Tokyo New Age is a project sponsored by Parco department stores that aims to support young, up-and-coming Tokyo designers. This season it showed collections from five brands, with themes ranging from flower art to street-savvy teens.
Soshi Otsuki was inspired by a flower artist going by the name Koharumaru, who creates arrangements that mix traditional Japanese aesthetics with an avant-garde sensibility. The two worked together on the collection, with Otsuki saying that he purposely created simple clothes in order to show off the flowers. Dressed in loose black suits and separates with partially detached sleeves and large cutouts, models carried fresh foliage in their hands; it was also attached to their clothes and sometimes taped to their skin. While an interesting concept, it looked forced at times. A final look featured huge evergreen boughs sprayed black, which so obscured the black pants and white shirt that it was difficult to see much more than the strips of fabric trailing off the back.
Kotoha Yokozawa said she aimed to incorporate elements of clothes from her own youth into today’s fashion sensibility. This resulted in a somewhat strange offering with no discernible theme beyond, vaguely, the Sixties. Mixed flower prints, silver bodysuits that covered both fingers and toes, a structured black leather top and a black and white color-blocked pleated minidress all walked the runway.
Keisuke Yoshida was inspired by teenagers, incorporating elements of punk rock, skate culture and street fashion into his fall collection. For men, he showed jeans in two extremes (skin-tight or extremely baggy), a camouflage shirt jacket, a velour suit and an exaggerated puffer jacket. His female models were dressed in floral minidresses, denim jackets and wool coats trimmed in pink leopard-print fake fur, and a denim miniskirt with buttons down the front.
Ryota Murakami aimed to create a collection that might be found in a suburban boutique. His first model, a woman with graying hair and a sweet smile, represented the boutique’s owner and was dressed in a white lab coat and black slacks. The remaining looks were decidedly zanier, but still had a certain suburban granny feel, with crocheted flowers and cat faces appliquéd to rib-knit sweaters and white trousers, wide-leg floral pants trimmed with multicolored fringe, and vinyl raincoats paired with velour scarves or bright aqua pants. The looks were accessorized with ladylike handbags and wire mesh wrapped around the models’ heads.
Akiko Aoki showed a uniquely Japanese way of juxtaposing different textiles and contrasting elements. She said she wanted to offer something to women who are tired of the same thing. Military influences like an olive drab long dress were given a feminine appeal with fuzzy pastel patch pockets, and men’s wear-inspired checked fabrics were contrasted with lace, velour and metallic trim or distressed with what appeared to be bleach stains.