Looks from Undercover, Junya Watanabe and Mistergentleman’s Fall/Winter 2021 collections. Japan Fashion Week Organisation.
Festivities in the Japanese capital ran from March 15 to 20, during which 51 designers showcased their offerings for Autumn/Winter 2021.
On March 17, showgoers paid tribute to hip hop and streetwear mastermind Takeshi Osumi, who passed away in January after designing Mistergentleman’s latest collection. Guests held white roses while models paced the runway in Osumi and co-founder Yuichi Yoshii’s tongue-in-cheek mishmash of menswear staples, like sweater vests and double-breasted suits, with vinyl trousers, shearling shorts and paisley leggings.
It was a season of collaborations. On March 16, artist Yoshikazu Yamagata set the scene for a re-show of Fumito Ganryu’s latest collection at the National Art Centre. The installation critiqued overconsumption and was themed around decomposure and specifically fermentation, a backbone of Japanese cuisine. At Undercover’s homecoming show three days later — the streetwear brand hasn’t shown in Tokyo in almost two decades — Jun Takahashi collaborated with mecha anime and movie franchise Neon Genesis Evangelion, which in 2015 was also featured in a capsule collection by Yohji Yamamoto. The brand’s black outerwear featuring sketches of the series’ protagonist and bio-machines will surely be coveted by the series’ legions of fans.
Meanwhile, Junya Watanabe collaborated with Versace and showcased the Italian luxury house’s signature baroque print alongside imagery from iconic musical acts like The Who, the Sex Pistols and David Bowie. “It was the most dynamic show at Tokyo fashion week,” said journalist Yoshiko Kurata.
Overall, the ambience was optimistic. “Every year, Tokyo Fashion Week is hit by snow and heavy rain somehow. This time, it started on a rare sunny spring day,” said Kurata, noting that designers were once again venturing out beyond the organisation’s core venues in Shibuya. “For the first time in a long time, we saw street snapping.”