Shinsuke Mitsuoka’s brand Liberum Arbitrium was an ice cool breath of fresh air to the Tokyo Fashion Week schedule, that saw the young designer debut with a no nonsense show tucked away in a concrete bunker a couple of floors beneath Idol in Aoyama. For a brand whose last collection was an exercise in draped elegance and ghostly gradients, this season was a complete surprise, filled as it was with sharp contrasting colours and textures next to sporty overtones. The theme concept was “Un” as in unravel, undo, but also undertake, a reference to deconstruction but also the designers desire to move beyond his past body of work. Certainly it meant that he went well beyond the Gareth Pugh neo-Japonisme and popular draping that we might have associated the brand with in the past, and overall you were left with a cohesive show that felt like a statement of identity and direction from this young designer.
On a personal note I was only slightly disappointed to see a lack of traditional Japanese fabrics that turned up in his last collection, as well as obvious reference to kimono and tonbi coat-esque tailored touches. Still, in their place we find cascades of elegant layering that flow in perfect proportion to make conventional street and sportswear.
Here you can see a perfect example of the aforementioned cascade of layers, note the drawstrings on the waist of the jacket so you can have some fun with the silhouette if you so desire.
The collection was peppered throughout with nylon and artificial fabrics which built to a fun mix of textures that are as good a way as any to break out from the dark artisanal look that you can even find aped in knockoff shops on Center-Gai right now.
The mix of artificial and organic fabrics reached its climax in coordinates as above.
In the second half of the show flashes of colour started appearing in nylon mixes and patent leather shoes and accessories.
Although personally I prefer it when Liberum Arbitrium concentrations on bold monotone mixes of textures.
The ghostly element of his last last collection was still alive in the overall lightness of fabrics – even the outers seemed delicate as a cloud in motion.
The contrast of the light sheer jackets with sharp structured half length sleeves was a real highlight for me, especially when layered with the semi-sheer long sleeve shirts.
Stay with us for more highlights from Tokyo Fashion Week coming very soon including plenty off the official schedule which you are unlikely to see anywhere else.