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Madstore, Christian Dada, Alexander Wang make Tokyo debuts, while Parco pushes the envelope

by Misha Janette and Samuel Thomas

Alexander Wang lands in Aoyama

Alexander Wang has catapulted from up-and-coming New York favorite to global fashion superstar faster than you can say his name. Last week, the opening of a three-story boutique in Tokyo’s posh Aoyama neighborhood solidified his high spot on Japan’s “it” barometer.

Japan follows the United States and China in getting a flagship, so as one of still just a few, the store is a must-see destination. With a classy marble-and-glass facade, it boasts a few highlights that the others don’t have, such as a basement menswear floor three times the retail area of the NYC shop, making it the brand’s largest. The top two floors carry the women’s main line and a casual line named T by Alexander Wang. There are also home and lifestyle products for sale, made in the minimalist luxe-sporty aesthetic of the brand. M.J.

Alexander Wang: 5-3-20 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku; 03-6418-5174. www.alexanderwang.com

Parco explores fashion’s frontiers


The enfants terribles of Japanese fashion, Mikio Sakabe and WrittenAfterwards’ Yoshikazu Yamagata, are up to their usual tricks again — this time with an exhibition set to probe the limits of fashion and creativity.

Details of the “Zetsumeiten” show, which is being held at Shibuya’s Parco building, have been kept under wraps, with the emphasis being on saving an element of surprise for the visitors. Between them, the pair of designers are responsible for creating girls school uniforms for men and putting on fashion shows that didn’t actually present clothes. So, you can rest assured that whatever they have up their sleeves will be well worthy of your time.

Included are new works from both brands as well as some from Jenny Fax, and Alicorn, a new brand from illustrator Ali Yanagi. Additionally, to mark the occasion, Mikio Sakabe and Yoshikazu Yamagata have written an accompanying periodical, “Fashion is Magic (TBC),” which is on sale at the exhibition. S.T.

“Zetsumeiten” runs till Oct. 14; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. ¥500. Parco Part 1 Shibuya, 3F 15-1 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; 03-3477-5873. www.parco-art.com/web

Go crazy at the Madstore

UnderCover

Located on the first floor of the Parco mall in Shibuya, the new Madstore concept shop by Japanese brand UnderCover may actually be a really sane idea.

UnderCover is known for its experimental street-cum-couture collections in Paris, but a new, casual line named Sue and John Undercover was introduced last season and is stocked well at the Madstore. Think cotton casual wear with minimal decoration that still echoes a cool UnderCover sentiment.

Also available are the brand’s popular pouches, which are printed with images of objects such as cameras and fruit, as well as keychains and other small items. The Madstore was originally a popup shop, and this is the first time it’s getting a more permanent locale. But the brand is not revealing how long it will last, so go mad and get there before it’s too late. M.J.

Madstore: Parco Part 1 Shibuya 15-1 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; 03-3477-5777. www.undercoverism.com

Christian Dada finds a Harajuku home

Masanori Morikawa, the designer behind Christian Dada welcomes fans to his first stand-alone store in Harajuku.

Masanori Morikawa, the designer behind Christian Dada, surprised Tokyo late last month with the unexpected launch of his first stand-alone shop. Packed with his luxury punk streetwear, fittingly framed in contrasting concrete and flowers, the new setting — a brooding bunker in the backstreets of Tokyo’s street-fashion capital, Harajuku — is representative of the designer’s harsh yet discerning eye for style.

For the opening, Morikawa exhibited a number of costumes he designed for Lady Gaga’s world tours, as well as an exciting capsule footwear collection that was produced by Masaya Kushino for Christian Dada’s last Tokyo Fashion Week show. The young designer also alluded to the probability that his next TFW show might well be his last, the lure of showcasing in London, the city that initially inspired him, proving strong. S.T.

Christian Dada: NS-T Building B1F, Jingumae 3-26-2, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; 03-6804-3969. www.christiandada.jp.

Mercibeaucoup thanks its fans

Quirky as ever, Mercibeaucoup bring fun to the runway.

The po-faced and exclusive image of runway shows has recently taken a bit of a beating, with many designers opting for inclusivity via social media, and looking to please fans over pitching their designs to industry buyers. This is particularly evident with the A-Net Inc. brand Mercibeaucoup, who pointedly hold shows outside of the official fashion week and refer to their events as “matsuri” (festivals).

Their festivals have an impressive track record of being memorable and fun — with this writer even being forced to take to the runway for a bit of surprise impromptu audience participation. This season, the charismatic face behind the brand, Eri Utsugi, took to the stage for a game of volleyball, which everyone was, in turn, invited to join in. Beyond the fun and games, Utsugi presented a flamboyant Bhutan-themed collection that proved equally entertaining. S.T.

www.mercibeaucoup.jp