Now that the SS 2014 Tokyo fashion season is rapidly approaching the savvy abroad are already planning their descent on the city, and if there is one thing that I will always reiterate it is – make sure you take in the roomsLINK trade show.  It is actually a bit reductive to call it that really as it now encompasses runway shows separate from the official JFW schedule, installations and entertainment as well as booth after booth of top class fashion.  The best news of all is that it is getting more and more inclusive each year with tours for students on offer on top of the open days and shows for the general public.  It is a refreshingly inclusive approach that I am all for, even though Japanese fashion may flirt with the elitism of our chums in Europe from time to time, the current generation is defined by movements on the street and the team behind roomsLINK are clearly very mindful of that – hopefully the city’s fashion as a whole will be all the better for that in time.

Today I thought I would put together a taste of what is on offer from the last roomsLINK, and I should also say that the shows from Mikio Sakabe, Jenny Fax and Liberum Arbitrium that we have already written about on this site were also part of roomsLINK.

First up we have catwalk fashion from Flea Madonna, a Korean brand that has become a firm Tokyo favorite and fittingly they chose the city for their first ever fashion show.  It is interesting that the term “Tokyo fashion” or “Japanese fashion” does not necessarily denote fashion that originated in Japan these days, but rather that which is popular in the city – a fact that roomsLINK encourages with space given over to brands from Seoul, Taiwan and the rest of Asia.

Nozomi Ishiguro also brought his Tambourine line to roomsLINK with a drunken zombie performance on the runway which gave photographers a very hard time!

Outside of the runway venues there were inspired guerrilla performances from young brands such as Harry and Tyler (above) who wore their collection around the venue and were rarely free of people wanting to have their picture taken with them.

Liber Oz from Ura-Harajuku favorite Hiro also made an appearance in installation form giving us a great chance to see work from the various illustrators and artists contributing art work to the basics line.

Compared to most Tokyo trade shows there was a nice variety of entertaining ways employed to deliver the fashion, including the bizarre quartet and dancer you see above and below – as with Liber Oz it really captured the much needed context behind the fashion you need to “get” it.

On to the booth spaces and new brand Dario is looking very strong indeed, look out for this all over the city as of AW 2013.

This was the first time I actually saw most of the clothes that would be used in the most recent Wut Berlin fashion show – here if you missed it.

It is also nice to see the work of students from my link to the fashion establishment – Bunka – getting the space they deserve.

This collection caught my metal loving eye, based as it is on fine woven copper which is actually far softer than you would expect.

Yukihero Prowresting offers Japanese wrestling inspired fashion in various degrees of wearability – this designer actually started selling wrestling masks in Nakano Broadway before moving on to a full fashion line.

Some of my other favorite picks:

The underwear as outerwear trend has been huge in Harajuku this spring and for some time now, but this collection from Ennuist makes it beautifully elegant.

For more you can head to the official English site here where you can also make reservations and check dates.

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