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Lucire: Fashion

Tokyo fashion: after the ’quake

Despite a devastating earthquake and tsunami, the show must go on. Yuka Murai looks at three designers who defied the odds and showed autumn–winter 2011–12 collections, thanks to the Japan Fashion Week organization


Yazutoshi Ezumi

Fernanda Yamamoto

Van Hongo

THE M9 EARTHQUAKE and tsunami destroyed a part of Japan on March 11, 2011. With the enough devastation from Mother Nature, dangers from nuclear power plants represented a man-made problem.

Tokyo, 250 km away from the Fukushima power plants, is known as the Fashion City of Japan, if not the world.

In this sad time in human history, you would think people in Tokyo and all of Japan would stop thinking about fashion, since a part of the country remains devastated, and nobody knows how long it will take to get back to normal.

In fact, Japanese culture shows that if one part of the nation suffers, the rest is supposed suffer and feel pain by not consuming any extras and luxury goods. This activity is called jishuku in Japanese.

It was unsurprising, therefore, that the 12th Japan Fashion Week planned for March was cancelled, due to the expected lack of electricity. Fashion is also considered an extra or a luxury good in the time of crisis. Right after the devastationand the mood of jishuku, people assumed that the fashion scene in Tokyo would regress for a while.

However, there are still many citizens in Japan who try to help the devastated area by not following jishuku, instead contributing positively to economic activity or setting up various support systems for new or suffering businesses. Japan Fashion Week is one of the organizations carrying out various support measures to aid designers in Japan.

With the effort of the Japan Fashion Week organization, all designers are now eager to bring back the light of fashion, more strongly than ever before. Despite the tough economy and crisis, emerging designers like the following are taking a lead and inspiring other businesses. Currently, the fashion industry in Japan, as a whole, is building a strong back-up system for emerging designers, to make sure that the talent and potential do not get buried in this time of crisis.


Yasutoshi Ezumi

Yasutoshi Ezumi, a graduate of Central St Martin’s in the UK, showcased his autumn–winter 2011–12 collection, Secret Code Fractal, at several exhibitions in Tokyo. Although Yasutoshi Ezumi is considered an emerging designer, his previous experience includes working as the studio assistant designer at Alexander McQueen. This definitely helps him execute simplicity with fine details.

Following his previous collections, Rectangle (autumn–winter 2010–11) and Line (spring–summer 2011) , this latest collection is inspired by the process of researching logic in life and mathematical phenomena. You will see sequences repeating in the textile or overall design. Fractals, the Fibonnaci sequence, the Golden Section—these are the result of observation or experimentation for this latest collection. Japanese traditional origami takes into account the construction method for each collection.


Fernanda Yamamoto

Fernanda Yamamoto, a third-generation Japanese-Brazilian based in São Paulo and a graduate of Parsons New York, began drawing a circle with meanings of simplicity and symbolism, using this as the starting-point to develop her autumn–winter 2011–12 collection. The circle symbolizes precision and the idea of repeating cycles, influencing every aspect of the collection, from the textures in the fabrics to prints and modelling.

The colours for the collection carefully reflected an autumnal mood. Overall, the palette is predominately black, yet there are soft touches of bright purple, yellow, and fuchsia emerging with a variety of shades of grey, which are very welcoming for audiences in the Fernanda Yamamoto world.


Van Hongo

Van Hongo, lead by Izumi Hongo, was inspired by neo-classicist interior design. A graduate of the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Belgium, Hongo successfully created her autumn–winter 2011–12 collection, Salonnière. The theme is based around an ironic look at a woman who absorbs the space around her by the clothes she is wearing. The use of a variety of velvet, with various colours, creates the key look for Van Hongo’s latest collection. Knitwear is another main component to the latest collection.


Yuka Murai of YM Biz & Media is a guest correspondent for Lucire.


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Lucire 2011 | The Global Fashion Magazine Our New York fall ’11 preview
Sopheak Seng and Lola Saab make their picks on the best of New York Fashion Week’s autumn–winter 2011–12 collections
photographed by Dan Lecca, Getty Images, Stephen Ciuccoli, and courtesy Nicole Miller
Lucire 2011 | The Global Fashion Magazine

A closer look at London Fashion Week
Vicki Matias looks at the London Fashion Week autumn–winter 2011–12 collections and casts a trained designer’s eye over them
photographed by Maurice Luckett/Fashion Aviator



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