking around Harajuku, Japan, wearing heart shaped glasses and bubblegum pink hair, she would’ve thought you were bananas…B.A.N.A.N.A.S! Yet, here I am on Love, Angel, Music, and Baby’s home turf blending in like a pro…well kinda. Though it wasn’t my first visit to the birth place of everything kawaii, it never truly looses it’s luster and shine. Sure, it’s a little more mainstream than it once was, with Vivienne Westwood and Pandora opening their doors on the main strip, but still the area has retained all of it’s original magic.
As soon as you venture off to little streets and alleyways, a kingdom of everything fashion, from DIY designer goods collaged together to hype beasts haven and vintage couture treasures await. It’s a dangerous place for people like me…but I’m not only in it for the goods. Harajuku is probably the most fascinating and mind blowing place to people watch on the North and Eastern hemisphere, or any hemisphere really! You really haven’t lived until you’ve seen a middle aged, 6 foot something man, living out all of his Sakura Card Captor dreams in full lady garb, grabbing a sandwich at high noon. I’m telling you, it’s a sight for sore eyes. Everyone is welcome to be as beautiful, adorable or weird as they’d care to be and I think that’s pretty fantastic.
The Harajuku hood also houses the highest volume of adorable animal cafes in all of Tokyo, which will surely keep you oohing and ahhing at everything from Owls to Hedgehogs. Unless, like me, you get crapped on continuously for the duration of your allocated 30 minutes. Poop or no poop, Harajuku, still promises to keep you wonderstruck, and truly lives up to any Gwen Stefani song it might have inspired in the early 2000s…and I really liked that period of her catalog so you know it’s gotta be really good.
Saint-Laurent sunnies, Strorets dress, Christian Dior bag, and Balenciaga Triple S’.
New York, New York
This city has always held a special place in my heart. When I was itty bitty, my mother and father let it be known that New York was a magical place. I still have the most vivid memories of having tea with my father at The Plaza, playing the giant piano upstairs in the late great F.A.O. Schwartz toy store, and seeing The Lion King on Broadway for the very first time. Of course there were also the family vacays in the big apple during my rebellious teenage years, but those were a little messier…so let’s keep it romantic and not go there. The first time I ever lived alone was in New York, the Summer of 2009 when I was 17, going to the American Conservatory of Dramatic Arts and then again at 18, with my first big girl job working for Lizzie Grubman PR…but the memories that might be my fondest are the ones that same Summer of 2010 when Peter and I first fell in love.
Let me tell you from experience, if you’re ever going to fall in love, New York might just be the best place to do it. We spent it traveling back and forth, Canada<—>NY every single weekend, refusing to let a week go by without seeing one another, constantly attempting to surprise each other with big gestures, and small thoughtful ones. I dragged Peter to every musical on Broadway, the restaurants I grew up going to with my family, and then there was our legendary weekend in the Hamptons of course. The story of our first Summer might just be too long and epic to resonate as a blog post, so maybe we’ll tell it together one day. All this to say that when Peter and I visit New York City, even if it’s for work, meetings, or Fashion Week, it has never ceased to be magical. Just the way it felt when I was itty bitty, except maybe even better…
Balenciaga cap and shoes, Juniper + Blanc sunglasses, Iro Paris leather jacket, Uniqlo Mickey Mouse sweater, Storets skirt, and Christian Dior tote.
If you guys have seen our latest adventure vlog from our time in Barcelona, you know the city wasn’t the usual sunny, joyful paradise we were used to visiting. We arrived an hour after the awful tragedy that occurred on Las Ramblas, claimed the lives of 13 people, and injured 100 others. The culprits were still at large and the manhunt taking place was covered on every news channel and radio station. The heightened security procedures in the streets and in our hotel made us feel more anxious than safe and the mood of the city was dark to say the least.
The people of Barcelona were sad for their city, and as tourist we felt guilty for even being there. To see locals, bend over backwards to make sure our little vacation wasn’t bothered or altered in any was blew my mind. If I heard one more person apologize for what occurred I was going to have to start hugging strangers and ask them to shut up. I wanted to tell everyone to go home, check on your loved ones, take a day off. It was a lot to handle for anyone let alone the people who call the city home. Yet their worries and anxiety revolved around guests having the best possible experience. To say we felt bad inconveniencing anyone would be the understatement of the century.
After 2 days spent held up in our hotel at my father’s request, we finally sneaked out of our little fortress, to take a tour of the vibrant city we love so much. Todos Con Barcelona, was something that was felt on every street corner, and plaza. As we were living fearful and guilt ridden in our little bubble life went on in Barcelona, and the city refused to let their oppressors win. We wondered at the gothic architecture, binged on tapas, drank Estrella, and wandered the city. We finished our day at Las Ramblas, in a crowd of hundreds mourning the events that took place and honouring those who had lost their lives. No one was scared, no one was fearful, no one let the events that took place take the city’s spirit away. I regretted ever spending a minute more in that hotel room. We love you, and your people Barcelona, and cannot wait to come back and visit soon.
Zara headband, Rayban sunnies, Storets dress, Chanel backpack, and Golden Goose Deluxe Brand Sneakers
Happy humpday kids! Nothing screams Wednesday quite as much as dressing inappropriately for the weather and riding in a tiny clown car with no AC all over Rome, am I right? So I thought what better time than now, to share our adventures in the eternal city with you today. All jokes, aside this day visiting Rome was the most surreal and wonderful experience I’ve ever had traveling. I felt transported back in time, and Hepburn-esque riding in these adorable death machines. Sidenote, I say Hepburn”esque” because we all know Miss Audrey wasn’t one to show as much cleave’ and navel, but slutty little me is apparently.
From the Coloseum to the the Knights of Malta keyhole, we saw it all, as this was only the beginning of what became the tourist adventure of a lifetime. I can’t spoil all the good stuff from the rest of the trip yet, but let’s just say, you’ll be getting more island vibes from the #OOTD from our next stop. Until then, behold my swassy self, not letting them beads of sweat get me down, and having the time of my life.
Note to self: STOP telling people how sweaty you always are…it ain’t cute.
Eugenia Kim “Daydreamer” hat, Celine sunnies, Storets top, Topshop “Mom” jeans, vintage Hermes “Kelly” bag, and Prada slippers.