Brand-name wear

Tokyo clubbers are taking some serious lessons in style from their London counterparts, as nu-rave becomes the biggest — and brightest — trend this summer. Fashionable club nights are taking an anything-goes approach as fluorescent colors, masks and DIY couture become de rigueur.

Spearheading the nu-rave fashion scene is London designer Henry Holland’s House of Holland label. His must-have slogan T-shirts, available from a few select stores in Tokyo, are essential to any self-respecting fashionista’s wardrobe this season.

His referential slogans are acquiring a status in fashion circles, with fellow designers Gareth Pugh and Giles Deacon both wearing tees emblazoned with witticisms such as “UHU Gareth Pugh” and “Get Yer Freak On Giles Deacon.” Alongside bons mots like “Cum Again Christopher Kane” and the latest, “Marry Me Anna Sui,” Holland’s arresting designs (from 8,500 yen) are the ultimate catch of this summer, with only those old enough to remember the original 1980s slogan T-shirts (a la Wham! and Frankie Goes to Hollywood) likely to find them passe. (Paul McInnes)

House of Holland is available from: Dover Street Market, 5-12-3 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 107-0062. Tel: (03) 5468-8301 www.dover streetmarket.com A (Ace) 2-21-13 Ebisu Nishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0021; tel: (03) 3462-2454; www.jp-ace.com www.houseofholland.co.uk/

New spots, old tricks

Crusading kimono and yukata designer Hiroko Takahashi of HIROCOLEDGE makes the most modern yukata anyone would ever want to wrap themselves up in this summer — using the most traditional of techniques. Rather than using preprinted cotton, Takahashi insists on sticking to time-tested methods dating from the Meiji Period (1868-1912), which utilize stop-resin dyes and stencils. The result is a pattern that can be seen vividly on both the front and the underside — a boon considering Takahashi’s striking designs of graphic dots, bull’s-eyes and squares in bright, contrasting colors. After completing her studies (as both an under- and postgraduate) at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music, Takahashi received an invitation to work as an artist in Paris at the Cite Internationale des Arts, which brings together artists from around the world, before returning to Tokyo — where she is researching kimono at doctorate level, running her company, and collaborating with interior brand HIDA on floor cushions and apparel brand YOSHIYUKI on T-shirts. Takahashi’s looming star status was underlined when she codesigned 2007 Miss Universe Japan Riyo Mori’s show-stopping national costume of swirls, circles and checkerboards. Takahashi and HIROCOLEDGE’s new collection of summer yukata are available at Shibuya Parco (from 39,990 yen) July 14-29, and Ikebukuro Parco July 27-29, as well as at the designer’s atelier in Tokyo’s Taito Ward. (Misha Janette)

201 Taito Designers Village, 2-9-10 Kojima, Taito-ku, Tokyo; tel: (03) 5774-5185. www.hirocoledge.com

Assorted illumination

“One child’s junk can be another eccentric adult’s pleasure” is the credo of 25-year-old Kim Songhe, an artist-turned-accessories designer looking to light up the lives of trendy collectors of junk everywhere with her handmade chandeliers. After creating pieces for the window displays at edgy shops in Tokyo such as Loveless and H.P. France, the South Korean national decided to offer her quirky wares to the public.

Definitely for fans of more opulent interior design, the made-to-order pieces (prices start from 300,000 yen) are constructed of stuffed animals, dolls and other toys, as well as lace, flowers and candles — articles that might easily be labeled as disposable. Alternatively, crystals and other rare stones thrown into the mix offer a jumbled style, both whimsical and elegant.

A chandelier curiously titled “Chemically Organic Wedding” is whipped up from lace, beads, Swarovski crystals and white, dented tin cans, while a chandelier made of an array of books, from Japanese manga to an ancient publication on the use of English, stands out as slightly more contemporary.

Kim’s latest takes on this grandiose interior item are on display at H.P. France Window Gallery, Marunouchi, Tokyo, through July 26. (M.J.)

Chang Co, Ltd; tel: (03) 3409-9889; www.kimsonghe.com

Twisted conventions

When the seemingly quaint Lemaire clothing shop opened in the back streets of Harajuku in May, it appeared to be the odd one out. After all, with the head designer of conventional sportswear giant Lacoste behind the venture, it certainly couldn’t stand out in the anything-goes mecca of zany fashion found in “Ura-Hara” . . . or could it? An offspring of designer Christophe Lemaire, the shop makes its mark with an offering of casual designs in rather uncasual, vivid acid colors, and with small, playful twists in the construction of its men’s, women’s and unisex lines. After stints as a designer at Thierry Mugler and Christian Lacroix, Lemaire started his own line in 1990. When tapped as Lacoste’s creative director, Lemaire halted his namesake brand, only to revive it with a bang this year — opening his first shop in Paris in January. Lemaire Tokyo also contains a cozy collection of knickknacks and artworks made by the designer’s artist pals. As well as the Lemaire brand, it carries Lacoste, John Smedley and Mackin Tosh, among others. Collaborations with other brands are a big part of the store concept; look for them in the Lacoste and denim lines. (M.J.)

3-29-7 Jingumae Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; tel: (03) 3475-9320

Costly collectibles

Think antiques are for old crusties? Think again. With eight stores from Hakata in Fukuoka City to Aoyama, Lloyd’s Antiques are dusting off and putting themselves center stage in the Japanese antiques market. Since 1988, their cool and solipsistic attitude to interiors has attracted a following of collectors and style-hungry buyers from all over Japan.

Their recently renovated Lloyd’s Antiques Egoist shop, designed by Michael Barnard, interior designer for brand stores such as Paul Smith, is nestled in a quiet back street in Himonya, Meguro Ward. This antique lover’s paradise is the brainchild of Lloyd’s President Takuhei Kubo. Kubo effuses passion and a deep knowledge of antiquities and interiors, and sees his Himonya store as being a haven for antiques geeks who really know how to spoil themselves.

The philosophy for his newest store is “unique items for a unique space,” and with an expansive new store, one-off merchandise and stratospheric price tags (from 80,000 yen for a small coffee table), few would argue. Kubo sees Lloyd’s Antiques as a lifestyle choice, with each store catering to the serious buyer with a self-serving attitude. Lloyd’s aim for the discerning young buyer who coordinates their antique interiors in the same way that they systemize their Comme des Garcons with their Issey Miyake. (P.M.)

Lloyd’s Antiques, 2-5-15 Himonya, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, 152-0003; tel: (03) 3716-3338. egoist.lloyds.co.jp

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