Everything Japan: J-Wellness, Terahaku, Yasuko Takahashi and more

David Bowie and stylist Yasuko Takahashi

With the Tokyo Olympics happening this summer, the spotlight is firmly on Japan.

For starters, I’m looking forward to the V&A’s Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk exhibition, which opens on 29th February. With its vast archives, this is the kind of exhibition the V&A does really well, time travelling from rare 17th and 18th century kimono to contemporary streetwear via Kawakubo and Galliano – that’s got be good!

Meanwhile, Sunspel is also feeling the Japan love this spring, collaborating with three contemporary Japanese brands – 45R, N.Hoolywood and Beams – on a capsule collection of men’s and womenswear. I like this 45R interpretation of the Sunspel Sun and Cloud logo, using an indigo dye cloud placement on a white cotton tee (below). All products will be available in Sunspel* shops and online from 7th March.

Sunspel x 45R

In other fashion news, I’m currently obsessed with Japanese stylist Yasuko Takahashi, who was responsible for some of David Bowie’s greatest looks (Kansai Yamamoto, anyone?). Here’s a recent-ish interview with her and that’s her at the top, hanging out with an off-duty Bowie and both looking beyond cool.

Meanwhile on the beauty and wellness front, it’s time to gen up on all things holistic, ritualistic and Zen – aka J-Wellness. Onsen hot springs and forest bathing are going to be key areas of focus according to the Global Wellness Summit, while for those in need of spiritual solace, recent legislation has opened up Japanese Buddhist monasteries to tourists, giving rise to Terahaku, the ‘Airbnb of temple accommodations’.

Closer to home, Buly 1803’s new Paris spa is now offering spinal alignment massage for tech heads from its resident Shiatsu master, and in Berlin, Ryoko Hori’s Senses Salon is the insider destination for Zen meditation, tea ceremonies and Tsubaki oil facials. (Read more on J-Wellness in this month’s The Beauty Conversation newsletter.) Never heard of tsubaki oil? Me neither. It comes from the tsubski seed and is known for its ability to help skin retain moisture and keep hair Sumo-smooth and shiny. It’s also a hero ingredient of this new shine boosting serum from hair-care start-up Crown Affair.

The Japanese arguably do craftsmanship better then anyone else. If you’re a beauty brush fetishist, check out the make-up brushes by Westman Atelier*, handmade in the Japanese region of Kumano. Or how about a pair of Japanese-crafted lymph drainage brushes from Buly 1803?  Although Japanese craftsmanship doesn’t come cheap. At £180, I’m kinda praying that Muji jumps on this sooner rather than later…

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: credit to come; Sunspel
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