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Color-changing fashion, Hedi Slimane’s first Saint Laurent collection, 99%IS’ unusual “macs” and newcomers to Harajuku

by Misha Janette and Samuel Thomas

Anrealage’s brilliant whites

“A Color Un Color,” the second show in a “Philosophical Fashion” series of exhibitions at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, is featuring one of the most exciting brands to come out of Japan in the past decade: Anrealage.

Anrealage designer Kunihiko Morinaga is known for brilliant experimentations with technology. Some of these, such as his laser-cut “Bone” collection and his intricate hand-patchworked pieces will be on display. But the pièce de résistance has to be his newest work, wearable clothing made from photochromic fabrics that change from white to brilliant colors depending on the light. Hung on a wall among 5,000 pieces of white clothing, the collection aims to ask the question “What is color?” (M.J.)

“A Color Un Color” at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (76-220-2800 ) runs till Nov. 24. Admission is free. www.kanazawa21.jp

Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent

Hedi Slimane

The long-awaited first menswear catwalk collection from Saint Laurent since Hedi Slimane took the reins of the seminal luxury fashion brand has just gone on display in Japan at Isetan Men’s, Shinjuku, bringing back to Tokyo the ultra-slim rock stylings that left such a mark on the city during Slimane’s days at Dior Homme.

Marking the occasion in a style befitting of the new Saint Laurent glamour, is the fact that the brand has taken over a sizable space in the store’s hallway, a privilege that has not been given to any single brand in the last 10 years.

The concept store will run for six months and for those wanting to take the lead in fashion, there are opportunities to pre-order from the incoming fall/winter collection. (S.T.)

Open till Feb. 4 next year, the Saint Laurent popup is at 3-14-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo; 03-3353-5586; www.ysl.com

The French connection

French designer Julien David has opened his first store in Tokyo, choosing fashion mecca Harajuku as its location.

Julien David, the French designer with a refined Tokyo street-style sensibility, has earned himself a noteworthy following in both France and Japan. Last year, he won the prestigious Andam Fashion Award, and this year he is riding on that success by opening his first shop, right here in Tokyo.

Crossing streetwear with quality textiles, and minimalism with the unpredictability of the street, David’s men’s and women’s lines can be found off the beaten path in Harajuku. The store itself reflects his concept with a bare, concrete interior, accented with Japanese wood and black walls dripping in white paint. Inside you’ll find printed tees and work wear jackets alongside ensembles in intricate lace. Tokyo is second home to David, whose opening party in late July saw both local Harajuku kids and high-fashion rag editors celebrating his sucess. (M.J.)

Julien David: 2-7-15 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; 03-5875-3144 juliendavid.com

Punk knows no boundaries

Not content with taking over the Tokyo underground and sharing it worldwide on the backs of celebrities who range from Justin Bieber to K-pop’s BIGBANG, rebellious brand 99%IS is now joining forces with the English heritage label Mackintosh.

The capsule collection of 20 punk-infused coats will be exclusively available at Dover Street Market (DSM) Ginza, and offers Tokyo-based Korean designer Bajowoo’s interesting interpretation of the classic English “mac.”

The custom coats flirt with iconic punk motifs, such as leopard print, and feature the studded work that 99%IS made its name with through collaborations with the avant-garde Christian Dada. There is even a coat weighed down with around 3,000 studs that prospective customers might struggle to put on.

This collaboration will also feature in 99%IS’s first-ever runway show as part of Tokyo Fashion Week later this year. (S.T.)

DSM Ginza: Ginza Komatsu West, 6-9-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo; 03-6228-5080. 99%is: 99percentis.com Dover Street Market: ginza.doverstreetmarket.com

Anyone can be a ‘Lolita’ fashion girl

Despite the charming frills and lace, the world of Japanese “Lolita” fashion can be very intimidating to the uninitiated: There are manners to adhere to and, a real rarity for anarchic Tokyo fashion, there are strict guidelines to follow in order to get the look right. Stepping in to help aspiring Lolita fashion fans navigate the tea parties and petticoats is Maison de Julietta, a dedicated salon located in the style’s homeland — Laforet Harajuku.

Opening on Aug. 23, the salon offers the full Lolita fashion experience, from hair and makeup to a choice of dresses from brands such as “Baby, The Stars Shine Bright,” complete with a photograph of your chosen look. Everyone is welcome — even complete Lolita beginners.

Such is the demand in Tokyo that a full two months’ worth of reservations were filled in less than three hours when this service was trialed as a popup store earlier this year, so fledgling Lolita fans — make sure you plan ahead. (S.T.)

Maison de Julietta: Laforet Harajuku B1.5F, Jingumae 1-11-6, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; 03-3475-0411. www.maison-de-julietta.net