Above left Christian Dada. Above right Vivienne Tam.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo wrapped up Sunday as cherry blossoms bloom in Japanâs capital. Over the last couple of seasons, Tokyo Fashion Week kept its target on European and Japanese buyers and audiences, but this season, it has eyed the growing Asian market, especially China. It makes sense since Chinese consumers have now become the worldâs leading buyers of luxury goods.
Japanese fashion brand Christian Dada was the fashion week opener for the autumnâwinter 2013â14 collections. Christian Dadaâs designer, Masanori Morikawa, is known as a stage costume designer for the American pop singer Lady Gaga during her Born This Way Ball 2012 tour. Morikawa has been showcasing his signature style with a rebellious yet silent dark beauty, but this season he got inspiration from a Chinese mythological bird called the fenghuang (phoenix), which is the theme of his collection. Leather jackets and pants are mainly in black and white with blue, red and gold patterns representing the fenghuang. The most memorable moment of Morikawaâs show was definitely his signature tall boots with bird wings.
Chinese-born designer Vivienne Tam held a special runway show during Tokyo Fashion Week to celebrate the 15th anniversary of her brand in Japan. Tam presented the same collection she first showed at New York Fashion Week for the lunar New Year. Chinese calligraphy added unexpected twists in her latest collection in a modern and punk-like way, which successfully engaged with the fashion-savvy Japanese audience.
Johan Ku, a Taiwanese designer, presented his signature knit collection. This season, Ku revealed the sexiness of a womanâs silhouette, with the theme of Anna, the female lead in the 1992 movie Damage. Unlike his last several collections, this season was full of pieces that showed off plenty of skin using holes, fringes, and asymmetric necklines. They all look randomly placed but are well calculated, demonstrating Kuâs skill of knit-work, boosted since his last collection.
Japanese veteran designer Hiroko Koshino was one of the highlighted designers at Tokyo Fashion Week, presenting her collection on the last day. She also eyed the growing Asian market as she presented her new âeast meets westâ look. In her collection, Floral Memories, it was not just flower-patterned dresses that walked down the runway. Her floral inspiration was everywhere: from texture of fabric, colour choice and make-up, to draping and rounded silhouettes on each of her looks. The natural phenomena of flowers were represented in an artistic form, rather than the romantic image which many designers use.
Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, Japan has been investing a full effort to shift its gear towards marketing its brand outside the country, especially to the growing Asian market. There are still criticisms that Tokyo Fashion Week is marketing internally, while the fashion-savvy audience in Japan is interested in street fashion, which they call ‘real clothes’, as opposed to high fashion from the runway. Tokyo Fashion Week continues to tackle those challenges, and the next several seasons will be key to turning things around, to become a new trend-setting global destination.âYuka Murai, YM Biz & Media
Japan Fashion Week Organization
Above left Johan Ku. Above right Hiroko Koshino.
Yuka Murai of YM Biz & Media is a correspondent for Lucire.
Having viewed the Zambesi winter collection late last year in amongst the craziness of New Zealand Fashion Week, I had forgotten what my favourite pieces were (as so happens when you view collections six months before they are due in store and in quick sucession). When the invitation to attend the Wellington store’s winter launch appeared, the chance to stroll down memory lane and rediscover my favourites, and find some new gems, was welcome.
Zambesi is one of those labels that is best appreciated up close. What appears to be plain shirting fabric is, in fact, a very fine mesh; or a print is turns out to be something else upon closer inspection. With the models rocking some looks from the collection, it was a joy to rediscover those well turned-out and brilliantly cut coats and jackets, tailored in fine wools and pieced together with wax-finish leathers. There were the beautiful brocades and jacquard prints featured on pants and dresses, the gorgeous knitwear, and one of my favourite standout prints of the season, the chequerboard print in butter yellow and ink navy.
Stand-outs from the small showing in store were: the lace and knit dressâa beautiful, tight, sleeved dress with almost lace crochet detailing with tiny sequin embellishments, the perfect day-to-night outfit; and the black sheer silk shift dress with bandage-like side detailing and fringe work. The movement when the model walked was exquisite and very on trend with the flapper-esque feel to it all.
From the menswear range, everything, from the military-style coats to the sharply tailored Slimane-like suiting, was very slick and super-stylish. The chequerboard pattern shirt is a must for winter, crafted in beautiful almost lace-like fabric. Also on the must-haves, one of the many coats that are in the collection: my favourite was the double-breasted wool coat with piece leather sleevesâcut with a surgeon’s scalpel this is a classic that will never date.
The hair for the show had a very cool vibe to itâa mix of dishevelled chic, a wet look mixed with dry rough-and-tumbleâdirected by Buoy creative director Michael Beel. It was the perfect touch to the collection.
Zambesi’s winter collection is in store now.âSopheak Seng, Fashion and Beauty Editor
AboveLucire Paris editor Lola Saab with Lanvin artistic director Alber Elbaz.
LancĂŽme will collaborate with Alber Elbaz, the Parisian cosmetics brand announced yesterday.
It is not Elbaz’s first collaboration with another well known brand. Lanvin, where Elbaz is artistic director, and H&M collaborated on a collection in 2010.
âMore than any other designer, he has shown his ability to renew conceptions of femininity with a simultaneously quirky and couture style, creating a breed of luxury that is definitively contemporary. His approach is naturally in tune with LancĂŽme, a brand symbolic of joyful femininity,’ the company stated in a release.
âAlber Elbaz is, without a doubt, one of the world’s most influential fashion designers. But beyond that, he is also the most talented,’ says LancĂŽme presidet Youcef S. Nabi. ‘His sense of luxury, his vision of femininity and that hint of audacity resonate perfectly with the new values of the Maison LancĂŽme. We are extremely proud and happy that, with us, he is set to channel his universe into the world of make-up for the very first time.’
Details are sketchy, but LancĂŽme has released a promotional video as a teaser for the make-up collection, which will be unveiled on June 15.
In a typically Swedish socially responsible fashion, Hennes & Mauritz has announced a clothing collecting initiative as of February 2013.
In all its stores in all 48 countries, customers will be able to bring in used garments, with H&M committing to sustainability. Customers will get a voucher in return.
The company says it will accept items from all brands in any condition, reducing textile waste and overall environmental impact, and saving natural resources.
âOur sustainability efforts are rooted in a dedication to social and environmental responsibility. We want to do good for the environment, which is why we are now offering our customers a convenient solution: to be able to leave their worn out or defective garments with H&M,’ says CEO Karl-Johan Persson.
The collected clothes are handled by I:Collect, which will reprocess the clothes and make the resources ready for reuse.
H&M says as much as 95 per cent of disposed clothes could be used again.
The company says, long-term, it wishes to ‘reduce the environmental impact of garments throughout the life cycle and create a closed loop for textile fibres.’ H&M Conscious Foundation has been set up to support innovation to find ways of closing the loop on textiles.
Last week, H&M announced an 11-piece men’s capsule range in collaboration of Brick Lane Bikes of East London, to be launched on March 7 in 180 stores worldwide. The range uses more sustainable materials, a development of the Conscious programme.
Scarlett Johansson will be the face of Dolce & Gabbana’s latest fragrance, The One Desire, continuing her role as a spokeswoman for the brand.
The campaign, photographed by Terry Richardson, launches in Italy next month, with an international roll-out soon after.
The scent was developed by Givaudan, in association with P&G Prestige, Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce. Top notes are bergamot, mandarin, lychee and lily of the valley; mid-notes are Madonna lily, tuberose, jasmine and plum nectar, and basenotes are caramel-infused vanilla, sandalwood, musk and cistus labdanum.
The fragrance will be available in 30, 50 and 75 ml eau de parfum.