It has been a while since we checked in with champions of surreal kawaii fashion Bortsprungt, and indeed it has been all change at the brand with a new illustrator, Arika Goto being brought in now that Yuya has left the brand to found Melantric Hemlighet (more on them soon) as of AW 2013-14. It is a slight directional shift, especially as Yuya’s work was so instantly recognizable, but Japanese fashion is all the richer for both brands presence and the new Bortsprungt is looking fantastic, a trip as ever into the dreamlike possibilities on the periphery of kawaii.
At the roomsLINK trade show I was chatting with the head of sales for the brand when the constant topic of international expansion came up for the brand. The elephant in the room is a simple one – will people outside Japan understand the aesthetic nuance at play in the work? It is all to easy to dismiss so much of Japanese fashion through the well trodden “wacky” or “cute” path, but this is afterall clothes for adults with quality to match and I think the very fact that people are starting to acknowledge that in English we don’t actually have an appropriate translation for all that “kawaii” implies, especially when applied to cool, credible fashion. So is the world ready for Bortsprungt? I hope so, and I hope you agree.
The theme this season is the signs of the zodiac, each shot from the lookbook tackling a different sign and trying to find the personality behind the sign. Obviously when wearing it you can stick to items from your sign, but you can be forgiven for mixing things up, as Bortsprungt themselves do, splicing plaits with scorpions, and adding knives and forks to crabs.
Leo would have to be a cat over a lion in the world of Bortsprungt!
It is nice to see on-going Bortsprungt motifs still included in the mix, especially sweets and cutlery which you should recognize from seasons past.
And finally here I am as a pisces looking suitably piscine.
There is a whole lot more that doesn’t feature in the lookbook, namely the accessories which are excellent as ever and the great bags which are going to be all over Harajuku as soon as autumn comes.
For more on Bortsprungt you can go here and we hope you are taken with their world as much as we are.