Tokyo Fashion Week is almost upon us for another season, bringing with it the shows and exhibitions that you can expect to read about in great detail here soon enough, but if you are in Tokyo there are more opportunities to actually be part of it yourself than ever before.  Not only are a significant number of shows throwing their doors open to applications from the general public for standing room, but some of the biggest names of the week are actually primarily aimed at the public with the industry being secondary.  It is a telling shift for the business of fashion in Tokyo, one that adopted the Western week still evident in the official Tokyo Fashion Week (sorry, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo), but one that is occasionally incompatible with the Japanese evolution of fashion.  Don’t misunderstand me, there are those brands who fit the official bill, but that doesn’t mean that they all do, and that is precisely why you should be adding the two events below to your calendars.

First up is the third iteration of the Shibuya Fashion Festival, which readers of this site will know was responsible for the big stories from last Fashion Week, including WrittenAfterwards, Mikio Sakabe and Jenny Fax.  This time Discovered is taking the lead on the fashion side of as well as a couple of more Shibuya street fashion focused brands which I think is more appropriate for the geographical location in Miyashita Park, a ground hallowed in Shibuya skater history.

The fun doesn’t stop there though, there are over 300 shops taking part in the event all over Shibuya on the 23rd, highlights including Flea Madonna popping up in Cannabis on Cat Street and Mikio Sakabe and his long term collaborators Denpa Gumi holding an event in Wall, Laforet Harajuku.  The latter looks to be very interesting and I am promised that it mixes idol culture and fashion on a level we have not seen since this classic collection.

The second event is right in the middle of Fashion Week on the 20th (conveniently a national holiday) where the usually industry-only roomsLINK will throw its doors open to the public for one day only as part of the newly founded Harajuku Project.  It is a day of festivities including catwalk shows from the aforementioned Mikio Sakabe, but also Nozomi Ishiguro Tambourine x Flea Madonna, Macaronic and installations from Jenny Fax and Liber Oz, a new brand from Hiro.

As I said before it is a fitting vehicle for the brands, being as they are born of the fantastic streets of Tokyo and popularised at that street level before the press and buyers caught on.  It occurs that Tokyo might just be the only place on the planet where this phenomenon still exists, after all, Hiro sold out of a one room apartment before it was stocked anywhere else in Tokyo, spread organically to its own shop – Honeys Dead, before finally coming to a fashion week.  This reversal of affairs keeps the city’s fashion sharp, and if you appreciate it then it is your duty to be there on the 20th and 23rd to bathe in fashion that is quite literally being shown directly for you.

For more information you will want to go here – and I shall see you there!

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