Tokyo is in danger of being far too bright these days, the streets are full of neon and sharp sherbets that would even have the poster girl of this 90s decora rebirth, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu reaching for her oversized sunglasses.  Not that is necessarily a bad thing, but we need balance in the same way as when Yohji Yamamoto’s crows ruled the roost, it changed how the world sees Japanese fashion, and right now it seems that the dark is being bleached out.  Mercifully for those of us who revel in the Tokyo underground there is a lot to be positive about, on the surface at Tokyo Fashion Week we have DressedUndressed subtly redefining notions of gender and brands like Alice Auaa showing that there is a place for the camp and fetishistic in a high fashion setting, but look to the underground and there are swathes of younger brands keen to rise up.

At Fashion Week without a doubt the strongest gathering point for these brands we Showroom Babylon held in a concrete basement a stone’s throw away from the enemy’s base camp of Takeshita Doori in Harajuku.

It goes without saying that the prominent colour of the majority of designers was black, but there was plenty of variety to be had in parchment coloured linens, chalky grays and a real resurgence in muddy browns.

One of my personal highlights was the work of Shunsuke Hatakeyama and you can read about his collection in more detail here.

Next up was T.A.S. who used to design at Tatsuro Horikawa’s Julius.  With his own brand he is focusing entirely on accessories and bag with a functional minimalism, but is not not afraid to have an experiment every now and then – highlights included waterproof leather umbrellas and the use of multiple layers of dyeing to achieve subtle colours given to age well.

These sandals can be worn a number of different ways by distributing the ratio of the length of the central tubing.

The bags were probably T.A.S. strongest showing for me, and it was great to see some new yet familiar shapes, but also some genuinely exciting elements like the prominent use of wooden hardware instead of metals.

LIEBESLIEDER was looking as strong as ever and I am looking forward to featuring them in their own right soon.

Six Coup de Foudre has always been a favorite of mine, and I only recently found out that the designer had previously worked at one of my other favorite brands – Share Spirit.  No wonder his brutally organic leather has always been so easy to coordinate for me:

For something a little more showy you can’t go wrong with Black Triangle Design, which has a flamboyancy that I think could bring in a lot of people from the mainstream.

Love these little shoe accessories.

Regrettably I can’t show you much of the next designer – Taboo.  It is frankly obscene, but don’t let me stop you checking the site here for a taste of their fetish  scene jewelry.

As you can see the only items I can put online are the bone inspired work which I think is actually pretty wearable overall.

Finally we have the world of Dummyhead Depaysemen who is miles ahead of the game at the moment as far as I am concerned, but you are going to have to wait to see her full line-up.

Finally, if you are in Tokyo and actually want to live the fashion rather than just wear it then the party to be at this December is Sodom Tokyo.  I am not sure if I will be doing a set or not, but some far more talented people are so definitely add it to your calendars.  More info is here and as you have probably gathered it is NSFW.

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One Response to Showroom Babylon and Sodom Tokyo – Keeping The Tokyo Underground Dark

  1. […] than on the 25th of January at Candy in Shibuya where the store will be hi-jacked by the team at Babylon and some of the brightest lights of the Tokyo underground, as well as some welcome additions from […]

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