(c) 2015, The Japan News/Yomiuri.
(c) 2015, The Japan News/Yomiuri.
PARIS - Budding and veteran Japanese designers unveiled distinctive creativity at the spring/summer session of Paris Fashion Week 2016, held from Sept. 29 to Oct. 7, hoping to increase the presence of Japanese brands.
Among the 91 officially participating brands, Japanese brand sacai presented an androgynous look accented by cute feminine touches and other elements not seen among Western brands.
The sacai lineup included a dress made of fabric with a scarf-type motif featuring animal and building patterns as well as flowery embroidery. Another was a navy jacket adorned with gold lace coordinated with pleated gold culottes. The blend of various motifs and materials drew applause from the audience.
"I disassembled vintage items, including old, valuable scarves, Napoleon jackets and other items, and reconstituted them to fit modern tastes," said sacai's designer Chitose Abe.
Comme des Garcons, which has participated in Paris Fashion Week for more than 30 years, made its presence felt with new works based on the theme of witches.
Its show featured garments so large and voluminous they completely enveloped the models. Comme des Garcons also used glossy textiles in colors such as black and blue along with bird feathers, accentuating clothes with lumps around the shoulders and unusually long sleeves. Manifestations of the designer's creativity, Comme des Garcons' ensembles are easily distinguishable from brands focused mainly on marketability.
Shows suited for social media
The brand Anrealage used reflector technology usually found in traffic signals to present clothes whose colors and motifs change when exposed to light. Audience members cried out in astonishment before breaking into applause.
At the show, smartphones with the flash turned on allowed visitors to witness the sparkle and shine of the clothes' changing hues. Spectators enjoyed the participatory feel of using their phones to spark the color changes.
"Today, [various information] is spread by social media. That's why I was able to use this method," said Anrealage designer Kunihiko Morinaga.
An increasing number of brands, including Anrealage, organized their shows based on the expectation that visitors would take photos and post them on social media. The Internet lets consumers across the world see new clothing designs almost immediately, so fashion brands are planning venue layouts and models' movements so that audience members can easily capture the scene and post it on social media.
At the show by Kenzo, groups of four models stood motionless on square stands to display their outfits instead of walking the runway. After the show, the models remained at the venue to pose for attendees such as reporters and buyers. Attendees put the photos on Instagram image-sharing sites and other social media on the spot.
Clothes presented at fashion shows are usually sold at shops about half a year later. However, some brands started selling their clothes right after this spring/summer show.
Loewe began accepting online orders for three presented ensembles immediately after its show. They will be sent to buyers in a month at the earliest. In addition, some newly presented bags went on sale in Paris and online immediately after the show. In Japan, they went on sale on Oct. 15.
Consumers today are not patient enough to wait six months for clothes to go on sale, according to fashion designer Jonathan Anderson. It seems that trend will continue to accelerate.