Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on October 2009

Matohu<br>Photo courtesy Japan Fashion week

Photo courtesy Japan Fashion week

The day started off with Matohu. Using white sheets from floor to ceiling, designer duo Hiroyuki Horihata and Makiko Sekiguchi divided the Tokyo Midtown Hall in six areas, letting each separate audience receive their own small fashion show. Matohu’s signature kimono-like coats were present once again, updated with a new pattern for the season. Recalling Matohu’s very first collection in 2005, the duo drew again inspiration of ‘Oribe’, an ancient Japanese pottery style most identified by the green glaze and bold designs. Since 2005, all of the collections have been based on old Japanese handicrafts, and they announced last year the inspiration will run through 2010 at the least. As this collection was based on the same craft as the first, could we expect a fall/winter collection next year not based on an ancient Japanese craft?

The 2nd show of the day, Araisara, seemed also inspired by the traditional Japanese kimono and the Yuzen dying technique. Translucent dyed fabrics, artistically designed into voluminous fashion with the inspiration of the kimono, ruled the black runway. The use of white with light aqua blue accents contrasted against the runway and gave the collection a powerful feel to it.



Jazzkatze designer Ayumi Sufu was inspired not by Japanese crafts, but rather her old neighborhood in London, and African tinga tinga art. Even though the theme of the show was called “Dearest my Old Kent Road,” the only British thing we could find was the music. Along with The Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black” and music of Lily Allen, the models paraded running clad in African inspired collection, with African print flags, safari-related accessories, feathered headbands and colorful splashes of paint on their faces and legs. Most designs were body tight and some designs had unexpected combinations of prints, like snakeskin with orange and green feathers. With each creation seeming to add a new dimension to the collection, suddenly there were Venetian masks on outfits and the show ended with an off-white straw like dress, while the whole collection was mainly black accented with strong, bright splashes of color.