Runurunu has a very literal shock for you in S/S 2013 with a futuristic collection that fuses art, Akihabara culture and fashion into what might be his most wearable collection yet. Not that you would know it from the vast Neon Genesis Evangelion-esque angel that greeted you on entry with its wings spread wide, that admittedly is unlikely to ever be worn on the street – but you never know. This season he has left behind the organic tentacle references of his last visceral collection which is currently in shops like Hayatochiri, Dog and Candy all across Tokyo, and is aiming instead for something more angular and mechanical in a move that echoes robot and monster design in the realms of anime and manga. It is a collection that plays to Runurunu’s strength in time consuming and meticulously crafted patterns, as well as an unconventional approach to materials, which this time includes ultra sturdy artificial fabrics such as you might find car seats built from that make for pretty effective urban armor.
Looking beyond the showpiece at the centre of his narrow exhibition / installation at Gallery Conceal in Tokyo and you will find a wealth of his usual extra long jumpers, futuristic hooded sweatshirts, structured shorts and even a bag or two has crept in this time.
The colours are vivid and electric this time bordering on the underground Tokyo trance culture the designer grew up around. The patterns are layered to their logical conclusion refusing to accept any simplicity whenever an opportunity to drape, structure or add in an extra detail presents itself.
The tubing is both futuristic and a reference to Buddhism, a full circle of Akira tinged apocalyptic cultism that could only be born of Tokyo.
Runurunu’s paneled jumpers are without a doubt his most accesible item outside of the printed t-shirts. It is easy to focus on the great abstract patterning on the front, but look closer and you will see cleverly curved arms, a slightly plump collar and great detailing on the inner seams – it is a clear labour of love from start to finish.
Although this somewhat sinister face has to be my favorite from the collection – what do you see?
According to the designer this is the piece that best sums up the direction for the season in a burst of electric energy.
On this piece I love all the black plastic hardware and the slightly open vents on the arms just below the elbow. Once you are strapped into this beauty you must feel like a robot as you stride the streets of Tokyo.
Finally offering Runurunu an opportunity to use some of his more avant-garde shapes in a design that will do well at retail is this great shoulder bag – which is pretty much an outfit in itself.
On to the details and you can really see Runurunu’s mutated futurism at work.
Stay tuned for more from the Tokyo underground very soon and remember to always look beyond the runways at Fashion Week.