Watching Christian Dada’s A/W 2011 Collection in Laforet you would definitely need reminding that this is actually his debut show.  Certainly when you compare it to last season when he presented his work quite literally on the street in front of Candy in Shibuya, this was a completely different affair and a completely different designer.  The audience at large and the people watching live on ustream were left in no doubt that this was a developed brand with direction, energy and a point to make.  While the hand-made Camden Punk Sid Viscious infused esthetic that has won him so many fans in his formative years was not forgotten, this was fashion of an altogether much higher calibre that went to show that even in a very short length of time Christian Dada has managed to find his own distinctive style that has transcended his street fashion roots.

Continue reading for a look by look breakdown of the show: Gleam, which took Sengoku era Japan as its theme carrying with it a message of struggle and eventual unity that resonates strongly in the Japan we find ourselves in today – a very literal gleam of hope.

The show was set to a Sigur Ros soundtrack, although Christian Dada could not resist a thrash metal finale and the set was kept the right side of gritty industrial to provide a fairly neutral backdrop.  The real area of direction was indubitably in the hair pieces the models wore that recalled warriors helmets fashioned from sharp twigs for the women, and punk spikes taken to their logical conclusion for the men.  Enjoy:

This was also his first women’s collection and it did not disappoint.  Dada’s women were strong – armed in femininity.

The male line was certainly looking all the more polished than the previous season, but had not lost any charm in the process.

The strong shapes of the skirts were a big hit and oozed a surprising amount of class.

This headpiece was particularly remarkable.  Word is that many of these will turn up in the exhibition opening soon in Fake Gallery.

This dress was the one closest to the titular theme of light and looked fantastic coming down the catwalk.

It was great to see Christian Dada staples like the spiked shoes and ripped denim next to more delicate items like the sheer sweater.

Likewise the edge of the see through plastic skirt worked well with the more delicate skirt beneath, still, overall Dada’s women were all about a stern strength.

The blood red was emblematic of the Sengoku-era in these pieces which also turned up in the menswear:

Looking fantastic when worn as a denim set-up.  The jeans are all repaired under the rips, whereas the jacket is designed to show the layer underneath.

Dada was clearly taken with the idea of armor in this dress (and it was also nice to see the model had appropriately traditional Japanese tattoos).

Very sensitive and stunning lacework.

I was surprised there was not more leather in the collection, but at least this did not disappoint.

I thought this model was fantastic (as was her dress), definitely look out for her in the video of the show.

This colour combination was great for showing off this wonderfully Japanese textile.

Fantastic blue used sparsely to great effect.

Oh yes, I will take a pair of those gauntlets – fantastic!

Wide-leg trousers made a very strong showing.

As did these – gold studded jeans…  This is the logical conclusion of Dada’s studded creations – the entire front of these was completely saturated with perfectly ordered shiny studs.  As something of a connoisseur I give my thorough approval to these.

And this was the dress that ended the show.  The lights were raised behind it so that it appeared shimmering and translucent, revealing the structure beyond the external form – simply spellbinding.

I cannot stress how delighted I am with Christian Dada’s current direction.  His collection feels complete, mature, but still edgy enough for the street.  I hope he continues to pull out the wonderful one-of-a-kind custom pieces, but I am equally keen for him to do more couture dresses which he has proven he can do so very well.

In short it was unexpected, but definitely not disappointing.  It marked a new stage in Zoo Morikawa’s career and satisfied all the buzz surrounding the brand at the same time as giving it a fresh audience.  Very impressive indeed.

Fake Tokyo is going to be your best stockist for the current season– and they do ship internationally.

Full body shots courtesy of Fashion Snap and close-ups via Fashion Press where you can see the complete photo sets.

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