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September 2 2014

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2 posts tagged "Harajuku"

Fringe Factor: Tokyo’s Subcultures Hit The Runway

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Looks from Jenny Fax, Alice Auaa, and Candy

No matter how hard the establishment tries to find the next Yohji or Rei on a big catwalk, the most exciting fashion comes from Tokyo’s fringe cultures. By coincidence or not, the final day of Tokyo fashion week, which wrapped last weekend, showcased four of the most unique street brands the city has to offer.

Harajuku’s landmark Laforet mall hosted the Fleamadonna show. The Korean brand turned out enough quirky kawaii elements—like cartoonish prints, exaggerated hip-hop-style proportions, and chunky street-snap-ready accessories—to make it a favorite among the colorful Harajuku kids.

Representing neighboring Shibuya was legendary shop Candy, which put on a styling show featuring its favorite street brands from Tokyo and beyond (above, right). Local labels like Christian Dada and Balmung were paired with underground British and American brands—and everyone offered over-the-top ensembles that scream for attention.

Otaku (geek) culture has become a force to reckon with in the industry, spawning a generation of designers who turn their obsessions with anime and comics into high-fashion fodder. Jenny Fax is at the forefront of this movement—and her Cabbage Patch doll-inspired Spring collection (above, left) did not disappoint. The designer used the toy’s visage on a number of daring looks, like an apron with a real karaoke mike. There are also some seriously subversive themes in her designs that harken to the Lolita trend of yore.

It wouldn’t be Tokyo fashion week without a nod to gothic styles, and Alice Auaa closed the shows with a dramatic presentation of dark looks (above, center). His wares told the story of a drowning girl—perhaps weighed down by her alloy crinoline or miles of ruffles. After this showing, Tokyo’s extreme stylistas will no doubt make street-style photographers swoon come spring.

Photos: Misha Janette; Getty images

Blasblog: Scott Loves Shibuya!

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Truth be told, Jeremy Scott and I could have crossed paths last week in Tokyo. His last few days in the Japanese capital coincided with my first few days of Japan Fashion Week, and on Tuesday night he hosted a party for his collaboration with Adidas. But between my jet lag-induced delirium and laziness and the inconveniences of his outfit (he told me he had no pockets in that kimono for a cell phone to tell me when he could pick me up) and his schedule (he spent all night signing autographs for his fans), it just didn’t happen. I know: I couldn’t believe I missed a party either. Jeremy left the following day for Korea, but I did get out of him some of his favorite Tokyo spots, because, as he’ll tell you, “Tokyo is like my second home!”

His favorite neighborhood is Shibuya, close to Harajuku and always packed with super-fashion-conscious young people. For accommodations, Scott says the only place he has patronized for the past decade is the Cerulean Tower. “It’s comfy and central,” he says, adding that though Sofia Coppola made the Park Hyatt famous in Lost in Translation, the Cerulean has fabulous views of the always-crowded-with-hip-Tokyo-dressers Shibuya crosswalk. To eat he heads to Ohyama, which he says is the best vegetarian sushi in the world (especially the tomato sushi). He loves the vintage shop Chicago—it’s where he picked up the lovely kimono in this picture with Mademoiselle Yulia, Tokyo’s It girl du jour—and “No trip to Tokyo would be complete without Takeshita Street, the true heart of Harajuku. The tiny store Bambi & Faline is its main artery; the store clerks there are style leaders and worthy of magazine covers.” Also in Harajuku is a shop called Dog, which is a dingy basement and has a mix of reworked vintage and personalized pieces; Scott says, “This store is ready-to-wear for Lady Gaga.” And a stop at the Japanese branch of Opening Ceremony is a must. “I know you’ve seen the stores in New York and L.A., but the eight-level emporium really shines,” Scott says. “Like all of Tokyo, it shows off all the current fashions your little heart could desire.”

Photo: Courtesy of Jeremy Scott