Last Tokyo Fashion Week may have given us previous little guidance as to where Japanese fashion is heading, but looking beyond that there are a wealth of signs at present in Tokyo to give you an idea of the way the wind is blowing.  Most recently the Pyarco space within Parco Shibuya played host to the launch of the “Secori Book” by Sacroi Gallery, a work which presents a very convincing and articulate argument for the path we are likely to take in the future, and if true, is one I am very excited to follow.

We thought we would take a look at the book and launch exhibition, but also tie that in with the Pyarco space itself which in effect is echoing at present many of the themes outlined in the book.

To give a glib overview, the book finds a common narrative between traditional Japanese artisanal techniques, whether that is indigo dyeing, textile production or wood work, and a modern culturally led view of fashion, where high-concept or pop-cultural influences are the primary goal of the process with fundamental garment production as a secondary result.  At first glance these two strands seem irreconcilable, but in essence they are both two different expressions of quintessentially Japanese aesthetics – respectively an expression of Japanese identity of such unity that you would struggle to find replicated in fashion anywhere else in the world.

In the way of modern designers the book itself looks at many brands you will be familiar with if you are a regular reader of this site such as Nusumigui and Takeshi Nishiyama, and the launch exhibition itself played host to exciting new work from Chloma, aaAaa, rari and sou-mu, all mixed in with traditional artisanal work from the likes of Yuya Miura and Ota Mokko.  These were not separate forces, instead the purpose here was to mix, so we saw modern designer Miyabi collaborate with the aforementioned Ota on a clutch detailed with traditional Hakone wood work (Yosegi-Zaiku).  But if that was the starting point to this narrative, then the conclusion must surely have been in the form of the pop-culture inspired Chloma (Junya Suzuki’s new vehicle) who, along with others, collaborated with the Kaytay Texinno textile corporation (as part of the Tokyo Textile Together project) using new Japanese hi-tech textiles, which presented a very compelling view of where Japanese fashion should be heading.

In essence it is this revering of the traditional wa aesthetics, cultivation of artisanal techniques that must not be allowed to pass into obscurity, but also their implementation into relevant modern fashion that this exhibition posits, and personally, it is an identity that I would like to see become demonstrative as Japanese fashion looks for direction.

Here you can see new work from Chloma using hi-tech synthetic fibres that are as strong and warm as you could hope for.

Great to see their robotic anime-influenced shapes as strong as ever,

as exemplified in this skirt you might have seen Kyary Pamyu Pamyu wearing in Dazed and Confused.

Elsewhere in Pyarco, the genius that is Keisuke Kanda provides his witty take on fashion and pop-culture.  Here kawaii culture is delivered through the lens of gundam plastic kit models.

A school girl uniform rendered in Japanese folded paper in a collision of two iconic images.

Traditional Japanese weaving techniques looking modern in jewelry design.

Anrealage’s wonderful pixel heels.

Back with the exhibition and we find sou-mu designing clothes that can be worn anyway you so desire.

rari’s beautiful dyeing techniques.

A fresh take on indigo.

The stunning wooden clutch.

And finally aaAaa, who I must confess was a new discovery for me (homepage here).

For more on the Secori Gallery project you will want to go here where you can find out more about their other projects including work into ethical and sustainable fashion, as well as details as to how to obtain a copy of the book.

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