Maximalism may be ‘in’ on the catwalks, but laymen on the other side of the sartorial fold are hungry for clothes they can wear while, you know, running for the bus or eating a sandwich at their desk. Traditionally this laid back, minimalist vibe has come from the north; the Swedes, Norwegians and Danes have a knack of making black ensembles look light and breezy.
However Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo AW17 has potentially stolen the functional crown from Scandinavia, as a range of emerging and established designers presented highly wearable (and aesthetically covetable) collections. That’s not to say it was a boring line-up, far from it. With 52 labels showing, there was no shortage of looks that were imaginatively styled, yet many retained a basic premise of functionality. Here are the designers from Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo that you need to know about.
Loose, oversized silhouettes married low-slung waist lines with copious layers to create a relaxed style, that is easy to replicate IRL and embodied that dreamy hybrid of elegance and grunge.
Working across a neutral palette, Japanese brand House Commune offered basics with a twist – something of a brand mantra that has seen them deliver quality design season on season since they launched in 2014. High waists and wide legs were rendered in denim as well as coffee- and khaki-coloured wools. Loose-fitting shirts were pulled in with oversized belts, and loose long cardigans were styled to emphasise the nonchalance.
Takeshi Kitazawa and Emiko Sato, the creative minds behind DRESSEDUNDRESSED, offered a line of outerwear in a mix of materials: cerulean blue and thin slate-coloured duster coats in puffer material. The collection was styled with forward facing baseball caps in black and white, and skinny ties – a combination that set a precedent for a new kind of smart casual. Having been nominated for the International Woolmark Prize, the five year old Japanese brand is only going from strength to strength.
With a specialism for turning conventional staples such as Aran wool jumpers and straight legged denim on their head, knitwear label Motohiro Tanji imbues the everyday with a playful twist. For the AW17 show, the Nottingham-trained and now Tokyo-based designer Motohiro walked upside down jumpers and two tone jeans. Jumpers and cardigans were abundantly layered, while extravagant wool detail lent an avant-garde twist.