Style in Paris vs. Style in Tokyo

Street style photographer Rei Shito loves her hometown of Tokyo, but Paris comes in at a close second. When she visits the French capital for fashion weeks, she tries to escape the buzz of catwalks and cocktail parties whenever she can, simply to roam the streets looking for interesting Parisians to capture on film.

“Paris is such a stimulating city when it comes to ‘la mode’,” she says. “I feel like every Parisian has his or her own view on what constitutes ‘fashion’ or ‘fashionable’. They think, ‘What is beautiful to me?’ rather than just following a trend. That’s definitely different from Tokyo. There, it’s all about creating trends, and that isn’t necessarily done only by the designers at fashion houses. The people on the streets always come up with fun and exciting styles – I couldn’t live without this crazy street scene!

When I look for people to photograph, I’m interested in personal styles. I don’t care if I like it or not, that’s not important. What matters is that they are expressing their own style. I feel like the people in Paris reflect a lot on their personal style – I could picture them standing in front of the mirror at home and giving themselves critical feedback on their look.

You can summarise it like this: Fashion in Tokyo means finding something fun. Fashion in Paris means finding a philosophy for your life. Two different takes on fashion, and I love both!

I remember I captured this lady on my way to the Hermès show last March. She’s dressed so warm and chic, overall it just oozed ‘elegance’ to me. Why? It’s probably the selection of colours that she’s wearing. The colours are in perfect harmony: mustard, olive and white. Together with her haircut and her smile – perfect.

This style is eternal, far superior to any trends. I’m sure I’ll capture a similar style this season, next season, and the next. It’s interesting that an eternal style is always quite basic, but definitely not boring!”

About Rei Shito

Each month, Rei Shito identifies one defining look that she’s spotted on the street, whether at home in Japan or abroad on her latest trip to the world’s fashion hotspots, providing readers with a fresh, thought-provoking perspective on current trends. Rei is acclaimed as one of the planet’s most original and influential street style photographers and fashion bloggers, publishing her work on her blog Style from Tokyo, as well as several magazines in Japan and overseas, such as
[Portrait Rei: Jun Tamura]

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