Okay, so where did 2011 go? It seems like only the other day we were sweltering in light t-shirts and now it’s freezing cold!
Needless to say 2011 was a pretty pivotal year for Japan, and I’m sure we don’t need to tell you that. The events of March have left a shadow over the country as a whole, yet here at Tokyo Telephone we took the decision to carry on – Japan is still a beautiful and amazing country, the Japanese people have been incredible in dealing with all that’s happened, and we both wanted to continue to promote Japanese fashion talent as much as possible, and now more than ever.
In terms of Japanese fashion, 2011 was another bumper year. This year saw Japan Fashion Week rebranded and now sponsored by a major investor; Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo was a roaring success and now many of the menswear brands have also held a special exhibition in Italy. For female fashion, this was definitely the year of ‘retro girly’, and even now you can’t move for beige and caramel tones, peter pan collars and pearls. Vintage has continued to be a popular option for both genders, and certainly vintage styles have become a force in their own right in terms of contemporary menswear.
Here at Tokyo Telephone, we’ve decided to take a look back at some of own personal favourite posts from 2011, hopefully to give a flavour of the year as a whole and show how even for us things are changing and evolving…
R: January Personal Inspiration – I really like being able to look back on what was influencing me at one time or another, and while the lilac hair may be a things of the past (sadly!), it makes me smile.
S: Julius F/W 2011 – Halo – We kicked off the year with a truly triumphant showing from Julius that managed to bridge the gap between Japanese street style and fashion elitism. The result was an accesible balance between practicality and art that is easily worth another look through now.
R: Beautiful Japanese Make-Up – An ode to make-up that looks just as good in the packaging as it does on your face. I could spend hours just in one cosmetic shop.
S: H>Fractal Aspect Deconstruction of ACV – A sad loss to Harajuku fashion now that H>Fractal have relocated from Ura-Harajuku to LaForet and left their chopped up custom line behind them. A true shame that they are doing less of the one-offs now, but you can still enjoy them here and at least they have gone from strength to strength since.
R: Paris Ready to Wear 2011 – Japanese fashion designers are undoubtedly the stars of the Paris collections, and here’s a look at some of the best from this year.
S: Share One’s Fate – A great silver jewelry line that I have been attempting to champion for a while now. The guy who runs it is a disciple of Gaboratory and puts out some of the best modern biker silver out there – why this guy doesn’t have his own shop yet is a mystery to me.
S: Junya Suzuki – A look at the genius of Junya Suzuki a man who has done more than any other to unite Akihabara culture with fashion. A visionary and curator of modern culture by all accounts who only relatively recently founded his own collaborative brand – Chloma.
R: Tokyo Grunge – See the dirtier side of our favourite metropolis in these photos…
S: ETW. Vonneguet – Symbolic – This was probably the defining moment of the year for us. Words cannot express how grateful the fashion industry ought to be for the pluck of Olga who went ahead with her show against all odds.
R: Rebecca’s Anatomy – Ever wondered what I carry around on a daily basis? Wonder no more! (I think I might have to do an update on this, it would interesting to see if it’s changed.)
S: Hiro – Suicide Silence – A fantastic collection from Hiro that put the man on the Tokyo fashion map.
S: Animal Worship – I finally got round to introducing one of the most atmospheric silver brands out there. If you haven’t seen this yet then check it out and prepare to slam it on Tumblr.
R: Murua autumn winter 2011 – One of my favourite more mainstream fashion collections this autumn, and I’m still on the hunt for that stripy skirt!
S: Codognato – I self indulgently go into my formative jewelry years in the heart of Venice. One day I will return to empty my wallet.
R: Leather Jackets & Boots – Another more personal post from us (it’s not always just wall-to-wall lookbooks, I promise!), this time on our best-loved bits & bobs; leather jackets and boots – yum.
S: The Skull Cup 2011 – I may bleat on about some of the best silver designers in the world being foreign I am mostly referencing the past, when I talk about the future of silver I am only thinking about Japan. A look through this competition should leave you in no doubt that Japan is where silver jewelry is actually moving forward and set to take over.
R: Comme des Garcons – One of my personal highlights from the later Paris shows this year. I’m so glad that in Tokyo I can experience CdG (and more importantly, affordable CdG) firsthand. Mad genius, amazing. I’m still tempted to write something on the subject “Rei Kawakubo: fashion’s greatest troll?”, but we’ll see.
S: Tokyo Telephone for The Japan Times – A clear highlight of the year has been writing for The Japan Times. It feels great to be able to take the message of this site to a different audience and this is just the start.
R: Artists at KitaKore Building & Christian Dada – It’s my site, and I’ll pick two posts if I want to! Sorry for the pettiness, but November was pretty great in terms of exhibitions; here two of the best.
S: Banal Chic Bizarre S/S 2012 – Vivid Ranger – I can say this now that it is buried in this post, but this was my favorite show of last fashion week. It was a potted history of Tokyo fashion right infront of us and by a designer who genuinely cares about the future of Japanese fashion.
R: Vintage Shops in Koenji – A recent post that seems to be rather popular! It’s helped us set some goals for the future (more on the subject tomorrow), and more than anything it shows that as much as we love Japanese fashion… there’s still a lot to learn!
So there you have it – 2011, the first whole year of Tokyo Telephone, and we’ve also like to say a huge thank you to all our new friends and followers across our sites, and everyone who has taken the time and made the effort to leave us a comment, @ us on twitter or send us an e-mail. It’s our second birthday this coming April, so here’s to next year!