JAPAN DAY FOUR
Don't say sayonara to Japan Fashion Week just yet...
NYLON traveler Helen Armide reports on what's happening both on and off the runway at Japan Fashion Week.
This story was published on September 5, 2008.
Tokyo is tireless! So is the breadth of choice and talent here at the juggernaut that is Japan Fashion Week. Stylistically speaking, while two of today’s celebrated shows might seem antithetical to each other, it’s the skillful handiwork that makes the garments more similar than they may appear.
Designer Seiji Igeta honed his craft working for Issey Miyake while Yoshiko Kato toiled at Yves Saint Laurent. With such notable experience between them, they joined forces to launch LEP LUSS in 2008. The duo brought out a pared-down modern look for their runway debut; structured skirts and sheer shirts with subtle Art Deco flourishes and geometric dips and darts gave the mature, minimal palette more impact. A bright green jersey dress added a jolt of color into a very even collection that wasn’t radical, but proved the line to be a reliable source for those seeking sleek, sophisticated, and effortlessly cool staples.
Tamae Hirokawa’s SOMARTA collection revolved around the notion of what "clothing's possibility in the human body" could be, with a particular focus on how the human body and machines will each evolve and co-exist in the future. Experimenting mainly with cupra and polyester, Hirokawa chose to play with two such contrasting fabrics to represent the change she expects in design, envisioning more powerful, durable textiles and bodies that revert to a more organic state of being. The wide hoop skirts that came bouncing down the runway were immediately suggestive of Marie Antoinette. Hirokawa, however, insists that they are a nod to aquatic life, specifically the jellyfish that float freely and serenely at the bottom of the sea.
I also had a chance to catch up with G.V.G.V.’s designer, MUG, at the label’s private gardened atelier in Shibuya. With a lone photograph of Agyness presiding over proceedings, MUG opened up about her inspirations and expectations. The bleached Brit aside, MUG designs mainly for herself, guided by her own sensibilities of taste and aesthetic (although she did cite iconic photographs by Peter Lindbergh as motivation). While S/S ’09 incorporates a lot of neon, each collection manipulates color differently. MUG turns the binding of her pieces into the hallmark of each season.
Though G.V.G.V’s designs are beginning to gain international recognition (you can find her clothes at Opening Ceremony in New York and L.A.), MUG is adamant about keeping Tokyo as her base and looks forward to showing at Japanese Fashion Week indefinitely, championing a city that did not fail to do the same for her.
And now it’s off to roam with tiny dinosaur designer Naomi Yamamoto, sip sake, sightsee, and squeeze in some sleep, though not necessarily in that order.