I hope you enjoyed our tour of the Rooms exhibition area yesterday (part 1 is here if you missed it), but now it is time for the main event – the fashion.
We start with Dario Hsieh’s work, a very young designer from Taiwan whose work seeks to illustrate a bond between humans and animals that he feels is distinctly absent in modern society. The idea behind the collection being that rather than being removed from animals, as in a zoo, the wearer is locked in an embrace with the animal. Neat concept aside, the entirely white palate allowed Dario is show off his formidabile construction and pattern cutting. Given the 10,000 or so visitors who will have walked past his work over the 3 days of the Rooms event I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds himself a man in demand very soon.
As I said in the first part of our rooms coverage, it is very hard to find suitable chances to present this kind of conceptual work that graduates are encouraged to produce. The key seems to be events where the attendees are already open to the idea of commercial art, and from there sneak in something which just so happens to be art in clothes form and avoid the whole “value/wearability/practicality” issue that comes when considering fashion in isolation.
Next we have Sowa, a very whimsical and cute brand that always does well around Harajuku and one that I first became aware of through street snaps.
Of all the foreign brands that exhibited, a special mention really must go to Angel Jackson from the UK. She has always done very well in England and Europe, and now she is making very thorough inroads into Japan. Her fantastic and innovatively crafted exotic leathers were a real pleasure to behold, and I now know what Rebecca might like for her birthday!
Wut Berlin was as strong as ever, but with a distinctly toned down selection of underground European designers. A potential reflection that the neon and club kid fashion might be on the wane (no-matter what Jeremy Scott has to say about it) and in the mood for something a little bit darker for this autumn/winter.
As you can see, the cast prints, saturated fabrics and so on that have personified the Wut Berlin look for the last year are intact, but the overall mood is darker, strong and serious.
Having said that, those in the market for a bit of fashion fun will find themselves well catered for by Lugh and his fantastic selection of bow-tie accessories that can be worn in a good number of different ways.
We walked relatively briskly past the muted, adult accessories and bag sections. They will always be there for those that want them, and are always done well.
Special mention must go to Le Vero, whose strong, almost pop-art-esque designs are set for success this winter season in Japan. We’re already fans here at Tokyo Telephone!
Gorgeous printed sheepskins courtesy of Nigel Preston.
A 109 parody in the HP.France section which will shortly turn up in LaForet in a exhibition that questions the relationship between fast and high fashion.
A new brand (which I wish I could show you more of) called Master Bation, co-ordinated and designed by one of the Berberjin crew and using elements of vintage sourced from Berberjin in Harajuku. It is about time they catered directly towards their female fan-base and as you shall shorty see, this is a great start.
On to the student designers, this time from Osaka Bunka, and it was great to see young designers working in the rich ouvre of traditional Japanese fabrics.
Love this CAT scan print.
I promise you an in-depth look at these young designers very soon.
The group of designers from Dubai had a distinctly strong showing, and they were getting a very strong response from the buyers as well.
A particularly good print that caught my eye in a series of famous figures clad in traditional Muslim dress.
And some fantastic fine jewelry in deliciously dark Dubai gold. Forget Deco nails, this is the real deal.
Some fun pop-art inspired designs that would not be out of place in Justin Davis.
And finally, continuing the Tokyo Telephone tradition in capturing me in reflected surfaces, your guide on his travels.
Look out for the final part of my rooms report tomorrow, there is still so much left to see…