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July 31 2014

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9 posts tagged "Japan"

Letter From Japan: Tokyo Fashion Week Rises

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Style Bubble‘s Susie Lau reports from Tokyo’s resurgent fashion week.

The words “power” and “positivity” were echoed over and over again at Tokyo fashion week (formerly known as Japan fashion week), which concluded over the weekend. Originally scheduled for March, the week had been canceled following the earthquake and tsunami; the reenergized presentations had a newly refreshed and reorganized schedule, and a new sponsor, too—Mercedes-Benz, which also funds fashion weeks in New York, Miami, Berlin, Stockholm, and more. One particular upshot to the new infusion of capital: more new talent in a usually closed-off week. “It doesn’t mean we should be more commercial,” explained Hirofumi Kurino, co-founder of Japanese retail giant United Arrows and advisor on the week’s committee. “It means we can catch more eyes from all around the world.”

The week made it clear that the label “Made in Japan” can be richly diverse. On one hand, tradition-abiding labels like Matohu take purist Japanese ideals of beauty and apply them to serene clothes. On the other, designers like Yoshio Kubo show an appetite for original fabrics, and his Native American patterns layered up with shredded tweeds made for an accomplished menswear collection that would stand up in Paris or Milan. Continue Reading “Letter From Japan: Tokyo Fashion Week Rises” »

Karl, Kidman, Elbaz, Et Al. Design The Latest Japan Tees, And More…

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Uniqlo is the latest company to get the creative juices flowing for Japan. The retailer has tapped friends and collaborators like Karl Lagerfeld, Lady Gaga, Nicola Formichetti, Nicole Kidman, and Alber Elbaz to design a new series of tees to benefit the Japanese Red Cross. That’s Lagerfeld’s (left), which retails for a mere $19.99. It’s the most affordable Kaiser you’re going to get until his Macy’s collection finally hits stores. [WWD]

Speaking of Formichetti, the stylist and Mugler creative director has just been announced as one of the designers for BOFFO’s new season of Building Fashion, which allows those without freestanding stores to create pop-up retail spaces. Last season, Waris Ahluwalia, Richard Chai, and Siki Im created their own shops at BOFFO’s west Chelsea space; this season, Formichetti, Irene Neuwirth, Patrik Ervell, Ohne Titel, and The Lake & Stars will make their (temporary) mark in Tribeca. [Boffo]

It’s hard to miss Topshop’s towering Soho flagship, but it’s easy to miss its latest addition—a secret shop inside, where collaboration collections from Meadham Kirchhoff, Pamela Love, and Ann-Sofie Back will be on offer. Happy hunting. [Racked]

And today in collaborations: Christopher Kane x London taxis? Odd but true—the London-based designer has adapted a starry print from his Resort ’11 collection to “wrap” London’s iconic black cabs. [Vogue U.K.]

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Dries Van Noten Extends A Hand To Japan

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The tsunami and earthquakes that shook Japan in March have spurred an outpouring of support from designers, retailers, and well-wishers worldwide. The latest to lend a hand with a new T-shirt, the proceeds from which will be donated to the Red Cross: Dries Van Noten.

“The images from Japan were numbing, so truly shocking that not taking even a small concrete step to alleviate some drop in that ocean of suffering was not an option. Like many design companies, our relationship with Japan is as visceral as it is it is profound. As fashion companies we receive so much from the Japanese that to not help out at this shattering time would be just callous, untrue to ourselves,” Van Noten told Style.com. The tee, which will retail for $90 when it hits select DVN retailers, including Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Jeffrey, and TheCorner.com this month, is being produced in Japan by Tomorrowland. “Tomorrowland was the normal partner to which we might turn, as it is with it that we developed our recent standalone shop in Aoyama, Tokyo. It is important to us that the T-shirt be made in Japan as, not only is it keeping the employment in Japan (made of the Japanese people and for the Japanese people), it might also demonstrate to us all that it is not because Life gets tough or difficulties become almost insurmountable that our standards need to slip!”

The design, an abstract, color-blocked image resembling a sun, is, says the Antwerp-based designer, a sign of hope for the future. “We sought to evoke a huge optimistic sun, russet in color, not yet at its full heat—that of a slow dawn, rising from the horizon on its way to reoccupy its rightful place high in a bright blue and optimistic sky.”

Photo: Courtesy of Dries Van Noten

The Fashion Girls Of Japan Organize A Benefit For Japan

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The fashion community of New York has been swift in organizing benefits, special products, and donations to Japan in the weeks since the earthquake and Pacific tsunami devastated the country. But for some industry players, the disaster is closer to home. For those Japanese and Japanese-American designers, buyers, and executives, the event is even more personal—and with their newly formed Fashion Girls for Japan, they’re doing something to help.

Spearheaded by Kikka Hanazawa (president of VPL), Tomoko Ogura (women’s fashion director of Barneys Co-Op), Stella Ishii (owner of the News showroom), and Kyoko Kageyama of 3.1 Phillip Lim, who was in Tokyo during the quake, and with the support of Julie Gilhart, Fashion Girls for Japan has organized a two-day sample sale, 60+ Designers/60+ Rolling Racks, to raise money for the Red Cross, the Mayor’s Fund, and the Japan Society’s Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. What will you find? Exactly what the name promises: More than 60 racks of clothes at deep, sample-sale discounts (starting at 50 percent off retail) from more than 60 participating designers, including Altuzarra, Derek Lam, Diane von Furstenberg, Proenza Schouler, and Thakoon. A $5 ticket is all it takes to get entry to the two-day sale, which will be held next weekend at the Bowery Hotel Terrace. For more details, visit fashiongirlsforjapan.com. And because no event is official without its own logo, the group drafted Magnus Berger and Tenzin Wild of Berger & Wild—designers and founders of The Last Magazine]to create a cool a graphic as we’ve seen yet (left). Here’s hoping for a T-shirt (well—another).

Illustration: Berger & Wild/fashiongirlsforjapan.com

Update From Japan:
On The Road In Osaka And Kyoto

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The three-day weekend celebrating the spring equinox brought crowds to Kyoto and Osaka, where plum trees showed the first signs of pink blossoms and streets bustled with shoppers.

Last week, the stress of what some are calling 3/11, along with the uncertainty of blackouts and earthquakes, made it difficult to focus and work in Tokyo. Many, especially those with children, went as far as Okinawa to avoid possible contact with radiation. While there were feelings of guilt, talk of overreaction, even resentment—who fled, who stayed—the focus quickly shifted to aiding relief efforts and keeping morale up. Popular model, TV personality, and DJ Elli-Rose Van Cliff traveled to Osaka and Fukuoka over the weekend to spin at fundraisers, though she worried about the safety of her mother and father (photographer Hiroyuki Arakawa, whose white flowers series decorated Yohji Yamamoto’s Fall collection), who remained in Tokyo.

I visited Kyoto, where I was greeted by the well-known kimono expert Kazuko Hattori, a member of the Kyoto Chamber of Commerce and founder of the 50-year-old school Kazuko Hattori Kimono Institute. We toured the Tonoichi showroom, a 150-year-old wholesaler of kimonos and kimono fabrics, where we saw and tried on some of the four thousand silk kimonos on display. The area around Fukushima has historically been one of the main silk production regions in the country. “We don’t have any news about the condition of the silk farms,” said Tonichi’s general manager, Toshio Tsukamoto, though he remains positive while preparing for a sales exhibition on the 25th and 26th of this month. Continue Reading “Update From Japan:
On The Road In Osaka And Kyoto” »