Following on from the Business of Fashion article on madoguchi (that kindly mentions this site), we have had a couple of people contacting us for advice regarding when is the best chance to come to Japan as a buyer.  The reality, as buyers I work with are all too familiar with, is that there is no easy answer.  The Japanese buying season is an introverted mess that really shows no sign of changing, we are not talking samples not being ready on time, we are talking literally months between the first showrooms and exhibitions and the last making, balancing budgeting orders, planning deliveries and the coordination of the buy is a task that only the brave take on and the best succeed at.  As people who founded this site with the sole purpose to communicate Japanese fashion accurately with the rest of the world, it can be a little bit frustrating to see that work undone by sheer logistics – but don’t worry, we will persevere.

The first shot fired for the next season in Tokyo fashion (SS 2014) is JFF-IFF, a shot so early that a lot of brands actually bring their AW 2013-14 collections with orders still open making it more of an expo that an exhibition as such.  Still, for variety it is a great place to scout the best of Asian fashion, and it has plenty of the gifts, bridal and even dog clothes that buyers tend to get frustrated they can’t buy easily at the trade shows at Tokyo Fashion Week.  I always am pleased with what I find at IFF, there are always a couple of new brands to put on the radar and as you have probably started to gather, we live and breathe fashion.

First to catch our eye on our rounds is Divka, a brand who is right on the rise these days with a good number of international stockists and varied locations in Japan from the high fashion to OIOI One in Shinjuku amongst the goth brands.  I personally love it and will have to shine some light on them here soon.

Next we have Neo Resistance, a new one for me, but a brand that manages to combine traditional Japanese clothing references with gentrified tailoring beautifully.

Cune showing off some boro style repairs on their denim for next season.

A great new discovery on the day was Meisje who have shot a great FRUiTS parody lookbook that I can’t wait to share with you soon.

Of all the international brands trying to break Tokyo, CHEEKLDN is an assured success, prepare to see the collection below at Candy very soon.

Another nice discovery for us was Maito who I have only ever seen at a limited shop in Parco in the past, but apparently more outposts for their washed out kawaii are on the cards.

Love the floral pastel twist on the tassle on the bag.

It is also a good chance to catch some higher fashion as well, with Bunka Graduate student Akie Ueda catching our eye.

Harue Nagamoto.

But it is in variety that JFW-IFF really stands out:

Friends of the site will know that we are in a bridal bubble right now – never enough inspirations.

Tastes in western dresses are heading in a very whimsical direction,

While the Japanese inspired wedding and party dresses head back only as far as 80s New Wave.

Needless to say there are hundreds upon hundreds of brands we couldn’t mention, but rest assured, that if it exists in fashion it was there.

For more on JFW-IFF you can visit the homepage here.

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