The cliche, albeit an increasingly true one, that style trends are here today and gone tomorrow continues to define the extremes of the Tokyo fashion scene.
Not that anyone outside the shrinking street-scene bubble and expanding social media one is likely to mind right now. It is, after-all, the early adopters and serious fans who are chomping through the fashion cycles as trends of a couple of years ago are already forgotten and reappear as fresh.
The mainstream followers on the other hand, ostracized by the impossibly fast stream of brash and meme-able but not memorable extreme highs, are beginning to savor and stick to their choice of trends.
Take the ’90s influences, for example. They are still big sellers in the middle market, but everyone expected them to last a little longer than they actually did in high fashion. After all, the catwalk rediscovery of ’80s punk dragged on, and Japan never quite got round to re-exploring half of its own subcultures from that era.
Still, for those after street cred over fashion clout there are more than enough ’90s throwbacks to get back into or discover for the first time. Now’s an especially good time if you are a Heisei kid who never quite got a chance to get into it first time round.
First up is Puma, who have dipped into their archives to bring back their 1998 Cell Endura cushioned sneakers from the Puma Cell range. On sale nationwide from Oct. 6, the resurrected model is pretty much a carbon copy of the original, with distinctive lime-green cord webbed eyelets of the ’90s original, but with a slightly more streamlined toecap for contemporary tastes. Keep an eye on the Puma websites for more details.
Still on footwear, Adidas Originals has looked back to its iconic ZX 500 RM range for a new iteration in collaboration with Toei Animation’s “Dragon Ball Z,” which aired through the early to mid ’90s in Japan and later overseas. The ZX 500 RM DB is themed around the anime protagonist Son Goku’s Super Saiyan form with an energetic sharp-yellow mesh peaking through the distinctive orange of the character’s training uniform. Adidas has also released a Frieza-themed YUNG-1 DB model in shades of the “Dragon Ball Z” villain’s purple body highlights that fans are sure to instantly recognize. The first models drop on Sept. 29 nationwide, with the series being teased out through to Christmas with two models released per month.
Given the number of sneakerheads who grew up on a “Dragon Ball Z” diet and are now in their early 30s, it is safe to say that these will shift swiftly.
Old-school street vibes
For those wanting to pair their throwback sneakers with appropriate streetwear, the Japanese godfather of the scene, Hiroshi Fujiwara, is teaming up with Nintendo’s “Pokemon” for a collaboration using characters from the first generation games and anime, which were both a phenomenal hit in the late ’90s.
For once, Japan isn’t first in line to offer the union between two of its cultural ambassadors. Streetwear bible Hypebeast’s New York Hypefest event is getting the jump on the line in early October, with hoodies featuring the likes of Mew, one of the Pokemon species. Mew is set to be joined by other nostalgic characters as the project continues into 2019. Given the hype about this, though, those wanting to “catch ’em all” may be in for a challenge greater than the games ever promised.
If you want to relive the console wars of the ’90s, and you’re team PlayStation, you can show your Sony colors with Village Vanguard’s PlayStation console lineup, which features the PlayStation logo first released in 1994. The collection features pretty much everything you need for a complete ensemble and is accessibly priced, capping out at ¥12,960 for an MA-1 bomber jacket. Shop the whole lineup until Oct. 5 on Village Vanguard’s online store.
Into the noughties
While the mainstream is still finding the time to enjoy the ’90s, let’s go back to the early adopters who are already fast forwarding to the ’00s. Ultra-wide raver gear and baggy cargos decked in zips and chains are turning up on irony-drenched kids and Aoyama shoppers alike.
Yohji Yamamoto is getting in on the action, rereleasing his crystal-embellished angel-winged motif from 2002, which had to be one of the most imitated trends of the decade in Japan. It’s a nice reminder that even though it was played-out to the point of ridicule by the end of the era, no one does it quite like the master.
Those looking to where these trends may pop up next will enjoy AT Tokyo, arguably the most anticipated event of Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo, held Oct. 15-21. Always ahead of the curve, Christian Dada is teaming up with Bed J.W. Ford for a special joint show in addition to lineups from fashionable forerunners, including Anrealage, Lautashi and Skoloct.