Fashion for the big freeze can present a golden opportunity to layer up on style.
Cold weather looks have the potential to be the most transformational. The Autumn/Winter season demands apt accessories, killer tailoring (no-one’s going anywhere without a coat), and smart, hardworking layers capable of shapeshifting your outfit to accommodate temperature peaks and troughs from indoors to out. The Tokyo AW19 collections saw designers herald new functional favourites like the quilt coat, while saving space for eclectic and playful references that made dressing for the big freeze look like a blast.
We can rely on designer Takeshi Kitazawa to dish up a wickedly offbeat experience. AW19 followed suit as Kitazawa showed minimal, urban-inspired tailoring complete with his signature peek-a-boo flashes of skin.
Begging the question “who’s really watching?,” models played out a hyper-real game of hide and seek, disappearing into a concealed room, the interior of which was streamed onto a screen so that onlookers could virtually survey the models and their staged interactions inside.
We were treated to long, handsomely cut coats teetering off shoulders, knickers and blazers embellished with industrial details, shirts sliced sheer across the nipple line and an 80s style hip-length leather moto jacket. Men will find a friend in the low slung tailored ankle pants and cropped trench jacket.
To answer the question, we’re all watching. Kitazawa makes it consistently hard to look away.
Malamute’s contemplative AW19 collection Landscape was a philosophical love letter to the future. The range was inspired by changing landscapes, in particular, that which remains universal amid states of flux.
Designer Mari Odaka’s background in knitwear forged a robust platform to execute an edgy yet sophisticated Nordic sensibility that she updated with athleisure and retro influences. A celebration of textures, this range provided solutions for every wardrobe requirement. Modern after 5 p.m. ensemble? The maxi backless knit dress. Work-to-date night? The vermillion turtleneck jumpsuit. Weekend brunch? Pleated skirt with sweatshirt and red statement shoes. It’s all there, punchy and unique, crafted superbly.
Shanghai-based design duo Liushu Lei and Yutong Jiang are making the case for unashamed Lolita girl power and its straight-up intoxicating.
With prior gigs at Simone Rocha and Gareth Pugh, ShuShu/Tong has the technical brilliance to future-proof saccharine femininity by creating a modern fairytale that keeps her relevant yet still darkly romantic.
Impressive craftsmanship was evident in the stunning fabric manipulations and deft tailoring. A masterful collection infused with unbridled imagination that was delightfully unforgettable.
Add warmth to the raw-hemmed Bermuda shorts with tights and pick up a feather-covered tote to cheer away winter doldrums.
Tokyo locals Sho Iwata and Hiroshi Takizawa dish up inventive collections that keep the wearer firmly in the foreground. Their take for AW19 was an exuberant runway that married dashing sportswear like mesh body wraps, bold neon boots and sweats, with 70s throwback favourites in the way of grandpa knits, patchwork fur and billowing floral maxis.
Colour and print played a starring role (note the runway was a giant rainbow) with a clean, well-formed palette of pastels and neutrals smacked with jolts of highlighter brights. Florals and heavy blocks of black were used for bigger impact where drama demanded. The quilted long-line vest is a mandatory that would fair well for several seasons to come.
Tokyo native Keisuke Yoshida flirted with strong historical (namely Medieval) references for his brooding AW19 collection. A runway glowing with crimson light and a soundtrack of Gregorian chant accentuated thespian silhouettes of exaggerated shoulders, cinched waists and figure-hugging trousers.
Hoods revealing partial faces, heavy cape jackets, laddered toggles that created a barbed-wire effect across pant legs, and patent laced boots that stretched to near crotch-height generated a somewhat sinister and provocative mood.
You’ll fall hard for the ankle-grazing leather trench, a key piece for many designers this season, but Keisuke Yoshida’s version with it’s contemporary, slouchy proportions, reigns supreme.
Unique fabrics and blurring the boundaries of traditional attire are key elements for Meagratia. Set against the backdrop of a wild, autumn-toned floral arrangement, the show took on an automatic organic feel with lots of love for impactful print and textural statements. We saw pops of vibrant tangerine in bold floral prints, generous coats that swung loosely from the body and oversized infinity scarves in earthy tones.
Choose your own adventure and commit to either matching printed suits, or clash away with florals, stripes and check. There is no in-between.
Taking every opportunity to show off lavish layering, menswear designers Takeshi Osumi and Yuichi Yoshi proved their command of ingenious styling for yet another season. Like many AW19 runways, influences took on a jumble sale approach. Outdoorsy oversized parkas and zip baseball jackets, vintage-inspired double-breasted suits and coats topped with silk scarves, equestrian tweed separates and horse riding motif prints, and grunge notes of tattered jeans and baggy denim jackets were all mingled together.
Adding to the eclectic spirit, Frankenstein-esque fabric mixing of python print, faux fur and wool added personality to the tailoring.
Take a leaf out of their trend notebook with coats on coats – throw a cropped cotton twill trench over a longline wool jacket, tie a windbreaker over a blazer, or top a parka with a cosy shearling coat.
Originally published on Savvytokyo.com