Japanese fashion may never have quite managed to reconcile its own history of fashion pre-westernisation, but one of its great strengths is that it has no baggage weighing it down when it comes to confronting foreign fashion. Whether it is Italian tailoring, Tibetan Buddhist garb, American hippy or school uniforms of the world (which are all influences in this collection), there is no question of doing it right or wrong – it is already out of context by virtue of it being in Japan to begin with. Here the fashions of the world can run and flow together, united purely by aesthetics and with precious few rules to obey. Thanks to this freedom there are a good number of Japanese menswear brands that are quite frankly a proper mess of ideas, but they somehow hang together aesthetically to the point where the cumulative vision is more than the sum of the parts.
Facetasm designer Hiromichi Ochiai has invariably been a fan of letting the spirit of creation run wild and I am glad to say that his very first catwalk show held as part of Versus Tokyo on the last day of Tokyo fashion week did not disappoint. The show sandwiched the core menswear between two punchy women’s segments which were united by the running presence of bags in the shape of chainsaws which according to the designer represented creation and creation through deconstruction at that.
Like the clothes, the styling was also a bit of a mix, but did manage to capture the visual assault of walking the backstreets of Harajuku or Daikanyama on a busy day rather nicely. I would say that for me this was a collection that exemplified the freedom of Japanese fashion’s approach to pre-existing Western constructs that in turn makes them feel fresh all over again. This is, after all, the cumulative refinement of decades and decades of reinterpretation and enthusiastic abstraction.
With that said, bear with this collection, as it definitely needs a bit of time to get your head round all the ideas bouncing around:
For current season and stockists head on over to the official site and join me in hoping that those chainsaws make it to retail…