From zippy accessories to Mickey Mouse masks and twinning taken to new heights, we present five interesting looks from the runways at Tokyo Fashion Week
Five offbeat looks at Tokyo Fashion Week
Tokyo Fashion Week may have become an annual fixture on the fashion
calendar nearly 50 years after the big four – New York, Paris, Milan and London – but it has quickly gained a reputation for being both creative and outlandish, as evidenced by the autumn/winter 2018 collections at this year’s event, which concluded this week.
Futago koude, which translates to twin co-ordinate, is thought to have its roots in Japan’s school and workplace uniform system. Students and employees are often required to dress identically, a practice that symbolises unifying the minds towards a common purpose. Accordingly, co-ordinated outfits dominate many a street, social media and runway style. In its current iteration, futago koude involves similarly styled outfits with one point of contrast – be it colour, fit or accessories – as was evident during Tokyo Fashion Week. Designers Takeshi Kitazawa and Emiko Sato from DressedUndressed, for instance, had two models wearing the same classic blue office shirt, one tucked into formal black pants and the other hanging long and loose. For good measure, the former, more formal style had a ripped-out back. At Tokuko 1er Vol, designer Tokuko Maeda sent her twins out with contrasting striped leggings and wigs in the shades of a candy-coloured rainbow.
Japan’s traditional garment sashayed down Ryota Murakami’s runway in what was one of the event’s most colourful collections – with a mix of fire engine red and hot pink as well as more neutral shades. Instead of flaunting intricate flora and fauna patterns in the garish blues and oranges typically spotted, for instance, the full-length robes were more subtle, delicate silks in oyster, pale pink and peach. It was the sash that really stole the show – worn as an exaggerated bow in one look, as a barely-there crisscrossed ribbon in another, and off the shoulder in a third. In keeping with the face and head coverings observed in a major portion of the show, Murakami’s models, too, were rendered faceless, thanks to wigs with nose-length bangs in shades of mauve, steel grey and light blonde.
Originally donned to prevent influenza and hay fever, masks quickly became a fixture among Japanese street-stylers, who took to wearing a variety of shapes, colours and patterns, including those of much-loved characters such as Hello Kitty and, more recently, all manner of Pokémon. On the runways this year, Yukihero Pro-Wrestling, led by film and theatre costume designer Yukihiro Teshima, had models with eye masks painted in green and gold, and Mickey Mouse ears affixed atop wrestling masks in metallic blue and red, with the designer himself taking to the stage in a pinstriped suit and dual-toned face mask.
Yurie Fujita, Katsuya Miyazaki and Futaba Hongo of the playfully named Ha-ha fashion brand, offered up something of a mixed-bag collection. While the overarching theme seemed to be a modern-day safari, with military greens, browns and camo prints making an appearance, the designer trio also put out a series of astronaut-inspired jackets with sleeves sewn over the hands, bright parkas fronted by enormous joey pockets and bunched-up jodhpurs paired with bright-laced safari boots and knee-length socks. The myriad looks were accessorised primarily with feathers, which were spotted dangling from collars, sleeves, cuffs and hems. In perhaps the only black outfit of the collection, an unidentifiable model took to the runway in an inky, knee-length quilted hoodie, zipped up to cover half the face and, of course, two pristine white feathers affixed on either side of his, or maybe her, head.
Full of zip
Acuod by Chanu made creative use of the simple zip – that essential but oft-overlooked accessory. Rather than using them to hold clothes together, the designer used zips as embellishment, snaking along pockets and hanging as tassels from sleeves. Elsewhere, models sported the things on their faces: a zipped smile across a mouth covering, chains looped across the nose from ear to ear, and even stapled – or, hopefully, temporarily stuck on – as cheek and lip piercings. Hairdos got zipped, too, with tufts gathered and bound with snaking silver ridges.