There are times when you can spot a piece of luxury clothing from afar. It’s got sparkle, it’s got charisma, and it’s *just* unique enough to be one step ahead of today’s commercial trends. And then there are other luxury pieces that are more simple to the eye, but their fit and touch give them straight away. The fabrics smell of authenticity, they melt onto your figure, slip effortless over your shoulders, and are a delight to touch.
When I stepped into the showroom for the mysterious debut collection of Japanese brand Donnah Mabel 2016 FW, I had NO clue what I was going to see. There was no website, no description. A street brand? Another commercial line? But with one sweeping look at the racks and presentation, it was immediately apparent: “My GOD! Is this…. a luxury brand!!?”
There have been a number of great Japanese fashion houses no doubt, but there have yet to be any that are considered “luxury”, or haute fashion that can rival the likes of Celine or Lanvin or Valentino. It takes history, for one thing, and Japanese fashion is still quite new, but it also takes an eye, some fashion-forward designs, perfect construction, insanely expensive fabrics, and fantastical presentation. Many Japanese brands are just too afraid to go that far and hit all those points, for they will alienate the mass consumer base and buyers who have to sell to them (the great avantgarde houses notwithstanding)
Those of us who follow fashion for work or for passion, have what we call “fashion moments”. When you see something so wonderful it gives you goosebumps, and takes you to another plane. THIS was a fashion moment. My jaw was dropped, and I`m staring at the metallic stud armor sleeves and buttery pastel leather in the box frame of the first mannequin thinking, “Where? When? How? Who?”.
The designer is named Miyuki Kitahara and her first collection is called “Opposite”. There are feminine silhouettes with cuts of military flare, and a mathematical layout of buttons and studs, attached just so the body’s silhouette is enhanced and not taken over. The soft color palette matched with dark murky blue and green are both pretty and powerful. The pleats are perfect, metallic paillettes are too cool, and the cuts are still surprisingly uber casual. Don’t forget to look at the accessories: there are vests fashioned from metallic flowers and metallic canteens worn as handbags.
Then there are the shoes. They are designed in collaboration with Masaya Kushino, known for his wonderfully artistic shoe sculptures, who has worked with Lady Gaga, Sputniko and Ambush. They aren’t for sale, but just like luxury brand runway shows, some things are not meant to be worn; they are meant to make the imagination dance.
There is no doubt that Donna Mabel has its eyes set on world domination, just as they should as they’ve got the goods. I can’t wait to see the first woman on the street wearing some of these pieces, as it’s going to stand out in a great way. If you are itching to try one yourself, they will be rolling out to department stores via Pop-up shops as well as an EC site in August. For more information, please contact FAKE TOKYO SHOWROOM.
Donna Mabel 2016 fall winter visual
Donnah Mabel 2016 FW lookbook