Tokyo, Japan—Fashion, Fashion, Fashion! Ah, the exciting world of Omotesando glamour and exclusivity, the street style of Harajuku, Shibuya and Akihabara, the absurdity of garu and otaku! We all love Tokyo fashion and consumerism, but this post is about neither. It’s about my adventure as an amateur fashion writer.
Last week Tokyo saw its own fashion extravaganza, the 2006/7 Fall/Winter Japan Fashion Week, or simply JFW—an event comical in scale compared to major fashion weeks around the world. Somehow—perhaps by harassing many PR people and pretending to be a serious reporter—I was able to obtain a press pass to attend JFW. Among the designers participating were Toshikazu Iwaya, Junko and Hiroko Koshino, Kyoko Higa, Takeshi Mori, etc.
The fun part was bugging PR people about sending me last minute invitations and then ending up in front row seats at collection shows. I just told the organizers that, being a serious reporter, I didn’t have time to contact them before the deadline, and it worked.
In an attempt to appear professional, I ran down to Kinko’s to get business cards (in case anyone asked); and then presented them to the guardians of the tent before each collection instead of invitations. Eventually, however, pretending to be a real reporter exhausted my energy resources and I decided not to fight my way into every show. I tried to stay away from real reporters, or at least professional looking people, from fear of being uncovered as a journalistic scam. However, at the end of the week I made friends with all the foreign photographers and fashion blog writers. It turned out they all felt the same way I did.
The press pass afforded me such privileges as access to the press tent, which had free coffee and ice cream. I steered clear of the coffee machine because it looked too complicated (I was trying to attract as little attention as possible).
Upon entering the press tent, I was shockingly surprised at how serious everyone looked with their iBooks. “I should’ve brought mine,” I thought, so that I too could pretend to be seriously working on my article and sending drafts to editors. Alas, I was resigned to my notebook. Upon this realization I decided to leave the tent and walk around the heavily unsecured event area.
During shows I sat with my notebook and a serious look on my face pretending to be a real fashion critic, bowing and making impressive head gestures of approval or disapproval.
At the Theory collection, before the show, a cute PR girl chased me around the tent with her business card: “Please send us the article when it’s published." I kindly accepted and thought to myself: “Well, honey, if it’s ever published, I’ll make sure to send you a copy.”
Though nothing like the Fashion Week in New York, JFW was still a fun adventure for this American girl in Tokyo.
I’m not going to review any of the shows because I did that for my article, which will be available online. Here are some pictures from Toei Johjima and Theory by my friend Peter.
To get reviews, check out www.japanesestreets.com