Come into the Light

I'm feeling rather good about the fact that my right thumb has started cramping up.  Why?  A few of the designers at Tokyo Fashion Week have ditched the conventional catwalk lighting norms in favour of ambiance which has meant that my thumb has been going mad on the ISO dial on my camera, switching it up constantly to cope with the lighting fluctuations.  Cramped hand it is and I'm perfectly content seeing as the spectacle of the shows were definitely enhanced by their whimsical lighting decisions.

First up was Johan Ku, who is an oddity at MBTF in that he's from Taiwan and based in London and yet he expressed a desire to show at Tokyo Fashion Week and was successful upon application.  Geeeeeee whiz and people told me JFW was supposedly a closeted and closed affair.  He was welcomed with open arms and didn't disappoint by choosing to base his collection around the triptastic film Enter the Void, set in a pyschedelic Tokyo.  For those that have a weak constitution, avoid the film at all costs.  I came out of the cinema feeling like someone had stuck their fingers in my brain and swirled them around a bit.  I'm now somewhat glad I did watch it as Ku's knits, made out of special yarns that glowed in the dark, made all the more sense with that dissolute and neon-lit Tokyo backdrop in my head.  The on and off darkness was therefore what made my ISO dial go from one end to the other, back and forth and made for some freaky shots.  The knits themselves have been reduced in chunkiness from Ku's previous collections, judging from his website.  They were supported by leggings and jersey skirts but it was mainly about the textural chunky-yarn tops and voluminous dresses with their extra-terrestrial glowing property.  Long may there be other 'outsider' forces at Tokyo Fashion Week…


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Christian Dada's show plunged us straight into darkness but the dramatic spots also made for some ISO dial tinkering.  This was only Masanori Morikawa second show for his label Christian Dada but the anticipation in the crowd coupled with the beginning of the show gave me a flashback of a 'Gareth Pugh Tingle' – a feeling that I felt in the early days of Gareth Pugh's career in London where the start of the show (thanks to Matthew Stone's soundtrack) sent tingly shivers up my back, something that sadly doesn't occur often enough these days.  The comparison stops there seeing as the aesthetic of Morikawa's collection can't really be linked with Pugh's, save for the use of a giant box obscuring the model completely.  This seemed to stem from the idea of protecting the Dada creature – be it with animal skulls, spines running up dresses, thorny branches or quite literally a cage that seemed much more positive in person, than it sounds.  Morikawa's vision didn't become fully reveal itself until the very last instance when a woman in white came out with a train of branches, strangely serene.  The label Christian Dada seems to be one of the new generation of designers in Tokyo that are content with exploring visual impact to the max before figuring out mapped-out wearability and the newly branded Tokyo Fashion Week could certainly do with a double dose of this vision for coming seasons to build up the week's newfound profile.    















15 Replies to “Come into the Light”

  1. I can’t help giggling at the one that totally obscures the model – it looks like she’s cosplaying as the Monolith from ‘2001.’

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