Tokyo Fashion Week—Day 2

Day 2 at Tokyo Fashion Week featured haha, a brand whose seasonal offering tends to be somewhat of a highlight of the session, owing to its traditionally political or socially driven statement.


Today’s show began with a wheelchair-bound model, clothed in a very simple design that was fairly reminiscent of a hospital smock. What continued was a poetic expression that had something of the circle of life about it. Pregnant women (practically clothed, for that was the message of the show, it seemed: pragmatically minded garments that worked for the reality of everyman) were juxtaposed with funerary pieces, which in fact made up some of the most impressive looks: veils exquisite in their solemnity. Elsewhere, however, the clothes themselves were a little drab. While injections of reality have been warmly welcomed in recent seasons, this collection was unfortunately distinctly lacking.


At the fleamadonna show, ideas were executed with a little more polish. The overall look struck a balance between resolutely Japanese designs and sporty pieces that will likely work across the globe. There was also something very easy about this collection; something lighter than the hard-edged, gangsta (in the hip hop sense) looks of FW14. Perhaps it was the pyjama-like printed silks, or the tiny rocks that covered the “runway” and recalled zen garden tranquility. For the most part, silhouettes were unfussy and lines were clean. And, dismissing those bizarre sailor ensembles, things came together with cohesion and finesse.


Ritsuko Shirahama’s SS15 offering boasted an underlying quirkiness, which unfortunately got in the way at times. The hats were unnecessary and proved to be a distraction, but there was exemplary printwork on display, and that deserves mention. There was indeed something immediately adorable about the belt dress and its hand-drawn charm.



Things were a little quieter at the matohu show. The collection seemed less resistant to a more typically Japanese aesthetic, and the results were quite lovely. There was a softness in the drapery and pleats, which rendered a lightness, balanced by more jarring details such as the tremendously odd (but obviously fantastic) footwear.


Elsewhere, the eccentric, extravagant use of color and print, on which Tokyo Fashion Week always delivers, rose again. Hiroko Koshino’s runway presentation started with creams and beiges that historical inequalities have taught us to call nudes; it then progressed through an explosive burst of prints before concluding in an all-black finale.

Upon examining these printed textiles, I feel obliged to comment on the nature of this kind of fashion, which makes up for a vast proportion of the Tokyo schedule. The prints are loud and fervently proud. For Tokyo and its audience, it is a choice that makes sense in a way that it perhaps would not for the fashion we are used to seeing in the Western world. There is, in these Hiroko Koshino designs, a certain chaos that is arguably representative of the fast, colorful, vibrant magic of the Japanese capital. Not directly, of course, but certainly as a result of its inevitable influence.

a degree

Then, as if in an effort to brandish its unpredictability, the city throws up the starkest of opposites. At the other end of the scale, suitably minimalist and irrefutably chic, A DEGREE FAHRENHEIT has to be my personal highlight thus far. The collection’s colour palette didn’t dare stray further from monochrome than with a small handful of navy pieces and a smattering of irridiscent metallics. For this collection was all about the cut. Creative director Yu Amatsu played with seams and hemlines, which instantly informed novel silhouettes; sharp slits to fabrics rendered both structure and polish, as well as a sense of realness and imperfection; shirt/jacket sleeves served as ties that softened harder, more graphic forms. After the high energy of many of today’s presentations, A DEGREE FAHRENHEIT’s charming ease and ingenious simplicity felt perfectly refreshing. It was a sublimely cool final note to day 2.

text by: Ben Sharp

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