Tuesday, January 28, 2014

#233- Hollywood = Glamour [Randee St Nicholas] (@SENKEN-SHIMBUN /daily newspaper for fashion business)

I used to live in Hollywood (Sunset Blvd. & La Brea Ave.)… I was studying & training at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in West Hollywood and I was having fun with the “Hollywood lifestyle” (partying & clubbing) in 1990’s.

For me… Hollywood = Fun

Hollywood… is my favorite town.

 

***

My new column about “Hollywood” came out on the site of Senken-Shimbun (the major Japanese fashion trade newspaper http://www.senken.co.jp ) on January 28, 2014.

Even though you don’t read Japanese you can see scoop photos, please visit at http://www.senken.co.jp/report/oversea/yf/28299/



Here is my translation into English from Japanese.

 

On Senken+


Updated on January 28, 2014 (in Japan)

 

“I Love Los Angeles by Yoko Fujimoto” (title of my column series)


 
By Yoko Fujimoto

Writer in Los Angeles

 

Title of the new column: Hollywood = Glamour


 

Prince, Whitney Houston, Britney Spears, Carrie Underwood etc… A photographer & video director, Ms. Randee St Nicholas works with many celebrities for their photos & music videos. An insider would know that she is a former fashion model and a former wife of Mr. Nick St Nicholas of the famous band “Steppenwolf”.

 

Randee became a celebrity photographer by a coincidence, because of the debut album of the band “The Knack” in U.S. “I’ve got asked by The Knack to take a picture of them, and then the photo came out on the cover of their album. The album became a smash hit in the world, and I have been working as a photographer since then.” She became a TV CM director after she worked with an American business magnate, Ms. Martha Stewart for her Kmart TVCM.

 

Also the opportunity of her fashion designer career since winter 2012 has a very unique story. Randee used to make custom made clothing for some celebrities. When Randee had a photo shoot with an actress Mr. Taylor Momsen for the cover of the ELLE JAPON magazine, Taylor said “I would like to wear only these” and picked Randee’s clothing, so the editor asked Randee about the name of the brand of clothing. At that time, there was no name on her clothing, she just made her brand name “rsn boheme” at that time, and then this brand was born.

 

“I make people feel beautiful and then I take photos, so I do the same thing for my clothing. I make clothing that people could feel beautiful” said Randee. Clothing made by a photographer’s point of view is fit better, comfortable to wear, and comfortable to move. As a casual or dressy, depends on the person or depends on the feelings, the clothing expression will change. This is the one of the charm of “rsn boheme”.

 

Photos captions:

(As you know, I don't have photos in my blog. If you want to see photos, please visit at http://www.senken.co.jp/report/oversea/yf/28299/ ).

 

Photo 1: Ms. Randee St Nicholas took a photo of Ms. Britney Spears (singer). Ms. Nicholas talked about the secret of how to take a beautiful photo, “I make a communication with people to make feel good themselves, and I can take a beautiful photo.”

 

Photo 2: Ms. Randee St Nicholas took a photo of Ms. Whitney Houston (singer). “Light is the key for the photo” said Ms. Nicholas about the secret of good photo shoot.

 

Photo 3: “Photo is capture the moment” said Ms. Randee St Nicholas (http://www.randeestnicholas.com/). She was a fashion model for 8 years from age11 until 18. (This photo is Ms. Nicholas when she was a model.) “I worked as a model, because I needed to earn the tuition to become a painter.”

 

Photo 4: At the studio of Ms. Randee St Nicholas, showroom area of “rsn boheme”. “rsn boheme” (http://www.rsnboheme.com/) has a signature product which is the body conscious clothing with a lot of stretch lace.

 

Photo 5: At the studio of Ms. Randee St Nicholas. An actress Mr. Taylor Momsen loves “rsn boheme”.



Photo 6: At the office of Ms. Randee St Nicholas. Ms. Nicholas took some photos of the assistant of Prince (singer). Ordinary people will be an art by Ms. Nicholas.

 
Photo 7: Ms. Randee St Nicholas’s art work on the wall of the studio of Ms. Randee St Nicholas. “I took this photo, because I saw the puddle after rain” said Ms. Nicholas naturally, but her belief (“I don’t miss any moment”) is there.



Photo 8: Popular & Best seller of “rsn boheme”



Photo 9: An actress Mr. Taylor Momsen wears the popular item of “rsn boheme”

 

***

 

I was very honor to meet Ms. Randee St Nicholas and her agent Mr. Ryan Supple.

 

I was very impressed with Randee that her studio displayed some other photographer’s photos on the wall…

 

What a humble person she is… she is a true artist. She respects other artist’s work…which means she is happy for people and she shares her happiness with the other people. What a wonderful & beautiful human being…

 

Ryan is the same way. I was very impressed with him. He is very good at showing how Randee is a fabulous artist. He is the one who introduced Randee’s clothing to the photo shoot crew of ELLE JAPON magazine. He is a true & great agent.

 
Randee… Amazing talented artist. Humble human being. Fun person.

Ryan… Amazing talented agent. Kind human being. Fun person.

I was very lucky to interview Randee and Ryan.

 

 

This column is the best way to start my new year, right?

Life is beautiful.

Have a beautiful 2014 to you :)

 

By Yoko Fujimoto

Los Angeles January 28, 2014

Copyright © 2014 Yoko Fujimoto 

Friday, January 17, 2014

#232- My 40 days winter vacation in Japan… Part 2: Japan = Delicious

Today, I am working on the article about Summer 2014 L.A. Fashion Market Week.


Yes, the weather in L.A is also like a summer since I got back from Japan on the 14th.


But… my brain is still in the winter season in Japan…Here is my Part 2 story of my 40 days winter vacation in Japan.


***


I would like to share my best part of my vacation in Japan.


My mom and younger brother are the best. They are good at “Omotenashi” (Omotenashi meaning… A heart felt welcome or hospitality).


They provided me “Delicious Meals” (Any Japanese food is like my daily food from Gelson’s or better!), “Comfortable Bedroom” (I wish I could sleep without any noise like my mom & brother’s house in Tokyo), “Comfortable Bath Time” (Automatic bath system gives me the best bath time), “Fun Trips” (They took me to many places!) and… “Unconditional Love”.


***


Here is my Best 3 of my vacation.


#1: Chat & Eat… with my mom & brother




*** Ise Jingu (Ise Grand Shrine):


The most well known shrine in Japan. It is a Shinto shrine dedicated to goddess Amaterasu-ōmikami, located in the city of Ise in Mie, Japan. Every twenty years, the two main buildings inside the Ise Jingu Shrine are rebuilt. 2013 marks the 62nd undertaking of this major event.


I just realized that at this place…“Traditional Japanese life style is wonderful. I am very proud of being Japanese! ”




*** Toshijima Onsen (Toshijima hot springs) :


Toshijima is a small island near Toba-city, Mie, Japan.


We went to this small island by the small boat. We stayed at the nice hotel. We sat on the tatami mat and ate the traditional Japanese meal (raw sliced fish, boiled fish etc.) on the special plate (shape of the boat).


Our room had a nice view! (in front of ocean) Onsen (hot springs) was on the 6th floor (it was nice ocean view)


I just felt that… “I am glad that I am Japanese”.




*** Fujisan & Miho no Matsubara (Mount Fuji & Miho Pine Grove):


As you know Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776.24 m (12,389 ft). It was added to World Heritage List as a Cultural Site on June 22nd, 2013 by UNESCO. Miho no Matsubara is a scenic area on the Miho Peninsula in Shimizu Ward of Shizuoka City, Japan. In 2013 the pine groves were added to the World Heritage List as part of the Fujisan Cultural Site.


We went to this place twice, because the weather was cloudy, so we wanted to see the perfect view of Fujisan & Miho no Matsubara.


I (actually my mom and brother also have luck for good weather) always have luck for good weather. I am a “Hare-Onna” (Hare-Onna is the Japanese term for a woman whose presence always seems to be accompanied by good weather), but I couldn’t bring perfect sun at this time in here...


Even though there were some clouds… it was so beautiful.

I felt like, “I am really in REAL Japan”.




*** Izu Nagaoka Onsen (Izu Nagaoka hot springs):


The Izu Nagaoka hot springs is located in the north central areas of Izu peninsula in Shizuoka, Japan. We stayed at the comfortable hotel.

Our room had a nice view! It was in front of the Mount Fuji. White snow was on the top of the Mount Fuji.


When I saw the beautiful Mount Fuji in the morning, I did “Gassho” (A position used for greeting, with the palms together and fingers pointing upwards in prayer position) in front of the window (in front of the Mount Fuji).

Roten-Buro (outdoor bath) was fabulous! I enjoyed natural hot springs and herb bath (Yuzu bath). I really realized that we really have wonderful bath culture!!!


By the way, just in case… most of the time I was wearing the surgical mask outside (for protect from the radiation), but I didn’t wear the mask during my bath time.




***Izu Atami Onsen (Izu Atami hot springs) :


Atami is a city located in the eastern end of Shizuoka, Japan. We stayed at the large historical hotel “Hotel New Akao”. We enjoyed the outdoor hot springs (located in front of the ocean, so we enjoyed the sounds of wave and view of stars).

Our room had a nice view! Ocean & Town (Atami) view. Night view was so gorgeous.


I didn’t fear that the hotel was on the ocean (I didn’t think about the earthquake or tsunami at that time).


Christmas dinner show by the Mexican band was great! I enjoyed my favorite Christmas song (Feliz Navidad). It was very nice Christmas Eve.




***Asakusa & Tokyo Skytree (Tower):


Asakusa is a district in Taito, Tokyo, Japan, most famous for the Sensō-ji, a Buddhist temple dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon. For most of the twentieth century, Asakusa was the major entertainment district in Tokyo.


Tokyo Skytree Tower is a broadcasting, restaurant, and observation tower in Sumida, Tokyo, Japan. It became the tallest structure in Japan in 2010 and reached its full height of 634.0 metres (2,080 ft) in March 2011, making it the tallest tower in the world, displacing the Canton Tower, and the second tallest structure in the world after Burj Khalifa (829.8 m/2,722 ft).


We stayed at the Asakusa View Hotel in Asakusa (it takes about one and a half hours from my mom & brother’s house in Tokyo).



We enjoyed the old Japan (Sensō-ji temple) and new Japan (Tokyo Skytree Tower).


Even though we are in Tokyo, we felt like a tourist like a foreigner.  




***Narita Onsen (Narita hot springs):


My mom and brother are the best for “Omotenashi” (hospitality).


They always let me stay at the hotel near by the Narita international airport.


At this time, we stayed at the Narita View Hotel (on Dec 7th and Jan 14th). They wanted me to relax after my trip (to Japan) and before my trip (to L.A.). They are so sweet.


My last day with my mom & brother was wonderful. We had a onsen time (Narita also has a natural hot springs!). My mom and I watched moon & star & airplane while taking an outdoor bath (Roten-Buro).


It was the best last day & evening in Japan.




***


#2: No TV, No computer, No smartphone… instead of these, I walked walked walked…by myself.


During my 40days vacation, I didn’t watch TV, I didn’t use computer, I didn’t use smartphone(Oops…I finally gave up my policy [not working for 24/7]…I finally got an iPhone yesterday :)   )… I felt like… “I am so alive!”


I walked Tamagawa Josui side walk (Near my mom & brother’s house). It’s a beautiful place to walk.


Tamagawa Josui Channel is a water supply channel extending about 43 kilometers to the Yotsuya-ookido of Shinjuku Ward from the Hamura weir in Hamura City. It is recorded that the Tamagawa Josui Channel was completed in 1654, and served as a water supply from the Tama River to Edo (modern day Tokyo) and also had been used as the combined water supply facility for the land development and the irrigation of the Musashino Plateau.


I went to walk to this place often. Walking for one hour per day was just wonderful. Most of the time, I walked alone (only one time, my mom came with me). As I am a single, I love being alone :)


Blue sky, Orange sunshine, Yellow & Orange & Brown leaves were welcoming me. Sound of water (channel), song of birds and smell of trees were comforting me.




***


#3: Tip, Tip…!  from My super boss


My editor of Senken-Shimbun (major Japanese fashion trade newspaper), Mr. Toshiaki Nagami took me to a izakaya (a type of Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food to accompany the drinks. They are casual places for after-work drinking) in Shibuya, Tokyo.


He gave me many tip and advice for me as a journalist.


I ate my favorite yakitori (grilled chicken, is commonly a Japanese type of skewered chicken. (Especially I love liver!) I really had a great time.




***


My 40 days vacation in Japan was amazing as usual.


How was your holiday season? I hope you had a nice one too.


By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles January 17, 2014
Copyright © 2014 Yoko Fujimoto















Tuesday, January 14, 2014

#231- My 40 days winter vacation in Japan… Part 1: LAX = So L.A.

Happy New Year to you!


I just got back from Tokyo, Japan.


I had a fabulous 40 Days-winter vacation in Japan.


***

On Dec 6, 2013 (first day of my vacation)


At my apartment:


I always prepare everything perfect…but it wasn’t on Dec 6th


While I was talking to my apartment manager, the driver of the PRIME TIME SHUTTLE was waiting for me 30 minutes… (Of course… by accident / PRIME TIME SHUTTLE has changed my pick up time without my permission)


A poor driver, Richard… he waited 30 minutes for me… (AT&T cell phone is not good…my cell phone didn’t ring when Richard called me)


Richard was so kind. He could leave my apartment without me… he said “I called you three times. I was almost left, but you paid by the credit card, so I felt bad if I left. ”


What a nice person he is!




At LAX (#1):


I usually go to LAX 4 hours early for my flight. When I waited and sat for the ticket counter to open, I heard the nice & sophisticated woman’s voice (she was talking to someone on the phone). Her name is Suzanne. We had a nice small talk. She corrected my pronunciation (She didn’t understand what I said…“journalist”… Ah…my occupation is a journalist… I need to polish my pronunciation “journalist”… ha ha ha…!) She was also a nice stranger!


At LAX (#2):


Wow…Fred Segal, Kitson, Gucci, Coach… best of L.A. is on the floor at LAX. I said “Wow” when I was walking around the floor.



At LAX (#3):


My last meal of 2013 in L.A. was… Umami burger + Skinny Fries + Soda at Umami Burger! Wow…LAX! I was very impressed by LAX. LAX has everything what I like.



Yes, my last day of 2013 in L.A. was just perfect.

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles January 14, 2014
Copyright © 2014 Yoko Fujimoto