Sunday, January 22, 2006
saturday morning snow
Even after staring gleefully out the window, soon after waking up Saturday morning, and walking through it to get to the subway, when the train sped from the depths under Tokyo out into the winter landscape, my smile glowed and a happy warmth spread inside me, as if to counteract the inch of snow on the ground. The other train passengers did not seem so impressed, despite the rarity of proper snow in Tokyo. There were three women sitting opposite me, I tried not to stare but they fascinated. Each was a solid description of Tokyo winter fashion but strikingly different.
Directly across from me sat a lady in her 50s or 60s. She wore a black gortex type puffy jacket, black tights, black shoes, a dark textured heavy long skirt and a dark brown fur vest over her jacket. Her hair was styled simply in the fashion of older women. She clutched her bag to her chest and as closed her eyes and began to drift to sleep, I nearly laughed out loud at the plentiful bright pale blue eye shadow. Otherwise drab and respectable she had the blue of a September pre dawn sky contrasting her dark browns and blacks. A memory of childhood was painted over her wrinkled eyes.
Next, in a semi-traditional winter kimono sat a woman in her thirties. Her hair was smoothed and pulled back. She did not glow with joy for the snow or whatever her destination may have been. She sat up straight, as a snug kimono forces you to do, her feet, in traditional open Japanese shoes and split socks were covered with plastic bags to protect against the snow. Her kimono was black and white checks and looked like wool. Her make up was simple and elegant. Her eyes wandered without focusing as she sat stiffly, embodying the fight to retain the grace and honor of traditional Japan against all reason and convenience.
Finally, a woman in her twenties in high fashion sat, glancing from the floor to the window, to the train map. She appeared eager for some small Saturday adventure. With high healed boots, a modest but cute knee-length skirt and a trendy jacket, I could only assume she was meeting a friend to go shopping. Her hair was dramatically layered and highlighted, her makeup was heavy but well crafted. She was maybe a student or an office worker. She probably still lived with her parents. It was Saturday and the snow was not going to prevent her from indulgence and consumerism with high fashion friends.