Japanese? Yes Please!

The best of Tokyo Autumn/Winter 2013/14 Fashion Week

Tokyo Fashion Week took place the same week as our fashion week here in Toronto (TWINSIES) last month. Here in Canada, the weather was still appropriately chilly enough to keep us in the spirit of the Fall/Winter collections that were being shown, though the story in Tokyo was a bit different with the sakura trees in full, pink bloom.

Tokyo fashion is known for a lot of things, most notably for not being boring, and I have to say, in this regard the collections did not disappoint. Streetwear tends to reign supreme, and you can always expect to see a lot of playing with pattern, colour, and proportion. Most importantly, Japanese designs are always fun.


First of all, how could you not like this collection based on the name alone? Japanese brands always have the most delightful names (there is a store in Shibuya called Nude Trump, which is probably my favourite). MR. GENTLEMAN is the brainchild of two Tokyo veteran designers, Takeshi Osumi from menswear brand PHENOMENON and Yuichi Yoshii, who is known for organizing the VERSUS TOKYO shows.

The look at MR. GENTLEMAN is classic English prep with a twist. The preppy look is pretty popular in Asia, but because it doesn’t have the same cultural connotations as it does in the West, Asian designers tend to have a lot more fun with it. In this collection the tweed shorts are paired with matching boutonnieres on the jackets, and dress shirts have boxy, high collars.
You’ll find the full collection here.


Pronounced “Facet-asm,” Facetasm has become one of the more well known Tokyo fashion brands since its debut in 2007. Facetasm is classic Japanese streetwear through and through. The A/W 2013 collection is pretty futuristic looking, but some of the skirts almost look like pleated kimono. This kind of haphazard layering is very Japanese. I’m pretty sure I could never pull it off, but here it looks amazing.

Leather and shearling manskirts make up the menswear side—this is not the only collection that seemed to have them. I officially call a trend! Facetasm’s certainly look like they’ll keep your junk warm and cozy (feel free to use this in your marketing copy, Facetasm).
The full collection can be viewed on Style.com.

Gut’s Dynamite Cabarets

See what I mean about the names? I don’t think I would want to go to a gut’s dynamite cabaret though. Sounds messy. Gut’s Dynamite Cabarets is notorious for its drag queen following. It’s definitely a fun, edgy show, and A/W does not disappoint: love all the fur and patterns. I think some of those coats might even be warm enough to survive a Canadian winter. I am also in lusting for the tights in this show (LEOPARD PRINT!). Japan has the best patterned tights ever, and this will not be the only show in which you see them. I even know where to buy them, but unfortunately I am neither short nor thin. Someone please buy some and make me insanely jealous.
See the full collection at Women’s Wear Daily.


Dresscamp really played with pattern and structure, and this collection has some really amazing detailing that only becomes apparent up close (this dress, for example, whose skirt is actually made up of small, laser cut and edged pieces of fabric). Leopard print is also heavily featured. For women, flower inspiration is evident (a bit weird for a winter collection, but I guess that’s probably the time of year when you need to look like a plant the most). In menswear, the military, both past and present, seems to be heavy influences.
See the full collection at Fashioninsing.


Mercibeaucoup’s fall 2013 collection is for the free spirit in all of us who doesn’t believe in tight pants, or tops, or really feeling constrained by their clothing at all. This free spirit is also obsessed with soccer. This is an extremely Japanese collection, with a typically Japanese sensibility towards both prep and streetwear. And while it’s not really my personal style, I definitely want this graphic, oversized sweater in my closet.

See the full collection at Style.com.


Anrealage definitely falls under the spectrum of classic and pretty, but regardless I absolutely love this collection (especially the dresses that are inspired by kimono). Also love? The wigs made out of paper. This is also one of the few collections where the models are wearing a heel. It’s a very low heel too. I’m not sure why (maybe it’s because everyone has to walk and commute so much), but flats or platforms rule the Tokyo streets more than heels do, and that’s been reflected in pretty much all the fall collections. See the full collection at Fashionising.

Jotaro Saito

Jotaro Saito is one of Japan’s youngest kimono designers (he launched his first collection at 27), and he comes from a long line of traditional Japanese fashion artists. His grandfather was a dye artist, and his father is also a kimono designer. Jotaro Saito takes a different, more modern approach to kimono design, however. Saito aims to design “kimono as fashion matched with modern space.” His kimono definitely are cut and patterned in a much sleeker, more modern style (and definitely with a bit more leg showing). I particularly love the patchwork look on the women’s kimono, and the braided belts on the men’s.

See the full collection here.


Pretty much all of the jackets in this collection are perfect and I want all of them on me right now, but especially the blazer-y one. No wait, especially this sheer, cape-y one. And the flower peplums! So much good tailoring at Araisara. I mean…great? Too busy coveting to care.

See the full collection at Fashionising.

motonari ono

Motonari ono’s fall/winter collection is also completely killing it on the coat and blazer front. While it is largely warmer in Japan than in North America in the winter, but I’m still not sure why we’re seeing so many tailored shorts with bare legs looks across a lot of the collections. At motonari ono, they’re small and floral, and wouldn’t look out of place on a Mori Girl (albeit a very high fashion one).

See the full collection here.

Christian Dada

It’s like The Crow decided to give up revenging and became a fashion designer. This is a compliment, because there are GIANT BLACK WINGS ON THE SHOES. HOW IS THAT NOT THE BEST THING EVER? This collection does not give a fuck about looking pretty, and you’ve got to love that.

See the full collection at Fashionising.

2 thoughts on “Japanese? Yes Please!

  1. Thanks for the great round-up, those are some really interesting clothes! I’m not familiar with Tokyo’s fashion week…are their models usually this…white?

  2. Fantastic roundup! I also appreciated the link to the guide to Japanese fashion subcultures, a topic which is endlessly fascinating to me. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the color-changing aspect of Anrealage’s collection: the garments changed color in the light and became more saturated, transition lenses-style. I haven’t seen that anywhere else, and it looks like the effect was stunning.

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