Today is a good day, readers. The sun is shining, the cherry blossom is finally blooming, and I’m writing about one of my favourite collections from fashion Week: DressedUndressed.

Titled Homunculus and taking inspiration from American Psycho, this was one of the undeniable highlights of Tokyo Fashion Week and a fantastic first catwalk show for DressedUndressed. Samuel and I have talked about DressedUndressed a few times previously, and I think that one of the first statements I made about this brand was that they make the kind of clothes that I want to wear when I grow up, and I still stand by that – except that two years on, what I’m wearing now borrows heavily from DressedUndressed’s style. My clothes may have grown up a bit, but I’m not sure that I have.

Mental vs physical age crises aside now, and back to DressedUndressed: we were treated to a huge video wall that framed the opposite side of the catwalk, and following the main show a short film was displayed, showing one of the male models lounging around in a stark room and wearing the leather gloves and harnesses seen on the catwalk, causing many of the attendees to shift around in their seats, perfectly completing the powerfully uncomfortable tone set by the main show. Long coats and gloves, white shirts and leather harnesses, high-waisted trousers and strikingly cut jackets –  I know I’m in love. The wait until this collection hits retail will be a difficult one.

This was a collection that was almost fetishistic in its severity, no reprieve from the blackest black and the whitest white. The American Psycho influences are a particular point that I find really interesting: in the novel itself, Patrick and colleagues compete with each other in the most shallow ways – business cards, glasses and clothing become a visual currency and means of direct comparison. The obsession with labels and price is something often found in fashion, and if I had the time and inclination (and perhaps a more anonymous medium) I’d make a comment on the rise of bloggers and popularity of high-end designer fashion – another subject for another day.

In the interview after the show, designer Takeshi Kitazawa (along with the female half of DressedUndressed, Emiko Sato, who remained silent, a dynamic that matches Tokyo Telephone in public), mentioned that he identifies with the homunculus of the title: by making and wearing these clothes he wishes to transform himself into someone and something more. The transformative power of clothing is explored in many ways in Japanese society and fashion, from cosplay to subcultures, and it’s something I can really relate to, and would love to see explored further in the future.

I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on more than a few items, but I’m sure I’ll have to wait in line as the rest of Tokyo seems to have fallen under the DressedUndressed spell as well…

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2 Responses to DressedUndressed – A/W 2012 Collection – Homunculus

  1. Andrew says:

    I was really looking forward to this collection, and to be honest, it has caught me kind of off-guard. I can’t help feeling like I was expecting something a little different. I do like this collection and I am still a big fan of DressedUndressed, but I think maybe you put into words in this article what I wasn’t really prepared for–it DOES have a powerfully uncomfortable tone, one that I can even feel just from looking at pictures, and that also I think is mostly lacking from their first collection (although you can see it in their 2012 ss I think). I remember thinking they were austere but so cool for it, and with this collection I think they have ratcheted up the austere to where it feels like a cold sharp knife (that is a little melodramatic but I’m having a hard time finding the words, and that is sort of how it makes me feel).

    In any case the whole thing is so well done, I think those giant gloves add a surprising amount to the collection, and those pants are very cool as well. I do wish they had included a skirt though! Also this has been bugging me for a while now–it looks like they only used about 5 or so models and just sent them out multiple times, adding new layers or changing an outer each time… is that right??

    Anyway thanks for the coverage on DressedUndressed! I am not hopefully not coming off as critical of the collection per se, I think I am just still trying to wrap my head around it. Overall I’m still a big fan of the brand and very excited about the success of their first runway show!

  2. Rebecca says:

    @ Andrew – Really interesting comment! I think it’s a bit of a grower – it was love at first sight for me, but this is the kind of style that I’ve really come to appreciate over the past year or so.

    I think perhaps the overly austere look is a comment on winter, rather than the soft drapes of summer clothing…
    Ha, I know what you mean about the models, however I can’t help think this might be due to the budget: I have a feeling that since Mercedes-Benz have taken over fashion week it’s become much more expansive for designers to participate, and this is, after all, DressedUndressed’s first major catwalk show.

    Not to worry, Andrew! We all have our own opinions, that’s what makes fashion so subjective and exciting 😉

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