Designers at Japan Fashion Week target growing Asian market

Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:27am EDT
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By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters) - From a phoenix-themed collection by a Japanese designer who has clothed Lady Gaga to touches of traditional Mongolian decorations, designers showing at Japan Fashion Week set their sights firmly on Asia and its huge market.

Chinese consumers have become the world's leading buyers of luxury goods and account for one quarter of this market globally with demand growing, according to a report by consulting firm Bain & Co.

The fashion extravaganza showcasing the autumn and winter collections of 2013/14 kicked off at the weekend but Japanese brands took to the stage on Monday with Masanori Morikawa and his self-directed label, "Christian Dada".

Morikawa has created several pieces for American pop star Lady Gaga including a pink dress reminiscent of an origami crane for her 2012 "Born This Way Ball" tour.

This time he turned to Asia for inspiration with an edgy, androgynous collection titled "Fenghuang," which is Chinese for the mythical bird phoenix, pairing long, loose pants with richly embroidered lace on shirt sleeves for men and women.

Leather pants and jackets mingled with down-paneled trousers and shirts in plain, solid colors of black, white, red, blue and gold, which Morikawa said represented the nature of the phoenix.

"There's also the idea that the phoenix contains within itself both the male and the female, so we took this concept of fusion for the collection," Morikawa told reporters.

Asian influences came to the fore on Sunday as well as Mongolian designer Ariunaa Surenjav mixed modern designs with traditional raised forms on the shoulders and bunched sleeves.   Continued...

A model displays a creation by Christian Dada during Fashion Week Tokyo Autumn/Winter 2013-14 collection in Tokyo, March 18, 2013. Christian Dada is a label by Japanese designer Masanori Morikawa who is popular with celebrities such as Lady Gaga. REUTERS/Issei Kato