“I hope roomsLINK, through its collaboration with brands, stores, media and the entire fashion industry, will act as a catalyst to vitalize ‘TOKYO’” – Tomonori Matsui, roomsLINK director.
Walking into the impressively huge Yoyogi National Stadium 1st Gymnasium, you could be forgiven for thinking you were attending a concert by one of Japan’s legendary pop groups, such was the air of excitement. However, a closer look at the young people milling around inside the venue revealed that this was no ordinary day out for the Japanese fashionistas. From designers to models, press to stylists, the buzz surrounding roomsLINK was practically deafening. We handed over our business cards, collected our passes and headed inside…
Emerging at the top level of the stadium, we were greeted with an amazing overview of the roomsLINK space below us – divided into different sections for exhibitions, foreign brands, a small (and wonderfully decorated) cafe and best of all a huge area for the Japanese brands and designers to showcase their latest collections.
With this year’s Japan Fashion Week as whole promoting the idea of a more inclusive fashion week, it was a fantastic opportunity for all those both attending and exhibiting to get to know each other. The fashion industry in Japan is currently geared towards both foreign and already successful brands, and as Samuel mentioned in our overview of fashion week, in some fashion magazine editors’ opinions this has hindered the progress of many a young designer. With this background to contend with, it was utterly refreshing to see Japan’s new fashion talent getting the exposure they rightfully deserve.
(image from roomsLINK.com)
The obvious highlight for us, the Tokyo Telephone operators, was that the designers themselves were standing beside their collections and were happy to talk about them – communication with designers is something I feel is desperately missing from most big brands: I want to able to talk about inspirations and ideas and the future, not just regurgitate standard press releases. As mentioned earlier, one of the aims of this fashion week was to promote inclusiveness in fashion and the roomsLink experience as whole, with its installations, exhibitions and lovely chatty designers, was a perfect example of the changes happening at the grass roots level of fashion promotion.
In terms of inspirational fashion highlights, we loved: knitted watches, huge chunky zips, printed leather, crystal beading, punk-style studs, cross-cut gem stones, light bright whites, silk and leather, messages in bottles, t-shirts in LP covers, navy and citrus, drapes, and some really wicked shoes! We’ll be giving our favourite new brands the coverage they deserve in separate posts, so keep an eye out for the articles over the upcoming weeks.
(Samuel outside the roomsLINK venue)
Overall, and taking into consideration that this was our first time attending Japan Fashion Week, Samuel and I consider our visit to roomsLINK one of the highlights of the week. We loved being able to interact with the designers and their creations, walking around the huge venue soaking up the atmosphere, and feeling like at any moment we were on the verge of discovering the Next Big Thing.
Samuel also mentioned in his previous post that attending fashion week has affected how we see Tokyo Telephone as a site. When we first envisioned this site we had a totally different approach in mind, but over the past few months we’ve found ourselves focusing more on fashion. Having now experienced Japan Fashion Week and the excellent roomsLINK events, we’ve been really fired up about promoting fresh and largely unknown brands and designers. Don’t worry, we’ll still cover the best & biggest Japanese fashion trends as well as our more sociological articles, and now we’d like to expand our focus a little wider. We hope you’ll continue to enjoy reading Tokyo Telephone and follow the continuing evolution of both Japanese fashion and this site.
The next roomsLINK exhibition will run from March 22nd to 24th in 2011… we’ll see you there!