JAPAN DAY THREE
Mini horses, neon colors, and a neo-Galliano take over the runway in Tokyo.
NYLON traveler Helen Armide takes a break from traditional tea ceremonies and Hello Kitty mania to report on the third day of Japanese Fashion Week.
This story was published on September 4, 2008.
Day Three started with yet another sweet collection, this time in the form of easy lingerie-inspired dresses and separates from Matohu. Several long, flowing seventies-style dresses stood out, along with a loose, lightweight silk cotton jacket that’s perfect for warm days that turn into cool nights. The models’ choreographed course was inventive yet somewhat haphazard—perfect for a label that makes pretty, wearable clothing with a twist.
And just when it seemed safe to assume that ultra-experimental designs were out for the week, writtenafterwards offered up quite a theatrical installation. Like mintdesigns, writtenafterwards is helmed by a pair of Central Saint Martens graduates, Kentaro Tamai and Yoshikazu Yamagata. Considering that Yamagata was an assistant designer for John Galliano, it was no surprise that the duo conjured up a fantasy land where veiled princesses traveled in striped pantsuits and metallic shorts the only way they should: on side saddle. The clothes did get a bit lost in the spectacle (the miniature horse was a particularly delightful distraction), and it was a bit hard to gauge what there was to actually wear amidst the wonder onstage. But the burst of inspired design proved that I wasn’t totally wrong in coming to Japanese Fashion Week with the expectation of seeing lots of avant-garde clothes.
The first neon sighting of the week (apart from the heady night-lights and occasional burst of color on feet or face) was at G.V.G.V. The label experimented with bold colors and sculptural shapes on both short bandage dresses and longer pieces. MUG, the visionary behind the line, participated in the 2007 S/S Designers Invitation Project sponsored by UNIQLO, and is working to craft collections that allow the feminine and masculine to happily coexist. Thanks to these efforts, the body conscious clothes cut sharp curves and corners that cleaved to the body, resulting in an hourglass glamour that balanced austere tailoring and fierce femininity without sacrificing movement.
Wondering where to grab some of this garb should you find yourself in Tokyo? Start at Loveless, as this nod to My Bloody Valentine focuses on domestic labels that define the city's streets. Hysteric Glamour is a wildly popular (and pricey) domestic label that is terrific at bridging cartoonish fantasy and fashion, specializing in body conscious get-ups and graphic tees.
The week may be winding down, but there is still much more to come, including dishing with designers...