I held off writing about this years only show to go ahead out of the original Japan Fashion Week scheduled line up because I did not want it to be solely framed within that context, however unavoidable that may be.  Right from the planning stages this was always going to be a show about a bold passionate young designer coming of age as demonstrated through the running metaphor of the butterfly in the presentation.  The fact that this brand became the only one brave enough to push ahead against huge adversity merely emphasised what the original point of the show was always going to be.

The star of the show was without a doubt the designer Olga who took a central role in the show, firstly by operating the visual effects during the show then taking to the stage to have her hair cut in a very literal symbolic transformation thanks to Boy.  It was a designer standing by her work, proud of it and sure that it had purpose, even at a time when fashion was far from people’s minds.

Continue reading for a break-down of the show, including a full video, highlights and a very poignant picture of Olga as she ended her show.

The concept of the show was very simple – the models would enter without an outer and then be transformed on stage as they donned their clothes.  The fact that all the models were selected from the public through open auditions through Twitter made for a great mix of models who all behaved really distinctly on the catwalk – a perfect fit for the brand and another echo of the chrysalis theme.

And this was the original invitation, when the show was to be held in Laforet before it had to be relocated to Rin (Laforet was closing early to conserve energy at the time).

And as promised – the show in full:

Moving stuff, especially by virtue of circumstance.  It felt like a great weight had been lifted from the collective shoulders of all the fans and industry who had gathered to watch.  It was most definitely a sign that things could get back to normal if you made it happen.

My highlights:

I thought this guy made for a great model and I just loved the structured cloak.

This was a great take on oversizing that has been doing the rounds of late, it really fitted the models tiny frame and was all the more exaggerated because of it.

Etw.Vonneguet’s signature digital dying was out in force as was some very unexpected use of fur.

Great use of the chrysalis print next to the contrasting fabric on the sleeves of the drape.

Throughout the show the designer herself was manipulating a mass of coloured panels and chains to create the visual effects throughout the show.  It was organic and fitted the tone of the show perfectly.

This was literally next to where I was sitting so I could not resist grabbing a quick picture of Olga at work.

A really nice shot of the stylist from Boy snipping and Olga writing away.  It was a very intimate moment and eluded to change and uncertainty which gave way to overwhelming positivity by the end of the presentation.

The clothes are still available for pre-purchase in the entrance of LaForet right now in a limited shop until the 10th so definitely stop by and have a good look and I could definitely find myself tempted by the following from the collection:

Simply stunning and I cannot stress how great the fabric feels and hangs in person.

Till then keep an eye on her site and her blog here – She has indubitably gained a huge amount of coverage with her latest how and I can only hope her contribution to the Japanese fashion industry is both recognized and rewarded in due course.

I challenge you not to be moved by that.

Is this a new era for Japanese fashion or just a designer breaking the proverbial 4th wall and interacting with their audience so directly?  Either way it is moving and compelling in equal measures and evidence of an industry that will recover and surely go on from strength to strength.  Many of the factories in that produce the samples were based in the north of Japan and they pulled together to get this together on schedule against the odds as indeed everyone involved did.  A case of overcoming adversity certainly, but more than that it is evidence that they are committed to their craft – as Etw.Vonneguet herself demonstrated in her latest stunning collection.

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4 Responses to Etw.Vonneguet A/W 2011 – Symbolic JFW

  1. […] industry in general and the individual designers in particular.  As Etw. Vonneguet themed her touching show around, what can designers do at a time like this? and how can fashion be relevant in this time […]

  2. […] to be punctuating Etw. Vonneguet designer Olga’s shows of late, her last presentation – Symbolic – explored the very purpose of being a fashion designer and ended with an almost naive expression […]

  3. I view something really interesting about your blog so I saved to favorites .

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