Clara Brannigan reviews the bold and brave runway style at Tokyo Fashion Week.
The only word to describe Tokyo fashion week is ‘extra.’ This is the third season since Amazon became the headlining sponsor of Japan’s biggest fashion event. They have kept to their word by supporting local emerging brands and breathing new life into the fashion week. Amazon’s sponsorship has caused a shift, with the fashion week featuring cult brands like Undercover and Sacai that have been previously shown exclusively in Paris. The newly developed ‘At Tokyo’ programme gives brands the opportunity to sell their collection online through Amazon fashion, which offers international shipping. This season brought popular niche brands like Ambush, Hyke, and Akikoaoki bringing a high fashion feel that Tokyo had not quite experienced before.
Maiko Kurogouchi had already shown her collection just weeks earlier in Paris, yet this did not hold her back as the designer arrived for her debut ready to impress. Kurogouchi brought her Parisian verve while delivering a succinct perspective of Japanese fashion with her collection Mame. Kurogouchi’s ready-to-wear was an ode to Charlotte Perriands, one of the first western female designers to explore the region in depth. The collection featured floral patterns, echoing kimonos made from local textiles. Kurogouchi does more than capture an aesthetic, she immerses herself in the preservation of the intricate skills that have developed in Japan over centuries. The collection’s strongest moments feature flashes of colour with white and blue chunky sweaters and woven leather with colourful patches.
This season, Emiko Sato and Takeshi Kitazawa’s collection DressedUndressed utilised tailoring and texture to showcase their core concept of unisex dressing. They painted a powerful image that desirability can be stripped of regressive gender norms. On the DressedUndressed runway this translated into White sheer blouses with built in underwire, suit jacket leotards and shirts with slits that teasingly showed a hint of backside. While mostly a monochromatic collection there were bursts of colour in the form of burnt orange bomber jackets and electric blue bicycle shorts. The Undressed side of it was provocative and playful as it reworked classic pieces in a sultry way.
Kurogouchi does more than capture an aesthetic, she immerses herself in the preservation of the intricate skills that have developed in Japan over centuries
The collections weren’t the only highlight; the street style stood out with eye popping iconic looks featuring oversized garments, giant hair, platforms, and neon print. Familiar trends also featured, like colourful plaid, leopard print, and logo bags. The best dressed guests took a maximalist approach showcasing the true creativity of Tokyo Fashion Week.