In Japan, at the moment the cold of winter breaks, the warm tropical air brings forth spring with the bursting blooms of the sakura trees. Like a melodious symphony, they break forth - starting in the south and spreading north until all the cold is gone and the excitement of spring fills the air. It is as if the world is saying, "Let's begin again."
It is little wonder then, that sakura have inspired songs, artwork, food, and fashion for generations. In feudal times the aristocracy would sit under the sakura trees and write poetry. Sakura inherently have, inspiration, which is defined by the Google dictionary as "the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative." The Kitano Club captured just that feeling with this year's Solafes. The relentless attention to detail and the dogged determination to capture the essence of spring taught us that the art of capturing the moment is in embracing each sight, sounds, taste, and touch associated with it.
Solafes is an annual production of Kitano Club Sola featuring food, fun, fashion, and art. This year, the event began with a welcome shodo performance by Tokuyama Takahiro featuring a truly innovative take on an ancient art form. Splashing pink paint for a sakura poem and illuminating his final work with a blue light, Tokuyama-san, who was accompanied by taiko drumming and flute, transported the audience into the world of Tale of the Genji, when nobility enjoyed sakura in the lap of luxury.
Still reeling from the music, lights, and festive opening guests were treated to a healthy treat - smoothies with authentically Japanese names like ichigo ichie. Ichigo means strawberry, but more profoundly, Ichi-go ichi-e (一期一会 "one time, one meeting") means "never again" or "one chance in a lifetime" and refers to the treasured gift of meeting people and gathering together for unique occasions in moments that can never be truly recreated. A perfect Solafes during the fleeting sakura season is just such an occasion and the excitement of time spent with friends new and old filled the air.
Solafes was one of those occasions that you just had to bring a friend to because no one would believe the beauty of what you saw and did without eye witnesses. We met and got skincare and makeup tips from celebrity makeup artist, Chiaki Shimada, creator of Brilliage Cosmetics. His secret for beautiful skin that creates a perfect canvas for makeup is a daily morning smoothie filled with healthy fruits and vegetables and no carbs after dark.
Just when we thought Solafes couldn't get any better, we went upstairs where we fell in love with the whimsical bridal fashion show featuring The Treat Dressing, Amtteliebe, and Ginza Couture Naoco. The music, dresses, flowers, backdrop, and feather waterfall (which I couldn't catch a picture of because I was too mesmerized) felt like a dream.
The night struck a perfect chord as the event ended with cake under the sparkling Kobe stars. Savoring these amazing treats, drunk with inspiration and Shisheido pastries I thought, "I must be dreaming. Every event should be just like this."
If you're looking for a wedding venue, I highly recommend The Kitano Club and if you're looking for a good time....come to Solafes. Follow Kobe Fashion Week for more information about this, and other amazing events.