Anrealage takes on Paris

The Japanese brand Anrealage debuted at Paris Fashion Week late September. Unlike most labels, its clothing often revolves around conceptual uses of technology and fabrics, which made the Paris showing quite a risky move. But, judging by the continuous applause throughout the entire show, it was a huge success.

For the Paris collection, titled Shadow, dresses and jackets were made from white heat-sensitive fabric and overlaid with black stencil-like garments that, once warmed by lamps, left subtle patterns beneath. These so-called “performance” pieces were sandwiched between black-and-white looks in exaggerated shapes and decorated with studs or pearls. It was an extremely strong show, which means Tokyo will have to say “goodbye” to Anrealage as it says “hello” to the world. (M.J.)


It’s that time of the year again


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo, from Oct. 13 to 19, may, strictly speaking, be for industry insiders, but there are always some events anyone can take part in.

For fashion shows, Tokyo has a discreet open-door policy that you might want to try to take advantage of. Most shows take place at Shibuya’s Hikarie complex, and if you dress the part (think of it as fashion cosplay) and get in line early enough, you could find yourself watching the runway for real.

The Versus Tokyo event on Oct. 18 is also open to the public and features top-class Japanese brands such as Facetasm and Toga Virilis plus an all-night event with musical guests to fuse the two artistic worlds together. (M.J.)


Matatabi with added FRUiTs

Street-fashion magazine FRUiTS has been archiving the best of Harajuku street fashion for around 20 years, making it one of the coolest magazines to be both seen in and with. In a rare collaboration, it has teamed up with accessory label Matatabi from cult streetwear brand Talking About the Abstraction to release a series of clutch bags designed to look like copies of the magazine.

Appropriately made from a paper-based textile, the clutch comes in three variations, the original FRUiTS magazine, its menswear spin-off TUNE and the internationally focused STREET. The fronts of the bags are reproductions of past covers of the magazines, but the reverse is a real advert for Matatabi — a clever bit of postmodern branding. (S.T.)


Putting kimono on the catwalk

With the notable exception of progressive kimono designer Jotaro Saito, traditional Japanese garments are largely absent from the official Mercedes-Benz-sponsored Tokyo fashion week. Fortunately, however, this neglected genre has a chance to take center stage in Nihonbashi with a whole host of kimono-focused events planned from the Oct. 11 to 28.

Founded in 2007, Tokyo Kimono Week aims to propose new possibilities for traditional Japanese aesthetics, all the while recruiting followers to keep such fashion alive. It is the latter that is the focus of this year’s celebrations, and there are plenty of opportunities for kimono novices to participate and be dressed by experts. If you prefer to just observe, though, you are still more than welcome. (S.T.)


An idol sense of style

Every month seems to bring news of magazine closures with the loss of gyaru (gal) mag Egg still reverberating throughout the Japanese media landscape. This month, however, there’s a rare arrival.

Overture Magazine bills itself as a “fashion and idol culture magazine” and repackages the male-dominated Japanese idol culture for its ever-increasing female fan base by placing the spotlight firmly on style and ignoring some of the less-palatable aspects of the industry.

The first issue is now available and features a fashion editorial with Mai Shiraishi of Nogizaka46 on the cover, while inside, there’s a feature on the group’s collaboration with streetwear label New Era. Whether the magazine will stand the test of time is yet to be seen, but it certainly seems that in the current climate such niche publications stand a better chance of survival than big-budget publications. (S.T.)

Overture Magazine at amazon.co.jp: bit.ly/overturem

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