This has been sitting on my desk here at Tokyo Telephone for quite some time, so apologies if you have seen it before – but I couldn’t not write about it. Along with all the excitement of Japan Fashion Week it reminded me that amongst all the spring/summer collections this is probably the one I am most excited about. On top of that I can’t help but feel a tiny bit of pressure when I write about Julius, not only is he quite rightly on his way to be crowned the king of modern Japanese Fashion, but this is exactly how I wish I could dress (almost) everyday. You see, when I wear Fuga, Civarise or any of the Japanese industrial biker brands, I am pretty much walking in the path that Julius has trodden in his craftily re-worked engineer boots. Not to say they don’t leave their mark on their own designs in their own way, but you can’t deny that right now, Julius leads the pack. So without further ado, lets have a look at what Horikawa has got in store for us next year.
The show is from Paris rather than Japan Fashion Week, the designer having long realised that not only is he more likely to be noticed by the foreign media abroad, but ironically by Japanese magazines as well (my feelings on this matter are well documented).
Continue reading for all the looks of his recent cat-walk show and some more commentary.
The show is best displayed as a whole because it is ultimately a cumulative aesthetic that you could pretty much mix and match anything to form a cohesive outfit. What struck me first is how distressed the look is without resorting to any cliches like rips and repairs in the fabric. I just love the crushed fabrics, hanging cords and deep textured fabrics, alongside broader planes of fabric. Oh yes, this is a look I can get excited about and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the Japanese fashion industry reacts to the look.
Last year we saw quite a few very mainstream brands running with the Julius styling and I think what with changes in the Gyaru-O / 109-2 world, this vision of industrial grunge is going to hit the mainstream like never before (and not just because I am willing it to!).
All of this influence on the streets of Tokyo makes it all the more a shame that Julius did not choose JFW to show his work. While he has been exhibiting in Paris since 2008 if memory serves, I think it would be a triumph if he were to return back to JFW as an exhibitor and take his deserved position on center stage. Maybe this speaks volumes for how the Japanese media treats establishing designers or just an immaturity in the industry that a genius, ground-breaking, trend-setter cannot possibly be Japanese, that they would have to be foreign. You only have to look at other street fashion masters like 5351 Pour Les Hommes who masquerade as international designers to elevate their stock despite being very much domestic as an example of this attitude. Well, maybe this is not the time for this discussion, I just think it is high time Japanese designers are proud to call themselves Japanese and be proud of their fashion pedigree.
I am really going to have to stop myself from getting on this contentious issues! For now I will have to sate myself by bathing in the glory that Julius has established for next season. I think he has really managed to find a very distinctive “Julius” aesthetic now and I trust myself to spot one of his designs from a good mile off now. While I don’t think Horikawa will ever escape comparisons to Rick Owens entirely, I think there is more than enough to separate the two now.
I would also say that despite the fact that he perches on the edge of high-fashion pricing, comparable to designers that I would consider him an equal to, he is very reasonable, for now at least.
Pictures courtesy of Julius