TOKYO – You know your fashion label is about to hit the stratosphere when one of two things happens; G-Dragon from Big Bang wears your stuff, or a legendary rock group deigns to walk your runway. For emerging Japanese fashion label Christian Dada, both have happened.
The fanfare brought to the brand by K-Pop superstar fashionista Big Bang’s G-Dragon being photographed a Paris Men’s Fashion Week in Christian Dada gold-studded pants, saw a completely full house for its Spring Summer 2014 show at Japan Fashion Week.
Great tailoring & signature embroidery at Christian Dada Spring Summer 2014. The model featured three times above is Soche, an up-and-coming male model who walked for Dries Van Noten, Raf Simons & Kenzo on his first trip to Milan men’s fashion week. Keep and eye on him. Images: Wesley Kow
From one season, AW13, to the next, the brand has gone from underground secret to fashion favourite; the appearance of Kiss on the runway will only add fuel to the already hotly burning fire of Christian Dada’s resume.
Focusing on the actual clothes rather than the hoopla surrounding their presentation, the SS14 collection continued on from its AW13 story; the palette was mainly black with touches of white and gold – identical to the previous season but eschewing the pops of true red, cobalt blue and yellow that were the finale surprises of the AW13 show.
Gold leather at Christian Dada Spring Summer 2014. Images: Wesley Kow
Like the palette, the aesthetic also remained the same; Christian Dada is all about luxe streetwear mixed with sharp tailoring for guys and a vaguely Gothic club-girl vibe for girls.
Christian Dada is at its best when doing menswear; its heavily embroidered and/or studded “sweatshirts” have become “must buy” pieces as have its equally embellished jackets and leather pieces.
Previously focusing on a much more “rocker” style with super-tight trousers, for SS14 designer Masanori Morikawa offered a wider, more comfort-friendly look. There were neat button-through shirts – some bearing gold embroidery, while others had more subtle tone-on-tone work; and a great number of fabulously cut jackets and coats – with much less embellishment for SS14 – as well as great embellished tees and bomber jackets for that high-end superstar streetwear look.
The collection is entitled “Defected” with the motifs of biker gangs like skulls and wings incorporated into the embroidery and print work throughout the collection; apparently Morikawa says he was actually inspired by his grandparents’ old embroidery store.
Biker gangs, grandparents and embroidery seem to be an odd mix, but generally it works for Christian
Of course there had to be at least one improbable piece that made the view go, “what WAS he thinking?” – this season it’s a kind of apron (?) with one strap, that leaves the chest bare, worn over capri pants (?) … on a guy. The question marks are there because I really can’t explain or describe exactly what this look is supposed to be about. Thankfully the very hot, Japanese model Yukihide was the one nominated to sell the look on the runway.
The beast & the beauty at Christian Dada SS14. Luckily hot model Yukihide made the “apron” worth looking at, but it’s certainly not for everyone. The “Morticia” moment was toned down by the beautifully subtle embroidery on the finale dress. Images: Wesley Kow
The womenswear for SS14 has also evolved, moving on from an 80s Goth princess to a more streamlined and elegant modern version of a rock-punk chick who has a taste for luxury clubbing. Yes, there is a fair bit of skin on show due to the short skirts, but there is also a cleaner line in the cuts and far less overt embellishment.
As with the previous collection there wasn’t a great deal of overtly womenswear pieces – women buy the sweatshirts, tees and even some of the jackets and pants that are made of guys but sold in smaller sizes – but what there was is beginning to show its own signature, although it’s not quite there yet.
The more refined womenswear from Christian Dada SS14. Images: Wesley Kow
Still, Morikawa couldn’t resist sending out one great show-stopper of a gown with a fitted bodice and full, flowing skirt with a train. Morticia Addams would be proud.
WATCH OUR VIDEO OF CHRISTIAN DADA SPRING SUMMER 2014, COMPLETE WITH AN APPEARANCE BY KISS!
The reason why Christian Dada is getting all the star and media attention is not only because the pieces are beautifully produced from fantastic Japanese fabrics and embellished to within an inch of their lives (so to speak) which appeals to the glam-rocker in just about all of us; it is also because Morikawa has a very strong idea of who he is, who his customer is, and what the brand is trying to say.
There is a clearly defined DNA to Christian Dada. As with a piece from Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci, you can tell straight away if someone is wearing something from “Dada”. Whether its a leather studded t-shirt or a fully-embroidered in gold thread sweatshirt, you know it’s “a Christian Dada”.
This is why Christian Dada is only going to improve with more collections. Buy something now while you can still afford to; you won’t be able to for much longer.
The Christian Dada Spring Summer 2014 collection show was held on October 17, 2013, as part of Japan Fashion Week. Select pieces from Christian Dada are available from Salon by Surrender in Singapore located at Marina Bay Sands. For more information about Christian Dada, go to www.christiandada.jp. For more information about Japan Fashion Week, go to tokyo-mbfashionweek.com; follow it on Facebook at www.facebook.com/japanfashionweek and on Twitter at @jfw_official.
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