FROM ASIA TO THE WORLD
TOKYO FASHION WEEK SPRING/ SUMMER 2017Text: Wesley Sin Photos: Wesley Sin, Brand PR
We are back at Tokyo Fashion Week! Tokyo is one of the most inspiring cities for me, so I am always excited to be back and attending fashion events. For Spring/ Summer 2017, there is something even more interesting at Tokyo Fashion Week. This important fashion event in Asia is no longer a Mercedes-Benz sponsored event; instead, Amazon takes over to be the title sponsor from this season. Not only local designers, but also brands from Milan, London and Hong Kong have chosen this platform to showcase their new collection for the upcoming Spring and Summer. International fashion icon Nick Wooster and Japanese model Marie were chosen to be the fashion ambassadors. “It’s great to see overseas designers here to join and enrich Tokyo Fashion Week,” said Wooster. “We would like the whole world to know about the fashion culture from Japan through social media and many other platforms”, commented Marie.
TOKUKO 1er Vol
Designer Tokuko Maeda graduated from Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo and moved to France to pursue her career in fashion. She has been the chief designer for Max Mara’s sports line SPORTMAX; afterwards, she created her own brand, Tokuko 1er Vol. The inspiration for her brand is from the French culture she loves and the sport-leisure style that she is known for. In her S/S 17 collection, Tokuko took viewers to the Côte d’Azur, also known as the French Riviera, located on the Mediterranean coastline of France. The first section of the show was filled with limes, grapes, berries and cherries, and was like a summer party scene in a French cottage house. The other section mainly used light and dark blue colors with flowy fabric, showing the romantic Mediterranean atmosphere with brisk French chanson.
Designer and stylist Yukihiro Teshima dreamed to be a hero and pro-wrestling professional in his childhood so he named his brand “Yukihero Pro-Wrestling”. His S/S 17 show was the most fascinating and amusing among all the shows this season. He collaborated with J-pop girl group “Yumemiru Adolescence” to create a show called “Cats in Heels” which was combined with runway, singing, dancing and stage play. Four kitties transformed into humans for 8 days between the new moon and quarter moon. In this period, they were able to try on those beautiful clothes they had dreamed about. The whole collection was inspired by Andy Warhol’s art pieces such as the collage of Campell’s soup cans. The model’s makeup and hair styling also represented Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe portrait. At the end of the show, senior actress Yoko Akino and actor Kenta Kunai showed up on the runway as surprise guests.
Debuting in 2015, Tenbo’s designer Takafumi Tsuruta is well-known for his creativity. “Fashion should be something that everyone can enjoy. I take this to be my mission to create clothing that puts smiles on people’s faces regardless of age, nationality or gender,” said Tsuruta. In his S/S 17 collection, there was a special theme related to the disease Leprosy. “Leprosy is no longer a dreadful disease nowadays, but some people still suffer from discrimination and disgrace. I hope people will face this social problem in a positive way from this collection,” Tsuruta commented. On the runway, the designer created some scenes in previous Leprosy shelter, and invited an 83-year-old lady, Miyo Maki, to walk on the runway. She had recovered from Leprosy and currently lives a healthy life. To realize his idea that clothing is for everyone, all models he chose were non-professional models, including singer Seba, blind writer Masami Matsuda, deaf model Nyanko and Seung-Hyuk from K-Pop group APEACE.
BED j.w. FORD
“Dressing up” is the main concept of BED j.w. FORD by designer Shinpei Yamagishi. He made his ideal clothes that he would like to add to his own wardrobe to dress up in a cool and innovative way. His S/S 17 collection was more unisex and inspired by beautiful and fragile things in our daily life, including such concepts as space, objects, music, and images. Blazers with dark layered drapes, shirts with high-quality shiny silk and asymmetrical trousers all stood out on the runway. The colors he chose included navy, camel, red, and purple with some gold trim, which brought the whole Spring/Summer collection a luxurious twist.
Dressedunderdressed is an interesting brand name created by designer duo Takeshi Kitazawa and Emiko Sato, who have been the director and buyer, respectively, of one of the coolest select shops, CANDY. In their S/S 17 collection, they were trying to make some fun twists to the office look. Salaryman’s blue shirt with exaggerated silhouette, suit with short and calf-high socks, and over-sized long coat all showed the designers’ talent to re-construct the everyday look in Japan.
Keiichirosense, by designer Keiichiro Yuri, created the most avant-garde runway scene for S/S 17. Originally a handbag designer, Keiichiro is trying to make “wearable bags” for his wardrobe collection. “Resonance” was the title for his new collection and he tried to let the viewers see the passions that people have never experienced before. A lot of futuristic elements were seen on the runway, including metallic gold, leopard print, and bubble-like plastic. There was no single theme for the collection; instead, each look got its own unique presentation.
Turkish designer Umit Benan, who was born in Germany and has lived in both Switzerland and Milan, brought his runway to Tokyo for the first time. His multi-cultural background makes his design rather unique. He named the new collection “Los Bastardos”, and turned the runway into a desert with cacti. Loose-fit stripe trousers, stone-washed jeans and vintage-looking bomber jackets turned models into rather chic Western cowboys.
Yuki Tori International
Senior Japanese designer Yuki Tori debuted her brand back in 1962. Yuki tries to create styles that enable women to live a comfortable daily life that matches their moods with simple but modern design. Her S/S 17 collection was titled “Lace-on-Lace: The Charm of Patterns”. She used colorful floral laces such as purple, mint and pink to keep women elegant and fabulous while adding some cool elements such as military coats and camouflage prints to represent another type of charm of patterns.
About the writer
Wesley Sin is a writer for travel and fashion guides from Taiwan. His personal publications include What’s New in Tokyo, Tokyo Fashion Guide, Travel in New York by Subway and more. He is currently working in New York as a PR professional all the while writing and contributing from the Big Apple. Follow him on Facebook @ facebook.com/Sin.Wesley Instagram @Wesley_Sin