Nozomi Ishiguro 2011/12 Haute Couture collection

One of the Japan Fashion Week shows I that most wanted to see, which was rescheduled for April 15th was Nozomi Ishiguro.

That the collection was Autumn/Winter made it no surprise that fur and shearling was used liberally – but in surprising ways and with splashes of colour that proved Winter doesn’t have to be about grey and black. Bright corals and reds add pops of vibrant delicious colour with hints of regal majesty.

Rich in textural detail, outfits featured shearling skirts and long shaggy shearling boots bound with buckles, but paired with lace leggings for lightness and contrast. Knitwear is artfully distressed, as if unravelled through wear and perhaps battle.

Ishiguro used quilting to great effect, lending a futurist almost cyber look even when paired with shearling or folk details. It reminds me of Burberry Prorsum’s biker pants and jackets, except Ishiguro takes it a step further, fashioning almost a breastplate in the men’s jacket – instant six-pack, anyone?

The warrior armour motif continues in the men’s looks with the use of metallic blacks & greys, luxe silver knit that signifies chain-mail, fur pant overlays and totemic tribal touches – although the tall pilgrim hats on some models seem at odds with the theme to me.

Overall there was a Mongolian warrior meets the 21st century theme. I loved the long shaggy fur coats and boots, but found the furry flat shoes less successful.

Even the ubiquitous camel coloured coat is given an edgy makeover in Ishiguro’s hands, when paired with an intricate belt as befitting an urban warrior, as well as sequinned lapels, a lacy ethereal blouse and drapy pants. Likewise a camel knit skirt is unravelled and paired with an intricate folk print jacket – and platform stripper shoes! There is nothing safe about the use of camel in this collection.

One of my absolute favourite looks is the black and white striped confection below, for its Tim-Burton like aesthetic and its kookiness. Even just the headscarf alone, with the shaggy fur tufting up like a bleached dread mohawk, is intriguing, although I can’t see anyone rushing out to buy the dress with the half fur/half knit skirt – or are they pants?

There are numerous looks to love, as well as a few to ponder over. The folk-futurism of the collection is certainly memorable if not always wearable. What do you think? What are your favourite looks, that you’d wear (if money were no object?)

* Photos from Fashion Snap, but you can see the entire collection at the Nozomi Ishiguro website.

Neon Brights & Coloured Tights

I have been vastly influenced by the neon brights and colour blocking coming off the runway at the various Fashion Weeks, already filtering down to the high street (albeit slowly). And so it was on my o/s trip that I went searching for some neon staples, if you will; some brightly coloured mainstays and accessories to zoozh up my impending fall/winter wardrobe. (Let’s face it; I often buy a lot of black, even on my Japan trips).

As mentioned in a previous post, I managed to find a pink faux-leather biker jacket from Sasch on level 5 of Noon Square, Myeong-Dong, Seoul, as well as  a glorious orange skirt with great pocket detailing from Zara, also in Noon Square.

   

 

Next up I went shopping for bright footwear….once again in Seoul, but this time in Hongdae, right near where I was staying. One was a pair of that yellow-green colour platform shoes, with contrast faux animal skin.

  

And the other pair were coral heels with a slight platform in front, again in the faux fish or snakeskin.  They went really well with the pink and orange outfit, being a shade between the other two.

  

So that shows you can buy cool things in Seoul – mind you, I really had to look for them! Well, in Hongdae there are a lot of great boutiques and shoe stores, but in some of the shopping malls, it was hard to find the middle ground between high end items and budget/nasty ones. For me, Level 5 of Noon Square was one of the best.

Moving onto Osaka, from Love Boat I bought a groovy turquoise biker jacket, and a neon yellow-green transparent cincher:

  

While in the bag department, at OPA I nabbed a leopard print beauty with orange trim – to go with my orange and pink outfit, natch!

 

The store I bought it from was “Dith” – you can buy the label through Rakuten – Dith store here.

I spied some great wide belts in bright colours at Salire in Osaka….and so when I got to Tokyo, nabbed a few at Salire in Lumine Est, Shinjuku.

 

But I did buy at least one item from Marui One…on sale at Yosuke USA I fell for this purple suede pair of vintage looking boots, from the Leche line. They’ll work nicely with a victorian or Dolly Kei look. A size 24 or medium, is still available on sale at Rakuten.

And finally, the tights. There was a shop in Shibuya 109 that had soooo many patterned tights, I was in heaven. Not only the infamous Celeste Stein, but also a brand called Look from London. At around $45 each, they weren’t cheap, but I can’t find these in Australia.

Of course they look better out of the packet, so here they are.

 

Obviously flat products don’t look very exciting, but I’ll be using these in upcoming outfit posts..although some are still coming over from Japan in boxes, sent so I wouldn’t have excess baggage. What are your faves, or ones you’d like to see me put in an outfit?

Kamishima Chinami

Kamishima Chinami is another show I’m looking forward to during  Japan Fashion Week A/W 2011-12.

Having launched her label in 1998 she showed her first collection in 2002, and opened her first store in Aoyama in 2004. Since then, she has had no less than 10 collections at Japan Fashion Week.  The most recent being….

The Spring Summer 2011 collection

In this collection her use of voluminous wigs proved distracting to some but certainly gave edge!

My favourite pieces were the more clearly eastern influenced ones with obi sashes or painterly, almost calligraphic floral prints.

 

 

Khaki coloured military or safari style jackets were paired with tight obi belts, feminising and softening the look, just as leather skirts toughened up flowing floral silk blouses:

 

There were quirky plays on texture as tight smooth skirts were paired with loose knitted tops covered in a multitude of ruffles in the divine coral colours of  a savannah sunset. Or dresses had form-fitting tops with the textured ruffles from the waist down.

 

Overall there was a lightness and an ease about the collection, seen as the models strode together down the runway:

Or see for yourself:


Even more interesting to me are some previous shows.

I especially loved the Spring Summer 09 collection which had somewhat of an African theme. The use of raffia (recently done by Sass and Bide, see last pic) reminds me of Masai headdresses. Some were in desert colours of ochre, while  black and cobalt blue were also used to striking effect.

 

 

Astonishing things were also done with safety pins to create unbelievable texture, the effect of which is couture, not punk, in aesthetic.

 

Style Icon Ms Fitz

One of the truly quirky fashionistas who has been influencing me to wear clashing prints and colours, as well as baggy pants, is the inimitable Ms Fitz. She has a very inspirational blog, http://themsfitz.blogspot.com.

I just look at her outfits in amazement – they are so stunningly individual, and complete, and maximalist, and renegade and BRAVE. She WILL wear clown pants, she WILL wear a fur bag on her head as a hat, she WILL draw on a monobrow when it suits her, and throw caution to the wind when it comes to prints and fluoro colours. She doesn’t have that much cash, often wears thrifted/vintage stuff, and often wears the same items over and over (like the pink fur bag).  See for yo’self:

    

  

   

  

* Many of her portraits are by Thom Kerr and Elvis Di Fazio.

For those who don’t know her, she is an aussie fashion stylist now living in New York…and doing bloody well, too! She’s also Fashion Director at IN*Tandem Magazine, and is working on her new neon jewellery line and debut EP.  Busy!

On her inspirations:

“My style is inspired by my philosophies toward fashion—that fashion is for everybody, that fashion is an extension of your attitude toward life and that your own style is something valuable and beautiful. I’m currently inspired by my travels around the world.”

On how her style has evolved through the years:

“A lot, I hope! Otherwise I’d still be wearing MC Hammer pants. Oh wait…I am. Actually, my style evolves constantly; my inspiration changes all the time. But the common theme is that it is tongue-in-cheek, contrary and colorful.”

Here’s a vid of her modelling some looks for Time Out magazine:

She also has a regular feature called The Avant Guardians! She brings us exclusive “What I Wore” posts from people who rock incredible, genre busting looks everyday. I have to agree, both these and her own looks are the sort of looks you see in Harajuku, in the street style snaps.

You may not like all her looks (lord knows I can’t stand the vintage Coogi knit she wears, as an aussie who lived through the horrors of it in the 80′s), but you can’t help but be arrested by her use of print and colour combinations. She encourages me to be more zany and daring in what I wear, and I hope you’ll have a look at her site and be similarly encouraged. Fashion is bout expressing yourself and having fun, right? Let me know what your fave looks are.

Naoto News!

There are so many exciting events coming up shortly in the gothic fashion and music stakes, which I’ll be posting about in the next week. Some of them are in Tokyo and I’m getting VERY excited now, as I leave for o/s again on the 14th – a week Monday!! After 3 days in Seoul, South Korea, I head once again to Tokyo, which leads me back to the topic at hand.

Today I want to focus on fave Japanese gothic designer, Hirooka Naoto.

March 19h.NAOTO Frill Collection 2011

To display his latest “Sweet Frills” range, Naoto is throwing a Lolita Sweets Party! (And it’s when I’m there, muahahaha…) Gothic Lolita celebrity Aoki Misako (world ambassador for “Cute”) will be there, having returned from her jaunts round the world (read more at her website):

Naoto Creative Designer Hiroshi Oka will also be there, as well as other guests, photo sessions, and from what I can make out, a Best Co-ordinate Competition. Oh, and of course, delicious sweet cakes and tea, all in a genteel atmosphere. So Tokyo lolitas have a wonderful excuse to dress up and come along! I think I *might* just get to this for the photo opportunities, even though I myself am not at all into the sweet side of things.

  • DATE / March 19 (Sat)
  • OPEN: 15:00 START: 16:00
  • PLACE / h.NAOTO + Harajuku
  • Tickets dealer / h.NAOTO + Harajuku, Laforet Harajuku, Shinjuku Marui * Tickets are 1,575 yen (tax included) 
  • Contact / h, NAOTO + Harajuku (03-3478-6454)

March 26 –  T. KUNITOMO & gouk FASHION SHOW & PARTY

Fashion show of brand new collections, set in a party atmosphere with food and drinks

  • DATE: March 26 (Sat)
  • OPEN: 18:00 START: 19:00
  • PLACE: T.KUNITOMO Gallery
  • Contact: 03-5766-3910

There are soo many upcoming Naoto events – check this page for what’s happening in the next few months. One I definitely want to check out is the exhibition in Marui One from March 24-30:

h.Anarchy Army Collection

ANARCHY will present a punk rock and “ARMY” theme.  Expect wild and powerful camouflage fabrics in military designs. 

  • DATE:  March 24 (Thu) ~ 30 (Wed) 
  • PLACE: h.NAOTO store, Marui Shinjuku
  • Contact:  h.NAOTO + store (03-3478-6454) , h.NAOTO Marui Shinjuku (03-3358-1889)
  •  

    Pet cat 101 MINT SHOP 

    This is a pop-up store in Marui One, on the 2nd floor from 5 – 23 March, featuring the popular Sixh offshoot brand, “MINT Cats” . To commemorate this, the character “Sakurako” T-shirt has been designed, and  the first 50 people who spend over 5,250 yen,  will win a “Sakurako” badge.  See the t-shirt and badge below.

     

    Naoto has also released new items on the website for March 2011 from h.ANARCHY, Blood, and H.JELLY, Gramm, Frill,Sixh, Hangry & Angry, and Gouk.

    Just last week on Feb 26th, the Sixh 2011 Summer Collection was unveiled at Naoto HQ in Harajuku. This time there was definitely a rock and quirky/indie vibe happening, and far from being all-black, there was blue and purple in the designs, and even plaid! 

      

     

     

    Of course you want to check out the runway show, I’m sure:

    Fans will recognise IBI, Mint and Gashicon from Sixh the band - who will all be attending the Anime Matsuri convention March 18-20 in Texas, along with La Carmina! See her post on Anime Matsuri here for more details. And…the band itself will be playing only a day later, back in Tokyo, on the 21st of March!

    Sixh. Night Vol 3 in Ikebukuro BlackHole

    Of course it will be an event fusing fashion and music. Sixh is joined by God Circus Dog

     

    Sixh. Live sponsored project

    • DATE: March 21 (Mon)
    • PLACE: Ikebukuro BLACK HOLE
    • Doors open 18:00 for 18:30 start
    • Advance ticket 3,000 yen / 3,500 yen

    That’s another one to try to get to…but there’s so much else on!

    So that’s a whole lotta Naoto love for now; hope you enjoyed :) Other posts you might like: Naoto at Japan Fashion Week, Naoto fukubukuro day and h.Naoto gothic lolita fashion designer extraordinaire.