Yoshio Kubo went back to basics for his A/W 2012-13 collection held during Tokyo Fashion Week at the Chichibunomiya rugby stadium.  The cold clean outdoors location and stripped back DJing from DJ Krush was a perfect match for a collection that would see conventional outdoors wear refined, and during that remix given fresh direction.  The unnamed collection was a celebration of returning to the designer’s love of textiles and in particular of finding ways to create a whole ensemble from a single textile, which I must say he did with rare skill that avoided the club kid look and kept it adult and masculine.  In the last half of the presentation the technical display moved on to the cut and patterning, where Yoshio Kubo took pleasure in adding in cut-outs of vivid textiles that broke up conventional lines, and in places broke out into his trademark tail fins on tailored jackets and skirted additions to trousers.

All in all it felt like a reinforcement of Yoshio Kubo’s core design ethos, which was no bad thing at all.  His textile use is unparalleled at Tokyo Fashion Week and would even hold up to the scrutiny of Paris or Milan, but ultimately it is his romanticized menswear cuts that earths the man in Tokyo and alude to a progressive dandyism that suits the city perfectly.

As I mentioned previously the first half of the collection attempts to make as much use of a single textile in each outfit and in doing so creates something vaguely futurist.  Of particular note in the above are the minimalist take on outdoors shoes, on-trend quilting, and of course, the layered shorts with the slight drop-crotch that lowers the overall silhouette succinctly.

Here the skirted panels on the trousers are captured in motion, and when combined with the slight pinching in the pattern on the crotch of the trousers create some progressive shapes that you might not have expected at first glance.  The only puzzler for me is the addition of brown fur in the shoes – I am sure the wearer will appreciate the warmth, but I would have gone for a something in an off-white.

The coloured birds that flit across the monotone are the embodiment of large scale textile design that Yoshio Kubo does so well, and the lack of repetition across a large space really brings this look to life.

This is a bit of a new silhouette for Yoshio Kubo, but this column-esque shape definitely meets with my approval.

For me, this is the key look of the collection and embodies everything that Yoshio Kubo is working towards at the moment.

From now on we start to see more of the techniques that we have seen from him before in his S/S 2012 and A/W 2011 which you can read in retrospect here and here respectively.

Love these khaki trousers with drawstring and skirting – a progressive silhouette with a heavy dose of street fashion.

Another winner from Yoshio Kubo as far as I am concerned, and a reinforcement of his importance in Japanese menswear and evidence that even as more conservative and traditional design creeps into his peers’ work, that there is still room for a modern fop in Tokyo.

(and if you are wondering why the models have red noses – blame the weather!)

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