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Plenty to enjoy as fashion week approaches

by Misha Janette and Samuel Thomas

The Italian denim magnate Diesel and EDUN, the niche eco-friendly brand developed by musician Bono and his wife, have something in common — a love of Africa and its artistic scene. It makes sense then that last year they announced DIESEL+EDUN, a denim collection, “Born in Africa and worn by a new generation of creative talents.”

The line, which is manufactured in Africa using high-quality organic CCI cotton from Uganda, was finally launched this month, and to kick off the release, nine African artists are being featured in various “Studio Africa” exhibitions across the world. In the Japan, the Diesel gallery in Shibuya is presenting the photography of three South African brothers in its show “I See a Different You,” which will run until May 10. (M.J.)

Diesel: Cocoti B1F, 1-23-16, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku Tel: (0)3-6427-5955 www.diesel.co.jp/art/en

Forty-seven years of marriage

Yumi Katsura is a trail blazer in the Japanese wedding-attire industry. In the 1970s, she introduced the first ready-to-wear wedding dresses, and she is credited with modernizing the tradition with trendy cuts and new accessories. For a designer, she has one of the longest-running careers in Japan.

This year, Katsura celebrated her 47th business year in style, staging a large fashion show at the Kokugikan Sumo Stadium in February. After swaths of organza, silk and tulle gowns crossed the catwalk, K-pop superstar group Kara took to the stage in a frothy white number to perform a mini concert. It was a milestone for Katsura and her brand, as she presented the first collection produced with the newly-appointed designer Toshikazu Iwaya. Iwaya is best known as being the designer of Tokyo’s wildly popular brand Dresscamp and the creative director of Onitsuka Tiger. (M.J.)

Yumi Katsura: www.yumikatsura.com.

Get ready for fall-winter previews

Yes, it’s that time of the year again. Get dressed to the nines for the biannual fashion parade known as Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Tokyo (MBFT), which runs from March 18-23.

The schedule sees fall-winter 2013 collections from Tokyo-based heavyweights such as G.V.G.V. and Dresscamp along with a slew of new faces on the catwalk.

The shows, which are being held inside the Hikarie shopping complex in Shibuya, are, as usual, for industry insiders and those exceptionally loyal customers, but there are various other ticketed events for the fashion-loving general public. These include Tokyo Runway on March 20 and Versus Tokyo on March 23. The latter pairs DJs with men’s brands such as Ganryu as models strut the runway. (M.J.)

www.tokyo-mbfashionweek.com/en.

 

Harajuku fashion welcomes all

Under the indisputable mantra of “Fashion is Fun!” the previously industry-only roomsLINK trade show is throwing its doors open to the public for one day only on March 20 as part of Harajuku Project, an initiative that aims to promote young Asian designers.

Attendees can expect to enjoy runway shows from the likes of Mikio Sakabe, Nozomi Ishiguro Tambourine and others who have eschewed the traditional format of Fashion Week to instead communicate directly with the public. Those designers are not alone: On the March 23, cult brand Discovered will publicly present its latest collection, this time in Harajuku’s Miyashita Park as part of Shibuya Fashion Festival, another event primarily geared for the public.

This trend of an increasingly democratic view of fashion also extends to workshops and events. All of which have been designed to reconnect the city with its homegrown fashion and buck the insular official Fashion Week. (S.T.)

www.harajukuprojectshowroom.com.

Rick Owens shares his world with Tokyo

Fans of Rick Owen’s monastic couture and minimalist streetwear will find themselves well catered for in Tokyo this month. Long-term collaborator of the brand, photographer Paul Kooiker, has worked with Owens on an art book that customers will receive for free at selected Japan stores this month. The book captures a more decadent side of Owens, which is more in line with the nude waxwork of the designer that greets patrons at the Aoyama flagship than with his austere designs.

Also, to celebrate the recent re-opening of Isetan Shinjuku on March 6, Owens has designed a unique limited edition jacket, a rare undertaking seldom repeated elsewhere in the world and one that places Rick Owens back in the Tokyo fashion spotlight. (S.T.)

Rick Owens Tokyo: 6-5-55 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo; (03) 6805-0036; rickowens.eu.