As I wrote about in my menswear review for the Japan Times newspaper, conventional outdoor and practical wear was a big feature of Tokyo Fashion Week.  I would not say that it was a welcome presence as far as all attendees were concerned, and no doubt those of an artistic persuasion who would rather every single show was like an Anrealage experimental collection couldn’t see why everyone else was getting so excited about this presentation.  On the other hand, from my perspective, this kind of authentic and conventional outdoor wear is what a good portion of Tokyo actually wears, and until this Fashion Week where a couple of the brands decided to get involved, primarily existed in a little niche bubble of magazines, shops and hard-core fans.  Especially in the case of Whiz Limited, their Tokyo Fashion Week appearance was a bold showing of a core Tokyo style that hadn’t been represented very well in the past.  The likes of White Mountaineering, Factotum and even Phenomenon may have brought this kind of style to TFW previously, but they have always insisted on an avant-garde touch to appeal to the fashion crowd, rather than keep things simple and authentic.

That is not to say the show lacked spice, a great atmosphere was created by virtue of a beach themed runway with deep sand that the models trudged through until it kicked up into a fug that filled the air.  The collection clashed hippy motifs with hardened mountaineering items, contrasted those with exaggerated geometric folklore rug patterns and even beach shorts.  Confused certainly, but as the designer explained, he was trying to explore the idea of not seeing a beach as a spring/summer theme, and finding a way to approach it from a wintery perspective.  Add in a couple of references to the nostalgia and passion of youth and his stage was set for a surprisingly dramatic show that showed the usual Japanese awareness for quality vintage items given just enough of a twist to make them seem exciting again.

The styling for the show was also top-notch with many flourishes that made the traditional items seem fresh and often structural – however the less said about some of the boots the better.

For me the show comes alive as you head into the second part and start seeing the folklore imagery breaking up the traditional shapes.

I think fans of the brand and this kind of look will find themselves spoiled for choice when this collection hits retail and given the amount of light and sleeveless items layered on the top, will probably continue to wear this collection all year round.

Stay tuned for more quality menswear coming very soon to Tokyo Telephone.

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