heihei 2016-17aw collection

「HEIHEI 2016-17aw」と検索にかけると、まっさきに出て来るのは英語のページ。



With furry mascots-cum-Frankeinstein monsters, teddy bears disemboweled to hold iPhone cases, and white overalls with a giant ghost face plastered on the paunch, you would be excused for finding it all a bit… disconcerting. But that was the point, with HEIHEI’s 2016-17 collection titled “Horror School”.

This young brand’s (since 2014) designer Shohei Katoh has his roots planted firmly in Harajuku. ..and before you say, “Well, of COURSE Harajuku”, let me just remind you that nowadays the ‘juku is rampant with commercialized goods and ever-rising rents that are making it difficult for eclectic designer labels to get off the ground. So beyond scary animal character, are the clothes worth their salt? Let’s see:

heihei 2016-17aw collection










Just the other evening, I was walking home through the busy Shibuya neighborhood. I was in a chic but casual navy blue dress, black tuxedo vest and heels, and pastel pink handbag. It was definitely erring on the side of  “fashion”-y, but nothing avantgarde or gothic. Still, this dark ensemble was worn much to the chagrin of some random Japanese dude on the street. He couldn’t help but make sure I knew how annoyed he was with my outfit.

“Excuse me, but…. What’s up with those clothes? Did you come from a funeral or something?”


…….  -________-

There comes a point where trends become so heated that they boil over into a frenzy of incoherent parts. The streets in Tokyo have been like an open air discotheque, from the awe-inspiring costumes of decora or Shironuri, down to casual POP looks of Yume Kawaii. It is the era of “anything goes”. Editor in chief of FRUiTS Shoichi Aoki  even told me that it has become so disjointed that he suspects something big should happen soon. “It was like this right before Harajuku style appeared too, in the 90s.”

I have had my own heyday in colorful Harajuku street style, and it was some of the most fun I have ever had experimenting with “anything goes” fashion styling in my entire life. Street fashion has become like a 96-color box of crayons, with every shade represented. But no color in particular stands out among all the others.

Ah, but there is one… black.

Above: Black-color fashion icons Ayabambi

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Processed with Snapseed.


Time: 15:50
Location: Shinjuku Southern Terrace
Title: Sky-scraping Style ~高層的にハイなスタイル~



Today’s shoot came out of a two divinities: the outfits I ordered from Shopbop all arrived in well-fitting ready to rock condition, and there was no typhoon or rainstorm to flood us out. The mercury wasn’t as forgiving, but we can’t have it all. Traipsing around the new massive Shinjuku south terminal with its breezy wooden deck and endless choice of cafes in my fashiony duds, I wondered: is Shinjuku on the precipice of being a place that people can actually admit to going to hang out at?






While Tokyo may still be in the throes of sweltering days and nights, we in the city are looking forward to a more soothing and thoughtful season, one that is arguably the most beautiful Japan has to offer. Chopard is celebrating that turn into the season of allure with a week-long event at the Isetan 1st floor stage, beginning today, the eve of September. There, it will showcase (and be available for purchase for the first time) some of the world’s most exquisite watch models created by Ancient Japanese artistry for a modern woman, as well as a look at why Japonisme is still one of the most inspiring aesthetics today.




少年の夢… 我々女子には未知の領域。

What happens when we girls delve into the mind of a curious boy? This one’s brimming with books, art, pictures, taxidermy, masks, fashion, and graphics, all mixed up in a cacophony of creepiness. It’s an attempt to show exactly what it’s like to be inside the mind of a boy, in its glorious chaos, all set to the background of gloriously chaotic Kitakore in Koenji, Tokyo.

rekisami 2016-17 aw collection

新しいフィールドで力強く生きるデザイナーChika Kisada。彼女のフィルターを通して作り出される世界には切なさがある。


I have been furiously flipping through the lookbook pages of fashion portals online as of late, looking for something to satisfy the craving to wear something conceptual and stronger than what has been making the rounds. Many Japanese designers have been compelled (or forced) to pare down their designs due to economic factors, so I didn’t have high hopes for finding something to satisfy my terms. And then I came to Rekisami and Ms. Kisada, and it was…an epiphany!

Rekisami is headed by Chika Kisada, a former ballerina cum fashion designer. It’s through her eyes we are introduced to a sharp yet rough world, filtered through a wildly elegant lens. That world is filled with twists, asymmetry, sharp cuts, transformation, and…harnesses. Yes, this is more “black swan” than “swan lake”.

rekisami 2016-17 aw collection

mikio sakabe 2016-17 aw collection




It seems Kawaii fashion may have gone to the dark side.

One of the most prominent members of the movement, Mikio Sakabe, has released a lookbook for his fall/winter collection all in black and white, which is an interesting move, to say the least. Although Mikio’s fashions themselves are as bright, glittery, and as kitsch as you’d expect, this desaturated way of showing them (a collaboration with high-fashion Japanese magazine Commons&Sense) really forces us to to consider how “mode” fashion and it’s antithesis, “Kawaii” fashion is perceived…and how it can evolve.


mikio sakabe 2016-17 aw collection






My breath becomes shallow. My eyes are swollen and damp, as if I have been crying. I`m constantly sniffling, but I do not have a cold. My fingertips are turning to raisins. Any shoe that is not a beach sandal gives me blisters. And the sweat ruins all of my clothes. Makeup lasts 5 minutes, tops. The air smells of sauna, but only with the putrid tinge of chlorine with none of the aroma oils. This must be hell.

There comes a point every year in Tokyo, a time when all of its people’s wills are tested. The weak do not survive. This is called “summer”. And no thanks to the proven “heat island” effect, it’s getting hotter each year. In fact, it may get so hot soon, that fashion as we know it will become impossible to consider from July to September. Will Japan devastatingly become like our Southeastern Asian countries and lose it’s 4-season climate to become a year-long subtropical one? (…no offense) Oh, that future may be closer than you think…


上:原宿で見かけた今夏のおしゃれ  Above: Fashion seen in Harajuku, summer of 2016. Source Tokyofashion.com