Tokyo Fashion Week is almost upon as again and given that S/S 2012 is just hitting retail and we have already seen what Paris sees for next winter, I think it is just about the time to get stuck into the next season in Tokyo. Obviously things are never simple with Tokyo Fashion Week, as when I use that term I am referring to the official schedule set out by JFW (Japan Fashion Week), now re-born as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo, as well as the unofficial schedule broadly organized by the CFD. Oddly enough, while there are less catwalk shows that occur outside of the official schedule (but at the same time), the number of brands involved can often eclipse the official schedule when exhibitions are taken into account. Likewise, the roomsLINK exhibitions which run in parallel to the official schedule are also a hub of emerging and established talent. So what I am getting at is when I type the words “Tokyo Fashion Week”, I am referring to all and sundry and not just the official schedule.
Phew, with that said, let us see what the official schedule can give us to get our blood racing:
First off there are 44 brands on schedule, including 7 complete newcomers. The visuals (above) come courtesy of Kaie Murakami, who you may remember from the last fashion week, collaborating with the hugely talented Erotyka (femme). The concept is “Future Classic” as explained by Kaie Murakami thusly:
“Approximately 40 years ago Japanese designers opened the world’s eyes to the possibilities of creative fashion by uniquely interpreting and expressing such elements as elegance, graphics and monotone. The influence of these designers remains strong and they continue to stimulate and influence many creators all over the globe. This season’s theme of “Future/Classic” expresses the traditional side of Japanese fashion through static, elegant visuals during this period of maturation of Japan’s fashion scene. These visuals compliment the “Energetic” key visuals for S/S that express the energy of Tokyo’s street culture thereby completing Japan’s fashion history to date. By expressing timeless value based on historical background Japan flaunts its presence as one of the worlds’ advanced fashion industry nations.”
So out of the 44 brands, who should you be excited about?
In a continuation of the last 2 presentations, Olga of ETW. Vonneguet is seeking models / muses for her catwalk show. So if you think you might fit the bill, then head over to the site and register your interest. You have to be in Japan for the auditions, but there are really no other barriers in your way – so get to it!
Who knows, it might be you on her runway this season being eyed up by the pair of us (bottom right of this picture…).
Next up is the very exciting news that Alice Auaa is making their Fashion Week debut. About time too as Alice Auaa have long transcended their unisex gothic roots and are producing credible fashion that should seek a broader (and more critical) audience. This could be the making of this brand, and see them move out of their sub-culture niche and on to the international greatness they are capable of.
On a personal note I always enjoy Yoshio Kubo whose evolved version of menswear and tailoring excites when the shows of Milan leave me cold. Perhaps one for a slightly older crowd, but in the youth dominated world of Japanese fashion, that is very welcome indeed.
Yuima Nakazato is making his return to Tokyo after a successful showing in Paris last season. I am holding out for a full collection that elaborates on his vision of the genderless captured in gorgeous contrasting soft drapes and leather next to shiny plastics. Either way, all critical eyes from the high-fashion press will be on this show, a lot of pressure, but I think Yuima Nakazato is going to do just fine.
Johan Ku from the UK will be back in town with a lot of live up to after his last collection blew our collective minds. That is the problem with such a memorable show, you do need to top it…
Hisui were the only designer to get political with her last lead lined collection. Will she be brave enough to continue this trend?
DRESSEDUNDRESSED will be debuting this Tokyo Fashion Week as well, I am holding out for a complete catwalk collection that should leave the world in no doubt that Japanese fashion is not just about the hooks, but also about doing the fundamentals to Parisian levels too.
All eyes are likely to be on Christian Dada after his last show was the talk of Tokyo town. Word is that it will most likely have some men on the catwalk (unlike last time), but more items for women at retail in a reverse of his last collection.
Phenomenon are due a bombastic show after the last slightly preppy collection. I am hoping for a return to aggressive, gang roots and a couple of middle fingers. This year Phenomenon are really pushing for international expansion which might lead them to leave some of their aggressively bright colours behind and stick to safe blacks, but who knows what to expect with Phenomenon…
As for the big trends: My money is on rounded shoulders and hyper masculinity for men, masculine tailoring and old-school glamour for the women. Still you never do know, and I am hoping to be constantly surprised later this March.
How about you, who are you excited to see? Full list here.