At first, a nightclub seemed like an odd choice of venue for Mint Designs’ latest showing, but once the lights came up, the music started pumping and the models made their way across the stage and through the audience, it started to make sense.
Nao Yagi and Hokuto Katsui drew inspiration from the speed and rhythm of the New York City subway, as well as from the mix of cultures, styles and backgrounds of the people on it. Besides everyday commuters, they were influenced by street musicians, artists and the practice of “shoe tossing.”
Yagi and Katsui’s silhouettes were loose and easy, but never shapeless, and a series of fun fabrics — a sheer gingham, white cotton covered in pompoms, and a magenta, black and yellow camo-meets-animal-print — made them feel young and modern. Stars, a graffiti print and polka dots were other common motifs.
The designers employed lots of gathering and cinching to give shape to their garments, while also making them more versatile. Waists could be taken in or let out, and long, voluminous sleeves could be shortened to the elbow. Shoelaces in black, white, shocking pink and electric purple were common details, showing up as belts, straps on clutch bags, braided into skirts and even woven into the models’ hair.
The quick pace and energy of the show, as well as the youthful freshness of the collection, easily made it one of the highlights of Tokyo’s fashion week so far this season.