Lakmé Fashion Week - The Japanese have Arrived

Sue Castellino , 18 Mar 2011

It was a tragic day for these 3 Japanese designers, with the news of the Earthquake, I’m sure none of them were thinking of fashion. Yet, the show must go on and I’m so glad it did. I love Japanese design, and have always been intrigue by what they will come up with next. There must be something in the air there, as they have the most cutting edge and intriguing fabrics I’ve seen. Case and point – Somarta. Don’t get me wrong, Motonari Ono and Araisara were equally good, and both stood out in their individual ways, but Somarta is a brand that sells a vision, not just clothes.

Motonari Ono

Motonari Ono
Motonari Ono

Motonati Ono brought focus to detailing, from pockets placed in unusual places to lace yokes. The subtlety of his design aesthetic lay in the details. He has already showed this collection 6 months ago (Internationally Spring Summer 2011 is seen 6 months before ours). Hence I’d already seen a bit of this range, but was thoroughly impressed with the quality and the thinking. This collection will appeal to any type of woman, as there are may different pieces that suit varied body types, ages and personalities.

Somarta

Somarta
Somarta

You know a designer is taking his work seriously when he doesn’t even come out at the to accept his praise. I was secretly hoping that one of these Japanese designers would push the envelope and show new Indian designers that it’s okay to be out-of-the-box and experiment. Somarta did just that, the blue lighting and anxiety making music created an illusion of being in a different world. Out walked the models in these garments which looked like complicated pieces of art. Body suits in head to toe sequins and embroidering done in such an avant garde abstract way, that made it look painted on. My favourite piece is the picture in the middle, it looks like the fabric had been folded and then unfolded to get these ridges, just like with origami. Every time I went into the source (where the designers display their collections) the designer wasn’t there. Looking at the white dress I still couldn’t understand what it was actually made out of, and the translators were of no help. From the video you must have seen the heel-less high heeled shoes, if you’ve been reading my post you’ll know how much I love shoes. I’d wanted to try them on, but was a bit nervous I’d fall down! This collection was definitely my personal highlight, and now I’m a Somarta fan (even on Facebook! haha).

Araisara

Araisara
Araisara

The Japanese Show was dominated by two male designers, so it was refreshing to see a Japanese woman’s perspective on fashion. The collection had a definite famine quality, from the colours to the easy loose silhouettes. This collection was seen at Japan’s fashion week last year, but fits in with our Spring/resort perfectly. The unique Kimono Style dresses are a great addition to any wardrobe. I loved the circular appliqued maxi dress, teamed up with a bikini underneath, you are all set for any beach holiday. The pale and muted colours with a base of chocolate brown, takes these garments easily from day to night, something any working woman would want.

The Verdict…

I think we should have more designers from around the world showcasing in our fashion week. Not only does it broaden the consumer’s minds, but also the designers. We should embrace all sort of design and not just the retail pret collections that are easy to wear and comfortable. Indian designers should not be afraid to push the envelope and try out new things, globally our fashion identity is based on our Sari, it’s time to change and show that we are capable excelling in different fields of fashion. We are just as cultured and creative as the Japanese, and it’s high time designers take a chance and not make up excuses or reasons, to not venture into the avant garde.

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