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The theme for Ne-net’s 2015 spring summer show was “WA” (“Japanese”).

Hmmm…. a Japan-themed collection in Japan? How….original?

But Ne-Net has proved itself time and again to take the zeitgeist and make it definitely its own (last season it brilliantly interpreted manga, afterall). As the models came out one by one, me and every other person in attendance played a guessing game of which part of Japanese culture it was referencing. Did you know the “San-zaru” (monkey spirits of “hear, see, and speak no evil”) and “kokeshi” (Japanese wooden dolls) could look so stylish?

It also made me remember what VOGUE China editor in chief Angelica Cheung said about Japan tradition in fashion recently: “I am so impressed, and jealous even, that the Japanese view their tradition as something so stylish and meant to be proud of.” It’s very true… but why is it like that??

First, here’s the collection– see if you can recognize everything!

ネネットの2015春夏コレクションのテーマは”和” (“日本”)

おー日本のブランドが”日本をテーマにするなんて。なんともストレート!

でも実際は、ネネットは日本に流れる伝統的な時代精神を見事にコレクションに取り入れ自分のものにしていた。(前シーズンは、漫画をテーマにした素敵なショーを披露) ひとりひとりモデルが出てくれる度に、どこに日本要素が潜んでいるのか考え、見つけるために夢中で服を見つめた。”三猿”や”こけし”がこんなにスタイリッシュになるなんて、だれが想像できただろう?

このショーを観て、思い出したことがある。中国版ヴォーグの編集長、アンジェリカ・チャン氏が語っていた日本のモダンファッションにおける伝統的ファッションこと。”日本人はトラディッショナルな自国の服をスタイリッシュで誇るべきものだと思っていて、私はとても感動したし、うらやましいとさえ感じる。” そう、本当にそうだと思う。…でもどうして日本人にはそういう視点があるのだろう?

まず、ネネットの最新コレクションをご覧ください!かくれんぼする”和”なポイントに全て気付けるかしら?

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Photos by Mitsugu Uehara

 

Entering into the hall, the space smelled of fresh bamboo from every corner. The runway itself revealed it to be the source; it was made of tatami mats, piped in a polkadot pattern. A pair of traditonal thong “zori” sandals sat patiently at the end, giving us all a hint of what was to come.

The collection itself was an homage to both the well-known and more obscure traditions from many regions in Japan. These are known as “chiho-dento” and can range from superstitions and fables, to actual products, sightseeing spots, or foods.These were shown in illustrations, the fabrics, or on the accessories. Trying to keep up with each piece and guessing on the spot what it was representing kept my eyes busy! It was definitely a collection you’ll want to look at a couple times over.

Specifically, there were the usual suspects in a sweater with an off-center “rising sun” circle, and a cardigan with a Mt. Fuji design knit into it. But it goes far deeper than that. There are also a lot of critters that appear in Japanese folklore like bunnies, turtles, cranes, bears, cats and racoons. There are also little devils, but also good luck charms like a bobblehead boar displayed at New Years. On top of that were “furoshiki” cloths, fans, kimono satchels, inner wear for hauling the “Omikoshi” temples on your back during parades, Happi coats, and warm quilted Chanchanko coats. The monkeys hanging off a branch were a pictoral description of “namakemono” or a Japanese way to say “lazy person”. Got all that?!

These were all fused into modern western-style clothing so well that it really took a study to decipher them. In fact, the collection itself is kind of like an encyclopedia for Japanese culture. I almost want to go through each look one by one to explain the history and depictions. What’s amazing is that there wasn’t a sign of the most stereotypical tradition of all, the Kimono. It was fun and fascinating, and a way to show that all of these traditions are still alive and well, and recognized.

In fact, fusing old tradition into modern clothing is something that I think Japan does better than possibly any other country. It is also probably the only country that allows it to happen by wearing and supporting it as something beautiful or special (if you get a chance, read the piece by Samuel Thomas at the Japan Times from this weekend on more high-fashion brands that fuse tradition and modernity successfully).  Just like Angelica Cheung said, she hopes a day will come when Chinese accept the Cheongsam and its other traditions as something beautiful. In the US, needlepoint isn’t exactly haute, and our fables like Big Foot even less so (but I can see Jeremy Scott doing an ironic collection based on Mt. Rushmore and Niagra Falls…the keyword being “ironic”).

The presentation also hammered the concept home, with models taking off their zori sandals in respect for the tatami mat (no shoes on the tatami!).

It was a refreshing look at tradition that was light years away from feeling old. If you’re wodering where to start, may I suggest the cute little kimono satchel bags (kinchaku) that are already a hit with young modern girls in Tokyo and Osaka.

会場に入ると藁の香りがホールいっぱいに広がっていて、”和”なショーがはじまることがすぐにわかった。(招待状がもう”和”だったけどね!)人ごみを抜けて中央に目を向けると藁の香りの正体が見えた。なんと、今回のネネットのショーはランウェイが畳!そしてせり頭には草履が置いてあった。このシチュエーションがすでにおもしろいショーがはじまりそう!と、集まった人たちの期待を膨らませる。

ショーが始まると至る所に日本各地の伝統的イラストやモチーフ、小物がちりばめられていて、目がこっちを見たりあっちを見たり忙しく動く。一度見ただけでは全部の”日本”要素に気づけないのでは?というほどぎゅっと詰め込まれていて、何度も観たくなるようなコレクション。

具体的には、富士山や天狗、昔話に出てくる動物たち(うさぎ、カメ、鶴、熊、猫、たぬきなど)、鬼、首振りいのししなどのモチーフや、風呂敷、うちわ、きんちゃく、御神輿のときのインナーやはっぴ、ちゃんちゃんこなど実にさまざまな日本の小物が”洋服”と見事に調和されていた。日本文化を学びたい外国人ファッションピープルには辞典のような内容の濃さ。様々なブランドによくオマージュされる着物に限らず、まだ海外の人たちには知られていないであろう古き良き、また、地域に根付いた”生きた日本文化”をふんだんに取り入れていたネネットは、新コレクションだけでなくそれをひとつづつ見つける喜びをも観客に与えてくれた。

In fact, fusing old tradition into modern clothing is something that I think Japan does better than possibly any other country. It is also probably the only country that allows it to happen by wearing and supporting it as something beautiful or special (if you get a chance, read the piece by Samuel Thomas at the Japan Times from this weekend on more high-fashion brands that fuse tradition and modernity successfully).  Just like Angelica Cheung said, she hopes a day will come when Chinese accept the Cheongsam and its other traditions as something beautiful. In the US, needlepoint isn’t exactly haute, and our fables like Big Foot even less so (but I can see Jeremy Scott doing an ironic collection based on Mt. Rushmore and Niagra Falls…the keyword being “ironic”). 

 

 

また、モデルのウォーキングも特徴的だった。ファーストモデルの水原佑果が靴下で畳の上を歩いてせり頭まで来て、置いてあった草履を履いて戻っていくという演出から始まり、次のモデルからは洋服に草履というスタイルで登場。畳に上がる前に草履を丁寧に脱ぎ、それを手にとって畳の上を歩いて戻っていく。靴で出てきたモデルは決して畳を踏まない。そんな演出は日本人の”畳”に関する”マナーや礼儀をにじませ、情緒漂うなごやかな空気を生んだ。

先シーズンの”まんが”コレクションに続き、”日本”の世界に誇るカルチャーをこのブランドらしく噛み砕き魅せ、また観客を楽しませる事にもどん欲なネネットのクリエーションに拍手!!

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READ MORE! 関連記事も読みましょう!

 

Tokyo Fashion Week fall 2014 Day 6 ◎東京コレクション秋冬2014 ダイアリー!6日目

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Words: Misha Janette & Natsumi Yasuoka

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