>> Tokyo's sprawl of designer showrooms or "exhibitions" as they call them is the beast that keeps on giving. It's impossible to see every collection within a season without staying there for at least a month in Oct-Nov or in Mar-Apr. There's a must-see list though that I keep if I'm ever in Tokyo during collections exhibition season and Kentaro Tamai's label Aseedoncloud is high up there. Tamai does the sort of clothes that fit my countryside fantasy. It's all Labour & Wait, Aga ovens, The Good Life, Nigel Slater-esque cooking, farm to table ingredients, perfect allotments, Picnic on a Hanging Rock dresses and just all things lovely. In fact, "Lovely!" is exactly what I exclaimed when I walked into Aseedoncloud's S/S 14 presentation as Tamai had beautifully set up an artist's workspace complete with paint dabbed palettes and pots of brushes and wild flowers to illustrate his "worker" of choice this season.
Every Aseedoncloud collection is named after a "Workpermit" be it the role of a gardener or a writer. Don't equate this with the usual pseudo-macho workwear bollocks though. Tamai is merely using these occupations as a loose guiding hand to exercising his masterful prowess of beautiful fabrics and delicate and nuanced clothing. The painter that Tamai imagnes for this season is no lofty serious artist. She's a village painter going about her way in a white coat that builds up with paint stains as she decorates people's houses following her grandfather in this tradition. It's a quiet respect for the humble occupations that are fast being erased away. Tamai's painter walks around with her canvas rucksack and is given an appropriately balanced wardrobe of cotton shirt dresses, dainty smocking on blouses and only a slight nod to an apron on a window pane checked pinafore.
The usually restrained palette of Tamai's work is also literally given a fresh lick of paint with a series of one-off jackets that have been smudged, sponged and brush-stroked to painterly perfection. They're not for sale but gave license to Tamai to have a bit of fun.