Following on from our ones to watch in the first part of our Rooms 25 coverage, today we are going to look at a couple of trends that we clocked at the trade show that we think are going to be big news when they hit the market in the S/S 2013 season.  Before we do that, it might be a good idea to point out that Rooms is always the more conservative and internationally friendly of the Japanese trade show season, being as it is is pretty mass-market stuff and roomsLINK that takes place during Tokyo Fashion Week being always closer to what ones expectations are likely to be for Japanese fashion.  Nether the less, Rooms is a pretty reliable barometer of where we are likely to be heading in the market on the whole.

So without further a do the trends that caught our eye:

First was a real propensity for kawaii gone adult, i.e. both fashion, but mainly lifestyle items geared towards a much older market, think early to late 20s, of a kawaii nature.  We saw a considerable amount of handmade home-ware and more than enough cute items (as above), that were actually targeted at a slightly older audience.

These candles were simply adorable and really well made, and don’t expect to find them in Swimmer.

I guess the difference in fast kawaii culture that is delivered for a couple of hundred yen on Takeshita Doori and adult kawaii culture is the key addition of a certain tension or awkwardness between the cute subject and something a little bit “off”.  It is an aesthetic best summed up by brands such as Ne-Net and Mercibeaucoup and is different from the “wacky for the sake of being wacky” philosophy that defines the lower end of the market.

Wut Berlin was really making its presence felt with a basketball themed arena.

Prints were absolutely everywhere, but talking to the head buyer he revealed that he thinks this might well be the last season for the saturated print – much to his own dismay!

At the very least it looks like prints will be going out with a bang, and if you want my opinion Tata Christiane is doing them with real originality this S/S 2013 season.

Next up was a definite move to support traditional Japanese manufacturing.  Now, I don’t expect this to play a big part in street fashion and it goes without saying that fast fashion will not get involved, but there were a huge amount of brands showcasing made in Japan quality, real artisanal work and a romantic view of the production process.  I think it will primarily be a societal shift that will be reflected in the media, but I couldn’t help but notice that a lot of young Japanese fashion designers are insisting on tradition fabrics and in particular a resurgence in Kyoto based dyeing.

Lovely Japanese wool – trust me it was wonderful.

In the way of gimmicks these Anrealage x adlens collaboration glasses were a lot of fun – you have to focus them yourself.

And I can’t help but think that these nail tattoos are going to be a big hit, especially given the number of brands already signed up.

As for the foreign brands at Rooms, well, to be honest it was pretty much business as normal for the most part, there were certainly no brands whose entry to the market is likely to cause a stir to my eye.

I would say that of the foreign brands getting a very positive reception, most were from Asia, and the Western brands doing well, were ones that you could imagine slipping into the Japanese market with absolute ease.

So there you have it, a little taste of what is to come, and we will have some more brand profiles that caught our eye from the show very soon indeed.

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