Tokyo Fashion Week Fall 2016: Part 1
March 16, 2016
Tokyo fashion week is now in full swing, and the first two days brought a wide range of styles, from postmodern influences to wearable, everyday pieces and even some stylish urban outdoorsmen. There was also some glamourous lingerie from Japan's answer to Victoria's Secret, and international superstar Gwen Stefani turned heads when she sat front row at the last show on Monday. Read on for highlights of the first two days...
Inspired by old war photography, Tsukasa Mikami’s “runway” show mimicked more of an installation, as models remained mostly stationary, turning on cue with a spotlight. There were no rows or seats, just standing room only, allowing ample time to observe the collection. The collection encompassed a series of similar designs in a mash-up of prints and fabrications. Camouflage prints and white floral motifs showed up on pleated skirts, cargo pants, and button-up shirts. Drawing in some color, an orange overcoat and pleated skirt brightened up the series. Contrary to some of the more theatrical offerings shown during fashion week, each piece was wearable and easy to visualize on the streets of Tokyo. –Chanyn Kirtman
Hokuto Katsui and Nao Yagi launched their label in 2001, and since then it has been a mainstay during Tokyo fashion week. Fusing bold patterns with innovative concepts, Mint Designs pumps out some energetic yet somehow timeless pieces.
For fall 2016, Katsui and Yagi borrowed inspiration from Etore Sottsass’s postmodern forms, combining futuristic prints with classic silhouettes. A cubical graphic pattern was seen on fur outerwear, dresses with a vinyl waistband, and even a handbag. Stripes in various widths and colors were repeated throughout the collection on peasant tops, tailored blazers, and crisp overcoats. Toning things down a bit, a series of neutral colored separates, some with small jacquard patterns, accompanied the more spirited pieces. –Chanyn Kirtman
The first day of the week was closed by a glamorous and glittery nocturnal show by Keita Maruyama, at which singer and international fashion icon Gwen Stefani took a seat in the front row. Stefani was a guest of MasterCard Japan, an official partner of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Tokyo. The buzz at the spectacle in Shibuya’s Hikarie building was significant, and the flurry of camera flashes conveyed a sense of Hollywood.
The show itself, presented under the theme of “Dark Night Dreams,” was characterized by kind of an overload of distinct elements and influences and an accessory-heavy collection. Maruyama made extensive use of maximalist faux-fur shrugs and pompoms on cocktail dresses in midnight blue, galactic motifs on ladylike dark skirt suits, and leopard prints on winter coats. There were also playful embroidered tights and Chinese-inspired satin pajamas with dragon embellishments in pastel tones. The regularly seen flower embroideries were replaced by metallic star appliques and polka dots on transparent mesh dresses, tunic-like tops and miniskirts. The designer drew inspiration from the glamour of a mythical night in Paris, the ladylike style of the 1940s, and traditional East Asian elements, presenting a line for the girliest of the girls.
Even if it was more of a dream-like hodgepodge than a consistent collection, Stefani praised it. “For me, it had everything Japanese that I love.…I’m like, wow, he’s thinking outside of the box and he thinks in a different way and I love that,” she said. –Linda Haberberger
Known for their seamless construction, designer Takayuki Tanaka and pattern maker Motoyuki Matsumoto debuted rather constructed pieces for their fall collection. Although their signature draping made an appearance, overall the pieces were body conscious and clean lined. Outerwear was a major player this season, from long overcoats in heavy, textured fabrics to mid-length jackets with a cleaner finish. Dresses and skirts sporting drawstrings, and dresses with zippers down the front, also stood out. The collection could’ve used some editing and a few styling changes on monochromatic looks would’ve allowed finer finishes to be exposed. –Chanyn Kirtman
Hanae Mori Manuscrit
Casting a spell over us with his diaphanous beauty of last season‘s collection, designer Yu Amatsu took us on a journey through a progressive range of fashion-forward mono- and bi-colored styles, leading to the show’s colorful and print-heavy final looks for fall 2016. Feminine layering, asymmetric silhouettes, fake fur, and over-dimensional bows as recurrent elements characterized his fourth collection. The designs, known for their mature approach and East-meets-West blend, again paid tribute to the brand’s signature butterfly, used in several looks including a flouncy skirt, a cape dress and even a trench coat. The show started off impressively with monochromatic casual yet chic looks in burgundy such as a quilted top and chino, or a loose-knitted bomber jacket and culottes, before progressing through some geometric print dresses to clean and office-ready layered cape-shouldered styles held in black and white. From there, the looks evolved into more playful and partially kitsch dresses with swinging silhouettes. The show culminated with a butterfly printed floor-length dress with an over-dimensional bow at the back, through which the model’s ponytail was threaded. –Linda Haberberger
Discovered is known for delivering all the contemporary masculine codes stylish Tokyo man needs. This season, designer duo Tatsuya Kimura and Sanae Yoshida sent out a group of travelers and adventurers in rough, mixed textures with undone edges. Influences likely included outdoorsy, urban warriors from around the globe, as poncho-like hoodies, grandma’s wool jumpers, nylon bomber jackets with South American folkloristic knit sleeves and hoods, mountaineering boots, fedora hats, and pleated scarf-like sweaters and coats featured prominently. The fusion of elements from various countries, from long tops calling to mind Scottish tartan kilts to suit jackets with traditional Chinese frog buttons, was successfully translated into one-of-a kind monochromatic modern outfits presented mainly in natural tones. Lots of layering and unfinished elements such as frayed hems on pants and uneven garment length on linings added a sense of roughness and undone sophistication to the overall look. In true high-meets-low style, there were also some sleek tailored suits and trenches, which added an urban touch to a genre-free and not very exciting collection. –Linda Haberberger
Japan’s high-profile lingerie company, Peach John, joined its first Tokyo fashion week in 10 years this season to debut a “vintage Parisian chic” collection. The stage was set with a long corridor with multiple doors through which models entered and exited. Berets, scarves and leopard fur coats were accessorized over primarily white, black and light hued panty sets. Bralettes with jeweled adornments and retro briefs were worn under garments from silk robes, houndstooth jackets and floor grazing trenches.
The show threw some spice and sex appeal into an otherwise PG-rated fashion week, and was an entertaining exhibition of Tokyo’s favorite lingerie brand. –Chanyn Kirtman