Credits to wincci@iloveayu.com for the scans

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AYUMI HAMASAKI: What I want to wear in winter

Hamasaki Ayumi prepares for winter ♥

Commemoration for the release of 50th single [L], personal challenge of Yoyogi 7Days Live, 2010 is shaping up to be a memorial year. And adding to that full list is Ayu’s first appearance on JELLY! A personal explanation of [Virgin Road], which she wishes JELLY readers to listen to, her private take on fall/winter fashion, and latest Ayu news that everyone wants to know, we have it all!

Q. What is this fall/winter’s stand-out fashion?
Whatever it is, it will be layered! The recent spring/summer fashion hits like lace vests, fur vests and loose big cardigans are coming into fashion again ♪

Q. Popular patterns this fall: “leopard print”, “Nordic print”, “checkered”. Which ones do Ayu like?
I often wear checkered or Nordic prints. I like leopard print too, but when I wear them, it feels like “It’s ayu, of course she’ll wear leaopard print!” so I feel really shy, and though I like them, I never dare to wear them outside. (laugh)

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Q. This fall, fur is all the rage! Has Ayu gotten any yet?
I’ve gotten quite a few vests, but I definitely have more fur boots. Those from Alexander Wang are popular this season, and I normally buy their fur or fringe boots for filming or shooting purposes. My stylist Okei-chan also likes me wearing them. She’ll be like “That’s right”. (laugh)

Q. Winter is for knitwear, so what does Ayu like?
This year, I like the rough cardigan type which I’m wearing in this shoot, as well as the types that have a “torn look” design.

Q. Socks are the in thing now, even at JELLY. Has Ayu adopted this fashion too?
Actually, I’ve always preferred socks to tights. By the way, I like those that have lots of padding, and I always wear them when I want to make a statement. Up till last year, I had lots of black ones, but this year I’ve mainly been wearing socks with Nordic prints, or those brown or khaki-coloured ones. I always have lots of socks on stand-by.

Q. Is there a shop you’ve been frequenting lately? Any picks?
TOP SHOP! I was so happy when I went to London. I remember the time when the shop at 109 was all decked out and selling Western clothes. Fans who went there were so excited about it, so I went and looked and bought lots of clothes. (laugh)

Q. “Military-style” is popular this fall/winter. What are Ayu’s recommendations?
I have been going military-style during fall/winter for quite some time. Every year at this time, I’ll buy khaki-coloured stuff like hooded coats and jackets!

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Hippie style

“I’ve been going Hippie-style. I like to mix and match small leather, silver and feathered accessories to my dressing, as well as hats and vintage scarves.”

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I’m gonna wear Knit

“Black knitted stuff which looks a little ripped and torn feels new! I guess it’s a knack to wear what looks like a piece of junk with trailing bits with style.”

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Special Interview from Ayumi Hamasaki to JELLY

“Hamasaki Ayumi’s real voice, just for JELLY readers”

Fashion has a way of reflecting your mind sometimes

Most readers of JELLY are relatively headstrong, and love cool styles. What about Ayu, how has your personal dressing been like lately?
“My style used to be well-coordinated with JELLY’s generation, but recently, I seem to have gone off in a different direction. It wasn’t like I had to fit in then, just that I was weak, and without confidence, so I needed to emphasize on my clothing to cover it up. I was often sad, and didn’t want to get hurt, that’s why I dressed like that then.”

So you wanted to show people that you were strong?
“Yes. I dyed my hair blonde, tried on hair extensions of various different colours, all for this. Fashion is something fun, but actually, it also has the strong implication of “armor”. (laugh) In reality, when someone asks me “So what do you like?”, my reply will be “cute things”. But when I had to make a choice, I went for the “things which will not hurt me” instead of the “things I like”.”

But you’ve grown now, such that you’ll be alright even without that kind of armor?
“That’s right. Sort of like my fashion sense has also become an adult? (laugh) In other words, I’ve tried out all kinds of fashion, and finally found a style which is the most like me.”

Have people asked you “If you like cute things, then why are you dressed like that?” (laugh)
“Yes yes! Fashion has a way of reflecting your mind sometimes. I’m sure the JELLY generation, who possess vigor and wish to become stronger people, understands this well. Fashion nowadays is something enjoyable, and everyone has become brave enough to bring it on~”

Fashion as a reflection of the mind, maybe Ayu’s music is like that too. Many of your old songs were filled with pretension and impatience…
“[L] is my 50th single, and it contains songs which I can only sing now because I am the person I am, because I was born and lived this way. I experienced the same age as the JELLY generation, and this is reflected especially in the new songs in 49th single [crossroad] and 50th single [Virgin Road].”

Seems like Yuuki and I have have travelled on the same road (laugh)

JELLY readers have just received news that Yamamoto Yuuki-chan and Mori Maya-chan (JELLY models) are both getting married. Seems really timely, what with your song title.
“Seems like it. Congratulations~ About Yuuki, I knew her long before this, when she was still a rebel girl, so I was surprised when she told me “I’ll be a mother soon!”. Actually, Mika John used to tell me that the two of us girls were really alike, that “the road Yuuki is travelling on now is the same road that rebel Ayu travelled on in the past”. (laugh) I’m sure Yuuki is not the only one, many JELLY readers have probably become rebels through fashion. Those girls have also surely experienced quarrels with their parents, as well as running away from home. When people hear the title [Virgin Road], they imagine that it’ll be a story about a lovestruck ayu and her hubby, but I wrote this song about the relationship I have with my parent. During [A song for XX] era, I couldn’t come to terms with my family or my situation. Since then, I’ve become an adult, and am of an age when it’s not weird to marry. Now, I can take on anything that comes my way. “In the end, you were the one who took the most care of me”, because it’s embarassing and I can’t say it face-to-face, I put it down into song…”

I see, it’s to thank your parent. It’s an understandable feeling, words of gratitude are always hard to say.
“If my past songs are a reflection of JELLY generation as it is now, I’m sure [Virgin Road] will be just right for the readers when they eventually get married someday. I also think that the song will help the older generation to understand that it is not easy to say the words “thank you” without sounding awkward. That’s why, please feel free to use this song for your weddings~ Maybe when you pass your written letter to your parents?”

That won’t work, everyone will be too busy listening to the song. (laugh)
“That’s right, Ayu will be too much in the spotlight! Then, maybe at a more appropriate time… (laugh)”

Talking about that, you wore a bridal gown for [Virgin Road]’s PV?
“And I fired off a machine gun too. (laugh) The PV was filmed in LA, with the help of an expert local crew, so we managed to make a really really good work. Everyone, please do watch it~”

About PVs, Jaejoong as the protagonist for [blossom] PV in 49th single [crossroad] was also refreshing. So how do you feel about this 3 singles project, starting with [MOON/blossom] and ending with [crossroad] and [L]?
“All the songs were collected and recorded during the same time period. Although that wasn’t really the plan at first, it just turned out like this in the end. They were all connected inside me, and they held a special meaning, so if you can, please listen to the 48th and 49th singles together with the 50th, I’ll be really grateful.”

And for JELLY readers, [A Song for XX] should also be thrown in, right?
“Of course, do!! I’ll be waiting for your responses on Twitter~ (laugh)”