japan fashion week: the dress & co.

(images via style)

although indeed, once upon a time, i made fun of its basic name, after a good number of successive, successful seasons presenting at tokyo’s japan fashion week (see a/w 2010, s/s 2011, a/w 2011, s/s 2012, a/w 2012), i feel i can say that designer hideaki sakaguchi’s (ヒデアキ サカグチ) label the dress & co. (ザ ドレス アンド コー) has become one of my rocks of the event, and i find myself pretty pleased with whatever he takes it upon himself to say for the season. anyway, if we’re now rolling forward into a/w 2013, i think i can basically stick with that line, too.

frankly, i always find myself a little surprised that the brand/designer don’t get more attention in the press, but then, i guess i’ve never understood the way fashion journalism, or the world in general, works, and maybe we should just leave things there. but anyway, according to fashion snap, the current range was titled (approximately) something like ‘the dress that breathes.’

explaining the title and theme in more or less the same general manner, the japanese site tokyo-add went on to report that, a little surprisingly, given both the brand (and what it is known for) and the clothes we’re actually seeing that (trans.) “(t)he theme was sex appeal,” going on to quote the designer as noting that there is a “(b)alance when inorganic things begin be charged with the organic.” i suppose what he’s saying is that, essentially, clothes in and of themselves aren’t sexy, but they may become so when dressing actual people. maybe?

but in that vein, the site went on to describe how (again, trans.) “(t)he colour nude is often used in the collection, [while the] colour palette is inspired by foundation and rouge,” so i guess essentially we’re supposed to be thinking about the naked body, or at least the skin, and the things that lie closest to it. which i really don’t have a problem with, save for the fact one might expect to see lacy little negligee-inspired pieces, but instead we got everything from wool suiting separates, to leather jackets, sweatpants, knitwear, and fur-trimmed outerwear. um. what?

so. seeking to explain this, i looked further, deeper, and to other sites, such as the japanese site apparel-web, which basically relayed the theme once more, but maybe helped clarify a little bit, as they detailed that (trans.) “(the) first look was a pantsuit of pure white. The shawl collar, curving in a smooth, soft, and graceful material represents an elegant[ly feminine look]. The three-dimensional material has a feeling of irregularity and the pants look clean, with a beautifully draped dress.” so i guess we’re supposed to be turned on, in some sense, by this sophisticated femininity, and just sort of have the idea of sex on the mind, even as it’s not necessarily present at the forefront?

well. finally, then, i turned to wwd, which just did their standard write-up on a handful of pieces, and while they didn’t get any of that at all, i think maybe we’ve plumbed the depths as much as we’re going to, and now it’s simply dissemination of the looks. so, onward: “Hideaki Sakaguchi sent out a collection of chic, luxurious pieces that seemed to target a modern traveler. Silky belted jackets and cropped pants in ivory shared the runway with expertly draped dresses cinched at the waist with obi belts…Some warmer pieces included Katharine Hepburn-esque high-waisted, wide-legged pants in wool checks, heavy letterman jackets and coats with leather sleeves” (see additional runway images at fashion press).

(watch the full fashion show video here)

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