Later in the day, I went to the Akiko Ogawa runway show in the tents. I got there early, and saw my friend Ester Nash on line for another show. How nice to see her! She’s such a lovely woman.
As I was checking in for Akiko Ogawa, I ran into another person I know–Steven Bender. He now has his own PR company and is doing lots of interesting things. We had time to catch up for a few minutes. He’s one of the “nice guys,” too.
But on to the show: the theme is “the masculine look of a British rock star softened into feminine form and laced with elements of ‘wabi sabi’ (the distinctily Japanese aesthetic of refined rusticity and elegant simplicity considered the highly prized qualities in the traditional arts).
To break that down, the clothes were a mixture of punk bluntness, and soft silk kimono..a perfect fusion of Japanese downtown girls, with geisha elements. Scottish tartan (mostly with green and blue) showed up in pleated skirts, paired with rock-star black.
The audience and the clothes seem “youthful” but in truth, I could see nearly anyone taking pieces from the 39 pieces shown in this collection and making them work. There were skinny pants, mostly in black, along with charcoal gray, but there was some color. The pink used as accents apparently was inspired by the flower of the peony tree. One of the most beautiful pieces was a deep pink kimono tunic, worn with a low-slung Swarovski crystal studded belt. The most beautiful pieces were these silky kimono-styles, worn as dresses and tunics. The models seemed to float down the runway in these. I liked the oversized obi” type sashes that added a distinctly Japanese flair. I also particularly liked a black cropped “military” type jacket with large crystal “buttons” that added sparkle, and some of the jackets and sweaters with faux-fur trim. To add that punk attitude, a variety of platform black leather shoes prevailed. Add a chunky boot to a tartan skirt and you’ve got just the right mix.
The collection is fun, eye catching, and a welcome relief from the austere. Noda Norikata at MAO did strong, smoky eyes and pale faces. Hair, from Dennis Lanni for Bumble & Bumble was stark — a sort of modern Louise Brooks short black bob with thick bangs for most of the models. This added a distinct rock star meets the East sensibility that went well with the clothes.