The Menagerie of mercibeaucoup
Mercibeaucoup, Eri Utsugi’s debut collection, was the second show on JFW’s schedule and already it overwhelmed the audience with a mix of ideas. This collection, implicative of Shibuya girls in animal character costumes, looked more like a zoo than a catwalk. Utsugi’s trench coats, dresses and shirts were worn with hats and hairdos in dramatic animal shapes. The collection was warm, cute and at the same time jarring with its contradictions.
Japanese motifs, kimonesque forms, animal prints, box pleat dresses set against animal headpieces, made for the most avant-garde collection of the season.
21st Century Geishas by Junko Koshino
Junko Koshino put on an electrifying show that evoked all the enchantment of fashion. Her skillfully crafted dresses and robes, highlighted with elaborate headpieces, had a hint of a futuristic past. Hers was an extremely modern take on the theme of kimono and the sexuality of geisha. Black fitted dresses were decorated with obi-like inserts slightly above the waist and accompanied by wide kimono sleeves. Koshino combined bustiers and corsets with dragon printed skirts under kimono-patterned robes. Koshino’s experience with opera costumes showed through in the grandeur of the collection.
Lilith’s French Pierrot
Fall/Winter 06/07 at Lilith can be summed up as classic chic. Lily Barreth, a French designer based in Japan, hid body lines behind shapeless, asymmetrical, and oversized Pierrot garments. Lilith had an element of theatrical clownism—huge bow ties, long sleeves on large corduroy suits, and puffy skirts, accentuated by Dr. Martin boots with colored ribbons taken from Takeshi Dori. The collection, mainly of black and while, was spiced with neon green turtlenecks and red overalls. Barreth craftily managed to combine her French artistic heritage with Japanese pop-culture themes.
Yukiko Hanai’s Breakfast at Tiffani’s
Yukiko Hanai unveiled a beautiful haute couture collection in subdued browns and creams. Models wearing fitted and tiered dresses, lace, burgundy velvet suits, elaborate headpieces, and big flowery accessories ignited the audience. Watch out the power suit of the 80’s and masculine lines. These garments were meant for seduction. The fitted lines and sexy earth tones accentuated female sexuality and sensuality. Resembling cinematographic costumes of Marry Poppins and Holly Golightly, the collection inspired women to be flirtations, elegant and glamorous.
Yub-Yum’s Haunted Tent
Inspired by a recent Nicole Kidman horror film “The Others,” Yab-Yum took its viewers to a haunted house. The tent was transplanted from Tokyo to an enchanted witch forest. Peasant skirts, corduroy jackets and pants in earthen colors, tall black trekking boots, feathery accessories, shapeless forms and layers, all combined to give the collection an outdoor feeling.
Yab-Yum’s Patrick Ryan said after the show that, “There’s pressure to always be new and different, to recreate yourself every season and surprise the critics.” Yab-Yum’s challenge this season was to work counter to its popularity and go back to its roots rather than search for newness. This season’s collection included old ideas and pieces from previous years of Yab-Yum’s 12-year history.
DressCamp: Pirates of the Caribbean on Acid
Renowned Toshikazu Iwaya wrapped up JFW with his highly acclaimed and anticipated haute couture DressCamp collection. Iwaya kept the anxious crowd waiting outside for an hour while he ran a late dress rehearsal to perfect the delivery of his collection. The appeasing pre-show Champagne only worked for the first thirty minutes. But, once the irritated fashionistas settled inside DressCamp’s baroque castle, they were impressed with Iwaya’s crisp brilliance. The curtain opened to Vivaldi’s Summer from Four Seasons, filling the tent with dramatic tension and sexual energy as corseted courtesans and aristocrats in furs paced down the catwalk. Muscular Johnny Depp look a-likes, clad in tight transparent checked shirts, top hats and capes shot cool piercing gazes at the photographers and the audience. Iwaya revealed his “Phantom of the Opera-esque” masquerade with rose petals flowing from the ceiling and vulgar expressions of desire splattered all over the runway.
The collection was exactly what its name suggests—it was camp. Iwaya combined modernity with 17th century Versailles, sexual aggression with class, and everyday wear with theatricality. Headpieces, veils and corsets emphasized the artificiality of the entire show. Animal printed fabrics combined with real foxes on men’s shoulders projected a feeling of fake greatness. Women sported bustiers slightly covered with flower printed transparent shawls.
The final curtain captured the tension on a climactic note and also signaled the end to Fashion Week.
posted on www.ikjeld.com