Tokyo Fashion Week, or Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo to give the week its official title, is with us for the spring-summer 2015 season, running from the 13th to 19th of October. While the official week is the focus for many—featuring, as it does, a decent dose of heavyweight domestic luxury fashion brands as well as international hopefuls keen to break the Japanese market—there’s plenty off the official schedule to occupy keen fashionistas. And the best thing is that these shows are often open to the general public.
If you only go to one event, make it the Shibuya Fashion Festival on the 19th, the last day of the official schedule. Far from the polished catwalks of Hikarie where the Mercedes-Benz sponsored events are held, this is a celebration of the avant-garde style celebrated on the streets.
Yuichi Yoshii (Photo courtesy of Shiseido)
Tokyo menswear maestro Yuichi Yoshii is bringing his Versus Tokyo event back to Tokyo Fashion Week after a season of absence. Also the owner of cult Tokyo select shop The Contemporary Fix, for many years he’s been an architect of both Tokyo street trends and exclusive fashion destined for the VIP room, having introduced the likes of Mr. Gentleman, Phenomenon and Mastermind Japan to the city, the lattermost famously using real diamonds in its clothing tags.
The shows and events that are open to the public this season are sponsored by Shiseido’s men’s line of skincare products, with Yoshii producing a number of collaboration items to mark the occasion, including pouches for the premium line of Shiseido Men cosmetics.
The Versus Tokyo catwalks kick off during the day on Saturday, with high-profile showings planned from Toga Virilis and Facetasm. But the crown jewel comes from cult skater brand C.E (a.k.a. Cav Empt), whose runway show kicks off at midnight on the dot, followed by after-parties set to last until the early hours of Sunday.
New menswear brand Desertika—from international heavyweight Italian luggage line Orobianco—opened its first dedicated flagship in Daikanyama last month, marking the occasion in style with a host of limited-edition designs and plenty of champagne. The core Orobianco line may be known for its refined Italian sensibilities across a vast range of bags and accessories, but the new Desertika line is a step into edgier territory, with designs fit for desert survival in both the practical and aesthetic sense.
Highlights from the all-made-in-Japan first season include heat-regulating outdoor wear that’s not only built for the highs and lows of the desert climate but could also be packed down into its own pocket-sized pouch, as well as items made out of cutting-edge textiles from Fukui-based innovators Kaytay Texinno coupled with classic Italian leather.
If you’re looking for protective gear for a trek into the great unknown—or just to keep you dry and warm on your daily commute— Desertika is definitely worth a look as the weather takes a turn for the cool.
Tokyo Fashion Week Calendar
Oct 10-19 | Shibuya Fashion Week
Taking the lead, the Shibuya-based festivities begin across the area with events in Marui, Parco and 109 for anyone to enjoy. http://shibuya-fw.com/
Oct 13-18 | Tokyo Fashion Week
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo kicks off on Monday with a highly anticipated show from headline brand Dresscamp. This show is strictly invitation only, but Somarta is also having an installation in Seibu Shibuya that the public can enjoy. http://tokyo-mbfashionweek.com/
Oct 18 | Shibuya Fashion Festival
Miyashita Park, exactly halfway between Harajuku and Shibuya, is home to this open-air festival of fashion, art, music and food, while the surrounding shops will be going retail crazy, offering timely deals for fashion fans of all genres. www.shibuyafashionfestival.com
Oct 18-19 | Versus Tokyo
This overnight celebration of menswear starts at 2pm with a runway show from Mr. Gentleman, but goes right through the night and well into the morning. Pace yourself and enjoy the ride. http://tokyo-mbfashionweek.com/
Oct 19 | Tokyo New Age Fashion Show on Bunkamura street
The hottest ticket this fashion week is open to the general public with an outdoor fashion show on Bunkamura street, just a few minutes’s walk from Shibuya station. Some of the city’s most acclaimed brands are taking part, so let’s hope the weather holds. http://shibuya-fw.com/