Highlights from Tokyo Fashion Week SS16

Highlights from Tokyo Fashion Week SS16

Japan calling

Text: Andrea Sim

Bask in a summer romance with Christian Dada, go on a spring break with Kathy Lam Studio, get intellectual with Dressedundressed and turn up the attitude with Yoshio Kubo

Christian Dada: A tale of two lovers

As the first note from the live music ensemble rang through the Shibuya Hikarie hall, achingly sweet melancholy descended upon the show space. Coupled with the coy femininity of the long and lean silhouettes designer Masanori Morikawa borrowed from his muse for spring, the romanticism of the show was palpable. It came in the form of hand-stitched appliquèd hydrangeas on dresses, lightweight pleats and dainty ruching — the result of a trip the designer took to Yokohoma.   

Throw in the bittersweet Joy Division reference — No Love Lost — embroidered on fabric chokers, and Morikawa's poignant 'Ballad' conveyed not only the euphoria of love, but the sorrow of heartbreak as well. By the time the final empire-waisted sweeping dress with golden hydrangeas closed the show, it was clear that Morikawa's audience was left longing for more, much like the forlorn lovers in the tale he spun for spring. 

5351 Pour Les Hommes: A Cuban safari 

An interpretation of the Cuban military garb, Kazuhisa Komura's spring collection also had biker, street and safari elements woven in. Quilted leather vests and pinstripe kilts that bore military badges and patches in the image of Che Guevara commanded the runway, and fringed capes and utility jackets transformed models into safari explorers. 

The linchpin of the collection? The rakish styling bolstered by a purposeful, assured jaunt in the models' steps. Let's just say that we've been convinced to take our suits crinkled and lapels popped come spring 2016. Lesson learnt: It's not what you wear, but how you wear it.  

Fashion Hong Kong (Kathy Lam Studio): Vacation calling

At the heart of the breezy, floral offering teeming with resort vibes that Kathy Lam served up for spring, artist Heath West was the young designer's inspiration. West's digital artwork translated to the collection's blurred florals printed on airy silk organza, laid-back robes and sheer cover-ups.  

As the opening collection to the five-piece show meant to exhibit Hong Kong's budding designers, Lam's blue and white edit — the only two colours she designs in — set the tone for spring. A cool, calm and collected spring; there's no room for raucous youths on spring break here. If her serene blues and pristine whites do not bring to mind luxe villas, rythmic waves and crisp sand, we don't know what else will. 

Dressedundressed: Get geeky

Kitting out their intellectuals in tailoring borrowed from the boys and frayed hems, Takeshi Kitazawa and Emiko Sato are designers after our own hearts. Alessandro Michele for Gucci might have ramped up the appeal of the eclectic intellectual during FW15, but the dress code Kitazawa and Sato imagined for theirs was pared-back and minimalistic. 

There was a method to the designers' SS16 persona. Ensembles deliberately styled undone delivered the endearing, geeky awkwardness. Suit jackets were buttoned but pulled off the shoulders; trousers cut long and puddled over footwear; and hems were raw and frayed. Now, the real question is: Will stylistic haphazardry be making its rounds on the FW16 runways? One thing's for sure, we're not complaining. 

Yoshio Kubo: Swag it out

Yoshio Kubo's gang of dandies on his runway were rocking badass leathers one moment, and soft paisleys the next. To top it all off, an olive monogrammed suit paired with sneakers came along. One word: Swag. It takes a certain kind of man to pull off a mixed media pastel paisley shirt and the head and face scarves Kubo styled every ensemble with. 

Beyond the dark yet feminine rose and fern prints of the collection, comfort was key for SS16. Sweatpants, elasticated waistbands and loose-fit trousers were the choice bottoms, grounded by nondescript black sneakers. Street cred? Check. Comfort? Check. Just tell us when we can purchase the collection already.