We always get a little overexcited when hearing from the wonderful Matthew Bell (Elite). As he continues his fantastic year after being the first male model to win Elite Model Look in 2011, he has been jetsetting around fashion cities. This time he touches base with us from Tokyo where he is just finishing his stay.
We last captured Matthew for our book "Closer", which you can see a preview of here, and can't wait to get him in front of our lense again! There will always be some magic and beauty when Matthew is around. And chocolate.
Matthew Bell, you keep flying around the world to exotic places, how are you finding Tokyo?
Hello, I know, I've been home for like less than two weeks the past six months. But Tokyo is the biggest change culturally and to be honest, biggest change most ways. However, it is possibly one of the, if not THE best city in the world! Even driving from the airport to the centre of Tokyo is intense, where they have like three story roads and stuff. Quite frankly, I'm loving Tokyo.
We have never been there, what should we expect if we travelled there for like a week?
What to expect... An over polite-population who walked me 25 minutes to take me to a shop before heading back the same way we came. I was like whatttt.
Expect typical bright lights. Lots of those.
Sumo Wrestlers every Sunday having battles in the streets.
Amazing changes to the weather. Sunny one day, Snowing the next. Yesterday was the worst storm to hit Tokyo since 1959, that was pretty wet.
How is modelling in Japan different to modelling in London / Milan?
Modelling in Japan is so very different to Europe. Why I hear you scream..... Because the magazines don't really shoot editorials as such, it's kinda catalogues at a location put in a magazine rather than editorial work. Obviously there is some editorial work but it's seldom to shoot the same quality as home.
Have you picked up any new habits whilst out there?
YES. I am now skateboarding. Not such a habit but, it's a new thing I'm doing a lot of. It's a really interesting city to see on foot and I do like to walk, but i's so huge, so skating was the next step. Ooohhhh, I nearly forget... Taking photo's on my "Fisheye 2" Lomography camera. As shown BELOW. Got a few films here using different film with different effects… Where better to take weird photography than in Tokyo?
Are you still just as fabulous? London is starting to miss Matthew Bell.
I hope so. I’m not quite sure who thinks I’m truly fabulous, but I’m honoured you would say such a thing! As for London I’m beginning to feel like I haven’t been there for quite a while. Sure you guys will see my face next fashion week!
Since you are such a musical inspiration to us, have you picked up on any Japanese music that you will be bringing home with you?
Actually, interesting you have mentioned that. I have formed a J-Pop group in Tokyo called Kawaii boys (Kawaii- Cool, cute etc.). We kill it in Tokyo. Haha, it started backstage at a show when we were all dressed in white looking intensely like a boy band and we took if from there. World domination soon though.
Give us three random Matthew Bell Tokyo facts.
I had a casting where I had a fake tash and had to wear a lab coat for some new pill coming out. Still wishing I got that job.
I actually went to the base of Mount Fuji for a shoot. That was beautiful to see, especially cause it's not often you can see the summit and I caught a glimpse!!
Oh shit, so many coincidences happen here. I can't even describe them cause they sound really bad and sketchy, but Ben Smallwood can vouch for me that weird shit happens here!
Surely you found some good trees out there that you took climbing advantage of?
You know. It's such a dense place with so many constructions etc it's hard to find one, and then there is the problem with the parks. So highly protected (and rightly so) that I’d have be break laws probably to take part, and as we all know they chop your legs off with samurai swords as punishment.
Tell us what you've been up to in general lately?
I’ve been trying to get out with friends about the city a bit more of late. Just because there is so much to see that I don’t think even after 2 months and a half you can truly visit all of Japan. This includes me trying to get to the zoo to see a Giant Panda!! I have eaten loads of Tempura lately. So good.
What are you looking forward to next?
NYC. Need I say more? (I hear Cecilie saying "yes you do" in my head so…) I think I’m travelling there after Japan maybe so I am too excited to get there. I have never visited before, so I’m super excited.
Thanks Matthew, we ADORED hearing your stories from Tokyo! Look forward to catching up with you soon, taking some more pretty photos and hear some more stories from fabulous fashion places.
Images courtesy of Matthew Bell.