Yoshio Kubo’s S/S 2012 runway show at Belle Salle in Shibuya was one of the early highlights of last Tokyo fashion week. Certainly it was the first show to break out and deliver some kinetic edge to the catwalk, showing Tokyo fashion as the frantic ever-moving beast it should be. The models paced without a moment of pause around a circular catwalk as fast as they could without breaking into a run, encircling a live band who likewise never let the pace slow down one jot. The effect was to capture the burning, blurring neon lights of the city, its cars and its people. Yoshio Kubo has always been interested in the romanticism of exploration and this time he brought it right back to Tokyo with his collection reflecting a more conventional urban wardrobe to his mountaineering themed work that is in shops now.
The theme of blurring was strongly evident right down to individual items of clothing, with many pieces being a very literal blur of military and tailored touches. Textiles provided ample opportunity for on the mark asymmetry, but also to cut strong shapes and further accentuate the speeding models with stripes.
The rich textiles were nicely tempered by the solid dark base, which too fits the city of Tokyo – an environment that rarely favors resort wear.
The skirted effect that has been such a big hit this current A/W has been reigned in for S/S 2012 and replaced with layered shorts with a low crotch or else a train of trailing fabric.
If I had to be pinned down to a key item it would have to be this great structured coat that was boldly architectural and put me in mind of Tokyo’s mighty skyscrapers.
Yoshio Kubo can never resist one of his quintessentially bold suits on the catwalk and this year was no exception with a nice touch in the form of a subtle asymmetric twist in the patterned fabric.
And no, I am not quite sure what is going on with some of the styling either…
The way the jacket is cut to include a slight vent of flowing fabric really came alive in motion – very impressive indeed.
Overall this collection felt like a consolidation of Yoshio Kubo’s strongest elements and given a bit of a blur for good measure. The exemplary fabrics were in abundance, and there were progressive elements, but nothing that is going to scare anyone off – especially as Yoshio Kubo tends to appeal to a slightly older crowd as evidenced by the good number of impeccably dressed 30-40 year olds at the show. I should also say that it is still a shame that he does not include any elements from his female line – Muller of Yoshio Kubo in his presentations, but given the strong difference in direction between the two I could see why that might be a struggle. Either way, on kinetic energy alone this was a really great show and made me feel excited about the possibilities in menswear at a time when so many chose to play it safe.