Existential concerns seem 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 of perseverance, which against the backdrop of the earthquake was very powerful at the time, and never fails to move me even now. That symbolic start to the brand has seen Etw. Vonneguet picked up by a good number of Japanese select shops and even a high profile placement in Laforet where she has shared space with Christian Dada and FEAR. With the brand now occupying a presence within the consciousness of Tokyo fashion aficionados, her latest collection was appositely themed on proving that existence, of quite literally challenging the notion of how one feels any kind of presence at all in a city like Tokyo where it is so easy to get swept along in the enormity of it all, and also how one feels as the individual within it.
The first part of that aim was achieved by holding the show in the tiny Gallery Conceal in Shibuya, a location chosen by Olga to deliberately feel claustrophobic, place the viewer as close as possible to the work and most importantly of all – make it feel like the creation was occupying every inch of the space, rather than getting lost in the cavernous halls of Belle Salle or simular. It also helped to highlight the key visual theme of the collection, which was the use of blacklight to bring out strong circuit board patters on the collection that shone out as the models passed lights on the catwalk. It was an effect entirely different from that we saw Johan Ku bring to his knitwear later in the week as the glowing fabric was created with a shiny polyester/satin mix which gave off an altogether more futuristic effect as if a current was being passed through the clothes as they moved (an effect quite difficult to capture on film).
It all went to not only mark out the wearer of the clothes, but also to make the very existence of the clothes felt and in the blacklights of Gallery Conceal they certainly felt like they had a life of their own, accentuated by the light fabrics and drapes that never wanted to stay still. I also thought that the use of circuit board-esque designs was a nice nod to Olga’s own prior experience in all things technical and the CG modeling she uses as part of the design process.
With that established lets have a look at the show, which took place in the midst of a mass of cables, chains and lights hanging from the ceiling:
Music was courtesy of Henlywork, which was an appropriately new wave electronic affair – so if you want the full experience, get that on while you enjoy the collection:
Obviously the blacklight effect was a bit difficult to capture on camera, but at least you can get a sense of the show and unisex, progressive silhouettes and Etw. Vonneguet’s concise and clipped vision for the future of Tokyo fashion.
The lookbook is on simular lines, but helps you to see the individual items a little better:
(Love this sheer top!)
Very interesting stuff all round and it is great to see the collection expanding to cover more items for both men and women, but with the main emphasis still on the unisex core.
As for the modest goal of proving ones existence, I think that thus far all who have come into contact with Etw. Vonneguet have come away with a strong lasting impression, and that can only continue as more and more people are touched by the brand and its refreshingly honest approach to fashion.
See more here including past collections and rest assured that this is one brand who we will always have our eye on here at Tokyo Telephone.
P.S. I couldn’t fail to include this little fellow who surreally chirped away throughout the show! And no, I am not sure what he was doing there either…