October debut for Gaultier’s Sept Premieres

French couturier Jean Paul Gaultier has teamed up with Seven & I Holdings to produce Sept Premieres, an affordable line of clothing that launched Oct. 1. This is the first designer collaboration for the company, which owns Seibu & Sogo Department Stores and Ito Yokado, 67 outlets of which will sell the line.

The collaboration comes as a surprise, since the designer famous for Madonna’s “cone bras” and a mainstay on the Paris catwalk quit the ready-to-made market to focus on couture just last year. “The fashion cycle is too fast, and there are too many collections — we don’t have time to think,” he explained.

But for Sept Premieres, he has had a change of heart.

“I have been working with Japan since ’78 and I know their strengths and what I will get when I design,” he said at the launch. “So I had no worries over this.”

The 50-piece line includes everything from socks to dresses and coats, priced from ¥1,400 to ¥49,000, — and, as expected, there are plenty of Gaultier signature stripes and patterns.


YaChaika makes sure you’re well heeled for comfort

The James Dyson Award is an annual event that celebrates innovative designs that solve product problems. It’s a broad competition brief and this year Yasuyuki Yamada is in the running, his comfort-engineered YaChaika high heels making it into the top 20 list.

There isn’t a “how-to be a woman” manual that says we have to stomp around in high heels all day, and yet despite their general ability to cause discomfort, most women own at least one pair.

Yamada, from Keio University’s Graduate School of Science and Technology, has engineered a pair of heels with leaf spring plates and high-vibration damping rubber sheets that soften the impact on the feet and make walking in them less tiring. The “invisible” heel is 10-cm high, but on the impact of a step it contracts to 3 cm with a spring-like effect. For the wearer, it feels similar to wearing a sports shoe. The curved design is inspired by the wings of a seagull, which is what “chaika” translates to from Russian.

The Dyson winners will be announced Nov. 10.


An opening ceremony for Yoshio Kubo

Yoshio Kubo has partnered with popular global multi-brand shop Opening Ceremony for an exclusive line called Five Rings Travel. Inspired by Opening Ceremony’s own Olympic concept — focusing on one Olympic city per season — Kubo’s line debuts with pieces that give a nod to Calgary, Alberta.

Sporty tracksuits and wide-leg pants feature dark earthy tones like forest green, with pretty gradations that evoke the scenery seen from a airplane window on the approach to the city. The line is unisex, but is being described as “genderless,” with easy-to-wear stretch waists and deliberately oversized silhouettes.

Kubo is one of the most-watched menswear designers in Tokyo and also has a more under-the-radar women’s line, Muller of Yoshiokubo. This line might help him bring home some more gold.

Available now at Opening Ceremony 6-7-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku: 03-5466-6350. www.openingceremonyjapan.com

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