[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).
For the newest issue (No. 7) of IDOL Magazine, I styled a shoot featuring some of Japan’s best AW2014-15 looks. The magazine hails from the UK and has no qualms about exploring the boundaries of fashion photography, the clothing, and it’s subjects. It’s consistently one of the most fascinating and high-quality fashion magazines from the country and has a permanent spot on my inspiration board.
For our shoot, we had a good to evil transition (or is that good *is* evil?), a transgender story, inspiration from clown cults, inspiration from regular cults, and lots of “find the wrong kanji” which is like the Where’s Waldo of Japan but a million times harder. I am obsessed, yes. Check out the freaky feature below.
IDOL Magazineの最新号で、2014-15秋冬の今回のミーシャ的ベストルック In ジャパンのスタイリングをしました。このファッション誌はイギリス発で、ファッションフォトと服の境界線を取っ払うことをテーマにかがげ、実際にそういうクリエーションを世にだし続けていることは疑いようもない。ミーシャのインスピレーションボードにいつもアイデアをくれる、魅力的なファッションマガジンIDOLのクオリティは、抜群の安定感を誇る。
Back in Paris, which already feels like years ago… but more like a week, I got to see a number of exhibitions of upcoming Japanese brands in the back-widing alleyways of the Le Marais district. Brands like Divka, mame, and GVGV show their collections to the best buyers in the world, and their Tokyo-born status usually gets them an automatic foot in the door; but charisma gets the sales.
GVGV has been prying for the global eye for three seasons now, and it was a huge loss for the Tokyo Fashion Week which reveled in the brand’s celebrity and pomp for their fashion shows. To see them relegated to a few lifeless racks does make me yearn for the days when things were much more entertaining.
But despite the calm, the brand is doing well overseas, catching the eyes of Colette in Paris and Alter in Shanghai- two of the world’s best boutiques. GVGV is sure riding the wave…. and it goes to say that they are taking it literally, with a surf-inspired collection for 2015 SS.
GVGV is gonna tie you up and give you a spanking if you’re being a bad, bad, fashionista.
The theme was all fetish-y for AW 2013 and it was whip-tastic. Latex-like textiles (I doubt it’s ACTUAL latex, I have to see it up close at the exhibit) on form-fitting dresses with white apron applique and lots of corsetry-like lace-ups dominated the collection (pun intended). Also see the furry orange houndstooth and plaid.
My favorite was the dominatrix print on the secretary skirt-suit and the cartoon of a blindfolded and ball-gagged girl. AND THE PUFFY SKIRT! Ordering, ordering….
While we are on the subject of insects (see yesterday’s post on Joji Kojima’s “INSECTA” collection), how about we look at GVGV’s 2013 SS collection which also heavily borrowed from the beauty of of our little buggy friends?
Appropriately titled “Insectopia”, the most obvious reference here are giant, bulbous “bug-eyed” sunglasses which give these girls the coolest “fashion face” of the runway. Then there’s the bright oranges and greens which serve to vreate the image of a insect utopia in the tropical jungle.
Looking at the details we have horn beetle prints and a shiny jewel-beetle green proliferous throughout the clothing. There are even “wings” on the collars in the back like wings. The silhouettes are retro but the textiles are decidedly futuristic with high-tech inorganic textiles.
GVGV is always exciting because although the theme is a confident girl who dresses in somewhat mannish clothes, every season carries it’s own unique story and is ALWAYS on the pulse of trends. It’s also one of the most expensive domestic brands out there, so you’re definitely paying for its exclusivity. That’s not to say it’s underground, as fans of Tokyo Fashion Week will know it’s one of the hottest tickets out there. The show itself was packed to the brim and overflowing with celebs (Miliyah Katoh was there) and the top mags’ editors. It was an electric atmosphere… it helped they were passing out Zima Gold and the editors of ELLE and I couldn’t help ourselves to a few…
This atmosphere definitely comes courtesy of designer MUG who is a major star in her own right as a super chic medemoiselle who DJs in her spare time. Just last weekend she was on after me at the PRISM party and was looking on FIRE in the shiftiest little shift dress with a giant ruffle heart on the chest. Don’t be fooled; she’s a badass and she’s taking her brand along for a wild ride.
This was shot after the Nozomi Ishiguro Haute Couture show last night at the FUUrin Kaikan in Kabukicho, Tokyo’s “red light” district. I say FUUrin Kaikan because if it were just FUrin Kaikan, it would be “adultery building”. But in this case is totally apt since this place houses oodles of hostess bars. Helllooooo furin kaikan. Nozomi held his show here because his collection was titled “taboo”, which I will get to more in depth when I post photos of the collection, but I just happened to be wearing my one piece of “taboo” clothing:
Those aren’t stylized planets, my dear friend. Look again.
Or perhaps it is also taboo that you can see my little nude socks under my stockings. Ostensibly there so I don’t put holes in said stockings from all the walking I do all day. I would rather show nudie sock lines than get holes in my stockings T_T
In any case, these pieces are pulled from my own closet (most of it SS 2012) and I love the outfit so much I`m going to wear it allllll the time this spring.
I was asked to revisit the spring/summer 2012 Tokyo Fashion Week collections for a nice feature in Chinese magazine YOHO that covered 6 established and young brands… basically those that are buzzy both in Japan and in China (good for us to know!). I spoke with each of the designers about their brands and the collections- think of it as a review to this month’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Tokyo which starts in a FEW DAYS! Mar 18-23. (Not. Ready. *_*)
G.V.G.V. has been a top “must-see” on the Tokyo Fashion Week calendar for several years now. While there is nothing inherently “Japanese” about the designs here, they still manage to tap into the zeitgeist of fashion in Tokyo for cool, stylish girls anyway. The cool designer MUG herself is the poster girl for this brand, and she is often seen in skinny jeans and leather jackets, or other fashionable “boyish” styles. That male edge comes through in the clothes, even if they sometimes seem really girly. It is definitely all about the attitude of a girl who wears GVGV, and they have lots of confidence and panache. This ss 2012 season was a retro look at 50s-style girls who vacation in the urban tropics. The pastel colors and fauna are on-on-on trend like whoah.
４)G.V.G.V. ‘s base aesthetic lies in the mix of masculine & feminine right? On top of that, where do your ideas for each season come from? Also, what was a specific inspiration for your SS 2012 collection?
I get my inspiration from the people around me everyday. People, things, music, movies…everything. 2012 ss was all about pastel tones and Miami Beach.
6) Let’s talk about your collaboration with the super-cool leather brand Blackmeans. How did that get started?
About 2 years ago I first saw Blackmeans’ work in a photograph and I truly was taken over by it. I hadn’t see anything like it! After that I happened to meet the Blackmeans guys at an event and they were just as cool themselves so we decided to collaborate.
Mug started designing GVGV in 1999, mixing feminine and masculine design with the trends of today and through her own style ethos. GVGV has become one of the most-watched Japanese high-fashion brands and MUG has branched out to include buying with the grapevine by k3 Daikanyama boutique in 2010.
MUG 1999年ブランド立ち上げ。 フェミニンとマスキュリンの同居するオリジナルな世界観を、その時の感性で自由に発想し、毎シーズンコレクションとして発表。現在最も注目される東京ブランドの一つとなった。また2010年春夏シーズンよりgrapevine by k3代官山店にバイヤーとして参加。世界中の素晴らしいクリエイション作品をセレクトしている。
It was here that I actually made some new friends. This is Danny and David from the hit blog ” Igor and Andre.com”. Danny Roberts went viral recently with his highly characteristic illustrations of fashion models and personalities that you probably have seen. The brothers were so excited to be at Tokyo Fashion Week which always gives me a dose of anti-cynicism. It’s hard to look at things through new eyes every season, but the guests that come aid with that. My job is then to bring some subjectivity. It’s a great recipe.
何人か新しい知人と出会った。二人、人気ブログのIgor and Andre.com のDannyとDavidだ。Danny Robertsが、モデルなどのイラストをキャラクタリスティックに描いているこのブログは、近年急激に注目を集めている。このイラスト、きっと一度は目にしたことがあるのではないでしょうか。この2人も今回の東京コレクションをを心待ちにしていた様子だった。 毎回違う作品が披露されるコレクションだが、観客も常に新しい目線で見続けるのは簡単なことではない。でもその新しい目線こそが、コレクション鑑賞には重要。そしてそこに客観性を持たせるのが私の仕事。最高のレシピでしょ？