From Lady Gaga to kimonos at Japan Fashion Week

Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:23am EDT
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By Mariko Lochridge

TOKYO (Reuters) - From green fashions by a designer who clothed Lady Gaga to a futuristic take on the traditional kimono and a streetwear show that drew more than 10,000 people, Japan's Fashion Week has highlighted the edginess and variety for which Tokyo has long been known.

The spring event was cancelled last year in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami, which set off a nuclear crisis that led to power cuts, but the October event was held as scheduled, clearing the way for the current autumn/winter extravaganza.

The Tokyo Runway Show highlighted street styles, an effort to shine a spotlight on Japan's ready-to-wear brands as they also hope to cross into the international scene, in a five-hour production aimed at the country's trend-setting youth.

"I believe that with this show, Japan, as a fashion leader, has the potential to crossover internationally," said Natsuki Kato, a model and actress who strode the catwalk for the event.

Some 15,000 fans came out for the Tokyo Runway, which fell on a national holiday right in the middle of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week that runs until March 24 and featured designs for "real clothes consumers" rather than avant-garde garb.

Among the highlights was an appearance by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, who represented so-called "Harajuku" subculture street fashion, ranging from gothic to outfits that look as if they came straight out of an anime cartoon and is named after the popular Tokyo area popular with youth.

"What makes Harajuku fashion unique is how the girls choose to represent themselves with confidence in a way that's enjoyable -- not just in a 'cute' way, but with some edginess as well." Kyary Pamyu Pamyu told Reuters.

"For example, I have eyeballs and bones on my outfit. It's not just cute but a bit dark too."   Continued...

A model displays a creation by Christian Dada during Fashion Week in Tokyo, March 21, 2012. Christian Dada is a label by Japanese designer Masanori Morikawa who is popular with celebrities such as Lady Gaga. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon