Although the spring 2016 ready-to-wear shows have just concluded in the four major fashion capitals, New York, London, Milan, and Paris, there’s even more going on in other parts of the world. It’s no secret that Japan has always been one of the most fascinating and exciting regions on the globe, and of course, that includes Tokyo. And we’re in luck, because the top designers from the underrated fashion mecca just showed their latest work for spring 2016.
We can start by looking at Facetasm by Hiromichi Ochiai, the label that draws inspiration from the work of Gus Van Sant, the Antwerp Six, and skate culture, to name a few things. The East-meets-West vibes were heightened this time around via deconstructed wardrobe staples and the avant-garde edge that’s been perfected by Japanese fashion across the board. Denim, pinstripes, bold shapes, and exciting pops of color made for various layers to this collection, while eccentric hair and makeup further brought the looks to life. That same eccentricity emerged at Plastic Tokyo, a label that’s inspired by (and essentially made for) the city’s famous street fashion. The craziness that Japanese fashion is often known for came to life through wild colors, prints, and headgear to top it all off. Meanwhile, streetwear also proved to be an important element at menswear label Yoshio Kubo. The designer presented a somewhat aggressive vibe, combining military with sportswear, and mixing multiple menswear genres within a single given piece. Hybrid patchworks and utilitarian details solidified the claim for Tokyo’s penchant for multifaceted, unique design aesthetics.
A global favorite, the team at Miharayasuhiro opted to show at their home base in Tokyo instead of taking their typical slot at Paris Fashion Week. Street, somewhat sporty vibes were presented here, too, shown mostly in monochrome looks of black, grey, and navy. Meanwhile, specially treated fabrics carried impressive denim, knitwear, and outerwear on voluminous silhouettes. Tie-dye details, prints, and other seasonably appropriate motifs gave beachy vibes to the silk, leather, and other sleek garments that were shown, as well.
But it wasn’t all about maximalist streetwear at Tokyo Fashion Week; Japanese designers are masters of minimalism, too. This was proven at DressedUndressed, the super clean, pared-back label by Takeshi Kitazawa and Emiko Sato. For spring 2016, the duo explored the concept of the passage of time, shown through various subtle hand-dyeing and fraying techniques. Simplicity was valued at Motohiro Tanji, too, where the collection appeared predominantly in neutral tones. A disheveled sense of romanticism was clarified thanks to layering, unique shapes, and experimental textures.
Tokyo Fashion Week was even a place to see couture-like craftsmanship within the ready-to-wear mix. See Hanae Mori Manuscrit, where designer Yu Amatsu built a beautiful collection from the house’s history (fun fact: Mori was the first female Japanese designer to be accepted to show couture by France’s Chambre Syndicale). Inspired by nature, Amatsu explored water in its many forms, shown through blues, silvers, and similar hues. Meanwhile, flowers and floral prints were shown in a less than typical way than we’re used to seeing. Meanwhile at Somarta by Tamae Hirokawa, Mary Katrantzou-esque prints co-mingled with Iris Van Herpen-style avant-garde. Digital, futuristic, and otherworldly, Hirokawa’s high-concept 3D knitwear was bolstered by nature prints and African-inspired textiles.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Tokyo Fashion Week came from the city’s new talents shown at Tokyo New Age, a selection of five recent graduates from the alternative fashion school Coconogako. Soshi Otsuki, Akiko Aoki, Keisuke Yoshida, Kotoha Yokozawa, and Ryotamurakami by son and mother duo Ryota and Chiaki Murakami all showed their skills, with concepts ranging from Tokyo youth culture to school uniforms.
There’s no denying the exceptional creativity that’s going on in Tokyo’s fashion scene, and the spring 2016 shows certainly proved this point even further. Though it’s easy to get looped in to the hoopla going on in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, it’s always exciting to know that there’s so much more out there, especially in a city as captivating as Tokyo.
See some of the best looks from Tokyo Fashion Week spring 2016 below!