Oohh… grab the popcorn.
Ok, no, it’s not that kind of show. In fact, I would say grab the Tylenol because it might induce a headache. The truth is, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for someone from the Japanese media to get seats at Parisian (and Milan) brands’ shows. It was not unusual to see prominent writers, editors coralled to the 5th row. That’s like invisible-man territory in the fashion game (but more on seating later)!
PRs tell me, “I had to turn down 100 people!” (maybe hyperbole?) or about afterparties, “I only got to invite 5 people from Japan” (seriously not hyperbole). There are a few reasons for this; new emerging markets pushing seating to the max, new media taking spots as bloggers and digital faces tend to go through headquarters and be “without a country” (damn, I should do that!). And, sadly, Japan is not the only country obsessed with fashion anymore. In fact, it’s hardly obsessed with big brands at all these days… seriously, whoever came up with the “real clothes” trend needs a kick in the ass as it segregated the generations. And the economy doesn’t help. Not to mention the fact that fashion magazines like to segregate local high-end brands from foreign brands thus breaking their customers into really small market segments.
There was one show where there was a whole section for Japanese media…tons of big editors in the front row, the rest of us in the second, and even third… I was like, “Whoah, big love for Japan from this brand!”. But then I learned they were doing TWO shows that night. Ohhh. So what once was just a fight for fashion politics to get to the front row, now even editors in chief have politics on what country gets the best seats. And it could change according to real politics between countries at the time. It’s a bigger job than the UN…no wonder Anna Wintour is into politics these days..she has oodles of experience.
There is one brand… where all these rules are thrown out the window. You will take your seat no matter where it is, and you will be HAPPY to be there. Lynn Yaegar in the back? Grace Coddington second row? Susie Bubble standing? Oh yes. And they don’t give one fuck. That’s because this is Comme des Garcons, and it’s truly a privilege to be there. It was for me too, as I saw what beauty came down the runway. A final bastion of art as fashion, this is. A chaotic blend of dress and jacket parts flung on every corner of the body, like being caught frozen between dimensions. An explosion, but ever so calm. Then when black appeared the models steamrolled down the runway.
It’s the chaos that made it interesting, the pieces all stuck together like they don’t belong. And yet it created harmony. Much like the multi-cultural audience at the shows now, all coming together under the banner of fashion. Play nice, everyone..we are just here to be inspired afterall.
Dress: Tomo Koizumi
Shoes: What For
Undershirt: American Apparel
Bag: Issey Miyake
Photos by the ever-awesome Mami Tanabe and her expanding collection of triangles.