The best of the Tokyo and London underground united are currently untied in LaForet Harajuku, bringing with them a much-needed dose of dark fashion into the increasingly colourful Tokyo fashion scene. I say much-needed principally because their is a gaping hole in Japanese fashion between youth gothic that you can pick up courtesy of h.Naoto or Black Peace Now and the gang, and the older crows of Yohji Yamamoto or artisanal fashion that has been associated with the current generation’s parents for quite some time now. Filling that gulf is Babylon, who have united pretty much all the rising stars of Tokyo dark fashion into one place (and they are going to be holding a killer event around Tokyo Fashion Week next month), and Primitive London, who we have looked at many times before on this site. It is worth noting that Primitive used to be a far more colourful affair even just one year ago, but now they have settled into a grim urban aesthetic that is very becoming of the team behind it, a team that has been producing anti CCTV surveillance technical fabrics and many other innovations to separate them from the club kid casualties of London.
The limited shop in the container space of LaForet Harajuku runs until the 3rd of March so you have plenty of time to visit for yourself, but for those who can’t make it you will have to make do with my selection taken at the opening reception.
First up is TAS, the leather designer who made his name at Julius before starting his own line of innovative leather items that covers the usual bags and accessories, but extends right to waterproof leather umbrellas.
The ceramic artist Kazumichi Maruoka was on hand with some new lifestyle items,
but he has finally started making jewelry, something I begged him to do about a year ago. He has also collaborated with Gara on a series of leather and ceramic mixed pieces that are starting to turn up in Tokyo about now, and on that note, stand by for some exciting news regarding Gara very soon.
More TAS, with some of his distinctive wooden hardware that looks particularly good with leather.
Sandals to die for from Dummyhead Depaysemen.
On the Primitive London side of things we start with a flash of colour from Banzai,
before letting the muted palette take over.
My new find of the night was MARTIN NIKLAS WIESER – a young Berlin based designer whose patterns showed great potential.
Finally from Primitive we have NUKEME, a great glitch artist/designer who is long overdue a full introduction on this site. This is his series of caps that all have a unique line from a single poem on them, the idea being that the poem is put out there into the world and hopefully people will meet or see the hats worn on street snaps online, uniting the wearers across the world.
Definitely take the chance to see these forces for yourself while you can, and we will have more from many of the brands mentioned in this post for you in much greater detail very soon.