A girl with a pseudonym like Tokyobahnbao is destined to have some personality, and after many years of following her online, I was looking forward to finally meeting this creative artist turned blogger for a Paris Rendez-vous.
As always, I’m a little shy meeting people for the first time, but striking up conversation with someone as friendly as Tokyobahnbao was easy. “What did you think of Lancôme’s collaboration with Albert Elbaz?” I asked the artist. “I loved it!” Elbaz’s colorful and quirky designs decorating Lancôme’s packaging reminded me a bit of Tokyobahnbao’s own illustrations. The fashion blogger is known as much for her art as for her outfits. From fashion personalities to food and more, her published comics (and those just for fun) are equal parts cute and clever. With “Globe-trotteuse” and “Serial Shoppeuse” she has carved out a niche for fashionistas in a genre usually dominated by superheroes. On her website she shares drawings ranging from those of her favorite Paris spots to head-to-toe looks from both street style and the runways.. Lucky for those of us yet to become Francophiles, she translates her adorable blog into English as well.
I was curious to know about her life as an artist in Paris.
“I get inspiration from everywhere, but particularly just people I come across in real life.”
During Fashion Week she’s lucky enough to be invited to her favorite shows, “but even when it’s not Fashion Week there are so many stylish people to inspire me here” she says. I asked her how she works: “I sketch out my drawings by hand and then scan them into a digital format. Using Photoshop and a tablet, I color and shade them. That’s where they really come to life.”
When it comes to coloring inside the lines, one can’t help but notice Tokyobahnbao knows a thing or two about makeup, with her perfected winged liquid liner and gorgeous complexion.
“As I get older I tend to dress a bit more simply,” she tells me while wearing an outfit that can be described perfectly as Parisian chic. “I still play with my makeup though, in particular my lips.”
It was serendipitous: This day I happened to come with a little gift for her. Something new from Lancôme, L'Absolu Crème de Mat: a velvety cream lip color that glides on smoothly like a gloss and stays on like a lip stain. Coincidentally it paired beautifully with her accessory du jour — a beautiful leather satchel in the same berry shade.
After an afternoon of getting to know one of my favorite Parisian fashionistas and artists, I couldn’t help but think maybe our makeup is a way to bring out the artist in each of us…