The Japanese musician Yoshiki, best known as one of the founders of the heavy metal band X Japan, staged his spring kimono show in chaotic fashion. After making audience members wait nearly 90 minutes after the scheduled showtime, the presentation was further delayed by a false start due to a music stand that apparently wasn’t to the artist’s liking and had to be removed.
With the crowd growing impatient, the show finally started with Yoshiki at the piano and models in traditionally styled kimonos crafted from unconventional fabrics with metallic or plasticky finishes. There were animal prints, a paint splatter pattern and a shiny silver version. Partway through the series, a violinist joined Yoshiki on the runway.
After an interlude consisting of thunderstorm sounds and flashing lights that mimicked lightning, Yoshiki moved to a stage toward the back of the venue, where he performed a drum solo for the rest of the show. The mood of the clothes also shifted at this point: while they were still traditional kimonos, they were styled in more modern ways and turned out in a thinner silk fabric. Some were hemmed to be much shorter than a typical kimono, while others had the sleeves tied around the waist or were gathered in a way that made them look like asymmetrical, strapless dresses. While the lightweight fabric and boldly colored floral and geometric prints looked more modern and comfortable than traditional kimonos, it would have been more refreshing to see Yoshiki experiment with ways of updating the actual shape and pattern of the garment.
The collection itself was fairly safe and uninventive, but the styling created even more potential chaos. Models teetered down the runway in sky-high stilettos, which caused at least one wardrobe malfunction. They also nearly led to a broken ankle or two after rainlike water started pouring down on Yoshiki and a slick black platform in front of his drum kit, which the models gingerly crossed. The show closed with a clear vinyl kimono and Yoshiki standing triumphantly — and soaking wet — over his drum set.