For 2014 Singapore’s fashion week headline event Audi Fashion Festival is branching out into the world of emerging Asian fashion with the exotic, colourful work of Toshikazu Iwaya, the designer behind Japanese fashion label Dresscamp.

Operatic overtures from Japanese label Dresscamp for AFF2014 DECOR 1Opening looks from the Dresscamp Autumn Winter 2014-15 “The Threepenny Visconti Opera” collection’s womenswear pieces that were shown at Tokyo Fashion Week.
Images: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Tokyo

A graduate of Asia’s preeminent fashion design school, Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo, Iwaya has been the creative mind behind theatre costumes, the creative director of Onitsuka Tiger and Asics’ Top Impact Line, designed the costumes for the Japanese version of The Wiz musical and worked as iconic label Yumi Katsura’s design director, among other things.

On top of this, Iwaya has been the creative director of Japanese label Dresscamp since 2002; creating a menswear and womenswear brand that’s become known for being ahead of the trend curve and with its use of colour, print and couture-like detailing. The brand is also a regular collaborator with major sportswear brands like Champion, producing cult pieces that sell-out every time.

Now Singapore will get the chance to see why celebrity fans like Lady Gaga, Ciara, Namie Amuro, Chiaki Kuriyama and Ayumi Hamasaki, are confirmed wearers of Dresscamp when it brings its Autumn Winter 2014-15 men’s and women’s collections to Audi Fashion Festival (AFF2014) on Saturday, May 17. This is a ticketed event so if you’re a fashion lover, you can get yourself a seat.

Operatic overtures from Japanese label Dresscamp for AFF2014 DECOR 2Dresscamp Autumn Winter 2014-15 collection’s womenswear at Tokyo Fashion Week.
Images: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Tokyo

The AW14-15 collection was first shown at Tokyo Fashion Week to a packed hall of fans and fashion media (of which I was one) with Iwaya’s patented mix of streetwear – slogan sweatshirts, t-shirt dresses – and complex tailoring combined with his own unique prints, and was very well received.

Based on the work Iwaya did on the costume designs for the Japanese version of the musical “The Threepenny Opera” produced by Amon Miyamoto, the AW14-15 collection was entitled “The Threepenny Visconti Opera” and has a very strong flavour of the Weimer Republic-era of The Threepenny Opera; all white tights, nipped-in waists, large-bow neckties and ruffles.

Operatic overtures from Japanese label Dresscamp for AFF2014 DECOR 3Finale looks from Dresscamp Autumn Winter 2014-15 collection’s womenswear at Tokyo Fashion Week.
Images: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Tokyo

Describing the collection Iwaya said that he was thinking of The Threepenny Opera of the Weimer Republic combined with the feel of Italy’s Visconti family: “I [wanted to] express the question of the ‘meaning of if [being on] the street you are really, really seeing what is visible’ … the show starts in a hall in a fever of expectation; the glitter and white tights are items reminiscent of the stage; ruffles, tulle, lame and flower prints are representing the in a dramatic avant-garde [way]”.

The way Iwaya manages to combine his streetwear strengths and influences with a more reserved consideration of traditional western couture tailoring is very characteristic of a particular type of young Japanese designer. Like menswear brands 99%IS and Christian Dada, or womenswear brands Lamarck and Dressedundressed there is a focus on blending the two ends of the fashion spectrum, streetwear and couture. A movement that is also seen in the major European and American designers like Givenchy, Kenzo and Alexander Wang.

What makes Dresscamp different is a more feminine aesthetic, there is much less of the androgynous sportswear feel that the other labels express making this label one that is very wearable. If you really want to make a strong fashion statement, get your hands on something from Dresscamp.

The Dresscamp Autumn Winter 2014-15 runway show at Audi Fashion Week 2014 is presented by Parco Japan and will be held on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at 8pm. To buy tickets go to audifashionfestival.com. Stay up-to-date with AFF2014 news by following the hashtag #affsg. For more information about Dresscamp, go to dresscamp.jp; you can follow the brand on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DRESSCAMP and on Twitter at @DRESSCAMP_JP. To shop Dresscamp, go to shop.dresscamp.jp.