Tokyo Fashion Week Spring 2016: Part 3
The spring 2016 edition of Tokyo's fashion week wrapped on Saturday, with the last two days featuring everything from edgy street-meets-athletic wear to kimonos styled with studs, fishnets and lace. There were also plenty of beautifully constructed, wearable garments that we'll definitely be looking for in stores come spring. Highlights below.
Ujoh designer Mitsuru Nishizaki, a former pattern cutter for Yohji Yamamoto, is known for his effortlessly chic designs. This spring collection flowed down the runway in a very relaxed manner, consisting of mostly neutral colors. The skirt and trousers were cut from comfortable fabrics with asymmetric details, giving great movement. Seeing this collection on hangers would simply not do it justice. Try it on and take a spin around the dressing room to convince yourself of your purchase. These are clothes designed for people on the go. There were also some subtle surprises, like a layer of lace hanging out from lightweight cotton tops, which added a certain delicateness. And details on the ten spring jackets shown featured waist-cinching zip cords, oversized pockets, moto zips, and mixed textiles. The models were styled in chic leather slip-on sneakers, which gave the feeling that these girls were ready to tackle the city streets, comfortably and stylishly. –Amanda Andrews
Johan Ku Gold Label
Leave it to Johan Ku to bring the sex appeal along to the MBFWT party. It wasn’t just about the clothes either, as models disappeared around a sheer white curtain dividing the length of the runway, skulking around to the opposite side of the audience, one half of the room were left to watch merely their shadowy outlines glide past. It was a big tease. But it was sublime to witness.
Inspired by 1971 film Death in Venice, Ku was clearly in a seductive, sombre mood when he chose his coloring this season, realized perfectly in a black silk gown complete with billowing silk cape. However, the collection actually hinges around the end scene of the film, set by the sea, which most likely explains the interspersion of stark whites, deconstructed breton stripes and the occasional crunchy, sand-like texture. The mood of longing and abolition continued in the interplay between naked shoulders and legs, and the organic, wave-like drapes used in floor-length coat jackets and dresses.
Springboarding from a somewhat complex, philosophical origin, Ku managed to sculpt a refined vision for his spring collection, culminating in a look that is both bold yet surprisingly wearable. –Juliette Olah
Onitsuka Tiger x Andrew Pompilio
Japanese athletic brand Onitsuka Tiger continues its partnership with Italian designer Andrea Pompilio, producing an edgy, luxurious streetwear collection for spring. The show featured a marriage of athleisure and sophisticated pieces, creating high-end apparel that doubles as sportswear. Car wash hems were paired with structured sweaters, and long dresses in high quality materials were styled with chunky soled sneakers. There was a strong emphasis on detailing, with side zippers on sweatshirts, exaggerated and uneven hemlines, and pristinely tailored blazers. Sleeveless, mesh tunics were styled with almost every look, bringing edge to more refined pieces. The show’s music selection (California Dreamin’) wasn’t the only retro element, as a series of a white and black floral patterns brought a 70s ambiance that continued with vintage one-piece swimsuits and mirrored sunglasses. The show ended with a series of men’s and women’s swimwear in red, white and black patterns. –Chanyn Kirtman
Designer Yasutoshi Ezumi usually takes inspiration for his collections from famous architects, and the work of Frank Gehry inspired this season. The runway show was set in a sophisticated gallery building in trendy Omotesando. In a stark white room with sunlight pouring in through the huge windows, we could appreciate the finer details of these garments. The designer’s central theme was to disassemble a classic garment to find a new shape, and this was shown across all pieces that came down the runway. The opening deconstructed trench coat dress really set the stage for the whole collection as it re-purposed all elements of the classic trench to create something new and exciting; perfect for that trendsetter who is seeking that “wow” spring piece. Most items were born out of a menswear suit and incorporated suiting fabrics and cuts, as well as men’s dress shirts. They got a feminine twist such as peek-a-boo pleats or a surprise cutaway section. Some oversized pieces played with volume and relied on the lines in the fabric to add structure. Others were well tailored, with fabric curving asymmetrically across the hips, giving a beautiful feminine shape. –Amanda Andrews
The choice of venue (an outdoor passage by the rugby stadium) for KBF’s spring show was not a style-without-substance decision. As the music cued, it was obvious why the design team chose the space, and they truly worked it. The designers’ inspiration this season was landscapes. As tracks reverberated about the area (concrete echoes something phenomenal) models emerged from the top of the stadium seating stairways, descending onto the runway from the blackness. From here it was a barrage of engrossing activity, as models materialized rapidly from both directions of the runway, creating an urgent onslaught for the senses. Perhaps motivated by the landscape theme, the artistry in the way space was used to create mood in this show was highly commendable.
Outfits were mostly arranged in stunning tonal colorways of cobalt blue, creams, silvers, mauves and khaki with the occasional attack of all black for contrast. KBF is no stranger to sporty silhouettes and fabrics, and this collection is an edgy example of chic urban-jungle preparedness. Each look appeared simultaneously well put-together, yet irresistibly comfortable.
After the runway cleared and darkness resumed in preparation for the finale, audiences were treated to a strobe light show set to blaringly loud electronic noise. Models wore simple black leotards with sleek black pumps, and walked in rapid succession, flashing an army of bare legs. It was an electrifying finish, and easily my favorite show (and this was genuinely a “show”) of the season. An astonishingly cool result. –Juliette Olah
Classical pianist Yoshiki Hayashi grew up against the backdrop of his father’s kimono fabric shop. As a global touring artist, he became inspired to put the art and beauty of Japanese kimonos on a world stage.
The show and the collection were both infused with Yoshiki’s signature, and highly literal, classic-meets-rock style. Central to the show was, of course, the artist, who seated himself (amidst much frenzied fan noise) at a transparent grand piano in the middle of the runway. Walking to Yoshiki and his band, models showed off a mix of traditional and deconstructed Kimono silhouettes, the more risque of which, flashed fishnet encased legs, long patent boots, leather face masks, and dangling chain obi adornments. One highlight was a breathtaking kimono styled off the shoulder and featuring a bold red, black, white and gold printed skirt section, finished with a delicate black lace mask.
In true dramatic Yoshiki form, the show ended with the last model climbing atop the piano to enact a choreographed interlude with the artist. The indulgent spectacle was sure to thrill Yoshiki’s devoted fan set. –Juliette Olah