I was planning to go to the city today to sketch, but it’s been raining so heavily that I instead headed to Nishinomiya Gardens, a huge shopping mall on the outside of town. The mall has five floors, built in a huge ring structure, with an outdoor garden on the roof. There are walkways and passages all around, and you can look down from the fifth floor right to the basement. It’s kind of like being in the Death Star, except it’s bright, white, and filled with palm trees. The perfect place to spend a rainy day.
Most people come here with an intention, rather than just popping in as they pass by. The shops lean towards the middle of the price spectrum (so Beams, Ships, Urban Research, etc) and people tend to dress up a little before coming.
When I arrived, I spotted this man, whose style I can only describe as “brand conscious trucker.” He had the jeans, plaid shirt, and rumpled cap, but it was all executed in a way that looked intentional and slightly higher-end.
I liked his heavy keychain and leather wallet, out of which stuck some leather feathers. His shoes were also a strange hybrid of flip flops and getas (a traditional Japanese sandal made of wood). I’ve never seen anything like them before, but now I’m looking out for a pair myself.
This man was holding a folio that looked like it could have been from Postalco (a popular company in Japan for accessories). They leather and canvas envelopes that you can use to hold documents, reading materials, and maybe even a laptop (depending on the size).
He was also wearing a blue waistcoat with slightly contrasting shades of blue through his shorts and loafers – maybe something like the “short pants suit” look that was popular in Japan last year. These sort of loosely “tailored” looks with shorts can be hard to pull off, but occasionally work on the right person.
Like any mall in the US, Nishinomiya Gardens has lots of armchairs where you’ll find resting patrons. This one had a pair of cool-looking Audio Technica headphones, a silver watch, and a fairly standard chino-plus-button up ensemble. The one thing that helped liven up his look was a pair of discrete red socks. It reminded me that the man in the previous drawing was wearing a bright red pocket square. Is adding a bright flash of color a new summer trend in Kobe? I’ll look out for it as I prepare next week’s sketches.