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April 20 2014

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11 posts tagged "Jun Takahashi"

Space: Fashion’s Final Frontier

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Fendi Fall 2014 RTWTo infinity and beyond! The new Fall collections found designers thinking intergalactically. Who could’ve guessed that we’d see Star Wars motifs at not one, but two shows? Rodarte’s Laura and Kate Mulleavy revisited their favorite childhood films with a buzzy finale of gowns featuring familiar characters like Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, and even Yoda. Just five days later, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi crossed over to the dark side with Darth Vader-printed looks and an entourage of stormtroopers who mingled with the models backstage. Others weren’t quite so literal with their outer space references. At Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld sent out a series of sheared fur coats and floaty silk velvet maxi dresses that resembled celestial charts. Elsewhere, Coach’s Stuart Vevers whipped up an Apollo sweater that echoed the one worn by Danny Torrance in The Shining. And Albert Kriemler, working closely with the German photographer Thomas Ruff, incorporated up close surface shots of Mars into several looks at Akris. Meanwhile, our award for the cleverest take on the cosmic trend goes to Undercover’s Jun Takahashi, who printed tiny UFOs on the borders of his Delft-china-patterned pieces.

Here, a slideshow of Fall’s spacey looks.

Baby-Doll Dresses Rise to the Occasion

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Ssaint Laurent's baby doll dressHedi Slimane sent out dresses that called to mind the “kinderwhore” fashion pioneered by Courtney Love and company during grunge’s nascent years. But the Saint Laurent designer wasn’t the only one who embraced baby dolls for Fall. At Valentino, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli updated the youthful silhouette with couture-level craftsmanship, while Emilio Pucci’s Peter Dundas and Undercover’s Jun Takahashi showed wispy lingerie-inspired takes on the trend. For proof that the abbreviated shape has legs off the catwalk, look no further than Alexa Chung, who can rock a mini like no other—those pins! Sky Ferreira, meanwhile, could’ve passed for Love’s sophisticated little sis in the sparkly Saint Laurent number she wore to the Met Gala.

 

Here, a collection of our favorite baby dolls.

A Boys-Only Club No More

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No yang is complete without a yin—exactly why designer Jun Takahashi has created a womenswear line to go with his already existing Nike x Undercover Gyakusou men’s collection. The designer, a dedicated member of the Tokyo-based runners club Team GIRA, first decided to combine his athletic passions with his design skills back in 2010, when he launched the menswear collection of light jackets and sneakers. The new womenswear collection, launching globally in mid-March, is equally full of function-meets-fashion pieces. Takahashi has thought of it all—carefully developed pockets for carrying keys in silence, underarm openings for max ventilation, and the list goes on.

But he does not sacrifice style. The womenswear collection, in natural colors like olive khaki, peat moss, and midnight fog, includes skirts with pleating (without compromising freedom of motion) and gathers in strategically placed spots for a slender look. Below, catch the new pieces in action in the label’s ad campaign video by director Katsuhide Morimoto.

Photo: Courtesy of Nike x Undercover Gyakusou

Thinking Big

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At least one company is feeling bullish about the American market. Uniqlo, the Japanese retailer with a store currently in Soho, is opening its largest flagship yet, a vast 89,000-square-foot space at 53rd Street and Fifth Avenue. Come Friday, when the sleek glass doors are open to the public, expect crowds to mob the store for the $9.90 Japanese denim opening special or the super-lightweight down jackets (currently a best seller at the Soho branch).

But this morning, as Style.com did a preview walk-through with Uniqlo’s U.S. chief operating officer Yasunobu Kyogoku, the store was a sun-filled oasis of glass and steel. The retail experience opened with a cathedral ceiling with three banks of escalators leading to the third floor. There were colorful cashmere sweaters lining the walls, but no racks, which translated to an open feel.

“We wanted to give the customer a feeling of zen when they step in,” Kyogoku explained. From there, the retail experience—usually with most of the products at street level—was in reverse. The third floor was where the bulk of the merchandise was, including the first ever Uniqlo Innovation Project section: an athletic-meets-sportswear collection made with specially commissioned materials by Toray, a Japanese company that’s known for making the fuselages of Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner. Around the bend was the mirrored tunnel of Heattech; the successful thermal line has expanded since hauling in 80 million units last year.

Fashion-forward shoppers will find the best wares on the second floor, where the first delivery of the J+ fall collection, designed by Jil Sander, hung pristine on the racks. It’s the last collection with Sander, but there’s more to look forward to. Uniqlo is following up Sander’s much-lauded collaboration with a collection by Undercover’s Jun Takahashi next spring. Plus, the retailer has ambitious plans for expansion. Along with a store on 34th Street opening a week later on October 21, Uniqlo is currently hunting for real estate in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston. “There’s nothing to announce yet,” Kyogoku hedged. Although he added, “The chairman said the goal is to hit $10 billion in U.S. sales by 2020.”

Photos: Robert Mitra

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” »