Sunday, April 20, 2014
ZIP! We're on Japanese TV
In March, we received one of those wonderful surprises in our email: an invitation from ZIP!, a Japanese morning TV show, to participate in a fashion segment. The idea was to have us name current fashion trends and then interview individuals on the street who embodied the latest styles. Sounds like fun, right? We jumped at the chance to connect with a Japanese audience. Above, we prepare for the shoot. Below, the entire crew. In front, Mr. Nagano, the State-side coordinator, Ms. Takatori, who saw to our every need, Paige, the segment hostess, Mr. Murai, the director, and Mr. Otsuka, the cameraman.
The IFs cited the following street style fashion trends for both men and women: skinny jeans; hoodies and short jackets, especially motorcycle jackets; short boots or sneakers, especially leather and custom sneaks; lots of polka dots and stripes (which we ourselves wore); sharp, angular haircuts or topknots; jewelry, especially earrings and rings; tattoos; knit caps, especially with a high peak; and sunglasses, especially Ray Bans. Stay tuned to see how well we did. Here we are with our intrepid team of producers, video crew and host outside our van. ZIP!'s only caveat? Avoid people wearing fur, which tended to elicit complaints from viewers. We were happy to comply.
We did the shoot on Saturday, March 9th. The piece just ran on ZIP! last week in Japan (at 6:56 AM!) in a segment called "Boomers". You'll have to sit through a brief commercial (sorry), and remember to click on the little square box near the bottom right corner of the video so you can view it full screen.
流行ニュースBoomers ニューヨーク ZIP! 20140404 by dm_5232ea58af3f6
Or, as always, because we're somewhat technologically challenged, see it in higher resolution by clicking here. The voices they chose to dub most of what we say into Japanese add an interesting touch. It is quite a surprising experience to listen to our Japanese personae.
ZIP! engaged model Paige Mobley (below) to host our piece and others they were shooting that week around Manhattan. Our segment was quite straightforward: One of the producers asked each of us on camera to describe what we were wearing and Paige introduced us to each of the street style selectees whom we would then interview. We spoke to quite a number of people, only a few of whom show up in the video. We know ZIP! filmed several segments in New York that they'll be showing over the course of the next few months, but we have no idea if our other interviewees will show up at later times. We rather like the idea of returning in subsequent programs.
Although it was sunny, the temperature was quite chilly, so the crew set up a base of operations in the Little Cupcake Bakeshop on the corner of Prince and Mott Streets. Jean experienced a sense of deja vu there, since for twenty years it was the home of The Kitchen Club restaurant owned and operated by an old friend Marja Samsom, the Dumpling Diva. Valerie tries her hand wielding the colorful ZIP! microphone at our window table in the bakery.
Stationing us on the corner of Prince and Mott in front of the brick wall surrounding Old St. Patrick's Cathedral, producers selected individuals (as did we, later on) and sent them our way. Our first victim - er, interviewee - was Sarah, who was wearing only one of the trends we named: sunglasses.
Being classic Type-A personalities, we immediately took matters in our own hands and started soliciting people we thought were stylish. Our first choice? Chris Stylez from Toronto, who relocated to Manhattan. He fit our style forecast profile to a T: Crap sunglasses (that's the name not a judgment), custom sneakers from Venice, California; semi-skinny jeans; short jean jacket (by a designer whose name we can't remember); YSL vest; G-Star hoodie; jewelry and tattoos. If you watched the video, you know that Chris made the cut and appeared on Japanese TV. Chris was sporting a sharp, angular haircut, a modified Mohawk/Fauxhawk he dubbed the "Falcon". Follow Chris on Instagram (#iamchrisstylez).
To our delight, who should pass by but none-other-than local denizen the Dumpling Diva herself, a vision in polka dots (another of our style trends), walking her bike to get a flat tire fixed. How could we not recruit her to be interviewed and videotaped?
In between interviews, to raise our body temperatures a bit and rest our feet, the ZIP! crew sent us back to Little Cupcake. Despite the cold, Jean didn't wear gloves because her hands were otherwise engaged.
Valerie, who gets the shivers when looking at a refrigerator, came thoroughly prepared. In addition to fully lined gloves, she also adhered glove sized handwarmers to the backs of her hands. Toward the top right corner of the photo if you look really really carefully you can see a mike attached to her scarf. See it in the red circle? We wore those all day, so it's a good thing we didn't say anything we would regret later.
Back out on the street again, this gorgeous young woman from South Africa, who relocated to New York, was sporting many of our trends: Acne leather motorcycle jacket and hoodie; Acne skinny jeans; leather sneakers; sharp, angular haircut. She made the androgynous look appear feminine but not girly.
The crew, entirely professional at all times (checking to see that the lighting was even, asking us to repeat our comments, but facing in a different direction, scouting out locations, etc.) also had all the participants sign release forms, as here.
We flagged down Philip Bambarger who incorporated a zillion of our style trends into a handsome package: sharp angular haircut; skinny jeans; short lace-up boots -- All Saints Spitafields, thank you very much! -- all of our accessory items -- earrings, rings, bracelet and tattoos. He upped the ante by adding SkinGraft leather fingerless gloves!
Nathalie Martinez was sweet enough to stop on her way to services at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Nathalie, who hails from Mexico City is currently living in New York, was wearing a short jacket, skinny jeans, short boots, Ray Ban sunglasses and jewelry (bracelet and ring). Her purse? Prune, a South American brand. Nathalie also appears in our ZIP! Boomer segment.
At the producers' request, we moved up the street and around the corner, where we met Moses, who works at the Helmut Lang store just across the street. He was sporting a Helmut Lang motojacket of the thinnest matte leather; skinny jeans, short boots -- All Saints Spitafields! -- tattoos; necklace, earrings, bracelets, rings AND a topknot of very fine dreads. Moses works as a model, and the camera particularly loved him.
Clancy McCarty from Tribeca was wearing a knit cap with high peak, short jacket (Montcler), skinny jeans, high top sneakers, and sunglasses.
This young entrepreneur was wearing a short leather jacket and hoodie, skinny jeans, sneakers and Ray Bans to which he added his own final touch -- a baseball cap.
The producers invited model Natalie Friedman to join us and be interviewed. She was wearing a short jacket and short boots which she combined with a large brim hat, leopard dress, bright leather belt and black leggings.
This young man was wearing sunglasses, skinny jeans and a short jacket -- an Italian bicycling jacket, to be precise -- which worked quite well with the rest of his rugged, traditional, casual weekend-in-Soho wardrobe. He was definitely bucking some of the other trends, but in a very natural way: no sharp, angular haircut, sneakers, tattoos or jewelry (that we could see), but he looked quite natural in his own skin.
Given ZIP!'s own no-fur caveat, we were surprised when the team invited Poppy King, the Lipstick Queen, to be interviewed in light of her fox-collared Alice & Olivia coat and pony-skin Celine bag. That she made the final cut and appears on TV was another pleasant surprise. She was sporting a number of our identified trends (sunglasses; short, angular haircut; skinny jeans; short boots) and was a lively and interesting subject. We loved her bright red signature lipstick against her white hair and black coat.
The crew had a great sense of humor. Maybe because New York is still known internationally as a place where anyone might have a gun, they surprised us with two pink bubble guns they had purchased for us, and toward the end of our stint they asked us to level the guns at the camera and say "Oshare huntaaa!" (Fashion Hunters!), as you saw in the video. They also had us say it in English, covering all their bases in case that worked out better. How could we not love it?! Hey, do you think we could we have bit parts on Law & Order now?
What we're wearing:
Jean is wearing a black and white striped wool reversible wrap coat by Korean textile artist Chungie Lee (from the Philadelphia Museum Craft Show a few years back); Amy Downs black taffeta origami hat; Costume National jacket; Eileen Fisher harem pants; Alexander Wang handbag; black and white polka dot socks from The Sock Man on St. Mark's Place; customized black Dankso clogs; vintage frames from Fabulous Fanny's; black and white striped ceramic earrings from Festival flea market in Pompano Beach, Florida; bakelite and vintage jewelry.
Valerie is wearing a vintage Chisato Tsumori hat (bought in Tokyo before the ZIP! crew was born!), Kandinsky felt scarf from Margoshka on Etsy, Monies earrings (yellow, dyed purple with magic marker), velveteen polka dot coat by Cattiva, purchased from Sunset Boulevard, unlabeled purple suede gloves, Issey Miyake pants, polka dot socks by TipiToe, Bernie Mev shoes.