7 posts tagged "Tokyo Fashion Week"
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo closed on Saturday, just as the cherry blossoms were starting to paint the town pink. The fashion found on Tokyo’s Fall ’14 runways seemed more “Japanese avant-garde” than ever, but perhaps not in the way one might think. While the Japanese in Paris tend to be severe and dark, the inclinations of Tokyo’s catwalks lean more to the kawaii street movements that come with bright colors and catchy hooks of POP. Issey Miyake-backed brand Né-net (above, left) showed apron dresses splashed with cute, big-eyed manga girls and coquettish eyeball motifs. Thai brand Sretsis (above, right) arguably did kawaii better than the Japanese, and turned out signature flowery baby-doll dresses. The label is a staple on the streets of Harajuku. Mikio Sakabe pushed his fringe “pop-otaku” (anime geek) aesthetic to the extreme by casting only male models for his feminine collection. The cult of otaku is flirting with fashion more than ever before.
Another area in which Tokyo excels is menswear. Factotum is just a few eccentric details shy of being the next (N)umber (N)ine, and designer Koji Udo’s sleek pajama-party collection is already a hit among the city’s top buyers. On the other end of the spectrum is 99%IS (above, left). Now in its sophomore season, the label is already a fan favorite of streetwear aficionados. The house collaborated with Mackintosh on a number of rubberized motorcycle jackets, which climaxed in postapocalyptic cacophony when teamed with black plaster masks and aggressive studding.
One of the strongest shows was by local sportswear brand Onitsuka Tiger, which teamed up with Italian designer Andrea Pompilio for its first ready-to-wear collection. In a palette of black, white, and orange, it was racer-inspired but filled out with tailored suits that reflected the modern Tokyo man to a T.
If this is causing sensory overload, clean your palette with Dressedundressed (above, right), whose study on precise minimalism would make nineties-era Calvin Klein cry with jealousy. The Fall ’14 collection was inspired by Zen rock gardens. The lineup’s soft lines brought the week some cool harmony.
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.
Tokyo fashion week wrapped over the weekend. Flipping back through the shows, it’s refreshing to see a city that fosters such a distinct style identity (as in, that could only come from Japan) both on the runways and in the streets. Many of the new collections nodded to the schoolgirl trend that’s been popular on Japanese sidewalks for some time now, but instead of keeping it cutesy, designers gave the kawaii look more of a tomboy twist this season. At Anrealage, Kunihiko Morinaga memorably sent out uniform blazers, plaid kilts, and knee-high socks that transformed from pale to vivid pastel under the set’s intense light. We also noticed riffs on the classic varsity jacket at The Dress & Co. and Han Ahn Soon.
CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW of our favorite schoolgirl spin-offs from Tokyo fashion week.
Throughout Tokyo fashion week, we’ve had Misha Janette reporting on the city’s most exciting shows. To see Style.com’s complete Tokyo fashion week coverage, click here.
Saturday marked the sixth and final day of Tokyo fashion week, and it was dedicated to the city’s top menswear designers. Comme des Garçons itself doesn’t show in Tokyo, but it was exciting to see its youthful Ganryu label (left) take to the catwalk. Designed by Fumito Ganryu, who was formerly a patternmaker for Junya Watanabe, Ganryu showed a Fall '13 range that catered to an urban huntsman—a man who pairs cable-knit sweaters and puffy down vests with super low drop-crotch pants and high maintenance coifs. A dress shirt with trompe l’oeil vest appliqué showed off Ganryu’s progressive nature.
Facetasm focused on separates in its collection of layered workwear-cum-dress clothes. Kilts, slips, peplums, and sleeve-only bolero jackets all made an appearance. Each piece boasted its own details, like basket-weaving and original line drawings of a forest or old-school tattoos. For the women, there were formfitting silhouettes with pastel-colored ruffled trim.
Making its debut on Saturday was Mr. Gentleman, a brand headed by Takeshi “Big-O” Osumi of popular menswear brand Phenomenon, and Yuichi Yoshii, who is the director of Tokyo’s top multi-brand superstore, The Contemporary Fix. Together, they produced a casual and modern wardrobe that featured slim-cut tweed leisure suits and retro letterman jackets. For a twist, the designers showed a leather-lined and zipper-trimmed peacoat and an argyle-print jacket.
The week closed with a large-scale installation show by new label C.E. With former BAPE designer Skate Thing at its creative helm, the brand used 3-D mapping technology to create a kaleidoscopic fashion feast. C.E.’s standouts, like hoodies and colorful board shorts, furthered the familiar urban look that Skate Thing does best.
There were a couple of reasons why Tiffany Godoy’s launch on Saturday night for the latest issue of her magazine The Reality Show made a perfect full-stop for Tokyo’s fashion week. The most obvious was that the theme of the magazine was a handful of stylish young Japanese women incorporating Chanel couture into their everyday wardrobe (like the one at left)—and the week was dominated by Karl Lagerfeld’s multi-event launch of his latest project, The Little Black Jacket, with Carine Roitfeld styling 120 men, women, and children in one of Chanel’s most iconic pieces of clothing.
But it was actually The Reality Show‘s launch party itself that had more to say about the state of Japanese fashion. There could not have been a more stylish Saturday night crowd anywhere in the world. Not in any forced, self-conscious way, but simply because of the seemingly effortless subtlety with which Tokyo kids incorporate a fashion statement into their everyday wear. It might be ski-derived, or collegiate, or goth, or just plain old denim-based, but it demands a double take every time. If there is something curatorial about it, it’s scarcely academic. To me, it reads like a natural expression of an ongoing fascination with all life’s intricacies, and, in the face of what Japan has been through in the past 12 months, that seems like an optimistic impulse. There were other obvious tokens of upbeat—Kim Jones, in Tokyo for Louis Vuitton, said the menswear collection had sold half a million euros’ worth its first day on the shop floor. The Ferrari shop at the end of main shopping drag Omotesando had a big SOLD OUT sign in its window. And Tokyo is still the greatest city in the world for creative merchandising. The customized fittings in a tiny shop called The Soloist, the latest venture from Number (N)ine’s Takahiro Miyashita, were things of breathtaking beauty. The newly opened Daikanyama branch of book chain Tsutaya is easily the most inspiring bookstore I’ve ever been into. Continue Reading “A New Reality—And A New Reality Show—At Tokyo Fashion Week” »