With 39 shows, the fourth Japan Fashion Week, from March 12 to 16, was the biggest to date. And, with several top brands announcing their imminent emigration to the runways of Paris,the cosmopolitan cachet was further enhanced by the presence of foreign journalists invited as official guests — among them was one of the world’s undisputed fashion mavens, who here offers her take on a Tokyo gala that has, it seems, some way to go in its quest for global status.

It has been 17 years since my last trip to Tokyo. At that time I was living in New York and working as a fashion designer, but since then I have moved to Paris, from where I work as a fashion talent-scout, write a blog at (ashadedviewonfashion.com), direct short films and run the “You Wear it Well” fashion-film festival.

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