Unless you have been living in a cave you should already know what the Mark Styler group of brands has up its sleeve for this rapidly approaching A/W season, and that in itself is a good reason to pause for thought for a moment.  It used to be the case that trying to find out about the mid level of the Japanese fashion market was like trying to invent a new colour.  The magazines held the monopoly on photo shoots, lookbooks were a closely guarded internal document and often the only digital information came in the form of outdated blogs updated via a mobile phone.  Now you can watch the shows as they happen live and archived, the media is briefed on trends lest we forget to do our job and miss them, and the dissemination of this information is accelerated ten-fold by openly available digital materials that zoom around social media faster than the printing presses can possible work.  An awful lot of this is actually down to the Mark Styler group of brands, who pioneered a more open approach to their brands, a stark contrast with some of the older guard who still have a barely functioning homepage.

On top of this you have the group taking a lead on fashion styles, the best example of which being Emoda which brought such an influx of “mode” to the gyaru universe (but actually was more evident outside the walls of 109), giving Tokyo a level between the mid and the high which the last couple of years has shown to be a great success at retail.  As gyaru faded to the very niche subculture it began with, these brands entered into a class all their own, original, exciting and affordable, and although I will often use “street fashion” as a code for “experimental street fashion”, this is what people all over Tokyo actually wear on the street.

With that homage to Mark Styler’s recent contributions to Japanese fashion well in place I thought we would take a look around their expansive showrooms.  I have been sitting on these images for many months, so a lot of what you see here will be hitting retail in a matter of weeks – enjoy:

The biggest trend of winter is without a doubt quilting, and the biggest innovation – neoprene.  Those are both going to be absolutely everywhere, and no bad thing too as they genuinely look very fresh, however, I would also highlight unexpected fleece and chunky furs as something to keep your eye on.

Mercury Duo was having fun with party dresses,

but it was Dazzlin who was looking the strongest of the season for my money.  The combination of unique textiles and more storied vibe is where we are going once the harshness of mode has worn off.

Love the print on this cute tote bag.

Murua was as strong as you would expect, don’t miss that the jumper on the right is actually two layers of material – one sheer.

The caged shoes drew my eye at the time, but actually the quilted options in the very top right are the ones I would want to draw your attention to now.

Accessories were looking great for the money,

as were the bags.

On to Jouetie, and their pastel grunge, tumblr-esque vibe is still intact for another season.

Plenty of sure fire hits there.

Other highlights included the slightly theatrical vintage line-up from Ungrid – actually very much recommended.

MYOB are going to be stocked in some Mark Styler shops – a great choice.

GYDA were looking very bold even for Tokyo with their huge houndstooth prints and textiles.

And they you have it, a very strong selection to choose from, and no doubt people all over Japan will as the temperature mercifully continues to drop.  Never forget that these brands here are much closer to mainstream tastes than a lot of the other brands we feature on this site, but this is base level I can definitely get behind.

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