Last week saw Tokyo Amazon Fashion Week come and go in a flurry of eclectic runway shows, vibrant street style, flashing cameras, and of course, complimentary champagne. The shows were ambitious and dazzling, taking us from the halls of Shibuya Hikarie to the roller skating arena at Tokyo Dome, all the way to the roof of the NTT Hibiya building for a runway show under the night sky.
With all the major cultural shifts occurring around the world, now more than ever we look to the major Fashion Weeks to see how current issues will be reflected back at us in fashion. Recent issues surrounding gender politics, identity, and inclusivity seem almost passé in a place like Tokyo, where self-expression and gender representation have always been very fluid and progressive. For that reason we watched with even more anticipation and excitement to see how Japanese designers might shock and move us with their unique take on masculinity and femininity. Tokyo Fashion Week has always marched to the beat of its own drum.
Without further ado, here’s our comprehensive recap of Amazon Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2018.
Streetwear and casual athleisure are dominate the runway
A lot of the most highly anticipated shows of the season were streetwear labels, proving that urban is definitely not out. Unisex brand DressedUndressed brought sex appeal and undone tailoring to the runway with their collection ‘I’m Sexy’. Boys and girls walked in cinched, monochromatic button-down shirts and skin-tight pants, sheer light-as-a-feather fabrics, with the occasional pop of colour. Cheeky cutouts gave us glimpses of bare skin. It was subtle and sensual, yet still effortlessly maintained the brand’s genderless ethos.
With a slew of high profile fans like Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, Lady Gaga and G-Dragon, Ambush was another eagerly awaited show. With slouchy denim, oversized tailored jackets, lace up sneakers, and lots of layering, it was all grungy references to the ‘90s and wide brim hats. Meanwhile HARE and menswear label MISTERGENTLEMAN both sent models down the runway in preppy, loose silhouettes. At HARE it was cable knit sweaters over turtlenecks, sleeveless puffer jackets, and plaid grandpa robes, whereas MISTERGENTLEMAN showed preppy styles in a range of rainbow bright colours.
Return of the global nomad
A handful of designers made the case for a return to gypsy dressing. The girls at 5-Knot looked like futuristic gypsy girls from the prairie, dressed in midi skirts, floral patterns, boots, and neck scarves. Designers Ena Kizawa and Taketo Nishino of 5-KNOT weren’t afraid to mix colours, prints, fabrics and textures, pulling it all off seamlessly. Hanae Mori manuscrit also played with draping and layering in a range of deep hues and clashing prints. The models sported beautiful floral eyebrows with delicate pink, yellow and white petals.
Avant-garde fashion house Viviano Sue delivered a feast for the eyes in his collection. With shocks of bright colour, silky textures and furry embellishments, models wore blunt structural bobs adorned with marvellous headwear in all colours.
Punk is not dead
Starting with the hair, there were choppy black coifs were in abundance at ENHANCE and Fashion Week newcomer KIDILL, from the mullet-y Joan Jett to the spikey Sid Vicious, there were mohawks, buzz cuts and everything in-between. KIDILL again referenced legendary British punk band The Damned and featured fishnets, chains and embellishments. ENHANCE was moody and dark, with black lips and black boots.
Bright pops of colour and bold graphics
Vibrant shocks of colour and colour blocking could be seen across all the shows. Neon green boots at AKIKOAOKI, graphic jumpers and mustard pants at FREIKNOCK, and structural orange, blue and pink creations at Keisuke Yoshida. MUZE sent models down the runway wearing cool streetwear cheekily adorned with the logo of everyone’s favourite dystopian nutrition bar and energy gel brand, CalorieMate, while Soe’s models wore printed skirts and bomber jackets featuring snippets of the legendary McDonald’s signposting.
Then there was the highly anticipated G.V.G.V. show, held at Tokyo Dome’s roller skate arena, which saw modish models decked out in a blend of ‘70s psychedelia and ‘60s mod. Paisley skirts, black and white checks, polka dot furry jackets, printed sheer tights, and bright lips. Pure flower power.
Autumn/Winter 2018 is all about plaid
Plaid was everywhere. On jackets, pants, dresses, and shoes, in almost every collection. It seems designers wanted to harness the stoic power of the Scottish highlands this season, and pretty soon we will too.
The kimono’s place in contemporary fashion
Amidst an ocean of Western-influenced streetwear and ultra-modern styles, Jotaro Saito again boldly affirmed the kimono’s ongoing relevance at Fashion Week. With every collection Saito breathes new life into traditional Japanese dress in a way that is edgy and modern, without ever losing the historical integrity of the garments. This season was sumptuous and rich, a breath of fresh air.