Select shops / boutiques in Tokyo are a completely different beast from pretty much anywhere else in the world. With the exception of the handful of heavily curated foreign shops like H.Lorenzo or Primitive London, there are precious few outside Japan who are known for the way the shop styles the collections over that by the original designers. In the same way as famous vintage shops like Grimoire have created a completely new aesthetic (and fashion tribe) without actually making much themselves, there are a good number of Tokyo fashion boutiques whose bold re-interpretations of current seasons create genuinely new fashion distinct from the designer. It is a move truly representative of the time, where wearing a complete outfit straight out of a lookbook is quite simply too easy and thus to achieve something fashionable (i.e. of the moment) people are being forced to have an active relationship with clothes and not simply being told what is “on trend”.
A pioneer of this dialogue that people should have with fashion is Yann Le Goec, buyer at the seminal Omotesando shop – Wut Berlin. To celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the select shop he decided to curate and produce a fashion shop within the intimate space, primarily to showcase new brands that might not be able to justify a full runway show, but also to articulate the shops direction as we head into S/S 2012. The theme was nod to Thierry Mugler in “Digital Gods”, a concept that brought together classical Roman depictions of gods alongside a club-wear friendly futurism. The foreign brands that were chosen for the show were particularly adept at conveying that with the Danish Rene Gurskov looking particularly good on the catwalk next to the current generation of Berlin designers leading the street scene including Hui-Hui, StarStyling, ANNTIAN and Vladimir Karaleev. But, as you might well assume, for us here at Tokyo Telephone it was the Japanese designers that occupied our attention and it was great to see Giza and Sise in a catwalk setting, and the real revelation was Bodysong whose sportswear inspired voluminous creations were the core of the show and felt like real progression in both silhouette and layering.
The team at Wut Berlin did an outstanding job at converting the relatively small tiled shop space to a Roman temple (replete with pillars!) and the invited guests filled the building to maximum capacity leaving the hardcore fans of the shop to watch from the outside. The combination of the packed venue, bright lights and soundtrack provided by Flash and Roxi (aka. ilil and Banzai) got a decent party atmosphere going where the models could flit in and out between the pillars in a heady claustrophobic atmosphere which I hope the pictures below manage to convey:
The next two looks are both from the amazing Bodysong:
It was interesting to see how a show curated by Wut Berlin would convey the spirit of the select shop, and personally I feel it was a great success in capturing the creative atmosphere and club kids of the golden years of the Berlin scene that the shop itself references. In the same way as Candy’s street catwalk (which, lest we forget was the launching pad for Christian Dada, Tarzan Kick, etc) reflected the direction of the shop, so too did Wut Berlin’s and it will be interesting to see how many more select shops use catwalks shows to communicate their aesthetic with the public in the future.
For more on Wut Berlin there is a great shop blog here and if you haven’t visited this shop yet then you are missing out on a true Tokyo fashion landmark.