We decided to do our coverage of roomsLINK, Japan’s largest fashion trade show, a little differently this year, leaving it until the brands are about to hit the streets of Tokyo before we published our report.  Hopefully that will make the trends feel a little more relevant as they are imminent, but if you prefer a report in time with industry as opposed to retail then let me know and we can go back to that.

Without a doubt the most striking single theme of roomsLINK 06 for Spring / Summer 2013 was a drive for retro Japonica, not necessarily taking tastes towards artisanal elegance or earthy Edo, but more Showa era nostalgia, something that Matohu was also really in tune with this season.

The top above is as good as example as any, an elegant cut but with very girly details and a cute print.  However, while the above will probably diffuse into cute retro Japan flourishes in the mainstream, the more experimental fashion orientated take was epitomized by Harcoza:

Here quintessentially Japanese motifs were taken to a stark conclusion – more of this please!

I for one loved this hanafuda fabric.

The next guiding trend is a little bit difficult to put pithily but is best summed up as a refinement of the key street trends from Ura-Harajuku.  Here designers take the key trends that have come out of experimental Harajuku street fashion and just push it a little bit further with a bit of a polish or a flourish or two.  You have to remember that a lot of the street level fashion icons are working with what they can grab on the cheap from vintage shops or flea markets, there is a real value in taking your cues from that youthful energy and turning into something perfected with just enough of a twist to make it your own.

For me, this is the key look for menswear S/S 2013 which comes from my number 1 Tokyo designer to keep your eye firmly on – Mikio Sakabe.

Pop culture infused fashion is a really big theme for this spring, here we find menswear inspired by fujoshi (female otaku).

Fantastically fun details, all in the pastels that have been played out in women’s, but are new to menswear.

Jenny Fax takes the themes of 90s nostalgia and return to kinderwhore to a refinement you are not going to find in a Tokyo vintage shop.

Elsewhere there were a number of noteworthy street level influences given fashion clout:

This young designer has taken the underwear as outerwear trend to its logical conclusion – and I really hope this takes off.

Cat items have been massive for the last year and show no sign of dying down, the only way to keep it current is to take it one step further as on the left courtesy of Bortsprungt.

One of my highlights of the season has been this shirt/biker jacket from uemulo munenoli, if you have the refined taste to wear it well then I urge you to do so.

More cats – never enough!

On the whole there were are far less high definition prints this coming season, but there were some notable examples.

And a couple of nice ensembles to finish with.

There you have it, a taste of the trends to watch out for this approaching summer season, I mau have been basking in what is to come this next A/W at the rooms trade show that started today, but lets take a moment to enjoy how good the present is!

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2 Responses to roomsLINK 06 – Incoming Trends for 2013

  1. Leanne says:

    LOVE the high-waisted shorts with the plaited fabric detail in the last pics – very tailored and crisp. Although not a big cat person, I have to say that lil kitty hanging off the neck is too cute!

    And yes, looking forward to seeing Japanese motifs used in current fashion, tho I’d prefer not too cutesy. I’ve always liked how OzzOn Japan and its various lables Ozz Croce etc have used the floral & dragon Japanese motifs in their clothing.

  2. Samuel says:

    @ Leanne

    Agreed on all fronts, but I have long since despaired of a mainstream that isn’t cutesy and girly!

    I took have a soft spot for Ozz On, I just wish they would raise the quality of their hardware and fabrics, if they do that I reckon they would be a big player in the alternative fashion scene.

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