Tokyo Fashion Week has been and gone for the Spring/Summer 2015 season, but for those in the industry it’s far from over. Once the dust has settled from the shows, the real work begins as fashion buyers and media crews head to the showrooms to see the actual clothes from the catwalk. If you want a peek behind the curtain, this is where insiders get to place their private orders for the season—usually at a substantial discount. So if you’ve ever wondered how industry types manage a different outfit every day of the month, this might just be your explanation. However, recently more and more brands have started to extend this same courtesy to their best customers in the form of pre-order exhibitions—so keep your eye out for those this season.
The Happening was without a doubt the biggest unexpected success story to come out of this season’s Tokyo Fashion Week. The Happening group—which is made up of a varied team of similarly minded fashion designers, stylists and shop owners—originally made its mark by hijacking last season’s fashion show from Dresscamp, running a guerrilla fashion show on the runway while the guests for the official show were being seated. For their second outing earlier this month, they took their grassroots mentality to the public with a crowd-funded fashion show held in the hub of Harajuku street fashion, LaForet.
Under the remit of putting art back into fashion, designers Leonard Wong, Nyte, Garter and Araki Shiro threw wearability to the wind with a series of outfits that wouldn’t look out of place in Lady Gaga’s wardrobe. But even though these outfits might never be worn on Tokyo’s streets, the show was funded by the general public, indicating that even if the average man or woman might not wear fashion on this scale, they certainly desire to see it nonetheless.
Shibuya department store Parco is in for a total rebranding this winter. The consistently popular shopping location has been on a steady path toward modernization for some time now, especially in comparison to its more traditional contemporaries—many of whom have yet to create a functioning online shopping site. But Parco’s new trajectory pitches the store directly at the current generation of youth alienated by the conventional department store experience. Aimed clearly toward so-called digital natives, the new Parco will be social media and online ready, not least because it will also become the public-facing HQ for Niconico Douga, the popular video sharing site.
Parco’s path toward the youth vote began in October 2012, when it devoted its entire fifth floor to a pop culture-orientated space, featuring not only fashion and anime crossover fashion from Cospa but also shops for hardcore fans, such as the flagship One Piece shop. This approach of melding youth fashion with its cultural context is key to winning over the generation raised on the internet, and if the attendance at this month’s Shibuya Cultural Festival at Parco is any indication, it appears to be working.