To celebrate the wonderful Anrealage retrospective currently underway in the museum of Parco Part 1 in Shibuya, we are going to be be taking an in-depth look at the latest collection, starting with the runway show that was held at LaForet Roppongi as part of Tokyo Fashion Week. It should be said that Anrealage approaches shows as a work of art – a structured performance to communicate a concept, but where Anrealage differs from so many other designers who favor this approach is that the actual product is, to my mind at least, always significantly more exciting than the show itself. Rather than diluting a strong concept for consumption, Anrealage prefers to build an idea gradually, hinting at it with their brilliant invitations, presenting it in an entirely transparent way during the show, but always finds another level to go to and confound you with the retail items. We will be looking at the showroom shortly, but just think how exciting this concept is going to be when translated into a complete and wearable collection right down to denim lines, trainers and even a skull ring or two.
The concept is bone, an effort to reduce items of clothing to their structural necessities, but also to capture popular fashion design elements with as little material as possible. At first glance the work may look like a mass of wire frame models, but as you look closer and see that the bone concept extends to the clothes beneath the frame and from there right down to ever last button and buckle you surely cannot help but be amazed. It builds to a showing unlike a brand such as Comme Des Garcons whose collections leave you wondering what the work was trying to “say”, but rather the purpose of Anrealage’s heavily themed collections is to draw acute attention to the very execution itself.
A large part of the show was the UV reactive outer layers that the models wore (which will go to retail) that looked absolutely fantastic on the catwalk, but rather distracted you from the clothes underneath.
The outer shell layer that you see in this shot is part of a series of designs that can be mixed and matched with any other top from the collection or a top you already own, to my mind a brilliant way of making the avant-garde accesible.
Here you can see that the heels too are structural cut-outs.
Each stud here is a wire frame, as is the belt, as is the jacket itself – simply fantastic.
But there is plenty that is entirely wearable, especially for the Japanese summer.
For the final part of the show, the light dimmed to allow the UV to shine strongly and the audience to see the beauty of the cutout patterning – a technique that Anrealage has touched on in the past, but never to this extent.
The show ended with a series of strong shapes to really hammer the concept home, who needs subtlety when your work can survive such scrutiny?
Stay around for a journey into the showroom very soon which will include the men’s collection, accessories and a whole lot more guaranteed to amaze.