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Lucire: Fashion
the circuit

Lucire 2012
Frédéric Aranda for Vogue/Getty Images

Power base Seventeen international Vogue editors pose in Tokyo for Fashion’s Night Out.

Double strength in Tokyo

After having the earlier event cancelled due to a devastating earthquake and tsunami, Mercedes-Benz Japan Fashion Week came back with extra pizazz, as Yuka Murai reports


Courtesy Yasutoshi Ezumi

Johan Ku Design

Top Yasutoshi Ezumi’s String Theory. Above Johan Ku’s The Two Faces used glow-in-the-dark yarns from Taiwan.


TOKYO FASHION WEEK KICKED OFF with sponsor Mercedes-Benz showcasing its C-Klasse Coupé in mid-October. The new Week, returning after the cancelled event earlier this year due to the eastern Japan earthquake, got off to a glamorous start.

Showing its newfound confidence, Sir Paul Smith was invited to take part alongside well established Japanese designers in a special programme where his spring–summer 2012 ready-to-wear collection was shown.

Yasutoshi Ezumi, who was supposed to have shown in the cancelled event, came back with his signature knitwear line, String Theory. His highly developed skills and depth in knitwear allowed a strong sense of sophistication to permeate throughout his collection, consisting of light and summery, yet warm and cozy, knitted garments.

Another knitwear designer, Johan Ku, known for his extreme proportions, constructed sculptural silhouettes, adapting his version of knitwear-as-art towards the summer season. His latest offerings used glow-in-the-dark yarns manufactured in Taiwan as the main foundation. To fully demonstrate the impact these clothes had, venue lighting was turned on and off so that both versions could be on offer: one giving a green and blue glow and the other simply white underneath the venues’ light. WWD Japan recently ranked Johan Ku’s The Two Faces collection as one of the top seven shown during this circuit.

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Copyright Japan Fashion Week Organization—used with permission

Top Keita Maruyama. Above Yuki Toriis.


Veteran designer Keita Maruyama showcased his Save the Last Dance for Me collection with a disco-themed stage. A large disco ball was installed in the centre of the show with Tokyo-based DJ Hazuki spinning tunes on top of a turntable. His collection’s theme incorporated casual denim prints, knitwear and tropical printed fabrics. Maruyama also surprised his audiences by inviting popular South Korean pop star Juno to walk as one of his models.

Another veteran designer, Yuki Toriis, demonstrated her simple and modern lines adapted from female marine wear, while GVGV wowed the crowds with its latest collection of 1950s pin-up girls on vacation to Miami Beach. Tokyo Collection came back this season with strong line-ups of designers, each with their own defining characteristics.

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Kazuo Oishi


As part of proceedings, an annual event, Tokyo Kimono Week 2011, was held at Nihonbashi, which used to be the centre of mercantile business during the Edo Period. The event celebrates Japan’s traditional form of fashion, the kimono. The fashion show attracted 500 guests, and models walked down the runway with Tegaki Yuzens, as well as other popular styles of kimono. Despite kimonos typically being thought of as traditional wear, this week successfully demonstrated how they can be fashionable as well as being accessible for younger generations.

At districts targeting the youth market like Harajuku, Omotesando, and Aoyama, international Vogue editors from 17 countries, including Anna Wintour, gathered to close off this year’s Fashion Night’s Out (FNO) world shopping event on the weekend of November 5.

The event began at Tokyo Hyatt Hotel with a Vogue dinner, followed by an editor-only group photo shoot. Editors who participated include Franca Sozzani from Italy, Emmanuelle Alt from France, and Alexandra Shulman from the UK. International photographer Frédéric Aranda captured this historical line-up of Vogue editors.



Straight afterwards, they walked the streets of these nearby shopping districts, visiting the industry’s biggest brands. World-class designers like Michael Kors and Christopher Bailey also enjoyed FNO in Tokyo.

This year’s FNO also played a significant role for charity. A portion of proceeds from FNO charity goods went towards the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.

The Feel and Think: a New Era of Tokyo Fashion exhibition opened to the public at the beginning of Fashion Week. Collaborations with Fashion Week organizations saw the inclusion of 10 up-and-coming designers, such as Matohu, Mint Designs, Theater Products, and Somarta.

During this early part of the 21st century, we are witnessing a change within the fashion environment. Fast fashion brands like Zara, H&M, and Uniqlo are expanding their market share in the industry, whilst high fashion brands created in New York, Milano, and Paris have lost their appeal in the Japanese fashion scene.

Although new creativity at street level and fast fashion bring their unique and affordable choices to consumers, we need to face the reality that consumerism and marketing are deeply getting involved with art and fashion these days. These 10 selected designers are those who practise art and fashion in the form of communication with consumers, rather than following the latest trends of materialism. They pose a question ‘What is real fashion to us?’ and answer their questions through their daily creations.

This exhibition brings opportunities to visitors who “feel and think” about the infinite possibilities bought forth within this industry and the new age of fashion and its reality. The exhibition had been held at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery until December 25, and reopens at Kobe Fashion Museum from January 14, 2012. •

Kioku Keizo

Above Mint Designs exhibits at Feel and Think: a New Era of Tokyo Fashion.



Yuka Murai of YM Biz & Media is a correspondent for Lucire. She has a Flickr photo journal at this link.

Fast fashion brands like Zara, H&M, and Uniqlo are expanding their market share in the industry, whilst high fashion brands created in New York, Milano, and Paris have lost their appeal in the Japanese fashion scene








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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
photographs courtesy Japan Fashion Week
Lucire 2011 | The Global Fashion MagazineMercedes-Benz launches C-Klasse coupé in Japan with Fashion Week designers
Mercedes-Benz presented its new C-class coupé for the Japanese market on the 17th, at a press event held right after Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week of Tokyo kicked off, writes Yuka Murai
Lucire 2011 | The Global Fashion Magazine

Sir Paul Smith to receive Outstanding Achievement Award at 2011 British Fashion Awards
Sir Paul Smith will receive the Outstanding Achievement Award at the British Fashion Awards on November 28




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