Twice a year, various venues across the city are transformed into catwalks for Tokyo Fashion Week, which is widely considered to be the most important fashion event in Asia. The most recent edition, showcasing next spring’s designs, took place between October 15 and 21 at locations such as Shibuya Hikarie and Omotesando Hills.
The week was punctuated by large-scale shows by some of Japan’s most beloved brands, sponsored by Amazon through its At Tokyo program, which aims to give a platform to designers who would not normally show during Tokyo Fashion Week. Once again this season, some of the At Tokyo shows were the most talked-about of the week, bringing back Tokyo-born brands that have already graduated to showing their collections in fashion capitals such as New York or Paris. Here are the brands that truly stood out from the rest this year.
This popular menswear brand, designed by Daisuke Obana, has been participating in New York Fashion Week for eight years now, meaning many of its Tokyo-based staffers had never seen it on the runway. But the brand made a triumphant return to its home city with an energetic show staged in a large warehouse space near Shinagawa. Obana showed some Arizona-inspired pieces from the collection he debuted in New York in July, but mixed them with original “remade” items and pieces from his own personal vintage collection (which, considering he got his start in fashion as a buyer for a vintage store, is bound to be extensive).
Kunihiko Morinaga has been pushing the boundaries of fashion for 15 years now, but for several seasons he has been doing it on the runways of Paris. This season, thanks to Amazon, he was able to stage a retrospective show featuring both his latest color-changing spring collection, as well as looks from all of his past seasons. In addition to silhouette, texture and color, Morinaga often plays with light. Some of the pieces looked subdued but glowed brightly when photographed with a flash, while other all-black looks revealed colorful elements when under a special spotlight in the dark.
Another Paris transplant, Masanori Morikawa did a joint Tokyo show with Shinpei Yamagishi of the brand Bed J.W. Ford. Held in a parking garage in Shibuya, the gritty, industrial setting formed the perfect backdrop to showcase the contrasts between the two brands. Morikawa’s collection consisted of tailored black trousers, asymmetric white shirts, blazers with snaps down the sleeves, and lots of separates in matching, striped shirting material. It showed both creativity and polish, hinting at his Japanese roots and Paris experience.
Other than these big names, the most recent Tokyo Fashion Week generated