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Tokyo Fashion Week goes minimalist

Simple, sophisticated, comfortable: Tokyo Fashion Week goes minimalist

Clothes with simple designs that cut ornamentation to the bone to pull off a low-key look, along with sophisticated fabrics with beautiful, distinctive textures, were centre stage at Tokyo Fashion Week for autumn-winter 2015-16 held last month.

A variety of works using high-quality natural materials was presented by beautiful people. The works included a poncho of double-faced wool fabric and a long coat using shiny camel's hair.

"I pursued possibilities and the beauty of natural materials based on ideas I conceived from the word virgin," said a designer of the brand. To do so, the brand avoided adding extra decorations and emphasised the high quality of the materials.

Hanae Mori designed by Yu Amatsu, a brand led by young designer Yu Amatsu, presented a long coat in orange. The maxi coat was long enough to cover the ankles and was accentuated by wide sleeves.

When the model wearing the coat walked down the runway, the coat's bottom gracefully billowed behind her, enhancing the smooth wool texture and its vivid colour.

Lamarck, also led by a young designer, used many simple designs, too. A coat using shiny lamb wool gave off a slightly masculine look.

Its light gray, which was meant to add a Scandinavian touch, accentuated the fabric's soft texture.

A jacket and skirt by mintdesigns used see-through fabric bearing geometrical patterns. The patterns were made by partially melting the fabric's texture, enhancing feelings of glamour in the design.

Insisting on focusing on the Japanese sense of beauty, matohu presented a sweater using lame threads and a voluminous skirt whose fabric bore very small dents arranged in a pattern. These items were dimly illuminated by classical Japanese lanterns.

"I want people [wearing them and people who see them] to enjoy the light and shadow made by the fabrics under soft lighting," said a designer in charge.

Tokyo Fashion Week had traditionally featured many clothes with unconventional designs.

This time, however, the trend seemed to shift to more modern, sophisticated elements. Many of the featured designers put more emphasis on considering wearers' comfort by developing textiles, rather than thinking of creating a novel appearance.

Their down-to-earth creations seemed to represent Tokyo Fashion Week maturing.

Gold medalist featured

Rina Akiyama, a blind gold medalist of the female 100-meter backstroke at the London Paralympics, was one of the models of tenbo, a brand that made its debut at Tokyo Fashion Week.

The brand was set up by designer Takafumi Tsuruta last year to make clothes that can be worn regardless of age, sex and physical capability.

Its show presented items such as a coat with buttons equipped with magnets for people with crippled hands to easily take on and off and a wedding dress for wheelchair-bound women.

"I want to present clothes that are not only functional, but also fun to wear for the impaired," Tsuruta said.Read more

05:33 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Aspen Cares Fashion Show Finishes Strong


Saturday night brought on heaps of anxiety, as well as large amounts of excitement. The moment we all spent endless hours preparing for had finally arrived, and we knew it would be over before there was even a full chance to acknowledge it.

I paused to collect my thoughts only briefly in a chair at Salon Myo. There was an hour left until doors opened at the Belly Up and I was shocked at the sight I saw before me in the mirror. I had long, black hair extensions that went down to my belly button. My pale Irish skin was lightly tinted and aglow from the spray-on tan I had gotten earlier that day. And my makeup was caked on heavily, my eyes looking larger than ever with fake eyelashes attached. I rarely even remember to brush my hair in the morning and I typically only wear makeup once or twice a week. And the spray-on tan? Well that was entirely out of character. I was staring at a very different version of myself in the mirror, but I was intrigued by the transformation.

Preparing for this night has taken a great amount of my time in the past month.

So much so that this is the second time I’m writing about it in my column, because frankly, very little else has been on my mind as of late. Often times during the month, friends would ask me why I decided to get involved in such an intense project since it was taking up so much of my free time. I suppose part of the reason was because I was excited to get on a stage and strut my stuff. But really, I felt incredibly fortunate to be able to be involved in something this extensive. For me, it was a privilege, not a chore.

We spent night after night mastering the choreography, memorizing our blocking and familiarizing ourselves with the music. But getting to know our characters and the story behind them was the real challenge for me, and the real reward. Each person had a story from the emotionally abusive bad boy to the shy girl overcoming depression. It centered on all of our struggles, but showed how community, love and acceptance could help to ease those struggles.

I took on the character of the loner, the outcast that got bullied. Part of the reason that character was incorporated into the show was because of one of the beneficiaries, the Aspen Hope Center, a nonprofit in the Roaring Fork Valley that works to help those in emotional crisis and to decrease the stigma of mental illness. The Hope Center has found that bullying is a large problem in schools in the area. Volunteers and employees from the center spend a lot of time talking to children and teenagers about ways to prevent it. I hadn’t experienced much bullying when I was young, however, as I began to take on the role of the loner, I started to feel like this character, recoiling in front of a large group when they stared at me and often staying oddly quiet during rehearsals.

Others came alive in their characters. Some had never even been on stage before and were down to their bras and underwear in front of a captive audience, shaking their asses confidently. No matter the person’s story, I was so impressed with how we were all able to own our characters, taking on both their weaknesses and their strengths.

We are lucky to have such a philanthropic-minded community. A list I received a few months ago from the Aspen Community Foundation has more than 400 nonprofit organizations in the Roaring Fork Valley on it. There are endless opportunities to get involved and make a difference. This particular mission, Aspen Cares, benefitted Aspen Hope Center, Telluride AIDS Benefit, WestCap, AspenOut and Aspen Community Health.

By the time the show was over on Saturday, we were all on cloud nine. Adrenaline and excitement were high and we were eager to celebrate together. It felt so rewarding to see how 30-plus people started as individuals and ended the evening coalesced together as one supportive unit. We had found love and acceptance in a group of young Aspenites who had little idea what they were getting into when they auditioned a month ago for a fashion show.

More so than the cast growing together, we helped to identify and support organizations that have made it their mission to help people overcome mental and sexual struggles similar to the ones we presented on stage.

I felt lucky to be a part of the show because it reiterated something to me that I often forget: Love and friendship have the power to conquer all.

I hope our audience was able to take that away from the evening as well.Read more

06:48 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Fashion meets jazz in Cape Town

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(Photo:MarieAustralia short formal dresses)

It is this ability to adapt and change form that has inspired fashion designer Lara Klawikowski’s latest range.

“Fungi has a way of morphing its texture and silhouette to a certain shape in an unpredictable and unexpected way. That has always been a signature of my brand… nothing folds in a way that it should but it folds exactly how it should, ending up being a beautiful and structural piece,” she says.

Klawikowski will be showcasing her range at the annual Wear SA gala dinner, “Fashion and all that Jazz” on Thursday. Held ahead of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival at the weekend, the affair is part of the Wear South African campaign that encourages support for locally produced products.

I meet Klawikowski at her studio in Woodstock where she is working on her range that involves six different looks.

The futuristic-looking dresses, in colours such as red and yellow, are made of tracksuit cord sewn into chiffon.

“Adding cord into a delicate fabric such as chiffon completely alters the shape. Normally chiffon is floatly, but with the cord it becomes very structural and very sculptural, moulding itself into a unique shape. It has an organic feel on the inside and outside,” she says.

“I’m very excited to see how people will respond to these dresses. They’re not something you see every day at stores or even on runways.”

The designs are for that fashion-forward thinking woman with the ability to style the garments in different looks, Klawikowski explains. “She is definitely aware of what local designers are doing and is willing to take a risk. If she wears this, people are going to stare. Also, the designs are for someone who is quite informed and who enjoys talking about fashion in a constructive way. A person with an understanding of garmenting and fabrication, (with) a deeper understanding of design.”

Also taking part in the fashion show are other emerging designers, Ernest Mahomane and Ricci Janse van Rensburg of Ricci JvR, and design schools, Cape Town College of Fashion Design and Northlink College.

For her showcase, Ricci JvR says she drew inspiration from the nomadic lifestyle.

“The inspiration for this collection can be summarised in one word – ‘Resfeber’, a Swedish word describing the restless race of the traveller's heart before the journey begins, when anxiety and anticipation are tangled together; a ‘travel fever’ that can manifest as an illness.

“For me it is all about combining textures… Layering and textures are extremely important.”

Ricci JvR focused on comfortable clothing, layered and styled effortlessly.

“The silhouettes are relaxed, soft and draped with roomy, romantic volume,” she says. “I don’t design for a specific body type or person… the design process and realisation of each piece is important. Therefore, I focus on individual pieces at a time. I do, however, try to design diverse pieces, ensuring that no matter your taste, you would find something in the collection that would suit your style.”

Ricci JvR says more and more people now support local designers.

“I think this shift came largely because more effort was made to inform the public of the talent that we have in South Africa and the benefits of buying locally,” she says.

“Also, with a lot of international designers looking to Africa for inspiration, it has definitely boosted the overall image of the industry. There are so many different factors and opinions that contribute and influence this, but I think creating awareness is the best place to promote local designers.”

To this end, the designers, as part of the Wear SA campaign, will also be staging fashion shows at different shopping malls across the city until the end of April.

“A lot of people don’t get the opportunity to attend fashion weeks… This is a way of letting everyone else see the work that local designers are producing,” says Klawikowski. “I would like to see more South Africans buying local products… as something that they can wear, that can be part of their lives and lifestyle. The Wear SA campaign is a excellent platform to promote local designers to South Africans.”

Joburg designer Ernest Mahomane says “People don’t buy international brands because they are better than our local brands. International brands put up massive campaigns for their products and all you see are those ads… to a point that you would think local brands do not exist.

“This is when we need to get big businesses investing in our local talent and using the same strategy. The more people are confronted by local brands, the more they will buy them. Big businesses should give a helping hand to new talent – not by offering small prizes in creativity competitions, but by offering business mentorship and financial support.”

For his showcase on Thursday, Mahomane has put together a range that is “simple, wearable… keeping the everyday woman in mind”.

“I definitely didn’t want a heavy look, but at the same time I wanted it to look layered. And when it comes to fabric, nothing comes as durable and as comfortable as cotton. Most of the range is made from locally produced cotton,” he says.

Explaining the link between fashion and jazz, Herman Pillay, chief executive of the Trade Call Investments Apparel Group, the creative hub for designers and clothing manufacturers, says that the liberation of fashion through music started in the early 1900s during the post-war economic boom.

“In the 1920s the new evolving American youth culture led the way to an increase in consumer demand for fashion. The conservative, mannequin-like, tightly corseted fashion sense of the late 1800s was in desperate need of radical transformation. Jazz music ignited the fuel for loose flimsy fabrics and fits that would allow the wearer to flow into the rhythm of the music,” says Pillay.

“The blues, ragtime and swing jazz styles brought about a fresh and unique form of art that depicted the collaboration of jazz and fashion which still exists on our catwalks today.”

According to Khalid Abdulla, acting chief executive of ESPAfrika, the event managers and producers of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, the Wear SA Fashion show and gala dinner perfectly complement the total offering of the jazz festival weekend.

“We are very proud to be associated with the fashion show and gala dinner and believe that this event, like the established jazz festival, will become another highlight on Cape Town’s fashion calendar,” he says.Read more at:MarieAustralia formal dresses 2014

04:27 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)