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Monday, September 20, 2010

H. Naoto Fashion Show, Tokyo - Black widow or oriental inspiration?

This season, H. Naoto, offered on the 28th of August, in its brand new flag shop, at the corner of Harajuku Street and Cat Street in Tokyo, a fashion show, which in term of ready-to-wear, had nothing to envy to famous fashion names. In the uncluttered atmosphere and immaculate white of these yet empty spaces (the fashion show also launched this new store), Hirooka Naoto pull the strings of almost exclusively black silhouettes, some sort of turbaned warrior widow, hidden behind a veil, with a smooth and cold expression.

Hirooka Naoto is definitely not a fashion designer of the commons. In fact, in this very particular world that is Japanese Gothic fashion, through the endless references to Rococo, Victorian, but also to Lolitas or S&M, often integral parts of Japanese gothic cultures, the designer does not choose to overlook what is true fashion, namely, a search for his own style, beautiful clean cuts, attempts with materials (Hirooka Naoto crumples, damages, bleaches fabrics, destroys a creation to give it a new structure), but also a theme, an idea he interprets to his own codes.

The silhouette is decidedly adult and definitely austere. H. Naoto gave its credibility to gothic Japanese fashion, creating a kind of urban neo-classicism; frills and lace alongside strict cut trench coat or tunic, long umbrella dresses some very 80’s large turtleneck. An oriental inspiration could also be seen in this collection; extreme length and overlapping of the fabrics, associated to turbans (a term used by the master himself) recalling somewhat the silhouettes of the blue men of the desert or some veiled sexual slave from Zanzibar, with all the mystery with which these myths are littered.

We would have noticed a pretty dandy silhouette (the designer admitted having a soft spot for this type of creation), a horse-woman in boots and hat, a sort of punk milicia of some city from the future, a 2 meters long belt made of one single piece of leather (cut from the neck to the rump), a pretty jumper dress to coordinate with its hood. And the strangest silhouette, laced, belted, damaged, face hidden behind a veil, worrying figure, and equally impenetrable.

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