Following hot on the heels of my last article on Kitakore’s amazing fusion of art and fashion, I’m lucky enough to be able to bring you some photos from the fantastic Cocoon exhibition that’s being held right now (go, Tokyoites, go!).
Comprised of three of the most exciting talents working at the forefront of Japanese fashion, Runurunu, Bodysong and Balmung, this fashion exhibition was a real treat for Samuel and I – we’re huge fans of all three designers, but if, like us, you’ve ever tried to research this kind of underground fashion then you’ll know what an impossible task it is – as we got to get up close and personal with both the designers behind the brands and also the clothes themselves. It was a really great experience, and I do wish all three the best very of luck in the future; I’m sure you’ll be hearing these three names a lot soon!
Runurunu grabbed our attention straight away on walking in the tiny room at Gallery Conceal in Shibuya – just take a look at all that colour! This current collection is titled ‘Subliminal Alien’, and I’m pretty sure if I was interstellar traveler I could do a lot worse than Runurunu! We loved the innovative construction and 3D elements to the garments, as well as how united a vision it was. I think on the surface you could be forgiven for taking the clothes at bright-and-cheery face value, but there’s so much depth to the designs that they really must be seen in person. (I also loved the collection of fragments and twigs and found objects that made up Runurunu’s section – like an alien nest, right?)
Bodysong now, and yet another amazing set design! Neon lights and chains provided a counterpoint to draped fabric and rich printing. I can’t help but think this whole collection would go down rather well with the witch-house crowd: there’s a healthy helping of triangles and obscure imagery, and a sort-of neo-urban feel that’s just crying out for Salem and occult texts and radio static. Lovely stuff, and I hope to be able to show the lookbook here at some point soon – the yellow and blue sheer fabric used is just perfect.
Last but not least, it’s Balmung. Long time readers will remember our coverage of Balmung’s previous exhibition at our favourite London boutique Primitive, and of course we’re delighted to see Balmung back in Tokyo again. All present and correct were the designer’s signature looks: highly-constructed and intricately patterned, sheer fabric and loose t-shirts, gold foil and tulle. I get the feeling that this is what Gareth Pugh would like to do, if he had half a chance! I’m a little bit in love with the jackets and mixed-material gloves… Dear Santa, for Christmas I would like…
(Samuel’s giant hair is worthy of a post of it’s own.)
Of course I’m more than a little biased, but I would rate this exhibition a huge success. I think what really stood out for me overall was the quality in materials and construction: already being a fan of these brands I knew what to expect in terms of innovative designs, but it was the quality that took me by surprise. I think maybe I’m just getting a little too used to fast fashion and stereotypically shoddily made items, so it’s a real breath of fresh air to see clothes that have been constructed solidly and with great thought put into every detail. One designer remarked to Samuel that he felt this was a return to zero for him, a new start, and I hope you’ll agree with me that if this is the start then I can’t wait to see what’s next – keep your eye on these three…