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10 Great Gifts You Shouldn’t Leave Hanoi Without

Haute Culture’s Shopping Guide to Hanoi

Selling everything from tribal textiles to exotic foods, shopping for souvenirs in Vietnam’s capital of culture a perfect combination of historical heritage Vs modern merchandise.  Crammed with tall colonial buildings and riddled with motorbike jammed roads, Hanoi’s Old Quarter conceals a charming/chaotic concoction of manic markets, specialist streets and designer boutiques. Whether Hanoi is your first or last destination in Vietnam, this authentic Asian experience is best remembered in these 10 quintessential gifts.

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Countries Guides Japan Japan Shopping Traditional Dress Traditional Textiles Trends

9 Reasons Why Every Fashion Lover Should Visit Japan! 🇯🇵

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Hands down, Japan was by far the most brilliant, bewildering and beautiful destination for studying fashion during my 12 month adventure around Asia. Aside from the fantastic food, majestic monuments and interesting etiquette, there was a conglomerate of contemporary and cultural fashion around almost every corner!

Gorgeous Geisha, pretty kimono’s, surreal street styles and traditional textiles are just some of the material motives that make Japan a MUST SEE destination for anyone interested in fashion and style around the world. Here’s my top 9 reasons why every fashion lover should visit Japan!

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Kyoto’s Kaleidoscopic Kimono Culture (and where to get one) 👘

kimono-culture-in-kyotos

 Kyoto is the center of Kimono culture in Japan. Everywhere you look, both Japanese and international tourists can be seen parading proudly around the former ancient capitol in a variety of colourful Kimonos on a daily basis. But what is a Kimono, why is the traditional dress so popular in Kyoto, and where can you get one from?


kimono-culture


WHAT IS A KIMONO?

A Kimono is a loose, ankle length, T shaped robe made from one bolt of fabric, cut into 6 rectangular panels. Traditionally worn for formal occasions in Japan, the word Kimono directly translates into “Thing to Wear” in Japanese language.

Kimono is normally worn together with juban (Kimono underwear), a koshi himo belt, datejime sash and a broad decorative belt called a Obi, as this prevents to kimono from opening up and trailing on the floor.

Wearing a Kimono properly can be a complicated task and often requires assistance, especially for a beginners or if you are wearing a ceremonial kimono for a special event. The final look is then completed with white tabi socks and geta shoes. Watch the video below to see what this process looks like in super speed. Continue Reading

Countries Guides Japan Japan Shopping Traditional Dress & Textiles

10 Gorgeous Gifts You Won’t Want To Leave Kyoto Without!

girly-gift-guide-to-kyoto

Kyoto is famed for its traditional temples, sacred shrines, elegant gardens, and gorgeous geisha. The city itself is a delectable fusion of contemporary and ancient Japanese culture doused with a healthy measure of sensational shopping. As you walk through Gion’s cobbled streets, your sights and senses are overwhelmed with a plethora of pretty keepsakes, exceptional crafts and future heirlooms, designed to remind you of your journey to Japan’s most desirable destination.  Here’s Haute Culture’s Girly Guide to Shopping in Kyoto so you can hit the ground running and not miss a beat!


1. Kyoto’s Kimonos

The Kimono is Japan’s national traditional dress, designed to impress. Available in an all inclusive, customisable, one size fits all, and comes in an eternity of colours, patterns and prints to suit any mood and season. Kyoto is the capital of the kimono, and if you love fashion as much is I do, then you will not be able to contain yourself with excitement over how beautiful everyone looks walking around wearing this ensemble. Secondhand kimono or new Yukata can be bought for as little as $50.

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Robot Restaurant, Shinjuku, Tokyo: If This Doesn’t Convince You Japan Is INSANELY AMAZING Nothing Will!

Robot restaurant shinkjuku tokyo

The Robot Restaurant in Kabukichō, Shinjuku, Tokyo is the stuff that legends are made of. There isn’t a single tourist in town that hasn’t heard of, or is talking about the insanity of this show. Japanese culture is renown for having it’s finger on the pulse for the latest technology, funny fashion subcultures and wacky entertainment, with this in mind, I was intrigued to learn exactly how bizarre things can get, and above all, curious to see the futuristic inspired cabaret costumes and set design.


Watch the madness unfold in this video

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Countries Guides Japan Japan Shopping Traditional Dress & Textiles Trends

ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ Kawaii Things To Do In Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan

Things to do in Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan

A fun, fashionable and fastastical list awesome KAWAII things to do in and around Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan.

Harajuku is a MUST see destination in Tokyo for any fashion fanatic interested in alternative and downright crazy subculture trends, shopping and street style. I spent one week hanging out Harajuku and surrounding Shibuya and Jingumea with Tokyo Way tours in order to uncovered the best shops and most secretive spots that will give Haute Culture readers the most authentic experience when visiting Japan’s fashion capitol.


1. Take a walk down Takeshita street

The beating pulsing flamboyant kawaii heart of Harajuku. Takeshita street has escalated from a small time subculture hangout to a glittering mega brand shopping sensation. Each weekend the 500 meter pedestrian ally is pounded by tens of thousands pink clad teenagers looking to stock up on more cheap and cheer full pink accessories, pink candy floss and pink flavored crepes. I reckon it’s the most pink place in Tokyo. This is the by far the best shopping spot for fun fashion, toys, glitter, costumes, hair accessories, candy, fake eyelashes and sunglasses.

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Countries Guides Taiwan

TALENTED TAIWAN: WHY TAIWAN IS THE CUTEST & MOST CREATIVE COUNTRY I HAVE EVER VISITED

guide to taiwan

Taiwan! Who’d have thought it was one of Asia’s best kept secrets?!!? If I’m honest, the only reason I visited the island of Taiwan was because it was a stop off point between the Philippines, mainland China, Japan and South Korea. To my delight during my 3 week stay over I discovered that Taiwan was one of the safest countries in the world to visit, super easy to travel around, had a rich history in aboriginal cultures, the friendliest and most helpful natives I have ever met, and above all was unbelievably cute and creative. Here is my top tips and photos from talented Taiwan.

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Responsible Tourism: A Guide to Giving Back in Sapa

Ethical things to do in sapa

With the vast majority of hill tribe minorities in Sapa formally uneducated and therefore unemployed I have put together a list of socially responsible and/or independent people and places to invest your precious cash and time with. I hope that this guide will give tourists more opportunity to make a conscious and caring choice when visiting Sapa.

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Countries Guides Shopping Vietnam Vietnam

25 Things To Do In Saigon ( Ho Chi Minh City )

Haute Culture Guide to Saigon Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
Dress by Lucy’s Dream 

Want to skip the tourist traps and escape the city’s sweltering surge? Saigon has heaps of secret places to shop, amazing street art to see and an electric skyline to sip cocktails over in style.  Throughout this post Haute Culture is going to introduce you to Saigon’s best kept secrets for a more sophisticated and savvy stay in Vietnam’s capital for commerce and contemporary culture.

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10 Things To Do In Hoi An Ancient City, Vietnam

haute cultures guide to hoi an vietnam

Looking for awesome things to do in Hoi An? Let’s take a look at Haute Culture’s Top 10 highs and lows for you to make the most of your time here.

The ancient port town of Hoi An dates back to the 15th century and is home to an artistic architectural fusion of Chinese, Japanese and French aesthetics. The pretty and peaceful town has both a traditional and cosmopolitan charm and is blessed with sun drenched streets most of the year round. Fashion lovers flock to Hoi An to take advantage of its long lineage of tailors famous for magically making made-to-measure clothes and shoes in just a few days.

With an array of beautiful beaches to bask on, romantic lantern lit streets to stroll along and arguably is Vietnam’s finest cuisine to dine on, scroll down to view my top 10.

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