One of the real treats of Japan Fashion Week was the huge number of smaller events that went along with it. Personally I am always infinitely more excited by the prospect of finding something new, than seeing something I have seen before re-touched for a new season. Not to say there is anything wrong with the prospect of subtle honing that 90 percent of commercial fashion is, but there is something to be said for coming across something that is completely original. Given that, Manicolle was certainly the event for me – trainers that shed layers of rubber, knitted watches and beautiful jewelery made from real and rare beetles.
In summary, think the environment of fashion graduation collection shows, but with seriously high level, boutique ready wares. But it is probably the former point that makes Manicolle a success, despite it being industry only, there is a casual atmosphere that lends itself well to just chatting with the designers and understanding their collections.
Continue reading for some shots of the exhibition and more persuasion that you should pay attention to it.
The Manicolle in October was a stones throw from the centre of Shibuya in the optimistically named “Star Building”, but they are intermittently held at the significantly bigger Tokyo Big Sight. The reason for the events success lies in that they manage to attract exactly the right exhibitors rather than the shotgun strategy of the bewildering Design Festa (which I love for different reasons). Manicolle is strictly clothing and accessories only, and because of its very close relationship with a lot of the Harajuku art and fashion universities has become known as something of a stepping stone to a shop in La Foret. Indeed, Gondoa, one of my favorite jewelery brands of recent years actually got picked up here and now their star has well and truly risen.
So even if you can’t go there I would advise you keep an eye on the Manicolle homepage and blog, to see what brands are mentioned as at least 50% will go on to greatness, and even if they don’t, they probably had the potential to. At the very least I think we can be relied on here at Tokyo Telephone to highlight the best, so keep an eye out over this coming month for our picks of the show.
So here is a taste of the exhibition. Intimate and no messing around. Just great creative people producing great stuff.