If I had to pick one show from with season’s fashion week in Tokyo (I’m still getting over calling it Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo rather than Japan Fashion Week) that was my surprise winner it would have to be Matohu.
I think I’m right that we haven’t properly covered Matohu before here on Tokyo Telephone, and more’s the pity! I thought I knew what to expect from their show, what to expect going down the catwalk – classy, a bit muted and um, classy? It was indeed just as classy as I had hoped, but what really made this collection stand out for me was the setting. Let’s set the scene: a glorious sunny day in late October, just off the main Omotesando road, a selection of very cool fashion industry insiders (your writer is the exception here, of course), a vast tree, dappled sunlight and models weaving an intricate course in fine clothes around a modern Japanese fashion house. Fantastic. Like fur fur before them, Matohu succeeded in perfectly matching their core look to their setting. In this case it was a light and airy day, combined with soft pastel shades and beautifully cut apparel – wonderful.
I think I must say that like (Saint) Yohji Yamaoto, Matohu’s designs work brilliantly well on a wide variety of ages and sizes, something that’s perhaps missing from collections that seemingly focus on the tallest and skinniest women in the entire world. This variety was also reflected in the audience members attending Matohu’s show; no gothed up teenegers a la the Christian Dada show, but a mix of men and women who clearly value style over mere trends. Very classy, as I said.
(I should also point out that Matohu used a fair few non-Western female models in their show. The lack of Japanese models at fashion week in Japan is something of a bugbear of mine… something to be addressed another day!)
I though the design duo behind Matohu did a great job in capturing spring in material form. The pastel shades and dip-dyed shoes felt fresh, while the darker blues, blacks and greys reminded us of April showers and contrasted well with the brighter yellows and greens. Overall, I came away feeling surprised and optimistic; optimistic for both fashion and for Japan.