In a dark space lit by carved white votive candles, girls clothed in chopped-up rock T-shirts were wandering around in tall, draped medieval headdresses, declaring allegiance to someone called Klaus and the Amazing Tale of Zamiang. Had the audience in attendance stumbled unwittingly into the bunker-club ritual of some obscure underground cult?

The answer was yes and no. Tokyo hipster designer Jun Takahashi has inspired such a following that he is something of a cult leader. But afterward, to put enquirers out of their misery of guessing, he admitted he'd made it all up.

"I was imagining progressive-rock German bands," he said, which explained the gothic headdresses and the belts and headpieces made of chains. It also cleared up the mystery of those unidentifiable washed-out photos of album covers and the smashed-up vinyl singles used like punk paillettes on a T-shirtdress.

Takahashi said that his extended riff on T-shirts was about "taking something simple and limited, and seeing what you can do with it." He sliced them up and pieced them into loose A-line dresses, turned them upside down to make dangly hip-wrapped skirts, then snipped off dozens of neck ribs and looped them onto tunics. In the light of day, none of it was too spookily out-there. But it was quite enough to keep his fashion believers kneeling at his feet.