japan fashion week: mintdesigns

(images via wwd)

so i’ve been ominously warning about it for a little while now, but finally, finally, the eye of the storm is here, and we’ve several new fashion weeks upon us all at once. i don’t know how well opt will handle it all, as i’ve a lot of ridiculousness ensuing, but whatever, we’ll at least try to briefly cover each label as it comes, yes? right, then!

and just like that, i’ll ask you to turn your eye now to tokyo’s japan fashion week, which, it seemed to be was right to do, we’ll be starting off with one of my longtime favourite japanese labels, mintdesigns (ミントデザインズ) in lieu of trying to hold off with them for the last, and then not really getting to the work as thoroughly as i’d like (anyway, see their opt archives; a/w 2010, a/w 2011, s/s 2012, s/s 2013).

anyway, as far as i’m concerned, moving away from the cotton candy/jordan almond  pastel shades, and kawaii schoolgirl sweetness, the label’s designers (hokuto katsui and nao yag) have been trailing more of an edgy streetwise look these last seasons, with the a/w 2013 range following up on that aesthetic they laid out for spring.

teaming up with the footwear brand campers this season (for a sneaker look that actually reminded me a lot more of 1980’s la gears), there was a little bit of disparity between the critics as to exactly what the show was about, with the japanese site fashion snap declaring that the show’s titled was ‘duzzling puzzling,’ and whatever the hell goes along with that.

however, on the other hand, fashion press argued that the fall range was (trans.) “based on the concept of ‘chair and walk,'” and seemed to believe that the collection was much more tied in with the footwear than we’re used to chez mintdesigns (which usually marches only to itself). i think they could both be right, though, for i definitely saw puzzle motifs, but then, the sneakers tied more into the street thing, and i do believe the designers are thinking about that this season.

anyway, although they’re never going to win any awards for keen analysis on japanese fashion (as they tend to the mainstream shows), wwd jumped in to comment that “(t)here was a series of dresses and coats in a letter motif and a couple of playful dresses in a print composed of puzzle pieces. Tamer, yet still interesting fare included riffs on the skirt suit and a sequence of eye-catching coats in an oversize check pattern in green and blue. The models sported taped-up heads, lending an abstract touch to the show.”

i’d say it was definitely wearable, and with some good outerwear–particularly that blown-up gingham printed green knee-length coat featuring the wavy, puzzle-like center front line, as well as the shorter, tailored gray jackets–but i kind of can’t help feeling in-process by hall ohara has already got this demographic covered, and i miss the ‘ambassadors of cute‘ vibe we used to see here. i wonder how it will work for them, but i guess we’ll be seeing in a couple of seasons, then (see additional runway images at fashion press).

(watch a video interview with the designers here)

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