I feel ashamed that here at Tokyo Telephone we have only covered the obscenely named Gut’s Dynamite Cabarets underwear line in the past, but I think we can be forgiven, given that that seems to be the linchpin that keeps the brand in profit and producing catwalk ready masterpieces. I suppose you might say that it is akin to the way bags and perfume keep the European fashion darlings in business, but replacing those with the most attention seeking men’s underwear the planet has ever seen! Unsurprising then that this is a brand that has always had strong currency in Shinjuku 2 Chome (Tokyo’s main gay friendly district) and while this popularity has played an important part in the growth and success of the brand, it regrettably means that their women’s line and clothes lines in general are often ignored.
However, their showing as part of the roomsLINK (separate post incoming) exhibition in one of my favorite buildings in Tokyo – the Yoyogi National Stadium was all about the clothes and showmanship the brand should be renowned for.
Pictured above was the climax of show with Kobayashi Sachiko taking to the stage with the designers Cabaret Aki and Jackal Kuzu as her famous song Yuki Tsubaki rang out to the accompaniment of blossoms falling into the crowd. A great moment that was a little bit more refined than the dance routines and general extravagance that has punctuated all the other shows I have seen.
Read on for the looks of the show and our reflections.
Now what you might not be able to tell from these pictures is how finely detailed the clothes were, one of the many great thing about the roomsLINK setting was that after a show you did not have to go along to another event or party to actually have a poke and a pry at the collection. At roomsLINK you could go direct from the show to the clothes and we were lucky enough to find the designers accompanying them, although regrettably I just about had the chance to tell them how much I loved the looks and how expectant I was for their flagship to open (with their usual blend of madness and flair behind it, you know that it is going to be a lot of fun!). Back on the subject of detail, every little stud, concho and button had some kind of design to it, whether it was something detailed like a skull or just a flourish, some element had been added to it and this kind of passion is what I really admire Gut’s Dynamite Cabarets for.
Personally I loved the cool colour palette and cleaner layers than we have been accustomed to this season. The stand out item for me has to be the studded leather riders jacket (surprising I know) – every season Gut’s Dynamite Cabarets takes great delight in spicing up a design classic. We have seen fur coats, trench coats, etc, all given their treatment and this time we have a slightly restrained leather riders. Up close it was amazing how sublimely the studs pick out a soft flowing wave over the piece. This brought a great subtly to a typically masculine and crude piece, not to mention the huge amount of work involved to to do studding like this on such a scale.
To celebrate next year being that of the rabbit, the theme of the show was “Bunny”, which I think explains the elegance that they have brought to a rock style. And at the end of the day, I was pleasantly surprised with how wearable everything in the collection was. There was nothing that screamed the kind of luxurious extravagance I was expecting, while I did miss it as part of the show, it made the whole collection all the more credible for its absence. What I am getting at is that Gut’s may not actually have the luxury to put something unwearable out there as they are yet to fully establish themselves as a brand in the fashion consciouses mind. Until they have a mass produced wearable collection they cannot really afford to open themselves up to criticism by disco dancing down the catwalk in fox fur coats (much as I have enjoyed it in the past).
In short what I saw at this years JFW was a brand keen to be taken seriously. They still kept their leather heavy rock styling intact, as they did with their fabulous sense of showmanship. But crucially it was credible and beffitted the context, especially internationally, that they were placing themselves in. It was interesting to note that the brand had an awful lot of foreign interest from stylists and buyers at the roomsLINK exhibition, they have clearly tempered their look, but retained that flair which keeps the clothes in line with their outrageous name.
As for me, I was always a fan and was always going to enjoy this show, I just hope that it has tempted more to take an interest, our readers included.
Thanks go to our wonderful hosts at Gut’s Dynamite Cabarets and JFW for their fantastic pictures.