TOKYO FASHION WEEK S/S 2015
Tokyo is no doubt the fashion capital of Asia and its influences on trends and styles are also expanding to the whole world. Mercedes Fashion Week Tokyo Spring/Summer 2015 was held from October 13th to 19th in Shibuya, a district that is known as the center of fashion in Tokyo. More than 48 brands have participated the runway shows and presentations including: Jotaro Saito, Onitsuka Tiger, Factotum, Hiroko Koshino, Ne-net, Mr. Gentleman, Tae Ashida, and other well-known Japanese brands. Because of the unique and appealing fashion atmosphere in Tokyo, some international brands such as House of Holland, 99% IS-, and Johan Ku also chose to present their 2015 collections during the Tokyo Fashion Week.
When compared with the fashion shows in New York, you might find the runways in Tokyo Fashion Week more interesting and creative. All the brands try to make their runway unique with lighting, projection, and decoration; all the while having live music and special interactive performances to make the shows more entertaining and enjoyable.
All kinds of parties and events associated with the shows put the city under the spot light during this special week. The “Cocktail Runway,” which was a collaboration of designers and restaurants within the event venue, Shibuya Hikarie, which allowed the fashion week participants not only to observe but also “taste” a sense of fashion. “Shibuya Fashion Festival,” which combined a shopping event and an in-store party, allowed the public to have a chance to be a part of the Tokyo Fashion Week.
Jotaro Saito X Sansai Saito
Since his debut at the age of 27, Jotaro Saito is touted to be one of the most famous and talented kimono designers. His 2015 collection marks the first time for him to work with his father, Sansai Saito, who is also a master of kimono arts. In this father-and-son duo collection, the Saitos try to combine the traditional patterns and prints into contemporary lifestyles. Models were wearing beautiful kimonos with prints of birds, flowers, sky, and stars while walking in sync to pop music on the neon light lantern decorated runway. From their design, kimonos become a new type of trend which does not only belong to the older generation.
Onitsuka Tiger X Andrea Pompilio
Onitsuka Tiger, a historical Japanese footwear brand, has converted its brand into a cool and chic street fashion brand with the latest collaboration work with an Italian designer, Andrea Pompilio. In the 2015 Spring collection, industrial tape like strips are used by the designer on jackets, sweat shirts, polo shirts, pants, and dresses. Black and white are the main tones, but bright-colored decorations such as pink, yellow, orange, and green make the entire collection more playful. The royal blue section, which featured men’s blazers and women’s asymmetrical long dresses, also caught spectators’ eyes by its luxurious couture feeling. With help from Pompilio, Onitsuka Tiger has become another signature brand to represent the style of Japan.
The title of Factotum S/S 2015 is called “Various Life.” Inspired by the 70’s film “A Swedish Love Story,” the designer, Koji Udo re-created a retro style with modern elements. The first set of the collection goes with neutral colors such as beige, khaki, gray, and light brown. From motorcycle vest to trench coat, Udo creates a light but trendy feeling for the coming spring time. The second set of his collection is the “vivid” theme. Multi-colored camouflage print is broadly used on the design of t-shirts, pants, and neck scarf. In the last section, dark camouflage and tuxedo strips are used with heavier texture such as leather and denim. The designer creates the variety of life for a next spring and summer by the interesting color themes.
Mr. Gentleman is a new brand created by Takeshi Osumi (the designer of another famous street brand, Phenomenon) and Yuichi Yoshii (the owner of a recent popular select shop, The Contemporary Fix). These two gentlemen work together and create their ideal men’s wear. without any exaggerated design, they try to add more subtle and fun details into everyday outfits, such as bright-colored hoods on shirts, over-sized pockets on t-shirts, and cute small bags on suspenders. The palette-like color selection also makes the whole collection more playful and vivid. Mint, light pink, lavender, orange, and yellow are all the “IT” colors for all Mr. Gentleman.
Debuted in 2013, 99% IS- established by Korean designer Bajo Woo soon gained its popularity among the fashion and entertainment industry due to the designer’s creativity. Celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Chris Brown, Big Bang, and 2PM all have chosen his designs as stage costumes. His 2015 spring collection is called “Black Hawaii.” With a lot of punk and rock elements in combination with palm tree and tropical prints, the designer created the gloomy but cool scenario of Hawaii. Leather materials were used in most of the wardrobe. Not limited to the “black” Hawaii, other colors such as red, purple, and sky blue are also added into his designs all the while bringing in some lighter tones for the spring and summer.
House of Holland
London based designer, Henry Holland, brought his collection to Tokyo Fashion Week for the first time due to the brand’s popularity in Japan. A lot of floral prints and retro style patterns are used in the new collection. The multi-layer combination and mix-and-match of different prints surprisingly became a brand-new style. Henry designs with a London girl aesthetic in mind and is continually inspired by variety and attitudes, cultures, and mindsets. The journey of House of Holland to another fashion capital, Tokyo, will surely give the designer more inspiration and ideas.
Tokyo Fashion Week Parties & Events
Besides a whole week of runway shows, all kinds of parties and events during Tokyo Fashion Week make the city spectacular in October. The after parties in the main venue, Hikarie, sponsored by Japanese Sake brand Dassai gave the fashion insiders a great substitute for champagne while they partied and mingled with models and designers. The parties held by Onitsuka Tiger and House of Holland that combined fashion with art, music, and live performances were especially remarkable during the week. Special appearances of fashion icons and bloggers such as Nick Wooster, Misha Janette, Mademoiselle Yulia, and Mappy added to the highlights of these unforgettable nights.
Not a fashion insider? Don’t worry, there were plenty of events for the public to join in during Tokyo Fashion Week. “Shibuya Fashion Festival” was held on the weekend in participating stores in Shibuya such as Beams, United Arrows, and Freak’s Store. The events featured live DJs and musicians, while serving beer, champagne, and hors d’oeuvres. All the customers enjoyed the party atmosphere along with a one- day only discount. Famous select shop “Edifice” invited NYC based designer Mark McNairy to set up a pop-up store and autograph signing event. Popular models on Instagram and Twitter from the select shop, Candy, also showed up in the store to demonstrate the hottest mix-and-match styles of the season.
On the same day as Shibuya Fashion Festival, “Versus Tokyo” event took place in Shibuya as well. Fashion lovers who had pre-registered online had the chance to attend the runway shows of upcoming designers and non-stop parties from day to night in Hikarie. If you would like to discover more about Tokyo Fashion Week, you can always participate next March or October! Don’t forget to plan your next vacation to Japan now!
Wesley Sin is a writer for a travel and fashion guide 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 while also writing and contributing from the Big Apple. Follow him on Facebook @ facebook.com/Sin.Wesley