Rounding off our Cocoon 5 coverage is runurunu, who like Balmung and Bodysong seems to have raised his game this season and got closer to completing his unique vision for the future of Japanese fashion.  Previously his work has always been very precise, futuristic and perfectionistic in its combination of sculptural shapes, blocks of colour and man-made fabrics.  This season, those ideas are all continued, but combined with raw visceral touches that are a complete departure for the designer.  You can expect flashes of blood red woven in jacquard, embroidered veins running through smooth textiles, rough hand-weaving and the occasional raw hem breaking up the solid shapes.

It is something that distances runurunu from his pop culture origins and gives him the opportunity to hammer home the ideas of alien organic forms and also the yonic elements that he shares with his muse Sioux who as ever, stars in his lookbook.  Indeed, the yonic elements are perhaps the strongest we have ever seen from runurunu and show him as ever, a true underground artist, making clothes for arts sake and not pure commercialism.

So join me for a look at the inside of the Cocoon that he first showed us in his installation in Fake Tokyo as part of Tokyo Fashion Week (here):

runurunu’s paneling is excellent as ever, and this season he has put in some non-3D paneled pieces like the one on the right, that are altogether more accesible than the sculptural example on the left.

The Cocoon opens!

Here you can see his increasingly textured fabrics including the visceral red on white jacquard and Buddhist print on the black.

The sky blue is a welcome presence over the orange and neon green he has used before.  It still references the same techno sub-culture, but plays off the blacks much better.

Love the vaguely cultish imagery in this one, and the panels looked amazingly feminine when worn by Sioux.

Simply fantastic – there is so much love in every inch of this simple sweater, and together with the rugged additions of the splattered red on white and the raw threads on the arms make this very wearable, and I hope to see it on the streets soon.

Not unlike Bodysong, this season the references to Buddhism are stronger than ever, and contribute to the urban cult idea behind runurunu as a brand.

A great example of the more visceral fabrics that runurunu has introduced this season.

Seeing all 3 of the Cocoon exhibitions in a single sitting was a really overwhelming experience, but gratifying to see so much talent still coming out of Tokyo.  People like to drone on about the fall of Japanese fashion and rise of the fast, but part of me thinks that it is a vaguely self-deprecating affair perpetuated by the perceived absence of another Yohji Yamamoto or Rei Kawakubo.  Instead we have wonderful smaller scale artists polishing off smaller ideas to smaller demographics, that may not (yet) be ready to praised by the critics, but are contributing to culture in exactly the same way as the early DC brands did.  To those on the streets the buzz is still the same, and frankly we ought to appreciate the fact that this kind of fashion exists, and is worn an awful lot more.

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