Tokyo Fashion Week Spring 2016 (Part 2)

Tokyo’s spring 2016 fashion week continues, with the middle two days bringing dark romanticism, Victorian influences, gorgeous draping, monotone simplicity, edgy menswear, and retro safari-inspired looks. Read on for more from the runways.



Design duo Steven Hall and Yurika Ohara served up a charming retro safari-inspired collection for the coming spring season. Classic 1960s silhouettes in the way of boxy shift dresses, short shorts, chunky chevron cardigans and cropped trousers were blended with square patch pockets and sporty cotton drawstring trench coats, giving the whole thing a Dr. Watson meets The Brady Bunch mood. The theme of exploration continued into the prints, with clashing zebra, watercolour and graphic patterns in earthy tones all vying for audience attention. It was a unified, tactile collection that is wearable, and will no doubt be a hit with those who love to experiment with oversized shapes and bold textiles. –Juliette Olah

Johan Ku Gold Label


Leave it to Johan Ku to bring the sex appeal along to the MBFWT party. It wasn’t just about the clothes either, as models disappeared around a sheer white curtain dividing the length of the runway, skulking around to the opposite side of the audience, one half of the room were left to watch merely their shadowy outlines glide past. It was a big tease. But it was sublime to witness.

Inspired by 1971 film Death in Venice, Ku was clearly in a seductive, sombre mood when he chose his colouring this season, realized perfectly in a black silk gown complete with billowing silk cape. However, the collection actually hinges around the end scene of the film, set by the sea, which most likely explains the interspersion of stark whites, deconstructed Breton stripes and the occasional crunchy, sand-like texture. The mood of longing and abolition continued in the interplay between naked shoulders and legs, and the organic, wave-like drapes used in floor-length coat jackets and dresses.

Springboarding from a somewhat complex, philosophical origin, Ku managed to sculpt a refined vision for his spring collection, culminating in a look that is both bold yet surprisingly wearable. –Juliette Olah



Showing off a sophisticated collection of primarily draped pieces in sheer chiffon and relaxed jersey, designers Takayuki Tanaka and Motoyuki Matsumoto kept things carefree with billowy layers that merely kissed the body. Gliding along to an ambient soundtrack, models emerged through puffs of white smoke that splayed gracefully across the runway. The minimal grey-scale palette was accented with splashes of teal and marbled tie-dye, giving the range a tranquil, organic sensibility.

Divka presented a highly versatile collection, with more than a few contemporary little black dresses to choose from. Look no further if you need comfortable pieces that will create order and calm in your wardrobe. –Juliette Olah

Hanae Mori Manuscrit


True to the brand’s ethos of designing “graceful, gorgeous and stylish” clothes for the everyday woman, Yu Amatsu delivered a contemporary collection with a little something for everyone. High necked, sheer chiffon and organza dresses featuring exaggerated pockets and feminine ruffles, played beautifully with the more structured yet sporty silhouettes of duster coats and bomber jackets.

The colour palette was pared back to whites, pale teal and dusty pink, with bolder colours thrown into a variety of digital prints for balance. The nod to fashion’s current obsession with all things 70s was also evident in relaxed off-the-shoulder tops, maxi-length dresses, and some interesting fringing detail that swung from tailored shirts, hemlines and dress armholes, adding personality to an otherwise clean collection. –Juliette Olah


yoshikimono (1)

Classical pianist Yoshiki Hayashi grew up against the backdrop of his father’s kimono fabric shop. As a global touring artist, he became inspired to put the art and beauty of Japanese kimonos on a world stage.

The show and the collection were both infused with Yoshiki’s signature, and highly literal, classic-meets-rock style. Central to the show was, of course, the artist, who seated himself (amidst much frenzied fan noise) at a transparent grand piano in the middle of the runway. Walking to Yoshiki and his band, models showed off a mix of traditional and deconstructed Kimono silhouettes, the more risque of which, flashed fishnet encased legs, long patent boots, leather face masks, and dangling chain obi adornments. One highlight was a breathtaking kimono styled off the shoulder and featuring a bold red, black, white and gold printed skirt section, finished with a delicate black lace mask.

In true dramatic Yoshiki form, the show ended with the last model climbing atop the piano to enact a choreographed interlude with the artist. The indulgent spectacle was sure to thrill Yoshiki’s devoted fan set. –Juliette Olah

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