Innovation blends with tradition and creativity: @SuzyMenkesVogue sees the future of fashion in Tokyo
#Anrealage — Now you see it… The dress was off-white - cool in both senses. I was at the Anrealage boutique in Tokyo and POW! I realised why I had come to this city to see fashion's future. Just look what designer #KunihikoMorinaga did next…
#Anrealage — And now you really see it! Chide the audience for using their phone cameras. This was the only way to see the reality of Kunihiko Morinaga’s work.
#Anrealage — Spotlight on fashion There was hi-tech and no-tech from the #Anrealage show. This was a spotlight print on a backpack, emulating the UV pieces, but just for visual fun, not a hi-tech marvel. But the frustration for #TokyoFashionWeek is that its brightest stars may fade away. #Kunihiko Morinaga gave up showing in Japan and has transferred his skill set to Paris. 4.
Ciao, Hiromichi! Giorgio Armani selects designers with talent to stage shows at the Teatro Armani in Milan — part of the complex designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando. For last summer’s menswear, Hiromichi Ochiai and his Facetasm brand was Armani's choice, although the designer showed his women's collection as part of #mercedesbenzfashionweek. As a graduate of Tokyo's Bunka Fashion College in 1999, he showed in the “incubation” building, which supports graduates. That idea seems like something other colleges across the world might copy.
Wear a jacket and tie “Destruction and renewal” was Hiromichi Ochiai’s mantra. Although I have heard this on many previous occasions, I felt the designer of Facetasm had a fresh take, with his meticulously sewn strips tied up over open spaces.
Tech Tokyo fabrics from #Guildwork Inventive fabric is one of Tokyo's great strengths. Eight years at the textile company Guildwork, which supplies Comme des Garçons and Undercover, gave Hiromichi Ochiai a head start when he launched Facetasm in 2007. The line is already stocked by Dover Street Market.
Hiromichi steps towards Africa Great shoes and great colours, I thought when seeing the range Hiromichi Ochiai had created with the Isetan store group. But there was more to the story than bright colours. The designer chose shades of Africa because he thinks it’s time to bring more African influences, from clothes to models, on to the runways.
#DressedUndressed #DressedUndressed (and that is how the co-designers spell itm with or without hashtag) lives up to the brand name. For men — and especially women — the cover-up was a mix of skin, cloth and lace.
The #DressedUndressed Woman No surprise that the women tended to show more than the men at Dressed Undressed Tokyo show.
The #DressedUndressed Man DressedUndressed at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo. Co-designers Takeshi Kitazawa and Emiko Sato were finalists for the International Woolmark Prize for 2013/14.
#Hyke It's a Macintosh, but a very special version of country rainwear from Hyke. After taking a three-year break, Hideaki Yoshihara and Yukiko Ode are back with a collection that includes streamlined tailoring, a navy nautical look and a sense of country life in varied textures and some rural patterns.
#Hyke for #Adidas The best way to see streamlined tailoring and sleek knits is on www.hyke.jp. There is even a mini-video to see the Hyke collection in movement. I also liked their sweater necks for #Adidas.
White magic Sneakers and sportswear — a big white plan from Hyke and its co-founders Hideaki Yoshihara and Yukiko Ode.
#DressCamp Not every show at #mercedesbenztokyofashionweek is about street cred and sport. The Dress Camp collection proved that designer Toshikazu Iwaya was in the mood for romance. From the sweeping ball gown that opened the show to big, fat, red flower patterns, love — in an ironic way — was in the air.
#DressCamp It was not always easy to tell the boys from the girls at the Dress Camp show, when the accent sometimes seemed to be on “camp”.
#DressCamp — Kiss my knees! I am not sure that knees are the loveliest part of the human form. But it seems that at the Dress Camp show at #MercedesBenzTokyoFashionWeek denim deserves a kiss or two.
#NoirKeiNinomiya at #CommeDesGarcons I wore navy blue and Kei Ninomiya's jacket was denim blue - but everything else was black in the designer's studio in the Comme des Garçons complex in Tokyo. The dark colour was airy but heavy when circles of fabric joined up to make a jacket. Or the colour was intersected with metallic studs to enliven the dense darkness of the fabric.
#NoirKeiNinomiya Darkness and light, texture and shape — at Kei Ninomiya's presentation in Tokyo.
Carry a #KeiNinomiya I liked the imaginative — and light — bags from Kei Ninomiya collection. They were a good combination of hand and head intelligence from the designer.
#NoirKeiNinomiya The 'Noir' line from Comme des Garçons by Kei Ninomiya can look very cool.
#KeiNinomiya Kei Ninomiya made this dress for his own line — not for the Comme des Garçons 'Noir' collection which he also designs. This dress could be a good bridge between craft and commerce.
The sensual side of #HanaeMori Sex and elegance were the joint venture of Yu Amatsu, the designer at Hanae Mori. He took his bow after a stream of outfits, some sheer, others revealing a length of leg. There were also demure and ladylike looks in this long, try-anything show.
#YuAmatsu for #HanaeMori Saving the best until last. The Hanae Mori show by Yu Amatsu at #Mercedes-BenzFashionWeekTokyo.
Hanae and Suzy Meet Again Seeing #HanaeMori was an emotional moment. I have known her since she was elected as a member of Paris Haute Couture - the first Japanese designer to receive that honour. Were people shocked at the time that Madame Mori did not show in Tokyo? I should think they were proud. And maybe the anguish in Japan about those designers who do not join the city's Fashion Week should instead be a feeling of pride that they are of a global standard.