Style & Design

Japan's Tokyo fashion week brands

by Misha Janette

Oct. 17 marks the start of the next iteration of Tokyo fashion week, so this month looks at topics related to local brands that have made appearances on previous Tokyo runways.

Anrealage has gone AR

Speaking of high-tech fashion, Tokyo-based experimental brand Anrealage developed an augmented-reality app with AR expert Tom Kawada to coincide with its new fashion collection, which was presented at Paris Fashion Week at the end of September.

Anrealage designer Kunihiko Morinaga had the app made so that it reveals messages, patterns and sounds that are only visible or heard when the garments are looked at through an iPhone or iPad. The AR-ready clothes presented in September were all for women, so in a more gender-inclusive move, the brand has announced several models of AR sneakers, made in collaboration with Onitsuka Tiger. When used with the AR app, the shoes reveal the brand’s hidden logo and play sounds. Another more analog model uses the phone’s flash to reveal designs that have been created in reflective tape.

The sneakers go on sale next spring, but the Anrealage_AR3 app is already available.

www.anrealage.com

Kimono Couture

First up is veteran fashion brand Somarta, designed by Tamae Hirokawa, who is now dabbling in contemporary kimono design. The new collection is being released under the name Somarta Kimono Couture, with a current installation and an upcoming shop to open at Tokyu Plaza Ginza.

Somarta is best known for developing “seamless knits” and other innovative new technologies in textile and clothing construction, but this kimono line fuses such high-tech breakthroughs with the 460-year-old techniques of Kyoto-based artisans to create contemporary dress-style designs. The result reveals how Yuzen dyeing techniques and hand-painted gold-leaf designs can be effectively used with digital printing for a revolutionary style of kimono.

The installation pieces will be on display at the Kiriko Lounge of Tokyu Plaza Ginza until Oct. 18, with a live photo shoot featuring Japanese models wearing the designs on Oct. 19. A pop-up shop selling the garments will then run Oct. 20-23.

Tokyu Plaza Ginza: bit.ly/tokyusomarta

The manipulating newcomers

Finally, let’s turn our attention to two newer brands from the Tokyo runways: Meg Miura and Motohiro Tanji, who are opening a joint pop-up shop in the Destination Tokyo boutique in Shinjuku’s Lumine Est. building. Both designers are known for masterfully manipulated textiles: Miura works in voluminous embossing, weaving and layering, while Tanji is an expert in sculptural knitwear.

These two newcomers have already been making waves and racking up accolades, with Miura winning this year’s Tokyo New Fashion Grand Prix award, and Tanji garnering acclaim for his twisted, H.R. Giger-esque knit creations. It’s very rare that we can find these kind of clothes, so this is a great opportunity to get up close and personal with some truly innovative Tokyo-born fashion. The pop-up is open until Oct. 23, and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct 15, the designers will be on hand to talk about their work.

destination-hpf.com