It’s really very cold here at Telephone Towers today, so what better than a big spoonful of Mexican heat? We’re currently huddled up under the duvet (making it very hard to type this, I can tell you!) and slightly bemoaning Tokyo’s grey skies and plummeting temperatures. I love grey and moody, don’t get me wrong, but now and again it’s quite nice to take a peek at something a little warmer, a little more colourful, and a little more layered and intricate than my usual winter stand-by of heat-tech and oversized black jumpers…

Tokuko 1er Vol (that’s apparently pronounced Tokuko Premiere Vol, just so you know!) and designer Maeda are no strangers to colour, embroidery and all sorts of lovely folky influences. For this season, it’s all about Mexico, art and Frida Kahlo – count me in! I really love the incredible mix of colours, textures and patterns that runs throughout this collection, it feels at the same time bright and sumptuous. The clothes are mostly long skirts with overlays, leggings, tunics and layered tops, which in themselves could be considered basic. However, the sheer amount of detail and extra flourishes really elevate these designs above the norm.

I know that sometimes when a designer takes inspiration from one particular ethnic group or folk art style, it can be a little controversial. Of course, being British I can’t really speak for anyone of Mexican origin – if there’s anyone from that part of the world reading, I’d love to hear your take on this collection! From my perspective as an English person looking at a Japanese designer’s take on Mexican style… it’s of course a little jumbled, but I think that’s half the fun of it. Also ever-present here is the figure of Frida Kahlo, the incredible artist. I haven’t yet seen the 2002 film Frida that deals with her extraordinary life (the list of films I need to see is a mile long, and that’s just the Japanese ones!), but I think I did part of an art project on Kahlo, probably about 15 years ago, and think this is as much of a fitting fashion tribute to such an intriguing woman as is likely possible to be – the centre parting and heavy eyebrows that stare out at you from her self portraits given the breath of life on the catwalk. This is more a fashion love-letter, than mere rip-off.

Love both of these outfits.

Sheer black over-trousers are kind of amazing.

And of course, the woman herself:

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