Matthew Bell in Tokyo

10 April 2012

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.
Sushi.
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.

Matthew Bell_MS9
Matthew Bell_MS10
Matthew Bell_MS11
Matthew Bell_MS13
Matthew Bell_MS14
Matthew Bell_MS12
Matthew Bell_MS16
Matthew Bell_MS17
Matthew Bell_MS15
Follow us on Instagram @boysbygirls
View Clarity of vision, sweeter than a caged smile. The Book of Happiness brings together @_farhaannnn_ and @timgnk_ in this colourful... View What would a smile be if we caged it? Sour. Sweetness quickly rots when it can’t dance and a tooth’s... View ‘Try to hold it in your hands and watch it slip away like water from your palms - too fast... View In collaboration with @aceandtate, photographer and editor @cecilieharris presents you with the key to unlock joy: The Book of Happiness... View Close your eyes and breathe it in. Closer to ‘glede’ with every new frame. The Book of Happiness: an exclusive... View Senses delight in a purple explosion as we transport you across fields of endless lavender with an exclusive @aceandtate collaboration... View Growing up as a female, @krowwithak walked a fine line between self-love and self-hate. Now, he embraces himself wholly and... View ‘One of my favourite moments was the first time I was able to use the men’s washroom. I was always... View In a homely studio in London, we are taken down @krowwithak ’s road to ‘glede’, and learn that beauty can... View For model @krowwithak , Cosplay and music are the guiding lights during times of darkness. Discover the beauty in both... View It’s a name I chose for myself when I was 12 years old. It came to me one day when... View @krowwithak found the confidence to transition after immersing himself in the Cosplay community. @cecilieharris talks to the model about his... View Running free amongst the open fields, sheep and stunning views, memories of childhood flood the senses as we find cover... View ‘Having previously told me about how he loved to roam freely in nature as a kid, letting him run free... View Closer to the ocean, yet not quite there. A secret hideout - that kind of hideout we all need sometimes... View Cecilie Harris captures cover boy Louis Baines for BBG Issue 15. A boy that pulls at the human strings in... View Allowing ourselves to escape sometimes is key to our happiness. In our fashion cover story with @louis.baines , we rediscover... View ‘I didn’t see the Dylan I see now or really come into myself until I was 23. I hid everything... View ‘I think you should put some pressure on yourself in leaving behind a good legacy. I think you owe it...