Tokyo Brings the Focus Back to the Fashion
Since its beginning in 2005, Tokyo Fashion Week has been one of the most eye-catching fashion weeks around the globe...
The recent takeover of Seoul fashion week by Amazon Fashion from Mercedes is a move to help increase the coverage and attention that Tokyo Fashion Week really deserves. With only 50,000 fashion enthusiasts turning out, only a quarter of what New York would see. Being at the receiving end of four very busy fashion weeks does have its drawbacks for Tokyo. Amazon is using its power to reel in more of the big brands, some that we are more familiar with on the western side.
This season saw fifty-five brands taking part, of which twenty-two were first-timers to fashion week. Amazon is also helping by giving the chance for brands to sell through them. This is helping some of the small-time designers increase their international audience, as well as making it easy for consumers to buy the products they see in the shows. Amazon’s mission to bring in the big names is most likely the reason for the most talked about show this season, UNDERCOVER and Sacai.
Designers Jun Takahashi and Chitose Abe came together to put their collections on the same runway. Takahashi had not had a collection on the runway for fifteen years, and for Abe, it was first-time nerves. First Abe displayed her collection, then Takahashi displayed his, based on “The Shining”. The collection was showcased on sets of twins. The idea was inspired by the artist Cindy Sherman. The show ended with all the models walking down the runway wearing matching jackets, reading “what goes around comes around”.
Unlike many of the other fashion weeks, there is very little coverage on the famous faces attending the shows, only a list saying there were many celebrities, bloggers, designers and photographers attending. One artist who did somewhat have coverage was Tyler the Creator, who was seated front row. Although this was true, even he was more than just a face at fashion week, attending whilst promoting the release of his continuing collaborations with Converse. Whether the lack of attention on the faces, focusing on the clothing itself is a positive or negative factor, is a debatable question.
When it comes to stand-out styles, the world’s capitals all have their own distinctive, and Japan's is a mix of both traditional and western influences. Social media is a massive element in Japanese culture, with some influencers reaching national and global fame through showcasing their style or designs on these platforms.
Talented Japanese designers were emerging from every catwalk. Yohei Ohno, a Tokyo based designer who developed his sewing and pattern cutting skills at Bunka Fashion College, then went on to win a scholarship at Nottingham Trent University. Ohno presented his graduate collection at London GFW 2014. Returning to Japan the end of 2014 saw the release of his own brand YOHEI OHNO. His collection this season, displays mainly primary colours, while mixing fabrics like vinyl and mesh with cotton linen. Some flecks of silver and gold were seen on accessories including gloves and bags.
Muze, the ready to wear men's collection debuted in 2013, producing items of street and minimalism- basing their concept around the iconic man of the times. The calm colours give the collection an urban future aesthetic.
One of the main designers that sparked interest was Johan Ku, with his Gold Label. At seventeen, Johan Ku started his career as a graphic designer, In 2010, his "Re-Sculpture" and "Emotional Sculpture" collections became examples in a British knitwear textbook alongside famous designers such as Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Rodarte. This season, Ku has involved strong prints into smart formal wear producing an eye-catching collection.
Away from the shows the streets were spilling with some of the most creative looks we've seen from the recent months of fashion. Japan’s perfectionism of creative development flows into their fashion, the mixture of influences their creativity comes from gives each look an air of individualism.
Written by Otis Anderson @otis_anderson