Carrie Nation

Carrie Nation

As Sex and the City: The Movie opens in Tokyo, Japanese women are emulating their big-screen heroines


Originally published on on August 2008


“Sex sells.”

Whoever said that had no idea.

The Sex and the City: The Movie arrives in Japan tomorrow, ten years after the debut of the TV show, and while a lot has changed in that time, the frenzy surrounding Carrie & Co. has not. A Cosmo is still better-known as a cocktail than a fashion magazine, and break-up by Post-It note will never be kosher, no matter what language it’s in.

It’s hard to believe there was a time when the show’s censor-worthy title drew gasps—“Is that even legal?” we wondered back in the day. SATC’s posh take on raunch has resonated worldwide, contributing to more open and liberal attitudes, especially among women, when it comes to a frank discussion of sexual relationships.

Now Japan is getting into the game. Local fashion mags are one-upping each with homages to SATC. Vogue Nippon released a special pull-out stand-alone magazine; Elle Japon has a DVD freebie called The Secret Closet, which takes an in-depth look at the fashion featured in the movie; and even the usually anti-mass-culture Numero Tokyo went SATC-mad with a section on “body designing,” or trying to get your proportions to look like Carrie or Charlotte. There are SATC-centric shopping guides, restaurant guides, English guides and even sex position guides. The only thing missing is a guide to avoiding burn-out.



Meanwhile, local fashionistas have made the show’s costume designer, Patricia Field, the breathing last word on style. Sarah Jessica Parker may be the spokeswoman for No Calorie Coca-Cola, but Field’s got Sassoon, a Barbie clothing line boutique on Cat Street, and numerous other brand collaborations in the works. For those who want to experience the show’s locations firsthand, travel agencies like H.I.S. offer special SATC tours to Manhattan. But there are plenty of special SATC moments to be found right here in our own sleepless city.

While Tokyo can’t hope to offer the agony and excitement of scoring a table at a gastronomical hotspot like in New York, there’s also no need to feign D-list celebdom to get past the hostess. Mado Lounge at Roppongi Hills (; 03-3470-0052) offers the best metropolitan experience, with a breathtaking view and a restaurant that turns into a DJ lounge at night. For cocktails, women’s magazine Glitter ranked Tokyo’s SATC-friendly bars with a formula that takes into account their romantic atmosphere, as well as the number of foreign men and businessmen in the crowd. Peter at the Peninsula Tokyo (; 03-6270-2763) took the top spot, with designer martinis served on stilts that should satisfy discerning female clientele.

For an after-hours romp, a lounge bar is your best bet, though be advised that Tokyo venues tend to be lacking in the lighting department, which makes it difficult to strut a great outfit. A shame, but a few places like Ma Chambre in Roppongi-Ichome (; 6F Izumi Garden Tower 1-6-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku) and My Humble House in Ginza (; B1, 3-3-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku) boast an atmosphere and a clientele befitting Mr. Big League.

My Humble House

My Humble House

But to really see and be seen, fashion parties are where it’s at. Just like in New York, the champagne flows freely and celebs schmooze. They’re obviously invitation-only affairs, so your best bet is to try and score an invite by calling everyone you know. Put your best fashion-foot forward, because a little bit of savvy style goes a long way.

The privilege of living in a city like Tokyo makes succumbing to SATC mania all the more worthwhile. It’s an invitation to raise our glasses to an adventure on the town.

Yet like a boyfriend, a love-hate relationship is unavoidable.


Who needs ’em , as long as we have our girlfriends on hand and our best gay friends on speed-dial. I’m going to Mado Lounge, and I know what I’m ordering: a gorgeous man salad, the couture entree, and a gabfest in a martini glass—with a side of sex, please.