Times are changing in Japanese menswear, you see it everyday on the streets of Tokyo, the glitzy Hedi Slimane era of fashion that characterized the late 00s long replaced by the Fake Tokyo club kids, but that too is now tailing off and leaving us in a state of minimal urban modernism. It is a shift that has unfairly been called the conclusion of the “real clothes” movement, i.e. function, practicality and durability over all else, and while there is some truth in that, it would be mistake to reduce it to that in its entirety and miss out on all the movement has to offer.
There is probably no better example for this trend than Sise who held their AW runway show to coincide with Tokyo Fashion Week, but not on the official schedule, limiting the numbers of attendees and making sure that only those who wanted to be there were. The collection itself was a departure away from the white and grey heavy line-ups of the past, branching out with colour and more aggressively masculine shapes. The silhouette and the clothes may have been the conventional streetwear fare, but each piece simplified to an extreme leaving razor sharp lines and crisp layering in its wake.
Textiles too had a subtlety too them that the dark and smoky setting made difficult to convey. The outfit above is actually a very slight camouflage – “very” being the operative word, you have to be within a metre of it to see it. That is the kind of restraint that seems to be the order of the day this coming AW in Tokyo, and if it is anything like Sise, then that need not be dull at all.
The setting for the show was an absolute highlight in the grounds of Chichibunomiya rugby stadium – flaming torches and smoke machines guaranteed you could see the runway hundreds of metres away on approach and a 20 metre high graffiti wall with the new Sise logo hammered home that this is a new stronger Sise and a force to be reckoned with. It was certainly a pleasant contrast to the shows at Hikarie where there just isn’t enough space to build this kind of atmosphere.
The show kicked off with a series of light colour-blocked layers finished with the kind of quality that fast fashion is never going to replace in Tokyo.
The arm length of the inner layers was a big styling point, but don’t miss out on those sharp turn-ups on the left.
The sweater design on the left was a big hit in previous Sise collections and shows no sign of going anywhere.
For the fans (who queued in staggering numbers to see the show) the New Era caps are going to be collectable,
and elsewhere pieces produced with English Rock bad KYTE continued the collaborations, that also included A.D.S.R on the eyewear.
There you have it, a minimal clean winter of menswear waiting for you. It may be at odds with the Harajuku street led impression most outsiders have of Tokyo fashion, but trust me, this is what you will be seeing on the rise there and in the rest of the city.