Tokyo Fashion Week: Spring/ Summer 2018 trends
Tokyo Fashion Week 2018 S/S closed on Sunday after showing collections from 55 labels. In addition, the return of a number of star designers for ‘At Tokyo’ by Amazon Fashion livened up the week, even with the last few days overshadowed by both a typhoon and the parliamentary election.
Messy street style, urban sophistication, functionality and references to Japanese culture are all juxtaposed in Tokyo. While it might lack a unified creative vision like the fashion weeks of Paris or Milan, the diversity reflects the zeitgeist of the Japanese metropolis. An aim underscored by global e-commerce giant Amazon, who have backed the week for the past three seasons, with the intention to zero in on consumer sentiment and boost its commercial influence.
Mixed and layered
Perhaps the influence of Sacai’s great fashion mixology, or perhaps just Tokyo’s DNA, many designers mixed different prints and materials and layered unexpected items. Akikoaoki placed corsets, bras and gathered chiffon tops together over striped shirt dresses to create modern, sensual, looks. Yohei Ohno mixed industrial materials such metallic fabric, resembling tin foil; mesh and patent vinyl in a playful DIY mood. On the other hand, Hyke offered a more sophisticated take, combining military jackets with dressy fluid fabrics and clean-cut sheer pleats.
Tulle, mesh, plastic, sheer chiffon - see-through materials were used to add a hint of sensuality, such as in the Dressundressed collection, which superimposed power mesh over slip dresses in pale beige. Elza Winkler’s elegance was underlined with swaying printed chiffon dresses and a striking, semi-transparent blue trench. And G.V.G.V teamed sheer stripe overlays with polka-dots and flower prints, whereas 5-knots chose clear plastic to offset nostalgic vintage prints.
Strings, cords and belts
From D-Vec’s rain coats with underbust draw cords to Asian knot belts at Mint Designs, strings and belts are omnipresent this season. Moreover, G.V.G.V repeated lace-up details on corsets, skirts and even sailor colors in the ladylike marine collection. Akikoaoki and Yohei Ohno played with toggles for shirring, while Yulia’s Growing Pains wrapped the belts around arms or knees for a soft bondage silhouette.
Some creators opted to draw inspiration from Japanese culture. Not classic ‘geisha’ references, but a uniquely counterculture approach straight from the Tokyo streets: Growing Pains featured the Japanese flapper, or ‘Modern Girl’, along with ‘Sukeban’ bad-girl gang and punk influences. For the ‘At Tokyo’ program, BlackEyePatch staged their show in an old Noh theater to showcase a hip-hop influenced collection with a Japanese gang touch. Buddhism at Paradox and Acuod by Chanu’s samurai armor were also reinterpreted in a rebellious street way. Meanwhile, traditional Ukiyo-e prints at United Tokyo and cute, ‘kawaii’ references in Mikio Sakabe’s collection offered a softer take.
B to C approach
Amazon launched its ‘At Tokyo’ program last season to make the fashion week more open to the public. In this season, they selected five globally known brands: Takahiromiyashitathesoloist., Toga, Blackeyepatch, Sacai and Undercover. Inviting hundreds of fashion and design school students to the shows, Amazon Fashion sold special items on their marketplace, including Sacai/Undercover products, which sold out shortly after the show. The company also held an afterparty for Sacai/Undercover, for which tickets were available for purchase by the general public.
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