Tokyo street fashion has to be the most celebrated in the world, even set against the the deluge of photos that document the brief bi-annual gatherings of fashionable society in Paris and Milan (which give a rather false impression of what one might actually see day to day on the street), the city’s street level is arguably the only strata sufficiently appreciated internationally. However, that is not to say it is without its problems, visitors might be able to bask in the assault of the unfamiliar, but seasoned Tokyoites know to get nervous when things start to stagnate, especially when what was once exciting starts to feel normalized. That is not to say that there is a shortage of individuals pushing Tokyo fashion on, but that is exactly the point, that what used to be the united zoku or tribes of the pre-2000s has now become stranded individual icons admired but not aped by their followers.
Standing against this apathy and rising conformity we find Yann Le Goec and his iconic creation – Wut Berlin, which holds bi-annual fashion shows as a manifesto which you would be wise to adhere to, channeling as it does, a world’s worth of progressive fashion into a single show. The fashion features some of Tokyo’s underground who you would normally rarely see on a catwalk such as Balmung, Bodysong and Runurunu, but also the borderless Starstyling, Daniel Palillo, Anntian, Rene Gurskov, Roberto Piqueras, Tata Christiane and Henrik Vibskov amongst others.
This time the show was presented in two parts with the first paying homage to steely urbanism, but still managing to find excitement in monotone and advocating a subversive take on the uniform of sportswear that we now find dumbed down elsewhere to a mess of Tumblr keywords and vaguely offensive “ghetto” fashion.
We kick off with light coats, but covered with heavy prints.
The next season from Bodysong is a real departure in terms of textiles, but the featherlight fabrics crammed with HD detail have been one of the personal highlights of this Tokyo fashion season for me.
Balmung offers floaty clouds to walk within (full report coming soon).
More from Bodysong, with a fabulous new shape on the arms in the ensemble above.
Elsewhere nude leather and muted shades show that you need not be a walking slice of neon to wear the Wut Berlin manifesto.
Styling was excellent as ever, and fittingly urban in the first part of the show.
Runurunu is up to his usual bio-organic tricks, but had some surprisingly feminine offerings as well as below:
Following on from this first part, the lights went out and the stage re-emerged to reveal the chaotic tree of lights and wood in the centre. This set the scene for bursts of jungle colors and the models to have a little fun in acting out their ensembles. Which side of this “City vs Jungle” equation you align yourself with most is your call, but somewhere down the middle there is a very enticing vision for the near future of Tokyo fashion.
I love how the earthy tones balance out the extreme bursts of color, making for a credible mix of of non-gendered colors and accentuating the already gender-free silhouettes.
Sioux looking great as ever with the addition of fiery red lenses.
I thought this gentle chiding of the Givenchy nose rings was particularly well observed.
The prints were overall excellently selected and show just how exciting a medium the digital print can be, even as they reach saturation point at retail.
The show pulled no punches throughout, editing and expressing with a confidence many in Tokyo could do well to learn from, a feat all the more remarkable when you consider most of the outfits were the work of different and disparate designers coordinated together.
Yann taking his well-earned bow in a t-shirt especially designed by Roberto Piqueras for the occasion.