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japanese fashion rules

Spring / Summer 2014 womenswear collections referenced Japanese fashion in a major way, and if Master Yohji, Issey-san, and Empress Rei had a penny for every nod that was paid to their archives during fashion week, well, they’d have a whole lot of ¥en in the bank. From asymmetrical cutting to those unpredictable ruffles, the designers of the world showed their Asian persuasion to the max and we're all over it.

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Text Anders Christian Madsen @anderscmadsen
Photography Mitchell Sams

  • 5. Bottega Veneta

    What is Italian and Japanese and comes with a really expensive price tag? Well, come to think of it, Nicola Formichetti… but for Spring/Summer 14, the answer was also Bottega Veneta. Full of asymmetrical necklines, stiff hemlines and plush ruffles, Tomas Maier echoed the sculptural classics of Rei Kawakubo. You could say it was comme de Comme des Garçons.


    Bottega Veneta spring/summer 14

  • 4. Anthony Vaccarello

    If rope bondage and geisha girl roleplay are what’s most commonly associated with naughty sexy time in Japan, Anthony Vaccarello took things to a whole new level and added a generous dose of his hoochie vamp signature to the Japanese-Parisian school of cutting. Would Yohji Yamamoto blush if he saw his austere, black asymmetry stretched out and strapped together with bling bolts, like the dress in Vacarello’s collection? Hardly. But then again, legends don’t blush.


    Anthony Vaccarello spring/summer 14

  • 3. Rick Owens

    Granted, Rick Owens very much has his own history with a lot of the elements ascribed to Japanese fashion, but despite the four American step teams who modelled his collection, it still felt more oriental than usual. The designer combined Japanese robe and belt components with activewear detailing for powerful looks. As a continuation of last season’s Japonism collection, it certainly added fuel to Owens’ fling with the Far East.


    Rick Owens spring/summer 14

  • 2. Givenchy

    Japan goes to Paris via Africa? Perhaps not the most obvious route, but for Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy it seemed like a natural one. While there were more than a few tribal vibes going on in the collection - the live African drum music kind of gave it away – exits like number fifty, with all its Issey-esque pleating on a otherwise tailored black coat, or look eighteen with all that Yohji-esque draping and clever wrapping definitely had a stopover in Japan.


    Givenchy Look 50

  • 1. Marni

    Square kimono panes? Check. Geta-like platforms on pool sandals? Check. Marni had it all, including cherry blossom print and ruffley 3D flowers, all of which made the the show experience more than a little Japanese. Throw in the fact that the models walked around a nearly optical white space in complete silence, and we were but a couple of shōji doors and some tatami flooring short of a postcard from Japan via Paris, to Milan. Konichiwa!


    Marni spring/summer 14