Now on its 24th outing Rooms is Japan’s most inclusive trade show bringing together design, fashion, art and accessories together under one roof, on this particular occasion the roof of The Science Museum Tokyo. An appropriate stage for the baffling inclusion of Transformers as the branding for the show, which meant that undeniably cool models of Transformers, such as Optimus above, were dotted around the exhibition space in stark contrast to the strong themes of nature that surfaced in the actual work on display. Maybe I am just still holding some kind of grudge as a result of that third film, but anyway, moving on as we did and into the trade show proper, we were treated to a tantalizing taste of what is likely to come later next month at roomsLINK (the purely fashion version of the event), as well as a very strong showing from the foreign brands who are trying to break into, or expand within, the Japanese market.
Obviously there is a huge amount that must remain concealed until after the showroom season in Tranoi and Tokyo is over, but we thought we would give you a taste of the show split into vibes, fashion, and accessories/crafts. After all, the most important thing as far as I am concerned with these kind of events is to get a sense of the trends of the moment, what people are pushing and at what level, and to ever-broaden your own perspective of fashion. Especially in the case of rooms, it is actually one of the few occasions where we are exposed to a significant amount of foreign fashion and design, seeing as we are largely focused on Japan in order to provide a bit of order to this site. In this way you can get an idea of what Japanese buyers and journalists might be interested in, which goes someway to filling in the big blank in fashion in Japan as represented on this site.
So without further ado, on with the show:
On entry you were greeted with the Transformers stand which had some of the more recent collaborations including that with BAPE.
Wut Berlin’s showing was strong as ever, but you will have to wait until part 2 to see inside.
One of the best causes that the show supports is that with each rooms an avant-garde designer is selected to exhibit, and given an enviably strong location to promote themselves from.
Likewise, young designers still at University are given good placements (at good rates), but more of that coming up later in the fashion part of this report.
A group of designers from Dubai were out in force as well, attracted by the reality that when they have exhibited elsewhere in Europe that their buyers have tended to be from Asia.
It is also a chance to see what the merchandising of shops might look like next winter (or your own house if you so desire).
It is nice to fill in the blanks of what goes into creating a fantastic shopping experience, in this case fragranced candles and the like for the classiest boutiques.
There were a couple of great oddities that we came across. First up, is this wonderfully excessive dog wear brand, which even had studded leather jackets for your spoiled best friend.
Some of the most beautiful carved candles you are ever likely to see, I believe the idea is to keep melting them on top of each other in the wax dishes and candlestick holders.
Also saw a lot of different brands really pushing bow-tie shapes (and not all as extravagant as these!).
Thick paper baseball caps.
More gorgeous fittings.
Another major trend has been interior design items from existing fashion brands. What do you reckon, would you be tempted to live your fashion?
Beautiful conceptual bag from a graduate bag designer (you will be seeing more of this designer).
And finally, your guides on our travels.
Look out for part 2 and 3 in the next couple of days, and join us in getting amped for next Fashion Week.