Kazuaki Takashima’s ever-cheerful brand Ne-net can be a confusing one for external viewers of the Tokyo fashion scene. Grounded in pure whimsy and a childish naivety, it’s at odds with the status-driven “you-can’t-sit-with-us” elitism that’s regrettably ubiquitous with the fashion scene almost everywhere beyond Japan.
This season, the line’s unashamed joie de vivre extends past the clothes to the presentation of the collection itself, employing the novel method of mixing every aspect of the fashion system into one open showroom.
Normally, the fashion business segments the presentation into three parts: The runway show, where the media see the collection; the exhibition, where buyers place their orders; and the photo shoot, where the seasonal visuals used to promote the collection at retail are captured and edited.
This time, Ne-net threw everything together into one warehouse setting where models were styled and had their makeup applied in full view before walking through the audience and being photographed for the lookbook. At the same time, the buyers were writing orders, trying on clothes from the racks, and peeking over the shoulder of the graphic design team as they worked.
The collection captured a jaunt up a mountain, taking outdoor essentials and channeling them through a distinctly kawaii lens liable to improve your odds of social, if not practical, survival fitting for Tokyo.