Going off grid: putting Tokyo fashion week on the map – THE BUSINESS TIMES

[TOKYO] For years headquartered in boring however handy procuring malls, Tokyo Fashion Week has at all times been a poor cousin to the artistry of Paris or the business dynamism of New York.

However this season a rising variety of designers are branching out in quest of new pastures, consciously or sub-consciously taking suggestions from the extra seasoned fashion weeks the place location might be all the pieces.

When Alexander Wang made the worldwide fashion glitterati decamp from Manhattan to Brooklyn on a chilly February night time in 2014, it was thought of not solely daringly progressive however drove headlines for days.

Likewise when Hedi Slimane introduced a full-blown Saint Laurent runway present to Los Angeles in 2016, or Raf Simons coated partitions in additional than 1,000,000 flowers for his Christian Dior debut in 2012.

Whereas not scaling such dizzying heights of extravagance, designers in Tokyo are beginning to cotton onto the idea that the architectural wealth of their capital might be a extra atmospheric backdrop to their type choices than the ninth flooring of Shibuya's Hikarie mall.

With that in thoughts, one label - help floor - invited a whole bunch of visitors to a brand new indoor operating stadium, constructed as a coaching floor forward of the 2020 Olympics in Toyosu, an space of reclaimed land in southern Tokyo.

Designer Norio Surikabe stated he selected the website for the aesthetics of its curved, mesh-impact ceiling and picket beams, and its novelty worth in having solely not too long ago turn into accessible for rent.

"I simply felt intuitively that this place could be good," he stated. "I believed doing the present someplace not city like Shibuya with a large sky might be good for refreshing the thoughts." -

To invigorate the viewers of consumers, fashion press and fashionistas, stay musicians carried out authentic zen-like music and a lighting knowledgeable was chosen to wash the runway in brilliant gentle.

It was a stupendous assortment, deploying Japanese strategies to current a unfastened, minimal search for the skilled girl with floral silks, blue leather-based and dusky rose shearling that bobbed like clouds.

However there was one downside: the early Spring chill that permeated the cavernous construction left visitors shivering in coats and fashions deserving a prize for gliding obliviously down the runway.

"It is fairly far, however the present was actually good so I am advantageous with it now," stated one aged male visitor after what was a 50-minute experience one-manner on public transport from Shibuya.

"It was additionally chilly, however I believe that it made the present extra fashionable!" The climate put extra of a dampener on matohu's present at a Buddhist temple, the place the authentic hope was 16th century gate and Tokyo's iconic telecommunications tower would illuminate the runway for a meditation on the symbiosis between previous and current aesthetics.

Tokyo's famed cherry blossom season could have formally kicked off that morning, but it surely poured with rain and the viewers was pressured to sit down below a concrete walkway, view obscured.

It was left to free-flowing sake, dry ice and area heaters to conjure up an environment extra esoteric than the sobriety and close to silence of the ninth flooring of the Hikarie mall.

"After we got here right here... we handed by means of the gate, we noticed its black silhouette and Tokyo Tower and it was like the confluence of the previous and the future," stated Hiroyuki Horihata, one in every of matohu's two designers.

"We felt transported by means of time," he defined.

Identify. adopted with a runway present at Earth Studio - an enormous recording advanced beneath Tokyo Tower, a self-supported metal communications construction and native landmark modelled after the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Designer Noriyuki Shimizu despatched his fashions down a raised catwalk, chest-excessive to a standing viewers invited to sip beer and Pink Bull in a room that evoked extra nightclub than staid runway.

Shimizu stated he wished someplace new for his sporty, city assortment that was all layers, skirts for males and corn rows entitled "delirious odyssey" and "an exploration of youth tradition from varied nations." "I believed that the manner you got here to Tokyo Tower was related to my theme in some way," he defined.

"No different model has had a present right here and I hope there's additionally a component of holding it recent."


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Going off grid: putting Tokyo fashion week on the map - THE BUSINESS TIMES