Zadig & Voltaire is ready to rock in Aoyama

French rock-chic lifestyle brand Zadig & Voltaire is reaching out to the international market with its first flagship shop in Tokyo’s Aoyama district. Housing a fair selection of women’s, men’s and kids’ wear, it also offers perfumes in its signature skinny-rockstar aesthetic.

Established in 1971, the Z&V style has yet to waver — glamorous fixings of crystal and studs set in luxe fabrics and mixed with a devil-may-care attitude. It’s The Rolling Stones meets Nina Ricci and is wildly popular the world over.

This is the 20th retail store for Z&V in Japan, with its other flagships in Paris, New York and Seoul. (M.J.)

Zadig & Voltaire: 5-4-41 Minami-aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo; 03-3400-0188. www.zadig-et-voltaire.com/jp

Alternative fashion at Trans Art 2014

The debate over whether fashion is art is a contentious one. Whether fashion can be used as a medium for art, however, seems easier to answer and the answer is usually “yes,” as you’ll see if you attend the Trans Art Tokyo 2014 (TAT) event from Sept. 20. to Nov. 3.

Now in its third year, this annual festival of Tokyo’s creative people takes place in disused locations across the Kanda area, and is known for providing artists with an urban landscape as a show space. It also, however, a refuge to many of fashion’s underground revolutionaries.

The Coconogacco alternative fashion school’s exhibitions at TAT are well worth a visit for the adventurous, though explorers will have to navigate the complicated schedule to make sure they don’t miss a thing. (S.T.)


You have got to Love Moschino

Italian brand Moschino has opened its first Love Moschino shop inside Harajuku’s Laforet shopping mall.

The brand has come back into the lexicon of cool since last season when fashion wunderkind Jeremy Scott took over, sending down a fast-food inspired collection down the runway that paid homage to McDonalds.

Launched in 1983, Moschino has always been a purveyor of wild and quirky style, and it’s now basking in the spotlight. Love Moschino is an offshoot line, with more than enough kitsch in the form of pop-motif dresses and T-shirts, old-timey diner bags and bright iPhone cases.

Once just a lineup of jeans, this casual collection is now the most accessible price-wise of the Moschino family of lines. (M.J.)

Love Moschino: 1F Laforet Harajuku 1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; 03-3475-041. www.lovemoschino-harajuku.jp

Find new attachments in Tokyo

Japanese menswear has been in a state of flux for some time now, moving away from the glam streetwear that defined the dandies in the late 2000s, only to have Hedi Slimane bring the look back into vogue via his work with Saint Laurent.

Occupying the middle is streetwear-label Attachment from designer Kumagai Kazuyuki, a brand that has acted as a barometer of taste in Japan since it was founded in 1999. If its newly opened Shibuya flagship is anything to go by, shoppers are in store for a period of functional minimalism, a mood reiterated by the natural-wood and white-gallery utilitarianism of the shop fittings provided by interior designer group Building.

The launch also introduces a number of limited editions, and with prices ranging from ¥7,900 for a stadium jacket, to ¥16,000 for a hooded sweater, the current mood of menswear is proving very accessible. (S.T.)

Attachment Shibuya: Jinnan 1-5-7, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; 03-5784-1370. www.attachment.co.jp.

Coco Ichibanya currys favor with idol fans

Idol group AKB48’s journey to Japan domination takes another step forward with the news that their costume designers and stylists, Osare Company, are to create uniforms for curry-house chain CoCo Ichibanya as part of an on-going collaboration between the two companies.

The fittingly cute striped aprons are in the selfsame colors of AKB48 sister group SKE48 and they come in male and female versions, which, from Sept. 16, will be adorning all staff members of the curry chain.

While primarily an exercise in publicity, collaborations of this nature highlight how recognizable the visual language of idol culture has become in contemporary Japanese society — to the point where it is a genre of its own — but will the fashion industry ever truly accept it? (S.T.)

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.