It comes with heavy connotations as “foreigner” is a touchy and even taboo subject. And “ihoujin” literally means “not japanese”. Oy. But it is often found in the Bible and comes with a spiritual nuance, one that I liken more to meaning “a stranger, but someone I want to know more about.” And that is how I feel about the character dressed in mame for her 2017 collection.
Miyao presented his 2017 SS collection with the theme, “Here is the sky”. He plays with poufy silhouettes in the sleeves and has an affinity for the A-line dress, making his pieces on the comfy throw-and-go side. He is known for the wilted “wings” design as seen above, which comes off as being either angelic and innocent, but perhaps also something darker. It’s a paradox that comes through in many of his designs, and the DNA perhaps has always been there (he got his start at Comme des Garcons, afterall).
While flipping through the June issue of SOEN magazine, I came across a unique new brand.
Zaziquo?? In Japanese it was written as zajiko, which doesn’t mean anything per se, but it has quite the impact coming off the tongue. The brand was started in 2011 by designer Eriko Shimizu, and it evolved from being called “Zazi” to the now “Zaziquo”.
The name actually does have meaning, and it makes sense when you learn that Eriko’s raison d’etre is a traditional embroidery technique called “sashiko”. The technique came from the Tohoku Region in the North over 500 years ago, and Eriko is bringing it into the modern times with some punch and panache.
In Japan, “sashiko” is something that will invoke images of old ladies wearing their knitting hobbies, but Zaziquo’s work is clearly stylish and young, with many ideas for how the needlework can give something plain a punchy personality…
There’s a legendary ballet choreographer named Michael Clark. He was also a punk. In the 80s, the genre of “punk ballet” broke on the scene and he was the catalyst for it. He inspired the energetic clash of punk and ballet, ushering in a new world of classic dance-meets-punk music and fashion. Imagine David Bowie track playing while ballerinas pirouette in artistic, wild clothing.
One diehard fan of Michael Clark’s is Chika Kisada. She is the designer for two brands, both Chika Kisada and the highly popular Rekisami, and for the 2017AW season she showed her namesake line on the Tokyo Fashion Week runway for the first time.
The effect of presentation and movement is a common thread between fashion and dance, as explained by Kisada. As a classically trained ballerina herself, she knows well what it means to be in one, the other, and then both worlds at once. I can say that her first effort on the runway was a success, worthy of a standing ovation.
Designers must keep up with the pace of demand, by creating new collections every season (that’s the demand of society and newness, not the actual demand of consumers, but that is another story). “There is already so much clothing in the world, but I still have to make more” or “Making clothing creates so much waste, but I still have to do it.” Akiko of Akikoaoki said she feels this way while designing and creating her collections, and from this she came up with the theme of her collection, “Primitive”. Her idea is to simplify clothes-making, and going back to the beginning of it, like a primitive race.
But even though she says it’s “going back to the basics”, this is still Akikoaoki we are talking here, and industry insiders in Japan know she has a very strong identity and passion for details. Each look still came with impact and purpose, and I am not exaggerating when I say she had one of the most impressive shows of the entire Tokyo Fashion Week. Check out her collection here!
[UPDATE] Sorry for the lack of updates! In good news, I have established my own consulting company but it has been keeping me extremely busy while things are all set up with me and clients. I`ll be returning to a twice-weekly update now- or try my best! Thanks for understanding!
“The past was better”. To those in their 30s, that past is likely the 90s. In Japan in 1991 was when the economic bubble popped, and while things looked bleak, there were counter culture trends like grunge, hiphop, nu rock, and the Harajuku decora/goth/v-kei/lolita fashion scene which made that era rife with energy.
GVGV presented its first fashion show in Tokyo in 4 years at Liquidroom, a famous 90s club spot in Ebisu. The location was chosen for the nostalgic spin, as well as GVGVs dedication to bringing music into its collections (designer MUG has been a DJ in Tokyo for her entire career).