MBFWT Collection Reviews

Tuesday, November 25, 2014
More MBFWT Collection Reviews- (also published on SavvyTokyo.com)

Fashion week has officially come to a close but check out the designers who wrapped up Tokyo’s biggest fashion festival with a bang. Edgy sportswear, unique silhouettes and trending patterns such as plaid, camo and stripes were just a few things these designers showcased at their Spring/Summer 2015 collection runway shows.

Onitsuka Tiger X Andrea Pompilio

Italian born designer, Andrea Pompilio, has art and design rich in his genetics. The son of an architect father and artist mother, Pompilio declared his admiration for fashion at a young age of 8. Working for luxury brands such as Calvin Klein, Prada and Yves Saint Laurent, Pompilio refined his own design concepts into a relaxed sophistication with a strong focus on high quality.

The Italian designer teamed up with Japan’s sportswear powerhouse, ONITSUKA TIGER, to create a collection of cool, edgy and well-structured sportswear.
Models rocked white tanks, cargo pants, shorts and skirts with wide stripes resembling gaffer tape. Unconventional sportswear such as peplum skirts, floor grazing, racer back dresses and button-up blouses were given athletic twists such as pockets, cutouts and jersey cotton fabric. White and blue denim were seen on both the men and women with the color-block Andrea Pompilio logo. Sportier pieces such as sweatshirts, bomber jackets, t-shirts and back packs made a cameo, embossed with the collection logo and styled with camouflage pants or skirts with the electrical tape look. We did not see a lot of different footwear styles however, sneakers with skin baring cut outs were used for the majority of the looks.

Mr. Gentlemen

Designer of the former brand Phenomenon, Takeshi Osumi and the owner of famed Aoyama boutique, The Contemporary Fix, Yuichi Yoshi, teamed up to create the menswear line, Mr. Gentlemen.  The brand debuted it’s first solo runway show last March during Tokyo Fashion Week and have returned this season to showcase their Spring/Summer 2015 collection.

The concept of their collection was to modernize the” basic” garment and bring incongruities to details and use unique silhouettes. White t-shirts were given large colored pockets with wide sleeves and styled with colorful cropped trousers. Marrying sportswear and business suits, a sleeveless blazer was given a hood with drawstrings and styled over a white sweatshirt. Black and white gingham print shirts were paired with skinny-legged denim, styled under short sleeve leather jackets or peeking out the bottom of a classic champion sweatshirt. Other looks such as shorts with suspenders, trenches and varsity jackets were shown in bright red hues, shiny gold fabrics and fun resort prints.


Hiromichi Ochiai started his brand Facetasm in the spring of 2007. He had spent several years as a textile designer for major fashion brands such as Comme des Garcons, Zucca and Undercover. Ochiai is a multi talented designer, ranging from fashion, furniture and interior design. His brand FACETASM has been labeled as one of the most important brands leading Tokyo fashion due to its rapid growth and popularity.

The Spring/Summer collection showed a series of conventional pieces with unusual silhouettes and tailoring. Bomber jackets and blazers were given feather finishes and abstract hemlines. Long tops for both men and women were seen in a number of plaid and gingham prints as well as other trending patterns such as camo and wide stripes. Fringe and pleats were added to skirts and tops for edge and distressed denim made an appearance in a number of looks. For an unexpected twist, socks with sandals were worn with multiple looks, taking nods from the grunge era.

Jotaro Saito Two Souls Collection

Jotaro Sansai Two Souls Collection

Dedicated to bringing kimonos back as an element of everyday fashion, modern day kimono designer, Jotaro Saito, collaborated with fellow born Kyoto designer Sansai Saito, to create a collection with contemporary prints and modern concepts of beauty.

Making notions to the 60’s and 70’s era of Western pop culture the show began with disco type lights lining the runway and a backdrop screen of kaleidoscope graphics setting the tone of the show.

Animal themes were first to appear on the runway with ducks, birds, horses and peacocks shown on various kimonos, either singularly as one large graphic or multiple in print patterns. While bright prints were placed primarily on grays and earth tone hues, vibrant yellows, colorful stripes and floral prints added a lively surprise to the retro series. Stepping into space, a collection of kimonos for both men and women sported solar system motifs. Other nods to current fashion trends such as animal print belts, floral prints and horizontal and vertical stripes were present on many of the looks.

Japanese social protocol calls for a mask when you have a cold. I let my daughter decorate my face fashion and the result was nothing less than awesome.

Tokyo Fashion Week Collection Reviews

Here are a few of my Tokyo Fashion Week Collection Reports: (also posted to SavvyTokyo.com)

Johan Ku Gold Label

London based designer, Johan Ku, has won several awards for his sculpture-like shapes and hand knitted textiles used in his work. Showing collections in New York, Paris and Tokyo, the namesake brand has created an international reputation for fusing fashion design and art in each series

Johan Ku’s Spring 2015 collection commenced with elastic waist, vegan leather Bermuda shorts, double collared floral print blouses and hand crafted, rosebud fabric ornaments adorned to skirts and dresses. The deep colors of midnight blue, plum purple, and moss green exuded a murky, garden inspired theme to the sequence. Leather was worked into many pieces included peplum tops, skirts, and vests. Floral prints for both men and women were shown on denim jackets, pleated skirts and leggings. The designer’s collection masterpieces’ were easily the  dresses and tops featuring exceptional flower blossoms, strategically clustered into beautiful bouquets.

Yoshio Kubo

After working for four years along side haute couture designer, Robert Danes, Yoshio Kubo returned to Japan launching his own line in 2004. Making its first appearance on the runways in 2008, Kubo creates his collections with the intent to making people think and analyze what they are wearing.

The menswear designer kicked off the runway show with jive music, models with beards and fashions keeping up with the label’s cool-guy swag reputation. Fisherman’s nets, flags and vintage luggage were used as props to support the “lost sailor at sea” vibe in the series.  Camouflage, stripes and flamingo pink floral prints were seen on varsity jackets, blazers, sweatshirts and shorts with suspenders. Fishermen’s vests and netted tops were styled under sports jackets and the season’s trend of fringe was used on graphic sweatshirts styled under bomber jackets.

In Process by Hall Ohara

Central Saint Martin’s graduates, Steven Hall and Yurika Ohara are the masterminds behind the label IN-PROCESS.  The designers both share a love for surrealism, and playful techniques towards print making. The premise of their label is “capturing the energy of the garment that is in the process of being made.”

Seeking inspiration from Mexican aesthetics, the designers fused their clean, structured silhouettes with prints and textiles motivated by Mexican tiles, stencils and architecture. The label staples of shift dresses, cardigans, cropped trousers and clean silhouettes were seen in vivid greens, vibrant colored stripe and prints with nods to the 60’s as well as the intended Mexican influence. Trendier pieces such as peplum skirts and tops, bomber jackets and fitted pencil skirts modernized the print-centric series.

Vassilisa The Beautiful

Sunday, November 23, 2014
I was pumped to interview fashion designer, Nadja Solovieva for Savvy Tokyo. She is the creator and mastermind behind the magestic and beautiful scarves seen on celebrities across the globe. VASSILISA is a rising star in the accessories world, get the scoop on how you can be a part of the magic below!

In a country where the size XXXS exists and boutiques carry a standard “one size”, presumed to fit all shoppers, it not only becomes frustrating, but utterly intimidating to shop in Tokyo.  Nonetheless, every now and then all women need some retail therapy, and although leather pants may not be in the cards for some, other elements of fashion are easier to find. From major department stores to back street boutiques, Tokyo has no shortage in the accessories department. As a leader in fashion trends, Tokyo offers unique accessories from new designers and prevailing fashion brands that will set you apart from your friends back home. Here at Savvy we want to introduce you to the designers making waves across the globe and where you can find their designs here in Tokyo!

One of the hottest labels in luxury scarves is creating buzz here in Japan. London based brand, Vassilisa, is bringing fairytale-like beauty to fashion editors and celebrities such as Kate Moss, Cate Blanchett and Gwyneth Paltrow. The beautiful squares of mythological designs can be seen on fashion spreads featured in numerous publications including Vogue, Elle, WWD and Tater. Each scarf is designed to accessorize women in the same way as a majestic piece of jewelry. The latest fall/winter collection is both contemporary and innovative in design and color combinations. Paired with basic denim and a leather jacket or worn elegantly over an evening dress, the versatility in the Vassilisa scarf is facilitated through the luxe materials and edgy designs.

 Savvy sat down with Central Saint Martin’s’ alum and Vassilisa designer, Nadja Solovieva, as she walked us through her latest collection and gave us the scoop on her design philosophy, how she got started in the luxury accessories business.


Can you give us the history behind Vassilisa? How did it get started?
Nadja: I started trading in 2008. I graduated in 2007 from Central Saint Martins and my collection was selected for the press shows and from then I began getting inquires. In 2011 I received the British Council launch pad award for new designers. We also do an exhibition at the London fashion week.

Did you work for any other fashion houses before started your own line: Nadja: When I graduated from CSM I was still relatively young when and worked for only one year with the design team for Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood.

Scarves seem to be your signature item, what made you decide to concentrate on scarves and do you plan on expanding the brand with more items?
I started with dresses they were the “ Vassilisa the beautiful” style concept, mythology, themed, very flowy and colorful. The scarves were originally just the scraps from the dresses, they draped beautifully and I loved them. The VOGUE editor called it her “Russian love” on a blog post and from there, the brand became known for scarves.

What is your design process? Where do you find your source of inspiration?
Nadja: I follow the Central Saint Martin’s method. I have a brand identity that sets the frame “Vassilisa the beautiful”, so they must be beautiful. I do not source from current trends or secondary sources; I focus on primary sources such as history or things that are not yet in fashion. Creating a more timeless product. I regularly visit historic archives, the Victorian and Albert Museum and national galleries, and from there we use the sketchbook method.

Do you start with a new theme each collection?
Nadja: Customers want to see something new each season but they love to see the same ideas turning over. The Vassilisa signatures are prints of fur, jewelry prints, and collage effects that achieve a more modern appearance.

What are the main materials used to make a Vassilisa luxury scarf? Nadja: We are a member of sustainable fashion and use primarily Cashmere modal, silk and
 Silk chiffon.

Where can our readers purchase a beautiful Vassilisa scarf? Where are they sold?
Currently they are sold online. You can buy them from a Tokyo’s online store called:


Also available online are these sites.

Vassilisa.com, Laso.jp


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