The Anrealage experiment continues
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Tokyo wrapped up with some off-schedule shows at the end of March, which included popular local brand Anrealage. This label has become synonymous with experimentation in fashion, and has produced some outstanding results.
For its newest collection, titled Season, colors start in cool blues and move toward warm oranges and fiery reds. The runway show culminated with a sweater rigged with thin wires that expanded under the heat of the spotlights and then shrank in cooler temperatures, changing the garment’s shape. The entire collection utilized Outlast heat-regulating fabrics, which are known to be used by NASA.
The brand also launched Anseason, a new diffusion line of garments that utilize all the tech advances it has experimented with in the past. These include 3-D patterning, advanced laser cutting, thermal-assisted color-changing and wire pulley systems for instant size changing. M.J.
Anrealage: 2-15-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. 03-6447-1400; www.anrealage.com
Christian Dada’s Tokyo swan song
Designer of street-fashion label Christian Dada, Masanori Morikawa, “graduated” from Fashion Week Tokyo with a show held in the opulent surrounds of Count Nagayoshi Ogasawara’s residence-turned-restaurant in Shinjuku.
The 1927 Spanish-styled mansion was a fitting backdrop for the collection, which is set for a European trajectory. Morikawa announced that it was his last Tokyo runway show, with his next season debuting in Paris, an endeavor made possible by funding from Singapore firm D’League who has taken a 51 percent stake in the brand.
For the last hurrah, his infinity-themed collection went back to basics with a timeless cool achieved by clashing punk, teddy boy, rockers and kink culture in a manner that only confirms he has the degree of showmanship required to make a mark in Paris. S.T.
Get ready to Mind Your Own Business
Founded in 2009 by two fiery Japanese girls — “Comi” and Mikako Tanimi — MYOB (Mind Your Own Business) is known for oversized acrylic cut-out jewelry that exclaim utterances such as “Hype,” “See Right Though” and other remarks that actually can’t be printed here. When the brand went to New York, it appeared in edgy publications such as Vice magazine and was embraced by eccentric power pushers in the industry, including famed “Sex and the City” stylist Patricia Fields.
“MYOB seems like it says things a smart-aleck would say, but I think everyone thinks these things anyway,” says Tanimi. “Our customers are all really unique and cool, and they wear what they want to say, literally. And if anyone actually dares to stare, then I totally think they should yell at them to mind their own business!”
MYOB is holding a limited pop-up shop inside the Laforet mall in Harajuku from April 9-20. M.J.
Laforet Harajuku: 1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. 03-475-0411; www.filter-nyc.net
Take a stroll down Anime Street
West Tokyo is undergoing something of pop-culture renaissance with a flurry of new openings in the Nakano and Koenji neiborhoods. Key to this Japanese variant of geek-chic is fashion, with anime-themed clothing shops ranging from the runway level of Gokai in Nakano to the reworked vintage items of Itazura in Koenji.
The latest edition to this growing cluster of pop-culture stores is Asagaya Anime Street, which opened on March 29 beneath the railway arches that connect Koenji and Asagaya stations. Among the expected outlets of anime paraphernalia is Cosmenia’s cosplay-inspired fashion, Copin’s womenswear for those who want to dress in the androgynous visual-kei style; and Crystal Moon’s fantastical silver jewelry. S.T.
Asagaya Anime Street: 2-40-1 Asagaya-minami, Suginami-ku, Tokyo. www.jrtk.jp/asagaya-anime-street
Dive into The Pool’s sporty goods
Tucked off to the side of Kotto-dori in Minami Aoyama is a retro 1970s apartment building that had a languishing first-floor swimming pool. Not one to let an interesting space lay to waste, acclaimed fashion director Hiroshi Fujiwara teamed up with Jun Group to transform the abandoned spot into a unique boutique.
The Pool is literally set up inside the swimming pool, with the locker room now a fitting room and a raised Plexiglass floor for a walking-on-water effect. Goods have a sporty nostalgic look — mostly menswear, such as official Harvard and UCLA sweatshirts, alongside skateboard brand Supreme — and are mixed with a few modern techie items. Accessories include water-resistant bags from Porter, plastic luggage and floating key fobs.
Fujiwara has design chops himself, having his own studio, Fragment, and designing a third of The Pool’s goods. M.J.
The Pool: 5-12-24 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo. 0120-298-133; the-pool-aoyama.com
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5