It was my second night here at FIDé Fashion Week 2013, just in time for Japanese Couture, an evening segment that showcased the collections of three well-known Japanese designers: Junko Koshino, Yoshiki Hishinuma and Keita Maruyama.
The first fashion show of the night was by Junko Koshino, one of Japan’s most highly acclaimed fashion designers. She is best known for her fashion label and boutique Junko Koshino, located in Tokyo. Junko’s world of fashion is all about contrast, bold straight lines and geometrical shapes. She believes that putting opposites together creates a whole. Her juxtaposition of colors, lines and shapes creates a unique style of modern, edgy and dramatic fashion pieces for women. It’s amazing that, even at the age of 74, Junko’s burning passion for fashion still rages.
As the models strut down the runway with Junko’s fashion pieces, you couldn’t help but notice the fabrics’ beautiful contrasts in textures and colors. That is probably one of the biggest elements of haute couture – bold, striking features that are attention-grabbing and eye-catching. The interplay of shapes and lines in her garments also interestingly drew out the beautiful silhouette of its female wearer. After all, what’s fashion if it doesn’t add character or enhance a person’s beauty?
There were also some traditional and cultural-inspired pieces in Junko’s collections, where she cleverly turned traditional Japanese and Chinese costumes into simplified, modern pieces of art. Though Junko’s outfits were couture pieces, I do feel that some of them were actually wearable for day-to-day occasions. Who knows? Maybe one day we’ll get bored of our everyday fashion and start wearing haute couture pieces on the streets! The individualistic-self inside each and every one of us could very well emerge in the near future.
The next segment of the show was by Japan Creative Centre (JCC), where the top 3 winners of this year’s 3rd annual JCC Sustainable Fashion Design Contest, from both Japan and Singapore, presented their award-winning designs. There were a total of 6 selected street couture themed garments designed by the 3 contest winners, all of which were on display during the Japan Couture Evening. The winners of the fashion design contest were Emi Nagaiwa, Yuri Takagi and Shihori Morisawa from the Bunka Fashion School, and Brenda Ling, Chen Zi Peng and Josephine Quek from various fashion schools in Singapore.
The Sustainable Fashion Design Contest, organized by the JCC, is an annual competition first held back in 2011. The competition serves as a platform for fashion design students from Singapore and the Bunka Fashion School in Tokyoto exchange and share ideas on the growing importance of sustainability and responsible design within the fashion industry.
Coincidentally, sustainability has been very much linked to the Japanese philosophy of Monozukuri, which means craftsmanship. ‘Mono’ refers to things, which are made, and ‘zukuri’ refers to the process of making things. This form of Japanese tradition is often related to environmentally friendly production, where the craftsmen exercise great care in using resources wisely without being wasteful.
It’s certainly heartening to know that there are such efforts being made to promote awareness of sustainable fashion (aka eco fashion). Perhaps an eco-couture showcase could be organized for next year’s FIDé Fashion Week!
The fashion show that fallowed was by Yoshiki Hishinuma. There was a lovely element of surprise with his models, who posed for the camera with their meditative hand gestures. The 55-year-old Japanese designer is known for creating uniquely-shaped clothes inspired by the natural elements of wind and air, as well as integrating technology into traditional Japanese tie-dye designs.Yoshiki’s work may not appear as wild or as flamboyant as some other couture designs, but it’s spectacular in its own way. His 2013 autumn collection was inspired by nature. A few of his pieces featured earthy flora and fauna prints, which made the models look like green ambassadors of the environment.
Right after Yoshiki Hishinuma’s fashion show, the audience was treated to a jaw-dropping Sanddornbalance performance by Miyoko Shida, where she balanced about a dozen palm ribs on a single standing palm rib. She created this dinosaur skeleton-looking structure with long palm ribs that fanned out in every direction to stabilize the structure. When she propped the last palm rib up and stood to pivot the whole skeleton-looking structure on it, the crowd applauded and cheered like I’ve never seen before.
But her performance wasn’t over just yet. After Miyoko had successfully completed her balancing act, she lifted a feather that had been resting on one of the palm ribs, and the entire structure starting collapsing one palm rib at a time, like falling dominoes. It was certainly one of the most entertaining acts during FIDé Fashion Week 2013 by far. The audience gave Miyoko a standing ovation right after her stunning performance, as she humbly bowed and smiled.
There are more highlights from FIDé Fashion Week 2013 to come. Stay tuned!
Article prepared by Deenise Glitz