Don’t be caught out, Cinderella-style, in Tokyo on New Year’s Eve: you really must go to the ball. But since it’s 2018, ditch the girly getups and channel Japanese urban cool instead. Follow our guide to the city’s top-notch fashion stores.
Browse high-end labels at Isetan, the Japanese department store and fashion mecca. The stellar collection of global names includes Virgil Abloh’s streetwear (Kanye is a fan), hand-crafted bags by Bag ‘n’ Noun and frocks by Yoko Chan and check out the bespoke service if you’re seeking something tailored to perfection. The excellent English-speaking customer help desk is a godsend, as is Isetan’s tempting food hall – perfect for mid-shopping refuels.
Rei Kawakubo’s ode to cult fashion comes home, sweet home to Tokyo at Dover Street Market. This six-storey temple to the cutting-edge is your go to for statement-making investment pieces from Comme to Chloé and myriad avant-garde collabs. Rest retail-tired tootsies with a pit-stop at vegan-friendly, Parisian-export Rose Bakery: slice of carrot cake, anyone?
Laila Tokio has a cosmic kitout – walls and ceilings adorned with designer Koichiro Kimura's white pyramids – worthy of a resting spaceship, but its fashion stash is va-va-vintage. The superb, svelte selection includes Maison Margiela bomber jackets and Comme des Garçons zip dresses, interspersed with customised clobber by own-label Refabric, Herschell cuffs and Lolita Lorenzo clutches.
Keen to give the fireworks a run for their money? Head to sparkle-kingdom Atelier Shinji for some specially commissioned bling. The playful Apple Peel Earrings add oomph to earlobes; the Classic Gingko Leaf pearl cluster earrings are equally dreamy. Nimble-knuckled jeweller Shinji will handcraft and ship your special commissions, and even let you watch his work in progress in the basement studio. If you don’t have time to visit him in the bonkers lead up to NYE, visit his Etsy store instead.
Isetan / 3-14-1 Shinjuku / Shinjuku-ku / +81 3 3352 1111 / 10am-8pm daily / isetan.co.jp/
Dover Street Market / 6-9-5 Ginza / Chuo-ku / +81 3 6228 5080 / 11am-8pm daily / ginza.doverstreetmarket.com
Laila Tokio / 2/F / 1-5-11 Shibuya / Shibuya-ku / +81 3 6427 6325 / noon-8pm daily / laila-tokio.com/
Atelier Shinji / 5-13-11 Ginza / Chuo-ku / +81 3 5565 9770 / 10.30am-6.30pm Mon-Fri, until 5pm Sat / ateliershinji.com