If Versus Tokyo was the menswear story of last Fashion Week, then The Orchestra Show by Gypsy Three Orchestra (G3o) is without a doubt the movement that will define this week. Opening yesterday opposite Parco in Shibuya and sharing a postcode with Center Gai and BAPE, The Orchestra Show is the gallery space and shop for the project that aims to bridge the gap between fashion brands and the public. It is born out of the realisation that no-matter how important Tokyo Fashion Week is to relay Japanese fashion brands with the public, it is ultimately an institution that doesn’t necessarily fit the needs of all the creators that the city seems capable of producing. After all, Japan, and Tokyo in particular, rarely follows the traditional fashion path of keeping designers in an isolated bubble of Fashion education > internship > trade-shows >Fashion Week > retail, but instead often allows designers to start in small scale retail and allows the customers to make them a success rather than the press.
So many of the brands that are now associated with the glory days of 90s Japanese Street Fashion followed the path of being acutely in touch with Tokyo culture, their customers and the retail space, which in turn enabled them to snip out most of the industry, sell directly and make a name in their own right. Indeed, designers like Banal Chic Bizarre still live by this Ura-Harajuku ideology to this day, trying to be as self sufficient as possible and letting the customers create the brand, and the streets be their means of communication rather than PR. However, as well we all know, as we entered the mid 2000s, things got tough for new designers fast and the lack of opportunities available to brands forced many to play the industry game over the rebellious drop out route personified by Jun Takahashi.
It is a response to the latter situation that the G3O project was born out of, and in a reference to street level fashion, it chose to restrict information and imagery to the public till the very last second. In its avoidance of this era of instant information (like this site!), where one can see an entire shop’s stock instantly, judge it and move on with a flick of your finger, it is refreshing to actually have to work hard to get a glimpse of the concept and take every obscure picture that makes it out with gratitude. Indeed, prior to the launch party, I personally didn’t have a good idea of what the finished space would look like, and I can imagine most people will have entered the shop with an engagement that they haven’t felt in some time. That was the genius of the early days of street fashion, that in the absence of catwalk shows, lookbooks and magazine coverage, you actually entered a shop space with no idea of what would be on sale, rather than the current feel of recognition you get when you spot things on sale that you have already seen in digital form.
So it is with this aim of connection designers directly with the public, and also forcing them to engage with them through a deliberate lack of information that The Orchestra Show has come to exist as a limited shop through Fashion Week until mid April. The brands involved read like an A-Z of the Tokyo underground menswear brands including:
C.E / ANREALAGE / APPLEBUM / Avoid / Black Weirdos / BAL / Children of the discordance / CARTRIDGE CASE 222 / CILANDSIA / WHITE LINE / DRESSEDUNDRESSED / .efiLevol / NADA / TROVE / ITADAKI / HIRO / FFYR / JUVENILE HALL ROLLCALL / is-ness / CHRISTIAN DADA / TRINI / SUICOKE / Spologum / STEAM AND THREAD / CYDERHOUSE / SIVA / JieDa / GILET / bodysong. / 1982114251 / KANVAS PRODUCTS / LABRAT / Black & Blue / Kim Songhe / REMI RELIEF / YEAH RIGHT!! / KOU / bukht / FLAPH / GAVUDOMUZI / AG by EXPERIMENT / pester / KTZ / NIT / POWELL PERALTA / Santa Cruz / PATRICK STEPHAN / YANTOR / Episode no.. / Palme d’Or / MISCHIEF / Alexander Lee Chang / Bleu de paname+rdv o globe / CYDWOQ / CASEY VIDALENC / ROSA MOSA+rdv o globe / rdv o globe / FLY GALLERY / Aquvii / Danke / SPIRAL / CREPEMAN / LABORATORY / BERBERJIN R / Garden of Eden / Reventon / Jody Barton
A shocking amount of which we have never even managed to talk about on this site, but those that we have are linked, so you might want to have an explore before you proceed inside the shop:
The ground floor is a nice mix of design, street culture and relaxed cool.
These skull rings separate out to allow you to wear the skull in abstract form if you wish.
It wouldn’t be Shibuya street style without 80s nostalgia…
B1F is a chilled gallery space which will change on a rotational basis over the life of the shop.
2F reveals some slightly more fashion-forward brands than the streetwear 1F.
But it doesn’t stop there, Part 2 will be out tomorrow with a more opinionated view of the shop and what it means for Tokyo fashion. See you then…