The above cover is from the Kansai edition; however, all editions use the same cover photo.
Source – Itsumo: Keiko Kitagawa
The above cover is from the Kansai edition; however, all editions use the same cover photo.
Source – Itsumo: Keiko Kitagawa
Keiko Kitagawa’s 4 major autumn fashion styles
From serious works to comedy, not only does Miss Keiko Kitagawa have the acting capability to play different feminine characteristics as required by her different roles, her natural styles often seen in her variety show appearances are also overwhelmingly favoured by women of her age. This time we invited Miss Kitagawa to share with “with” readers her fashion styles for autumn and what captures her attention today!
Look 1: Knit cardigan with stripes X white trousers
“Sporty styles are a focus for autumn wear; check out this type of striped cardigan! As long as a white bottom is chosen, even darker tops can show off a lively look.”
“I like the colours of this combination; as I prefer regular glasses over sunglasses, I would use eyeglasses as an accessory for my outfit.”
I believe fashion style is expressed by the self
Wearing simple black overalls to the photo shoot, Miss Keiko Kitagawa already had impressive achievements since her teenage model years. Today she still loves fashion and when trying on the new autumn styles prepared by us, she constantly added her opinion about the outfit such as “with this outfit, I want my hair to be like this”.
“Fashion is very interesting! Although I rarely have the opportunity to spend a whole day shopping in leisure, but when I am able to end work early, I would go out right away, or I would buy the outfit prepared by the stylist so I can enjoy fashion. Recently I like the kind of yarn top such as that in Look 1 with the rhinestones on the collar! I have many (laughs) in white and black; as long as it is smooth and shiny, they look good worn by itself or under a jacket, or matched with a cardigan such as for today. It feels good to be able to wear different looks from one type of clothing.”
We asked if she has any reference styles or looks that she aspires to…
“There are no specific styles, but I have felt ‘that is amazing’ after watching some senior actresses. A few days ago I met Ms. Miki Maya and saw her deliberately combine jeans with a denim shirt in an outfit then add a jacket; although it was a masculine look overall, she wore high heels to bring out a completely feminine style. This kind of individual style combination is very alluring!
I feel the clothes I choose would naturally display my condition, so when I dress myself now I would think carefully and not pick the outfit only for that day’s purpose. Recently, while picking out my outfit, I thought ‘even though I like masculine styles, it seems I have been wearing neater looks’ and try to find styles that are not too sweet but also not too sexy, to achieve a comfortable balance that I feel good in.”
Look 2: Logo cotton top X seamless A-line skirt
“A-line skirts have been popular since the spring. Those that use thick material to build a three dimensional effect can be combined with logo cotton tops to achieve a casual look.”
“Since I bought a similar black A-line skirt, I decided to tuck in my top. Even though I usually wear t-shirts or yarn tops, I also like the sporty feel of cotton tops.”
Look 3: Cardigan in autumn colours X ladylike dress
“Elegant ladylike dresses need to be matched with cardigans in autumn colours in order to reflect the season’s look. Only vintage accessories are chosen.”
“Regardless of whether it’s feminine or popular styles, right now I am seeking a balance that makes me feel comfortable. I hope to repeat this exercise while at the same time create my own fashion style!”
“When I am meeting someone or appearing in talk shows, I would to wear a dress. I especially like vintage ladylike styles.”
Look 4: Big earrings X rhinestone necklace
“I like big vintage rhinestone necklaces as they allow the outfit to release an air of elegance.”
Upon encountering a bottleneck I would find another way, and repeat the cycle!
Broadcasting since this July, Miss Kitagawa plays a lead character in the new drama “Hero 2″. As this is a sequel of a popular show, Miss Kitagawa said that even though she initially arrived on set with anxiety, once shooting began the atmosphere was very cordial. Lead by her co-star Mr. Kimura, other senior actors accepted her warmly which made her very happy.
“To the other actors in the cast, I am perhaps a little sister. This production is like a ‘stage show’ in that many scenes are driven by the script. Since I have not often been in this kind of production before, it is a new challenge for me. Even though sometimes I would anxiously feel ‘OK, I need to control my timing for saying my lines’, as an actress I can take this as training.”
From comedies to historical dramas, her works are varied and she has played all types of roles, such as the daughter of a rich family, an apprentice scriptwriter, a female chef and so on. Each time Miss Kitagawa’s performance deeply impressed us; this time she plays a strong administrator. When she accepts new challenges, does she feel anxious?
“Of course I do! But now I always think ‘be my best’ and practise in my mind using imagery! I would try to approximate my imagined scene to be as similar as possible as reality…when I find the point of ‘it’s probably like this’ I would head towards that direction with all that I have. If I am wrong or if I encounter a bottleneck, I would return to my starting point and think of another way, and then repeat the cycle. When I am faced with something I am unsure about, I believe it is important to not be lost; this is like imagining being the women I admire, as long as I find the thought of ‘I want to be like this’ it means I have found the answer. What remains is just hard work!”
My goal is a meaningful personal life, and I am challenging cooking right now
With 11 years’ experience in the entertainment industry and her 28th birthday this year, what changes does Miss Kitagawa have in her personal life? Is there anything she wants to do?
“I am coming to the end of “Daisakkai”! (a period of bad luck according to Rokusei Senjutsu astrology) During that period, I was always working…my personality is such that when I make a decision, that is the only thing that I see. But I think I should also find hobbies outside work or slowly create time for my own enjoyment! I originally wanted to take more time to read and watch movies; I should practise how to schedule myself.
What I have started to do is cooking. In the drama ‘Miwotsukushi Ryoricho’ I play a chef, and as I get older what I eat easily reflects on my physical condition. As the saying goes, ‘the guts don’t lie’ (laughs). So when I have the opportunity to cook, I would browse Cookpad and cook myself. Yesterday I stewed beef in red wine and also made curry! Even if I am by myself, making an effort to cook leads to tasty results and feels meaningful. In the past I often say to friends ‘which restaurant should we go to’, but now after learning cooking it becomes inviting them to my home and thinking ‘what should I cook’. This is a nice change!”
Images from kizashis. Translated by this blogger using the Hong Kong Chinese edition with reference to the Japanese original where necessary.
Q – Please write a message for our readers!
“Day after day…the only ‘now’ you can enjoy is the image of yourself, right here, right now.” – Keiko Kitagawa
Work Saved Me, Even When I Hit Rock Bottom
The movie “Miss Nightmare – The Movie” was filmed in the scorching heat of summer. The main character was a girl called “Miss Nightmare” who had prophetic, calamitous dreams that resulted in attacks on people. The character’s home room teacher, who finds out about Miss Nightmare, is played by Keiko Kitagawa.
“Because this was my first time starring in a drama movie, I was really glad. I’ve had fans who watched my drama series tell me that they really liked my role in this film, and I’ve been glad to hear how vocal they’ve been about it.”
Lots of interwoven footage was used from different locations to create the “dream” footage that appears throughout the film. There were a lot of specialized shooting techniques used and many scenes that required green screens, so this was definitely a new experience for you in a lot of ways.
“I’ve always had unexpected experiences throughout my life, so I don’t feel like it’s really hard to deal with. For example, last year was my first time taking on this kind of drama role. I like to roll with the punches. And with this new role – I think I feel lucky to have had this experience. I really think my work has saved me in this regard. And in my private life as well, of course. (laughs)”
When you were 24 years old, there seemed to be a big rush of people who wanted you to get married or were anxious to see that, did it make you uneasy?
“I always say that my fans are my staff. But sometimes I have to do my best not to laugh off some of their concerns about me.”
But in all her honesty, she is never the kind of person to forget her fans or brush them aside, and I think that’s wonderful.
5 Questions to Keiko
Q – What are your thoughts on turning 28 years old?
I want to challenge myself to do new things. I’d like to experience doing a live performance in front of an audience on stage. That’s something I want to try out in the future.
Q – Do you have any rules about how you use your money?
Those of us in the entertainment industry try not to lose their common sense when it comes to money. But at the same time, I don’t spare any expense when it comes to gifts or celebrations. Maybe that’ll come back to haunt me someday? (laughs)
Q – What do you do when you can’t sleep?
The longer you can’t sleep, the harder it becomes to actually fall asleep. So I try to spend those times reading a book, or listening to L’Arc-en-Ciel on my headphones.
Q – How do you feel about co-starring alongside child actors?
It would be a lie if I said that I think it’s good for children. But I know personally I learned a lot about being the teacher Ms. Ayami when I was on set with her.
Q – What’s your secret to not being afraid of failure?
When I first heard the expression “even if you have to pay for it, you should go through a struggle”, I didn’t understand it. I really started to understand that saying recently. If you live in fear of failure, you’ll have a lot of regrets.
Blogger’s note: Rika’s special supplement spans 12 pages and covers a wide range of topics. Due to resource, time and space constraints I have decided to only commission for a translation of the last two pages, which contains Rika’s outlook in life and her personal thoughts about herself. The first 10 pages are included as raw scans.
Speaking with 25 Year-Old Ms. Izumi
At the age of 25 you’re a respectable adult, but your self-confidence hasn’t truly blossomed yet. In the midst of this process is Ms. Rika Izumi – what are your thoughts on the matter?
“At this age your life is in a crossroads. And you’re impatient because you want it to be game time.”
It’s been five years since your debut in RAY. Now that you’re 25 years old, what is your state of mind like?
I think 25 years old is a crossroads for models. You have to consider if you want to keep modelling, or if you’re going to quit. For me, I think I’m gradually deciding which direction I want to go in, but at the same time I feel impatient because I want to keep growing and developing what I do. At age 25, since I kind of rebooted my career 3 years ago, I haven’t reached all of the goals I set for myself then for five years down the line, so there’s kind of a gap that I’m operating in. Rather than try to bridge that gap, I’m just starting fresh all over again.
At three years into your new career, are you where you imagined you would be in five years?
When I left modelling for a short period of time, it wasn’t because I didn’t want to model anymore, but because I wanted to be the kind of model who “competes with her own name”. I think I’m an atypical model in that regard, and I always wanted to give the readers a life-sized view of me – which takes a lot of personal strength and resolve to do since its vulnerable. But it’s important to me to do things in my own style. I wanted people to think when they hear “Rika Izumi”, to associate that with “originality”. That was necessary to me, to be original.
Have you changed your stance on things over the last five years?
When I thought about where I’d be in five years, I hoped that I would level up in my modelling, so to speak, and continue to create cute spreads for “Ray” magazine. I wanted to learn to wear all kinds of skirts, learn to turn up the corners of my lips to make my smile wider…so I used to practice doing that sort of thing in front of the mirror. But I think now that comes naturally from the work itself. People would look through the pictures in the book and wonder, “Which one is Rika?”, and when I heard that it was hard for me (cries). So I knew that my next step would be to show my true self.
When you got your first cover shoot, it would seem that your career had started to really take off, but you said it made you feel a little gloomy, right?
Well, I owe where I am now because of other people. And I don’t want to quit without listening to what other people say.
It’s not just about meeting expectations; I think I might have been tired? So that made me uneasy. And it seemed like every time I turned around, there was some cute new girl starting out. So rather than do a complete makeover and change the Rika Izumi image I had built for the last five years, I wanted to evolve instead.
“The first thing I decided I ever wanted in life was to be a ‘model’.”
I know that you’re in a transitional period right now, but what are some things you’re working on?
Well, I’m definitely working on trying to understand myself more. And of course I’ve been working on developing hot new fashion trends too. The first thing is really about self-discovery. As for the second, I’m putting the things I love best on display. In terms of my work, I think I’m working hard on my career. And I really believe in what I’m doing. This magazine’s image has always been about doing new experimental things, so I’ve been getting adventurous with trying out new facial expressions during our shoots.
Because this career is my life’s work, I am really fired up about what I’m doing. I want to keep trying more and more new things. I am enjoying trying out new things and living my life as me, as Rika.
“I Will Always…be in the Style of Love”
I think Ray’s outlook on the world has always been about love. They are always chasing after the image of smiling girls who shine brightly. Doing what you love is really important to me, which is why I enjoy modeling so much. Being cute, soft, and being able to make cute gestures and facial expressions is important, of course, but those who shine from within are the ones I love the best. And when you can laugh wholeheartedly in front of the camera and show your true self, that is the best. (laughs)
Lately I’ve been feeling like it’s my turn to be loved. But before someone can love you, they have to love themselves. And I think in order to love someone else properly, you have to admit to yourself your own faults. So you almost have to break your own character to really be in love. And you have to be in it for yourself, already living for yourself entirely. The sense of fulfillment and happiness you seek can’t be found in someone else, so that’s my “style of love”.
I think everyone should develop their own style of love that allows them to connect with others.
The secret to becoming a girl who is loved is by loving others. – Rika Izumi
Source – Itsumo: Keiko Kitagawa
Beauty is simple
“I always want to keep showing new aspects of me.”
“A tightly pulled-back bun and pink lips. That’s good for this winter.”
People often say I’m like a samurai. Even when I’m off from work, I’m constantly going at full-steam.
When I see Ms. Kitagawa, the phrase “Going with all your might” comes to mind. Despite it being so long since the last time I saw her in the studio, it was good to see her jumping right into things, saying, “I think this top best fits the character’s theme”, and “If she goes with a pink lip in this scene, then we’ve got to do something to balance that out with her hairstyle, right?” No matter what project she’s working on, she’s always the height of professionalism, and very conscious of the impact her influence makes on whatever character or cosmetic she’s promoting. In her own words: “I’m always serious about my work, because it’s important to me to do something well. Doing something just 70% of the way isn’t my style. I always give everything 120%, or else I just don’t feel right.” This time I came out to see her in her home to interview her for this feature in VoCE magazine. When I arrived I noticed that she had some back issues of VoCE magazine, which really touched me and the rest of our staff. She said, “Whenever I decide to do a magazine piece, I always research the magazine itself. So that means I read it, and I’ll watch any DVDs they’ve released. Whenever I’m at home I’m still always working. But I love working, so I don’t need to get away from work. Ever since I did my first audition back in high school I’ve been like this. Nothing’s changed.” I couldn’t believe it, how someone could work so hard as a model and actress since high school and not get burned out at all. But she continued on, “Sometimes I thought it would bother me, but so far this fast pace has suited me. Once I started to push forward, there was no way I could start going back. Once you work hard, and grow and thrive, you can never go back to being the old way you were, it’s too depressing. I always feel sorry for people who don’t know how to move forward and grow. I consider myself lucky to be where I am, and I think it’s too bad when other people struggle to grow. What worries me is when people don’t know what they need to do to grow, because then they can’t help themselves.”
Because she lives her life in such an intense way, people often say she’s “Like a samurai, because you’re so courageous” and that she’s a “chivalrous spirit.” During her role in the movie “I Want to Hold You – a True Story”, this part of her character really served her well. In this film she played the role of a heroine, a woman named Tsukasa, who becomes paraplegic due to an accident. Despite all of the difficulties facing her, she doesn’t give up and stays strong through all of her struggles. She falls in love with the character played by Ryo Nishikido, and the couple develops a natural chemistry on set. When I asked her about work on the set, she described her co-lead as very shy. “Even among women, I’ve always been bad at talking to men. But when I was talking with Mr. Nishikido, he was always very kind to me, and kept cheering me on. I think we even became friends. Now when we talk to each other, we just say, “Have you been keeping busy lately?” (laughs) And then from there we launch into more serious conversations, but really he’s a great person to be around, I have a very good impression of him.”
She says that through her work, she’s managed to overcome her social anxiety. That’s the kind of stoic personality I saw when I met up with the actress on set promoting a cosmetics line. “I’ve never been to a day spa – I’m not big into skin care treatments”, she admitted, adding that “I just wash my face with water every morning, and again in the evening with a little bit of gentle soap. Sometimes I use a mild lotion because my skin is very sensitive, but I don’t do much else. I prefer a chrysanthemum lotion, and I try to be mindful and make sure that I eat three healthy meals per day. I try to avoid fast food and even when I’m coming home at 2 a.m., I make it a point to keep on top of my usual routine. Sometimes I do slip, and pig out like a guy (laughs). I always make sure I have enough energy for my work. My main goal is to feel good!” If skin care can make you feel good too, then sign me up!
“I want to keep entertaining my fans, so I take on roles that are diverse to keep them interested. This time the characters I’m taking on roles for are new for me, they’re all different, and will allow me to show my fans that I am versatile. I don’t want to have any regrets!”
Keiko’s Simple Best
Wake-up to Noni Juice
“The taste is, frankly, intense, but it’s the best thing to get you up in the morning. It’s organic, and gives me the vigor to do my best every day. I chug it down every morning! This one is the best.”
How to make it full anyway
“So mild you can use it every day on sensitive skin without worry” – Free plus moisturizing lotion, 130 ml, retail ¥ 2940 by Kanebo Cosmetics
Minimizing the red in fair skin
“Minimize facial redness and contour the sides of your nose with this elegant concealer” – Coffret make-up concealer in medium beige. Retailing for ¥2940 by Kanebo Cosmetics
Make a gentle impression with your eyebrows
“To make a friendly impression, make your eyebrows look as soft as possible” – Kate Designing Eyebrow, NEX-5 ¥1260 by Kanebo Cosmetics
Open up your eyelids!
“An excellent, deep liner” – Kate Super Sharp Liner S (Spider) II, retailing at ¥1050 (February 1st 2014 limited release) by Kanebo Cosmetics
Inner lining pencil
“Line your eyes up!” – Coffret D’or pencil eyeliner, BK-32, retailing at ¥1260 (resellers: ¥1600) by Kanebo Cosmetics
(Original Japanese article written by Moyuru Sakai. Translated by Miss Dream under their “Hire Us!” program. Paid for by this blog to the benefit of all English-speaking and English-learning Keiko fans)