H&M’s big sister, COS, is here

COS, the high-end label owned by H&M, is taking its first step in Japan with a men’s and women’s wear boutique in Minami Aoyama.

To show that it’s different from its fast-fashion sibling, the store is situated on the swanky Omotesando promenade and sports a mature brick facade. The brand is known for its no-nonsense, simple cuts and quality fabrics which produce looks that rival some of the store’s luxury-label neighbors. COS is “Zen” to H&M’s “party” and with prices akin to Zara, it is still affordable.

To fete the Aoyama store, which opened today, exclusive pieces made with Japanese cotton and using traditional construction techniques will be available. (M.J.)

COS: 4-21-26 Minami-aoyama, Minato-ku; 03-5413-7121 www.cosstores.com

Four floors of Christian Dior

An impressive showcase of the history and art involved in one of the world’s most storied fashion houses, “Esprit Dior” follows Christian Dior from its beginnings to present day and includes displays of haute creations by the dozens.

The exhibition also documents Dior’s trip to Japan, where he found luxury fabrics that he exclusively used, and presents the stories behind three dresses he made for Michiko Shoda and anecdotes on her wedding to Crown Prince Akihito. Dresses from the 2007 Japan-inspired haute couture collection are also on display in this four-floor exhibition that coincides with the opening of the newly remodeled Dior Omotesando flagship store. (M.J.)

“Esprit Dior” is free to enter and runs till Jan. 4. at 3-5-8 Ginza Chuo-ku; 0570-050-121; www.dior.com/couture/ja_jp/la-maison-dior


Tokyo’s fashion monsters at Parco

Renowned artist and one of Vogue Japan’s 2012 Women of the Year, Asami Kiyokawa is back on the radar with a high-profile exhibition in collaboration with Tokyo street-fashion bible FRUiTS magazine.

“Tokyo Monsters” gave Kiyokawa free rein to plunder the magazine’s archives and select around 60 photos that she felt encapsulated both the history of FRUiTS and Tokyo street fashion. The photos were put through the artist’s distinctive lens, in this case by being heavily embroidered and rendered as “Tokyo Monsters,” which is arguably not much of a transformation for many of the more outlandish outfits.

Visitors are encouraged to dress up accordingly as there will be cool hunters from the magazine in attendance to document a new generation of fashionable fiends. (S.T.)

“Asami Kiyokawa: Tokyo Monsters” is ¥500 to enter and runs Nov. 29-Dec. 15 at Parco Museum, Shibuya, Tokyo; 03-3477-5873; www.parco-art.com/web/museum/exhibition.php?id=709

Mainichi celebrates Japan’s top designers

On Nov. 4, the awards ceremony for the 32nd annual Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix, which celebrates the best designers and other noteworthy persons in Japanese fashion, was held.

The grand prize was given to Yoshiyuki Miyamae, a young protege-cum-chief designer for Issey Miyake, whose balance of avant-garde form with wearable clothing has breathed fresh air into the women’s line.

The new designer award was bestowed on Maiko Kurogouchi for her brand Mame (pictured), which is known for intricate embroidery on simple, elegant lines as well as a series of vinyl handbags hand-cut into baroque stylings. A special achievement award also went to Yumiko Hara, one of Japan’s first fashion stylists, who helped shape the magazine and styling industry of today. (M.J.)



Citizen lights the way

Japanese watch brand Citizen’s “Light is Time” exhibition, which premiered at the Milano Salone global design fair in April this year, is now showing for a limited period in Tokyo’s Omotesando area.

The exhibition has won three accolades, including the 2013 DSA Design Gold Award, and centers around the staggering sight of tens of thousands of dissected watches suspended in the air. The brainchild of the creative group Dorell.Ghotmeh.Tane / Architects, led by Tsuyoshi Tene, the installation explores the relationship between light and time — themes central to the Citizen empire, which has been using both solar and artificial energy to power the majority of its watches since 1974. (S.T.)

“Light is Time” is free to enter and runs Nov. 14-24 at Spiral Garden, Aoyama, Tokyo; 0120-78-4807; www.spiral.co.jp

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