Liberum Arbitrium was one of our definitive highlights of the Bunka Fashion Incubation, which is the alternative trade-show to the largest of Tokyo Fashion Week – roomsLINK, and features a lot of brands who want a more personal environment to showcase their clothes. Standing out from their brightly coloured peers like a monolith, Liberum Arbitrium presented a delicate, yet masculine interpretation of the artisanal aesthetic that Tokyo is experiencing something of a revival of this coming season. The theme of the work is ghost and is interpretated in an obvious way through the combination of structure in the shoulders leading to soft draping and fraying elsewhere in the ensemble, and abstractly through the idea of “ghosting”, i.e. images layered on top of each other, which in this case manifests itself in successive graduated layers of fabrics.
For a collection that looks so sure of itself, it may surprise that designer Shinsuke Mitsouka, has previously focused on women’s clothing in the past, and heavily structured work that has more in common with Gareth Pugh than this subtle direction. Still, if this is a man finding his footing, then I think he has done it, certainly his genuine enthusiasm for the Kyoto textile fabrics that produces his breathtakingly beautiful fabrics was evident, as was his desire to start working in leather using traditional Japanese techniques.
Join me for a look through the collection, which I have left purposely large so you can really get a feel for all those beautiful textures.
I love the hints of green and red that rise out of this silk mix that has a lot in common with materials usually reserved for kimono.
This elegant suit jacket was one of my favorite pieces from the collection, it was as simple as it could possibly be and still confirms to the structure of the original garment.
The subtle openings at the shoulder alude to the delicacy of a vest, but this is actually a single garment.
The stiffness of the shoulders in this cape held their structured shape perfectly, but allowed the lighter fabric that flowed from them to move freely.
I love the “V” shape created by the panels in the above.
One of the more complicated items in the collection – the asymmetry across the chest is especially ambitious.
I would love to be able to show you more, but unfortunately his site seems to be under development right now. Rest assured that when there is something to report I will have it for you.