Monday, August 24, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
But the world still look to other places like London, New York, Madrid and Milan for inspiration. The west still dominates the fashion world including fashion tastes, I supposed in summation they also have higher purchasing power than the east collectively. But Japan has been a fashion powerhouse mainly as a consumer but conducive enough the last 3-4 decades to breed brave new fashion designers who are ready to make their mark globally if not some have already done so. They are already amassing fans back home in Japan and the neighbouring Asian countries however, many young designers in Japan and other parts of Asia still suffer from the lack of funding infrastructure hence limited global impact.
WGSN mentioned in their report recently:
While Japanese fashion retail is loaded with
potential, its young, independent designers failing to live up to their
promise. “Japan’s vibrant culture and focus on creativity means that running their own label is the inspiration for many fashion graduates,” says Halliday. "But funding is hard to find and young labels struggle to
attract the investment and backers that support young European and US
labels. Financial pressures mean the safe haven of a job in a retail-based
design studio, brand or wholesale company is becoming a more popular
option despite the creative frustrations. With no internationally
recognised fashion event and retailers focusing on building their own
brands, the situation for young designers is unlikely to improve.”
Hopefully this report serves as a warning rather than a harbinger of what will become of Japanese designers. JFW (Japanese Fashion Week) invests heavily now on young upcoming Asian designers. It is supported by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and in turn JFW subsidises fashion shows and helps share the costs for participating designers. Being part of a concentrated fashion week, that also guarantees media and buyers from around the world showing up. But JFW is costly, and it has yet to turn a profit. They have 6 years to make that cut to be independent from government support.
The good news is in San Francisco, the newest permanent Japanese pop culture attraction – NEW PEOPLE – is opening August 15th in the city’s historic Japantown. The 20, 000 sqft structure will house edgy fashion labels like Baby, The Stars Shine Bright and Black Peace Now . In addition to the permanent attractions, a part of the short-term rotating retail program will include 6%DOKIDOKI and SOU • SOU.
The gothic/punk/rock look may not be the look for everyone (although Gwen Stefani digged it)but it has always managed to appeal continuously amongst Japanese youth. That is what Cyberpunk, Gothic Lolita and Cosplay have got most of us outside Japan , thinking their look to be synonymous with Harajuku fashion today.
Sou Sou - funky Japanese boots
Indeed happily to note also, Uniqlo and Commes des Garcons already made waves in the UK.
My personal favourite is Tomorrowland. At the moment you cannot get their items outside Japan or buy it online. Tomorrowland has a reputation for paying special attention to every last detail. Not renowned for their celebrity following or endorsements, this tasteful label excels at creating basic yet beautiful apparel that are both wearable and timeless. For the Men's line I am totally in love with Bedwin's coming up Fall/Winter 2009 collection.
Bedwin & the Heartbreakers
Some of the other note worthy designers are :
1) Naoaki Mizuno 2) Aguri Sagimori 3) Yoshiyuki Ogata 4) Junya Watanabe 5) Hidenobu Yasui 6) Takehiro Nagasawa and Shintaro Fujikawa... to name but only a few bright sparks from Japan.
And not forgetting Asia altogether, there are many upcoming Asian designers to look out for. One cannot but adore the ruffles/origami like patterns of Ying Gao and the romantic look by Nuj Novakhett.
As the godfather of Denim once said - Adriano Goldschmied who works with about a hundred denims, mostly Japanese."I use Japanese," he says, "because they go very deep into the fabric. They will spend two months just under-standing the weave, the dye, and the construction of one denim". I supposed the Japanese do, do it better!
Fashion constantly changes and the idea of cool is evasive, so not surprisingly there should and would be the direction the global fashionistas are heading - EAST for inspiration and a little something unusual (aka cool)!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Back to Bourgeois Punk, the new collection, was conceived with a strong focus on the 24-hour dress to suit the lifestyle of the modern woman. Cosma says that the main source of inspiration were her own needs: “My genuine appreciation of time, quality and comfort, longevity and individuality in design was the driving force behind the creative process for Bourgeois Punk. I experimented with clean, even sober silhouettes, and bold yet functional details such as rolled in shoulder straps that continue for the length of the dress or dress sleeves ending in cufflinks. These are dresses to work in and have fun in while still retaining a cool sophistication and a bit of daring that makes them very desirable.”
Monday, June 15, 2009
Inspired by the candy store, making lolly necklaces is not something new, it has been a popular fun activity in children's birthday parties as long as I can remember. However they don't last, either the temperature gets to them, or the kids! Besides necklaces, you can make cufflinks or bracelets whatever that takes your fancy. Be creative.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Why yellow? As described by Pantone.com – yellow would be the colour for spring/summer 2009. They call their yellow shade Mimosa, shows warmth and reassurance in the current economic uncertainty and political change. Although personally I have avoided yellow for a long time due to it not being very flattering with my skin colour, but the bright lemony yellow does! But for me I chose yellow because it reminds me of my favourite fruit for the season - LEMONS.....I love lemons, simply adore them! Lovely bright yellowy lemons. They seem to be saying to me '..hello summer' and '..hello sunshine'! So tart in taste hence great as flavouring to desserts and wonderful as a thirst quencher! In Sorrento, Italy, the lemons there are known to grow as large as a grapefruit and are famously made into Limoncello - a liqueur and digestive, which gets its flavor and distinctive bright yellow color from the infusion of the skins of these lemons in pure alcohol.
Not forgetting their health benefits – taken every morning with water acts as a tonic for the liver, helps digestion and while its high content of vitamin C treats and prevents infections. The smell of lemons are also known to lift people’s spirits and clear minds! A good tonic for the current state of worldly affairs. Don’t you think?
As for my plimsolls (they are Superga from Italy and no I am not advertising on their behalf) are what you may say an alternative to the all time favourite Converse (too many people are wearing them)? The shoe is a great combination of tone down street wear and the nautical look which is hitting high street fashion brands today! And in this current financial/economic climate, the price for a pair is €49 (approximately USD69) – so rather affordable. Getting the 2 looks for the price of one is a bargain!
So who is to say that cool is always new, how about combining your favourite things (old or new) and make it the new cool? What are yours?
Have a great summer!