Mikio Sakabe used all male models for his show and they looked amazing; cool, chiseled, tall, and sleek with wet makeup and gelled-back hair. They were like bulls charging down the runway to Prodigy’s “fire starter ” with masculine determination. Except that these boys were of a different breed…they were in lavender negligees and sailor collar skirt suits. Also, cheerleader style uniform dresses, lace bib shirts from the Quaker era, and a sweater with a giant print of a kitty in Warhol-like acid pop colors. There were more “men’s” clothes as well, with some zip-jackets covered in embroidered crucifixes, a rather normal trench coat (normal from what we could see on the outside anyway) and boxer briefs… But ok, these were splashed with kitty patterns or sprouted flower appliqués as well.
How funny that this was shocking when Sakabe did this a few seasons ago, and now it’s become so not…shocking. In fact, a lot of the audience members in standing were customers and fans rocking the past Sakabe collections.
The show closed out with the song “forever young” and it became even more clear the philosophy on prominent display here.
I havent confirmed, but im 99% sure This shirt that says “broadway” is not referring to NYC but rather to Nakano Broadway where true-blue Otaku like Sakabe converge in artistic enclaves (I bet you thought it was Akiba didn’t you—so much to learn, young grasshopper!)
It is stressful enough to me to have to come up with a new outfit to wear everyday, and I can’t imagine what its like for fashion designers to come up with brand new collections every season (note: I KNOW big brands have a team of design assistants to come up with ideas, but for the *most* part, Japanese high-fashion designers do their own work).
So then, the fact that Kunihiko Morinaga of Anrealage manages to come up with not only a collection twice a year, but ones that are *innovative* EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
It’s come to the point that us fans expect it. Can he ever let us down?
This time, I heard rumors: “It’s amazing.” “You’re going to love it”. Really?? Can it be that good??
So following the amazing 3D laser-cut collection from last season (That Tommy- Ton said was one of his most favorite that season) , this time the theme was “Color”. The invitation was of 3 monochrome pencils that actually were red, blue and yellow upon closer inspection. Hmmm…curiouser and curiouser…..
The collection started out with black and white, then continued on to a few single-colored pattern pieces, like the photoshop trick where you turn everything grey except for one specific color. I was thinking…. “Cute, but not with BANG.”
Two models stepped out in off-white maxi velvet coats and stood on a turntable that spun them around. After one rotation, their jackets went from colorless to color blocked. I ‘m talking BRIGHT purple and blue, with accents all over. A trick of the light?
Then came the school blazers…these white things became color blocked in purple and yellow with a little spin as well. WHAT IS THIS WITCHERY? Was it….motion sensored ?_? Say whaaaa…
We saw white turn to houndstooth, and then multi-colored graphical markings . It seemed to be turning colors faster and faster in a blink-and-you-miss-it sort of way.
More and more transformed before our eyes, until finally, the last three pieces came out, all made of intensely detailed patchwork. A step on the turntable revealed cascading technicolor that was so cool it brought me chills. Then the lights went out and a loud “lost signal” *BEEEEP* distracted us long enough for the lights to come back on… and the three pieces had gone back to white. It was so quick, like *snaps finger*
Afterward, Morinaga explained that the colors were made with photo chromic dye, which is often used in sunglasses that go from clear to dark lenses when indoors or outside. So the particles react to heat from light, rather than certain kinds of light.
“I was thinking about what color means to fashion. The industry is obsessed with the color black, and then white is considered to be “Martin Margiela Style.” But I wanted to break the color down. And we live in world surrounded by digital screens that are very bright and colorful. I wanted the clothes to reflect that.”
That last coat with the patchwork lace is probably a gajillion dollars but I`m gonna sneak in a try-on anyway! Maybe Anrealage’ll trade for indentured servitude.
The week is still young, but it could be a contender for best show- I wonder if this is what fashion people felt when they saw early shows from Alexander McQueen? You mind of feel like you shouldn’t really like it because it’s a little weird, a little different, quite dark, all show and no commercialism.
Things are very different for McQueen now…in fact I didn’t get any sense of “show” from any of the runways from Paris. Not without McQueen himself or galliano. So being able to see Alice Auaa ‘s beautiful nightmare was a sure treat.
Each piece is couture, and made to order by appointment only in AA’s new salon opening tomorrow on omotesando. This is major difference between Alice Auaa and McQueen then, since the latter has simple commercial pieces in shops around the world that hardly bear any resemblance to what’s on the runway (even if the fabric and tailoring is still fantastic). Alice prefers to stay small and cozy, and caters to the goth lifestyle rather than being a fashion brand that is just fascinated by the aesthetic superficially.
I really want to order some pieces, if I can afford them (what does japanese gothic couture go for these days?) and I hope to see more AA before next season -6 months is too long to wait between fashion fantasies.
Halfway through the dressedundressed show I already had a story in my mind: inspired by James Bond’s Dr NO the chiseled models in leather military and wool overcoats and their mistresses wearing nothing but boxy wool blazers picked from their employers’ closets were actually spies and on the hunt for a target in the audience. How so very 70s spy-game chic!
But according to the designers as they explained afterwards the collection was inspired by *vampires* , specifically the movie “The Hunger”
Sharp details were meant to be “cutting” they explained, and the sunglasses were made with a red mirror film to add a bit of “blood” to the potion. These sunglasses are made in collaboration with Mykita and they are fantastic.
Also pay attention to the textiles here, with some pieces getting dressed’s signature wax coating, but this time it has leveled up. Even with the clothing passing right in front of me, I couldn’t tell if it was leather or leather coating. In fact, it was cotton, an exquisite trick of luxury that keeps japan brands on the map.
Christian dada was the first official fall winter show of the tokyo fashion week season and it set a tone for excellence for the rest of the week.
As the recipient of the DHL designer award designer Morikawa was under pressure to produce something good; especially after taking a break last season and going in a casual direction. Which was a bit of a let down since Dada is tokyo’s answer to McQueen, to Pugh to Anderson and the other cerebral designers who fashion lovers yearn for in this age of “luxury tshirt brands”
But fears were alleviated just sitting down; a full chorus and orchestra-slash-rock band was waiting. 14 singers, 3 electric guitarists, a pianist, a percussionist, 2 drummers a bassist, and violinist. And one man with his hand over his heart. I kept waiting for this man to DO something but in the end, he just stood there. It’s like a movie that cuts off before it finishes…”is that it?? Something MUST happen right!?” but perhaps that is my anxiety taking over..
Luckily, the runway was so captivating I could ignore that guy. The black baroque embroidery that turned to gold, the rubber studs on tshirts and pocket clutches gripped my interest. These details alone made for a beautiful collection of elegance and rock, a pitch-perfect collection for today’s edgy consumer of high fashion.
And this is before we even get to their feet ! I heard that Osaka-based cobbler Masaya Kushino would be collaborating with dada and could hardly imagine what he would come up with, given his track record for artistic couture. This time he placed bird bodies–made from real crow feathers– on vertiginous platforms of fur. It was a miracle the models didn’t tumble, which may have been a grace of god; the theme for the shoes was “stairway to heaven” after all.
Dada said his theme was “Phoenix” the bird of rebirth. Dada is stepping out into the world and spreading his own feathered arms.