One of the biggest problems that currently faces Japanese fashion is the ongoing inability to actually get culturally significant work into retail. So often the success stories of Tokyo Fashion Week are almost impossible to find in shops outside of the kind of niche underground stores that are basically only frequented by those in the industry or on the periphery. A situation that is all the more ridiculous when you consider the vast developed retail landscape that is capable of supporting an inordinate amount of mediocrity. I suppose it is something of a catch 22, where buyers don’t really want to take a risk on a young designer (but seem quite happy to import unknown foreign brands), and thus the commercial viability of brands remains unexplored. It seems to me that there needs to be a floor or so of a department store dedicated to the brands of Tokyo Fashion Week, or even just a magazine (such as the newly launched Fashionista).
What I am getting at is that there is a missing link between Tokyo Fashion Week, in all its Mercedes-Benz sponsored glory, and the mainstream media/retail. Both are significantly developed independently, it is just the link between them that remains weak.
This is a fact recognized by the CFD and thanks to them in the lead up to Fashion Week this March and beyond, the 8th Floor of Takashimaya in Shinjuku will play home to the rising stars of TFW. First up is Etw. Vonneguet, but she will be followed in time by another 17 brands including such Tokyo Telephone favorites as Aptform, Jazzkatze and Uemulo Munenoli. The space is good, even if it lacks the ability for designers to really personalize it, and as much as anything is a great opportunity to check out the work up close.
Etw. Vonneguet’s version of the shop splits her work into the various palettes and styles she is known for, separating her elegant gradient drapes from the geometric prints, and the razor sharp tailoring from louche slacks. It is a good chance to see the variety she offers, but pleasantly united by consistant themes of futurism and technologically progressive pattern cutting techniques and fabrics – lest we forget, this is actually a collection that reacts to UV and shimmers to life in its presence.
The shop is open till the 6th, is the first real opportunity to see the range of accessories that accompany in the work, and if you need any more incentive, I believe that the first 50 customers will receive an invite to the collection later this month.
So what are you waiting for? Speed on over to Takashimaya Shinjuku and show your support!