In the short two seasons since it began showing during Tokyo Fashion Week, Acuod by Chanu has become known for the impressive hip-hop-inspired performances that precede its runway presentations. In this regard, the latest show didn’t disappoint, as it opened with a skilled beatboxer accompanying a world champion animation dancer. But when the opening act overshadows the main event, you know you may have a problem.
South Korean designer Chanwoo Lee is inspired by street culture, including hip-hop and punk influences. He said after his show that he wants to make a streetwear brand that people could wear to a wedding.
Lee turned out a series of black-and-white, zipper-embellished jackets and sweatshirts for both men and women. Some of the zippers were functional, allowing panels of metallic-coated nylon organdy to be removed and even for sleeves of two tops to attach to each other so a couple could hold hands, but many were purely decorative. There were oversize sweatshirts, bomber jackets and motorcycle jackets.
But the offering still seemed lacking in variety. The designer has admitted before that he doesn’t have much confidence in designing bottoms, and it shows: he limited himself to slim-fitting jeans and leggings, baggy shorts, and a couple of button-front skirts (worn by both women and men).
This season, Lee said he was inspired by recent political events, and the theme of his collection was, “Break down walls. Zip up differences.” He said this concept was represented by the separation of black and white on the catwalk, which later came together in the finale, as well as by zippered masks that helped to hide the models’ genders. It was an interesting concept, but it would have been nice to see it reflected in the clothes as well.