Tokyo Fashion Week: A Tokyo Odyssey for Sacai/Undercover

Two star designers made a triumphant return to Japan on Friday with a monumental joint show during Tokyo Fashion Week. Showing as part of Amazon Fashion’s “At Tokyo” program, featuring brands that “represent the Tokyo vibe from a different perspective,” Sacai and Undercover presented a Spring/Summer 2018 showcase of the Tokyo zeitgeist, underlining differences in coexistence.


Undercover SS 2018 show by Sacai / Undercover in Tokyo - Sacai / Undercover

Sacai designer Abe Chitose, known for her mastery of fashion mixology, draws inspiration from her daily life to create garments that she wants to wear herself. On the other hand, Jun Takahashi, who founded Undercover in early 90s with his street-meets-high-fashion collections, often describes his style as “strange, but beautiful”. The two designers from the post-Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto generation might have completely different styles and attitudes to fashion, but both share two decades of experience of critically acclaimed fashion design, framed by Tokyo life.

The show opened to great anticipation with Richard Strauss’ dramatic piece, “Also sprach Zarathustra” from 2001: A Space Odyssey. In place of the hominids, the models in Sacai’s latest collection marched with the same urban sophistication as in Paris, showing off beautifully assembled dresses made of nylon, silk and chiffon, or hybrid coats with trench flaps, padded nylon trim and velvet collars. All mixed but never messy, Chitose’s new femininity dominated the venue.

However, the urban-cool mood in Sacai’s runway was soon replaced by Takahashi’s dark fairytale, gothic chandeliers descending from the ceiling. The models – all real twins - walked side by side down the runway in sets of complementary but contrasting looks. Takahashi interpreted the duality of human nature throughout the collection, inspired by Cindy Sherman, whose self-portraits were splashed across pieces such as dresses, T-shirts and jackets. At the end, a dozen twin girls appeared all dressed, as if from The Shining, in matching baby blue dresses, some with red crystalline fringes cascading from the collars and hems like blood.


Grand finale of Sacai / Undercover show in Tokyo - Sacai / Undercover

After a trip from modern femininity into eerie poesy, Johann Strauss II's The Blue Danube filled the space, again from Space Odyssey. Over the collection looks, all the models wore the knee-length white coach jacket featuring 10.20 Sacai/Undercover themed images. Combining the many styles, it seemed predict the future of Tokyo fashion, as Chitose Abe once told FashionNetwork.com, “Tokyo is not like Paris or London. Everything is mixed up, even the classes.”

In fact, it was a rare occasion to unite these two completely different talents in a unique event. For the event, special collaboration items were released on Amazon Fashion, including T-shirts, sweatshirts and a coach jacket, but all sold out shortly after the show.

 

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