I was very happy to be asked by the lovely Misha Janette to write up the menswear shows of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo for The Japan Times Newspaper. Needless to say I was delighted to do so and even though reigning in my usual verbosity for print media is always a challenge for me, I hope I rose to the challenge and put out something that will appeal to fashion aficionados and civillians alike. Well, you are more than welcome to judge for yourself and if you have any comments or questions then best to ask them here seeing as the physical paper nor online version accepts comments.
It has been over a week since I wrote it and since then I have been going to all the exhibitions that follow the fashion week as well as the shows that coincidentally occur just after the official fashion week schedule ends. I have to say that those presentations too definitely echo the sentiments that I voiced just after the Mercedes-Benz official schedule had run its course – this is clearly a time for the foundations of Japanese fashion to be rebuilt and while many (myself included) may lament a lack of new exciting direction, we must count ourselves lucky that normality has been well and truly restored. I am sure that all of those in Japan for the last / lost Japan fashion week can attest to the discord struck by an empty Takeshita Doori and shops and boutiques that don’t even stop for New Year closing up – even if it was just in the immediate aftermath. You see, Tokyo fashion never stops, there is always a show or exhibition going on somewhere and you are lucky if you manage to capture a fraction of it first hand. So even though things got back to normality exceptionally quickly, I think that the the industry just needed a public opportunity to shout – we’re back.
As demonstrations of strength go, I believe that is has been a pleasantly bold one. For example, h.Naoto choosing to show his favorite items from his past collections next to his new work spoke of great confidence in all he had accomplished and a desire to gather his best work to form a foundation to build his new on top of. The motor input of Mercedes-Benz for the official schedule and Mini for the roomsLINK exhibitions was clearly a spark for greater international attention, but surprisingly it did little to unite the respective brands into a cohesive week that journalists rushing from one side of Tokyo to the other long for. But like I said at the start this is not a time for progression or correcting the wrongs of Tokyo fashion week, this was an opportunity to restore normality and from there move on.
Well move on we shall, and rest assured that I will be with you every step of the way..