There were two story lines: the extreme street fashion of Tokyo’s Harajuku district; and Kyoto, where Andrew Gn’s grandmother was born. Backstage at his spring show, he marveled at the contrast of seeing the geishas in their kimonos when paying her a visit and then, when she took him to Tokyo, “looking at all these wonderful, colorful kids” going around. “It was one of my very first fashion experiences,” he recalled.
Save for the cute samurai dresses with techno flowers and jutting shoulders, the Japanese references abounded more in the embellishments and prints than in the shapes, moving from a bright red silk-knit sweater embroidered with fans and slogan T-shirts with jet-embroidered calligraphy to Kabuki-motif asymmetric minis and ballgowns in pretty landscape prints.
A short skirt with bondage-strap appliqués and a zippered black-and-white shirtdress with pearly choker were about as extreme as it got, with Gn never letting go of his dressy formality, and flawless handiwork.
Coming through stronger was a more Kawaii, girly tone — possibly the influence of stylist Leith Clark — including a ladylike look pairing a bow blouse with an embroidered cardigan and pale green pleated skirt, and the lovely pleated floral dresses with billowing bishop sleeves.
The designer also threw a couple of killer gowns in the mix, like the statuesque black and pale pink ruffle organza number with handmade flowers on the bustier.
Just as there was no unity in the colors, which shifted from pastels to primaries, there were different personalities at play. After all, mixing is what Harajuku style is all about — the perfect expression of east-meets-west, “but also punk and romantic, hard and soft, ying and yang,” Gn said.