Where do I start with this one? Compared to our previous Japan Fashion Week coverage, Harajuku lovely fur fur’s show was completely different and was not at all what I was expecting or could have ever expected! Alarm bells should have rung when even though Rebecca and I had got there some 20 minutes early, the queue to get in had already spread down from the museum at the top of Harajuku’s La Foret to the 3rd floor and I am reliably informed that it got beyond the 1st by the time doors had opened. In short, the number of people clutching invitations seemed to be somewhat out of proportion with the space available inside, a prediction that would later be proved right! So my condolences to those who ended up at the back and unable to see, you were most certainly not at fault.
But less said of that the better I think, the positive of this was that the atmosphere in the La Foret museum was close, claustrophobic even, especially with the lights out. Thematically the concept was that you were peeking through into a glade and catching sight of the models (and clothes) in dappled light which the setting definitely fulfilled.
This atmosphere was further aided by the fact that the models were walking on a stage in front of the attendees rather than a catwalk. This coupled with the low lighting and frustratingly brief glances you would get at the looks made for quite a show, but which frustrated photographers no end as was clear from the majority of pictures that have surfaced. Still, combined with the live music from xylophones along with the buzz of feedback and crackling distortion all gave way to a show that was gripping, intimate and uncomfortable but really made you engage with the work that meandered deer-like through the dappled and occasionally star-filled stage.
Read on for the looks of the show and keep your eyes out for the three collaborations that outline the collection. See you on the other side…
As you have probably clocked, the first collaboration is to mark the 50 year anniversary of the Peanuts compilation “Happiness is a Warm Puppy” which was the source of inspiration for the hair and make-up for the show. While I am fairly indifferent to the original comics and Snoopy (who did make a less than subtle appearance on stage), I did actually appreciate the artistic direction that it gave to the show and fur fur did manage to find the core aesthetic of the work in the direction, as well as just slapping the artwork on some of the clothes. The other collaborations were with Brazilian artist Yomar Augusto and Cli’O Marriage who was responsible for the stunning wedding dress I used in the title image.
While this all left me with a strong and lasting impression, which as I said in my introduction, was at odds with my expectations for this brand. As the designer would later go on to say that this S/S 2011 collection would mark a change of direction for one that has always had Mori Girl styling at its core. While the looks still had a strong Mori Girl vibe to them, there definitely was some hint of change in the air. A wise move considering that 90 percent of fur fur’s fan base love the brand for its Mori, but I admired the creative director for firstly showing an established aesthetic in a different context than I was expecting but also for finding a way to add their own mark to that aesthetic.
Personally I enjoyed the hints of apron-like structures, large flowing frills and unconventional positioning of the layer elements. I did not love the presence of Snoopy – sorry! But it seems that every other brand at Fashion Week seemed to be relying on a collaborator and I guess fur fur found theirs, it only remains to see whether that has the potential to be a popular decision.
The woes of photographers aside I was very pleasantly surprised by the work of fur fur this year. Not just because I am a big fan of the Mori look, but also because fur fur have managed to produce a lot of items that are not the focus by virtue of some kind of gimmick, but on pure tailoring and cut, which is quite a feat in the piles of layers that you would normally expect from Mori.
All in all I am glad to see Mori develop into an established part of the Japanese Fashion Scene, and good on them for trying such a unique presentation style, even if the press would rather they had stuck to something a little bit easier to record!
Thanks go to our hosts at fur fur, La Foret and of course JFW for their wonderful shots.