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13 Jun 2016

Interview with Alipoyo, Japan-based LARME Lover & Model!

Hi everyone! Today, Ruka and I interview the lovely Alipoyo, a fashionista, freelance model, and exchange student who is currently living it up in Japan! We ask her about life, fashion, and LARME!

Hi Alice! It’s so great to have you as our guest on Petite Dollies! Tell us about yourself and your current fashion style!
Hi! My name is Alice and I'm (originally) from Australia! I'm currently studying at Sophia University in Japan, as part of an exchange program, while also freelance modelling on the side! I would say my style is quite heavily influenced by Risa Nakamura. I tend to stick to pink, black and white for my outfits and adore anything with lace, sheer fabric or fluffy pompoms. My favourite brands include Ehyphen world gallery bonbon (obviously haha), monlily and Onespo. Although, I'm actually in a bit of a transition phase at the moment to be honest! I used to have more of pink, girly style but lately, I've been really into Pheromone Fetish – mixing a more mature style while still keeping it cute and feminine. I'm interested in eventually adding some grungy elements to my style as well!

That’s beautiful! We love how you mix black, pink and white so elegantly – Pheromone Fetish suits you so well. How did you come to develop an interest in LARME magazine?
I originally got into LARME after following Yui Kanno since her Popteen days. I really loved her mixture of girly and edgy styles and then I when I found out she was in a new magazine called LARME, I instantly fell in love. Personally, I probably didn't start wearing it close to a daily basis until I came to Japan last year. Mostly because I don't really purchase clothing in my home country as I'm usually saving up to go to Japan anyway! 

You’re definitely super lucky to be in Japan. The saving paid off! Here’s one thing we’ve always been curious about – is the LARME fashion identified as an actual style in Japan?
As there are so many different sub-styles of LARME fashion, I think it'd be quite difficult to define it as one cohesive style here. Take the magazine Zipper for example – it features many different styles, but no one defines them as “Zipper style.” I think the attitude towards LARME is quite similar here. When one refers to LARME, I feel like they are usually talking about the magazine – not just the fashion and makeup but also the overall vibe that comes from the photoshoots and the concept behind them... if that makes any sense? Haha.

It definitely does! So LARME mostly refers to the artistic and unique elements that the magazine provides, not necessarily as a concrete fashion. As international lovers of LARME style fashion, that’s really interesting to think about. Would you say that LARME magazine is popular in Japan? Does it sell well in bookstores and do those in the fashion scene often discuss it?
It's currently still a bi-monthly magazine so I'd say it does well, but it is certainly not as big as Zipper, Kera, or Popteen. However, I'm seeing a lot of trends (i.e. lingerie, sheer fabrics etc.) lately that coincide with a lot of LARME's aesthetic, so we might see a jump in popularity soon. Surprisingly, I don't really have many friends around me that are interested in LARME fashion! A lot of the people I work with are familiar with LARME but they don't necessary call their own style “LARME” – they enjoy LARME magazine aesthetics. For their own style instead, they tend to pick out elements that they like to describe LARME, which I think makes sense as LARME itself has so many different sub-styles! 

How popular are the brands found in LARME? For instance, are the brands commonly seen when you go out?
I don't usually see many people wearing them around where I live or study, but I'm sure if you go to Harajuku or similar fashion districts, you're likely to see at least someone wearing LARME brands, especially if you go on a weekend.

Are there any LARME brand stores that you like to visit?
I'm really loving bonbon at the moment! I also often go to Honey Cinnamon and Onespo.

We love those brands too! Where are they located?
bonbon currently only have one store located in La Foret, Harajuku but the interior (as well as the clothes of course) is absolutely adorable, and I found the staff really kind and helpful.  Honey Cinnamon currently only has this one shop in Shibuya 109, however, Onespo also has shops in Shibuya 109, Osaka and Fukuoka. 

Where do people often buy LARME-style goods or brands second-hand?
I've noticed lately that less people are using the typical auctions sites like Yahoo Japan auctions and are using mobile phone apps like Mercari to sell their goods. I've yet to purchase anything from the site but if you are buying from overseas it is more than likely you will need a shopping service. If you missed out on a piece from one of your favourite brands (*cough* bonbon), it's a good idea to check out the site though, as there are many last season, or sold out early season pieces for sale.

That’s a great tip! For those who are interested in the LARME style and planning on visiting Japan, which shopping districts, shops, or malls would you recommend them to visit?
The main stores such as bonbon, Ank Rouge, Eat Me, Honey-Mi-Honey, bubbles and lillily are all located within the Harajuku/Omotesando area.

Shibuya, which is also within walking distance from Harajuku (or one stop away on the Yamanote train line), is home to Shibuya 109 which includes stores like Onespo, Swankiss, Honey Cinnamon and more.

The Katie store is a little out of the way being in Ebisu, but while you're there you can check out Ebisu Garden Place. Ebisu, also near Daikanyama, has lots of cute and small cafes as well as many independent clothing  and accessory boutiques.

I also recommend checking out the second-hand shops here as you can pick up some really cute basics for as little at 500yen and, if you're really lucky, you can find some LARME brands such as bonbon and Ank Rouge! My favourite second-hand shop is called Treasure Factory! They have several locations around Tokyo so definitely check one (or five) out if you can! Other second-hand shops include Kinji (in Harajuku) as well as Jumble Store (both in Harajuku and Shibuya). Definitely keep in mind that the closer you are to trendy areas, the more expensive the clothing items are likely to be. If you're not bothered by your budget, there's also plenty of second-hand stores located in Ura Hara (the backstreets of Harajuku) that offer many unique pieces that can add so much to your outfits!

Thank you for that awesome guide! We’ll definitely keep it for our dream shopping tour of Japan, haha. I’m sure others will find it incredibly helpful too! Lastly, Alice, tell us about some cool places to hang out in Japan, especially for those who love LARME!
For specific places, I definitely recommend Honey-Mi-Honey Cafe! The interior is so cute. It's also a nice place to take photos with your friends. Some of the LARME models go there in their spare time as well so if you're lucky you might bump into one! The drinks, although small, are usually quite tasty!

There's also Mee's Pancakes, in Shibuya. The interior has a lovely retro vibe and the pancakes are not only adorable, they also taste delicious!

If you're looking for a quieter area, maybe check out Shimokitazawa or Koenji! Both are known for their unique hipster culture and have many trendy little cafes and an abundance of secondhand stores.

Thank you so much for your time, Alice! We’ve loved interviewing you!
For more Alice goodness, please check out her Instagram at iamalipoyo, or watch her amazing videos at alipoyo on Youtube!


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