I literally cannot believe that apart from in my personal pictures, I haven’t posted a thing about Tornado Mart since they first previewed their A/W collection.  Even then I struggled to pick out much that I like, which is remarkable considering if you had seen me a couple of years ago, I would have been clad head to foot in the stuff.  These days I tend to mix and match Tornado Mart into my outfits and only wear the full look at the right kind of parties.

Back to the topic at hand, what is new this winter from Tornado Mart?  Answer: not much!  But that is no bad thing, even if their artfully dyed bell-bottoms could be from any year, they are still pretty much the only brand making them.  OK, so they might not be new to me, but if you are seeing them for the first time, you are going to be blown away, just as I was all those years ago.  At the end of the day, you would not criticise say, a Lolita brand, for not changing the core of their styling would you?  For me, Tornado Mart is styled to the point of those sort of sub-cultures and will probably stay the same as long as their Omotesando flagship is buzzing.

Continue reading for the best of this year’s collection, and a couple of fun oddities…

And oddities is a word that can often be applied to Tornado Mart, basically, because even though they sell a core collection through OIOI department stores all over Japan, they do actually have smaller suppliers in Japan and all over the world who produce pieces in very small quantities that mostly end up only in the Omotesando flagship.  What this means is that they do source some pretty odd stuff from time to time, not to mention that some of their pieces that fall outside of the “glam and bell-bottoms” classic Tornado Mart remit can be a little incongruous to say the least.

In short, year on year, Tornado Mart always puts out some odd-stuff, panics, then returns to what they do well.  So rest assured, if you are panicking looking at the “suspect” styling over at OIOI, the Tornado Mart we know and love is still doing exactly what they are best at this winter:

Their Christmas merchandising in Omotesando.

Absolutely love this.  Thoroughly creepy.  Tornado Mart always do a good job in sourcing and commissioning some of the most amazing fabrics out there, and I am so glad when they put something daring like this into their main collection.

Apart from the model wearing the wrong size, I actually quite like this coat, especially as it is actually surprisingly reasonable.

A (rare) success story from Tornado Mart in following the trends.

You can’t go wrong with TM’s embroidery, it can be a struggle to reign it into the realms of credibility but I love it.

These floral printed leather trousers are simply amazing.  Fashionable leather trousers are rare on their own, but printed?  That is the realm of Tornado Mart!

A nice luxury layer here, perfect for battling the fluctuating temperatures of wintry Tokyo.

Gorgeous, but probably quite hard to wear well.

Nice tone to this bag, and a good call on the studded strap.

And back into the safety of beautifully dyed denim.  No one does it better.

So there you go, as always a bit of a mixed bag from Tornado Mart and one that will hopefully weather them against the changing tastes in street fashion towards the toned down.  I just hope that Tornado Mart will not lose their nerve and their flair in these times of flux.

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8 Responses to Winter with Tornado Mart

  1. brad-t says:

    Good write up. From what I can tell this has been one of TM’s weakest seasons so far. There is a lot of really cheap looking garbage just on OIOI alone. It’s too bad that their online presence is so weak, I wish I could see all the stuff that’s getting stocked at the Omotesando store.

  2. Tokyo Telephone says:

    Thanks man, I kinda struggled with this season as well. But if that means that it has broadened my style horizons by me looking elsewhere, then that can only be a good thing. I still count some of my 3/4 seasons old TM as my favorite individual pieces, but I just want them to do something a bit edgier now. I mean how cool would the cowl necks that everyone has been doing this season, but with TM detailing/colours.

  3. brad-t says:

    TM has been doing cowl necks, though …?

  4. Tokyo Telephone says:

    Sorry, I was thinking the very oversized/structural type.

    What I was getting at was that I think they would be better off doing a strong TM version of a popular trend, rather than making something admittedly new, but an acquired taste.

  5. brad-t says:

    Ahh, I see what you mean.

    BTW, I don’t much like that leather jacket you posted. And it’s actually made in Pakistan, weirdly enough:

    http://harajuju.net/Thread-TORNADO-MART-bad-name-cool-clothes?pid=5767#pid5767

    Not that that says anything in particular about it, just … yeah. Am going to lay down serious cash on a leather next year, looking at Shellac and SCHORL (which is almost impossible to find, it seems).

    Want to go shopping in Tornado Mart World and other places T__T

  6. Tokyo Telephone says:

    Yeah, odd that. That is a first for Tornado Mart as far as I recall. Doesn’t bother me either, as long as Tornado Mart’s quality control does not change I don’t see it impacting on the clothes all that much. I guess I will just have to keep my eyes open for any developments on that front. On the other hand I have seen so many brands boasting about being “Made in Japan” of late, along with “Assembled in Japan” and “Styled in Japan” that it seems consumers are letting that effect their buying decisions and Pakistan may well turn them off.

    Apparently the latest move is towards “Made in Tokyo” or “Made in Kyoto” on items that really want to boast about such things! If I am totally honest, rational or not, I just prefer to buy domestic if I can.

    Oh and good luck with Shellac and Schorl. Finding good stockists online is a right pain, if you are actually in Tokyo you will trip over them though. If I was spending that kind of money, it would have to be on Yasuyuki Ishii – love his work.

  7. brad-t says:

    Ishii is just too distressed for my style, but I do like his stuff.

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