G.V.G.V and FACETASM. If you haven’t heard of them, become educated. Clean, fresh lines, amazing layering and quirky attachments is expected from the birthplace of Harajuku. The first is slightly more tamed for all you Brits while the second is Oh so Japanese… who you prefer doesn’t matter because both of them are fashion houses to watch.
Hiromichi Ochiai graduated from the Bunka Fashion College in 1999. Since then he has worked for eight years at the textiles company, ‘Guildwork’ which deals with Commes des Garcons, Zucca and Undercover. In Spring 2007 he launched his label, FACETASM and since then has had nine shows, the most recent being his Autumn/Winter 2011 collection in Paris.
His creations are Tokyo street style at its best. Layers of tights, shorts, jumpers and parkas in all kinds of graphic prints were the main ensembles for his Men’s compilation, somewhat channeling the local park hero in Yoyogi Koen. The lookbook immediately caught my attention when I saw a black military hooded jacket finished off with white piping. The look simply oozed cool without the try hard attachments of American youth fashion. The women’s collection saw much of the same, with varied textiles (very fitting for a designer of this callibre), layered to a perfection only reached by those in Japan. Each outfit was accented with an incredible scarf, the most notable being in an American print and tightened with a straw belt.
After graduating from the Kuwasawa Design School, Mug laid down the foundations of her own brand in 1999 that has come to be known as G.V.G.V. Her world is represented by a mix of femininity and masculinity, with free sensitivity that is present in every season’s collection. G.V.G.V. has now become one of the most attractive Tokyo fashion labels. In 2007, Mug collaborated with UNIQLO for their sell out Spring and Summer collection.
The G.V.G.V Autumn/Winter 2001 collection centred on the theme of youth culture, a sequel to her previous 1960s hippie movement compilation, Wanderlust. A preppy vibe was evident with the use of ‘school grey’ in pleated skirts, boiled wool blazers, high waist ‘scout sash’ trousers and fur trimmed, hooded varsity bomber jackets. Inherently British elements formed a substantial part of the collection with boater hats, tartan and tweed. Standard items such as stadium jackets and duffel coats were mixed with an array of materials, allowing for wearable quality.
The alternativeness of Japanese style was not lost in translation. Edgy leather pieces came in colours of black and brown and in styles of button down collared shirts, maxi pleat skirts, wet look oversized trousers with tartan print cuffs, paper-bag-waist mini skirts and the very seductive double pocket 3/4 pencil skirts. An ode to revisiting your past was made with ‘Doc Marten style’ lipstick, patent platform boot shoes and the perfectly on trend leopard print flatforms.
It is without a doubt that both designers have managed to create feelings of familiarity mixed with the unknown. A rare feat for creators these days.