As Japan’s greatest designers sent their final models down the catwalk, we remembered why this little isle packs so much style punch. Everything in Japanese fashion is influenced by the daring street-stylings of the nation’s people, so these Eastern catwalks are far more accessible than their New York or European counterparts. Billowing gowns take a back seat to chic modern sportswear, and while a handful of designers like Kamishima Chinami kept things monochromatic, mismatching is the name of the game. Flamboyant and fun, it’s not hard to remember why so many style icons (cough, Gwen Stefani, cough) look to Japan for inspiration.
The most prominent look cascading down Tokyo’s runways for the spring season included a trend most Americans banned in the early 2000s. Leggings, leg warmers, and ankle socks completed ensembles for Mintdesigns, Everlasting Sprout, and Yuma Koshino. Paired with boldly printed shift dresses (most cuts flowed far away from the body in an almost babydoll fashion), exposed, patterned legwear was everywhere. A handful of designers like Miss Ashida, A Degree Fahrenheit, and Kamishima Chinami kept color blocking and monochromatic palettes alive. A Degree Fahrenheit stuck to inky blacks for a show complete with Alex Wang-worthy sportswear, and Chinami chose last spring’s staple, tangerine, to thread through her show.
Japanese designers concurred with their Western colleagues on the issues of bandeau tops (start working your abdominals because they’re here to stay) and fabrics that are usually reserved for the gym. Here in New York, we saw mesh, Lycra, and parachute materials invade spring sportswear, and Japan’s latest looks are carrying the trend. Think drawstring drop-waists, shoulder cutouts, and geometric aesthetics.
We’re eager to hear what you think of this emerging market’s latest fashion week. Take a look at this soon-to-be fashion leader’s best designers and share your thoughts below!
All photos are from Tokyo Fashion Week