Category Archive for Scottish Fold Kawaii
I’ve got two photoshoots to share with you today!
First, perhaps you have seen Basil Farrow’s father, Ronan Farrow, in the news recently. We’re excited to watch his daily talk show, premiering Feb 24th on MSNBC.
Our Scottish Fold baby rolled upside-down to get the word out on Ronan Farrow Daily. The program highlights youth activism and international issues, and encourages viewers to engage.
More photos of Basil Farrow below, but for now, we’ll hope you tune in to his dad’s daily TV show starting Feb 24, 1pm ET, on MSNBC.
Now, it’s my turn. While in Tokyo, I did a street style photoshoot with Tokyo photographer, Ray Kuchinawa (蛇-kuchinawa). He also organizes the alternative club night, Heavy Pop, where Yukiro has performed his drag queen act.
Ray’s fashion photography is seen in many leading magazines. He’s a lot of fun to work with, and has a knack for finding the light.
I had my makeup and hair done by a professional Japanese artist who works with Visual Kei bands. He gave me the “droopy eyes” look currently popular among gyaru — the sleepy effect is supposed to be youthful and cute.
My turquoise-blue-purple ombre hair is the work of Stephanie Hoy at Avant Garde Hair Vancouver.
Black draped cape jacket: Lupin, Korea Goth brand, from Closet Child Shinjuku
Kawaii Halloween tshirt: Le Petid Print, from Chatuchak Market Bangkok
Faux fur blue bag: Mercibeaucoup, from Marui Annex
Gyaru ankle boots: Liz Lisa, Shibuya 109
It only took us about 15 minutes to shoot these street snaps around a Tokyo neighborhood.
What do you think of this different look on me? For more Japanese fashion inspiration, you can check out Ray’s photo site, Heavy Snap (it features Harajuku snaps, alternative event reports and more.)
Now, back to Basil Farrow’s dad. I made this sign for him to pose with, and he rolled right on his back to be extra cute!
The info’s right beneath the paw. There are also updates on the Ronan Farrow Daily show’s Facebook.
To see more of our rotund earless cat, you can visit Basil’s blog.
He grew up with Ronan as a kitten, and now lives with me.
Basil loves to blend into the blanket.
Whenever it’s sunny out, Basil has a big smile on his face.
His grandpa recently got him a scarf from Edinburgh, to celebrate his Scottish ancestry. I think it suits him well.
Basil is so confident and sweet that he’ll roll onto his back, and let you rub his belly.
Wishing you a cat-tacular day!
The cat’s out of the bag… or box. The Pirates were in Tokyo last December to work on a travel-comedy TV show for Pro Sieben Europe, starring comedian Olli Schulz.
As the show’s production coordinators, we put together a Jpop potpourri. Our shoot locations included a cat cafe, cuddle cafe, host club… and we even rented a fake Japanese family. As Super Mario would say, “Let’s-ah Goooo!”
My team’s arranged and appeared in dozens of TV shows in the past years, mostly about travel and underground culture. Remember when we gave Klaas a bagelhead, and then sewed Joko’s lips together? These shows were hits when they aired on German network Pro 7, so the crew hired us again to work with Olli.
This new program is called “Schulz in a Box,” and the concept is pretty amazing. Olli is sick of feeling lonely in Berlin, so he gets in a giant box, and mails himself around the world in search of friends. First Mate Naomi (above) and I jumped at chance to do this show, if only to pose in a giant crate in the middle of Kabukicho…
… and hang out with poof-haired Japanese host boys! When Olli breaks out of the box, he meets one and trains to be one of them.
As you can see from club decor, women go to host clubs to be treated like princesses, since men (especially in traditional Japan) can be lacking in the romantic department.
Once you’ve paid your “prince,” he’ll act like you’re the light of his life. But behind-the-scenes, these guys seem bored and play with their smartphones as they wait for a meeting to start.
Mostly found in the Kabukicho “red light district” in east Shinjuku, the clubs try to stand out by having themes or over-the-top decor. This club group is called “Smappa”, and we mainly shot at the strangely named “Hans Axel Ven Fersen”. (Google tells me Axel was a close companion and possible secret lover of Marie Antoinette, which taps into what these clubs offer.)
This space is decorated with plastic chandelier strands, lights that change colors, and long-nosed fish swimming in tanks. (It’s still not as gaudy as Club Ai, where we filmed with Norwegian TV.)
Hair-ready, the hosts gather for the weekly meeting. For about an hour, they stand and listen to announcements, such as the current ranking. All hosts are ranked according to popularity and pull, and the best ones have their faces on the giant posters.
Olli was a great sport, and had his hair spiked and sprayed in a host salon. He practiced his hosting skills with female clients, making dark jokes along the way.
On another day, we filmed with our friend Kanae at a cat cafe! (Remember her from NYC adventures and the Corporate Goth party?)
Cat cafes are another way for lonely hearts to find company. Nothing cures loneliness like a squish faced kitty.
We set up this scene in Shinjuku’s Calico Cat Cafe (where we also shot with Food Network). At the entrance, you can pick up a face mask in case you’re allergic to fur.
Kanae did a great job chatting with Olli about Japanese culture, and the quirky ways that people combat loneliness here.
In Japan, Scottish Folds are hugely popular. Every cat cafe has to have at least one foldy, and this one had several. (But they’re objectively not as cute as my Basil Farrow, right?)
When we arrived, a woman was carrying out about five meowing cats in bags. This fold-eared one looked rather squashed!
If you’re visiting Tokyo, try visiting one of these unique cafes. It’s quite the experience to play with dozens of gentle kitties, and you’re allowed to take no-flash pictures.
Guests can also order tea and snacks, or read manga.
Tip: buy a packet of bonito flakes, and you’re instantly popular! Kanae is wearing a Jack Skellington Trick or Treat sweater from the Rollick collection in Lumine.
I’m wearing an Algonquins teal top from the latest collection, and Angelica Brigade hair flowers.
The German TV crew was enamored with Kanae’s doll-like contact lenses and eye makeup.
Kanae poses like a “nyan nyan” cat, outside Don Quixote Shinjuku. She’s a street snap in the latest issue of Kera Magazine!
The Pirates also arranged a segment in a cuddle cafe. Yes, men pay women dressed in pajamas to hold them in their arms. No hanky-panky goes on, just hugging and cooing.
I’m in one of the “cuddle stalls,” which contain a mattress, ball and stuffed toys. Olli found this place a tad uncomfortable, for obvious reasons.
However, we loved renting a fake family! In Japan, you can pay people to pretend to be your mother, father, siblings or other relatives.
This Japanese “mother” dressed and played her part spot on. She gave Olli quiet encouragement and sang him to sleep, in one of the show’s funniest segments.
In another example of “alone together”, we did a scene at Green Plaza capsule hotel. At night, all of these coffin-sized spaces will be filled with businessmen — women aren’t generally allowed. There’s just enough room to lie down, and watch the tiny TV above (naturally, there are naughty channels).
Finally, we made special arrangements to shoot inside Akihabara’s Taito video game arcade. An anime girl with cat-ears welcomes us.
Olli enjoyed playing Dance Dance Revolution, and a table flipping game that lets you vent your anger.
The game center had several floors of video games, including retro fighting ones. Later in the day, these rows will be entirely filled with otaku (geeks).
Naomi and I had a terrific time working with Olli Schulz and his team. You can learn more about this travel-humor show and see the episode on Pro 7 (note, this may not be viewable in all countries).
My “The Bitter End” sweater is by the defunct brand Banana Fish. Found it at Closet Child Shinjuku, and paired it with old diamond print tights.
If you’re intrigued by host boy culture, take a look at the award-winning show I hosted on Norway TV. (This video is watchable everywhere.)
What do you think about host clubs, rent-a-family, cuddle cafes, and the other strange ways the Japanese deal with loneliness?
If you’re a television production company looking to film in Japan, then we hope you’ll reach out to us! In addition to on-camera hosting, the Pirates take care of all filming logistics, permits, translation and any other arrangements necessary. Click to find out more about our TV fixing firm (and see examples of our past work, including bagelheads). Arr.
Great balls of lighting! My mind felt like it was exploding with color, when I went shopping in Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market.
Seby and I spent a morning at the largest market in Thailand (also known as Jatujak, or J.J.). What type of designs are sold here? Did we buy anything cute? Let’s shop and see…
Take note that Chatuchak (Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road) is only open on Saturdays and Sundays. We were grateful to have Sylvie from Destination Asia as our guide, since there were over 15,000 stalls to explore, and the narrow walkways were packed with shoppers!
I’m wearing a cut-out black top by TwoPercent Hong Kong, and studded ankle boots by Yosuke from Shibuya 109. The round orange sunglasses are vintage Gucci.
The little shops sell everything from Buddhist items to home goods and food. We asked Sylvie to take us to the area featuring hip local fashion, and spent about an hour browsing. Fortunately we were there early, as the market can get very hot and packed around noon onward.
Some Asian markets, like “Women Street” in Hong Kong, sell poorly made goods. This is not the case at Chatuchak. Most of the boutiques sold lovingly crafted designs with a touch of cute. This Queen’s Guard necklace is a great example.
I’m always on the lookout for Scottish Fold cat items. When I saw these rings by Good After Nine, I simply had to have one.
The store is run by two young Thai jewelers, who are passionate about making unconventional pieces. Basil Farrow says: the painted lines on the face, folded ears, and slightly angry expression are spot on!
Like in Siam Discovery Mall, a lot of the young, Bangkok designs have a twee and vintage feel.
Spotted another Scottish Fold item. I didn’t get this shirt, as the print is a bit much.
However, Seby and I went nuts at Le Petid Print shop. All their t-shirts are 100% cotton and chemical free, with soft screen prints. I got the Halloween bunny tee, and he got the Stormtroopers one, among others.
Tip: if you buy more than one item, you get a discount – which ends up being about $2-4 US per shirt! Insane, considering the superb quality and prints that we found.
Another tip: some stores sell the same or similar items, so it’s worth walking through the halls first to see what’s available. However, if you come across something remarkable — like the cat-face jewels — get it right away, as you may get lost on the way back.
Among my favorites were these sweet, character-print scarves and bags.
A smiling fox family. See what I mean about the natural, charming vibe of the stores?
Put a bird on it, as the hipsters in Portland do.
These glowing ball lights would be great for home decor, or a photoshoot.
Love the faux flower crowns and My Fair Lady hats.
On the darker side, you can find studded Goth-metal clothing. Many Bangkok designers start out at JJ Market, since it’s not too expensive to rent a space here. It’s a great way to present their works and gauge the reaction.
Many items are handmade one-offs, which lets the creator experiment and gives the consumer something special.
A final tip: stock up on souvenirs and small accessories here. Since prices are so low, you won’t regret spending baht and supporting these local businesses.
Look for illustrated iPhone cases…
Nightmare Before Xmas t-shirts, printed with Jack Skellington’s face…
And don’t you dare leave without a funny t-shirt or two… or eight. (I think that’s how many Seby and I got!)
I leave you with a peek inside a rockabilly store. Skulls and subcultures are everywhere around the world now.
Isn’t Chatuchak Weekend Market inspiring? Did you know there was an indie design scene like this in Bangkok?
Coming up next: a video of my poppy Bangkok travels. For all my Thailand coverage, including temples and restaurants, check out the SE Asia category.
I’ve been itching to return to the Middle East, and am excited to announce (Terminator style) that “I’ll be back!” From late January to February, my filmmakers and I will be in Israel and Jordan for the first time.
Can’t wait to explore Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, all thanks to the Israel Ministry of Tourism. Our friends at Ya’lla Tours are helping us get connected, and will also take us on a guided tour of Petra, the historical city and archaeological heaven.
My travel team and I will be shooting stories about the alternative nightlife in Tel Aviv – there’s a colorful LGBT scene here, including an Orthodox Jewish drag queen. We’ll also make travel videos, photos and blogs about the modern local fashion, Israeli wines, and even a hummus restaurant.
Maybe this time, I’ll get to ride a real camel? To get in the spirit, you can revisit last year’s Abu Dhabi and Dubai coverage in my Middle East category. And send us your travel tips; we’ll always keep them in mind.
Before we dive into tabbouleh and falafel, let’s hop back to Japan: the land of cute food.
At the Swimmer store in Shinjuku Alta, I spotted these “hitsuji” or kawaii lamb-faced cakes. Clever, how they use a coiled cookie for the horns.
The bakery also sells “kuma-chan” or little bear cupcakes. I’ve never eaten anything from Swimmer; the pastries look too sweet and cute to consume!
Mr Donut, the Japanese doughnut store chain, has seasonal collaborations with cute characters. Around Halloween, they offered spooky Hello Kitty donuts. For Christmas, they teamed up with Snoopy and Woodstock. Unfortunately, looks trump taste. I tried one, and gagged at the flaky icing and bready interior.
While “character bento” recipe books aren’t as popular as before, there are still kawaii food items everywhere. I found Rilakkuma bear cookie boxes in a convenience store.
Plus a bottle of white cat sake.
I grew up eating Pocky as snacks. Fun to see these panda versions, made with white chocolate over brown sticks.
Do ghost tomato Pretz taste extra scary?
In Japan, you’ll often see vans or trucks decorated to the nines. I stopped short when I saw this one, plastered with cute animals… made from flowers!
Similar to bento decoration, the flowers are arranged in clever ways to mimic figures like Santa Claus. Paper or felt cut-outs form the eyes, nose and details.
These panda bear flowers were my favorites. At first, I thought they were onigiri or rice balls.
Just when you think the Japanese have thought of every possible way to make things cute… a new idea comes along.
Perhaps these photos might inspire you to try “kawaii flower arrangements” of your own.
Back to food, minus the cuteness. Whenever I’m in Tokyo, I gorge myself on sushi since the quality is outstanding here. At “kaiten” conveyor sushi parlors like Hibari in Kabukicho, each plate is only about $1.40.
If you don’t know Japanese, there is usually a photo menu that you can point to. My favorites are unagi (eel), hamachi (yellowtail), bintoro (albacore tuna)…
… and if I’m lucky, toro salmon topped with ikura, (fish roe). It melts in your mouth like nothing else, and is only about $2. I once ate about eight of these!
While not so pretty-looking, okonomiyaki or savory pancakes are a must-try, especially in Osaka. Also visit an izakaya, or homestyle pub, and pop into Coco Ichiban for mouthwatering Japanese curry.
How about dessert? If it’s around October, you can find pumpkin flavored Haagen Dazs ice cream in convenience stores.
Basil and I hope you enjoyed this post about cute and yummy food in Japan. We urge you to step out of your comfort zone, and try new dishes whenever you are traveling. I’ll be doing that soon in Israel and Jordan.
What type of reports would you like to see from Tel Aviv and Jordan? Do you have suggestions for places to see, and things to eat?