Kicking off our Japan Fashion Week 2010 coverage here at Tokyo Telephone is the gloriously feminine Liz Lisa – appropriately enough this was Liz Lisa’s first appearance at JFW as was it ours since founding this site. Not only was this the first fashion week show for Liz Lisa, but also for any 109 brand to my mind and it was a pleasure to see Liz Lisa transcend the kind of Shibuya street style that would fit the bill at Tokyo Girls Collection and find the conceptual heart of the brand and exaggerate it to fill the catwalk setting.
The show was held at the Ebisu Garden Hall and right from our pink handbag shaped invitations to the overpowering scent of roses that greeted you as you were ushered into the waiting hall and plied with appropriately pink champagne – everything screamed Liz Lisa. To make sure the fashion itself was in evidence some of the brand faithful selected through a competition were milling around representing the dreams of cute Parisians Liz Lisa stands for who were taking great delight in advance previews of upcoming collections. We busied ourselves with checking out a brand retrospective and their new range of room wear, furnishings and scents – not that you had to get all that close for the latter – it was as if you were cocooned in a giant rose from the moment you crossed the threshold!
The show itself continued the theme with a rose petal strewn and flower lined cat-walk but surrounded by Grecian columns that combined with some of the white ensembles definitely recalled a touch of goddesses descending from a temple to the show – an angelic image that was not matched by the thumping Shibuya friendly trance that accompanied! With the exception of Vivi favorite Lena Fujii, the models were all foreign, which again helped to separate the show from the usual Japanese fashion magazine event, but felt a bit of a shame considering this is such a fundamentally Japanese brand only available in Japan and born of street style – nevertheless the models did fit the look perfectly.
Read on for a look by look breakdown of the show –
The look remained the classic Liz Lisa assault of florals, pinks, peaches and caramels, but the next Spring/Summer season colours of citrus did play their part as did the use of darker blue accents which featured pretty heavily across a lot of shows at JFW. We were personally pleased to see some nods to sweet Lolita Fashion with bloomers and bell bottom skirts alongside more mature imagery such as the strikingly feminine gladiator sandals. Following on from this seasons trend for bold zoomed-in leopard print patterns, Liz Lisa played with larger and sparser floral patterns for next spring as well as a great large check print play-suit.
Overall I think this was a triumphant showing from a key Japanese street brand that would normally be somewhat alien to the world of high fashion that they found themselves in. But the crucial thing is that they raised their game and put on a show to please fans and fashionistas alike. It does make you think about the future of the iconic Gyaru old school, MARS has recently celebrated its 20th anniversary if you can believe it and they along with Liz Lisa are not all that rare as Shibuya 109 brands to have stood the test of time and established an exceptionally strong brand identity. Liz Lisa has been quite clever in taking that kind of street popularity to a high fashion place, not an easy task by all accounts and I do hope they will be considered trailblazers for others to follow.
Equally as fans (and wearers) of these kind of street style brands for years it is great to see that aesthetic celebrated in a wider as well as intellectual context. Whether or not they were appreciated by other attendees is another matter, but you cannot deny that they stood as equals with brands of high-fashion pedigree and for that they should be admired.
Lena Fujii embodying Liz Lisa
Thanks go to our hosts at Vent International and JFW for their Runway shots.
Lena Fujii picture courtesy Fashionsnap