TOKYO – Emerging Japanese fashion designer Jun Okamoto showed a collection of mixed separates for women and men embellished with coffee beans, sunrise & sunset prints underpinned by his elegant tailoring for his eponymous label’s Autumn Winter 2013-14 collection at Japan Fashion Week.
Entitled “A Sweet Breakfast for Her who Dislikes Coffee”, guests to the runway show were handed a wee cup of coffee to help wake them up for the 12pm event held at bellesalle Shibuya Garden, the venue for RoomsLink Tokyo trade show.
Opening with a pair of girls wearing short, empire-waist dresses scattered with the signature print of coffee beans in contrasting shades of cafe au lait with black print and black with silver foil print, cardigans slung casually over the shoulders and their legs encased in matching print stockings, Okamoto’s whimsy was in full swing.
Moving through more dark shades of black and dusky blue, spring-like colours of peach and apricot brightened up the runway as a series of floaty, chiffon and silk dresses were topped-off with swing jackets cut with Okamoto’s precision tailoring.
Unlike with many other designers – including some of the biggest names in the business – it’s hard to define Okamoto’s work through the medium of a decade or previous stylistic influence; rather his work is very much “of the moment” in that his pieces look as though they’ve walked in off the street, rather than out of another time.
It’s this wearability which makes Okamoto such an important designer to watch; his softly pleated dresses and skirts, his equally softly draped jackets, his oversized knits and quirky prints are things that women everywhere want to wear.
The romanticism of his stories – they’re always about a man’s feelings or experiences with a particular woman – simply add depth to what are, at basis, beautifully cut and carefully considered clothes.
You can easily wear his fitted, pencil skirt and long-line bomber jacket covered a silver foil print of coffee cups, sweets and baked goods without knowing anything about the section of his story that describes “Chocolate cake, macaroons, croissants, Kanure, donuts, Mont Blanc, and short cake … Sweets, carefully selected from the stars that filled the previous night sky, filled the table” that the man makes for his love.
New shades of blue, touches of apricot and orange in the collection come from a passage in Okamoto’s story: “Looking up at the sky, I saw the star’s didn’t shine as bright as before, The Deep Blue that had once been blanketing the world, had began to change into a mysterious blue, mixed with orange from the light.”
Layers of texture, colour and prints are the highlights of the Jun Okamoto Autumn Winter 2013-14 collection, but it’s the underlying quality of cut that makes each piece worth investing in. There is always a softness, a loucheness, to Okamoto’s clothes that make them perfect for the multiple tasks of a modern woman as well; these are clothes to live your life in, with a touch of whimsy while you sip a bitter cup of coffee.
The Jun Okamoto Autumn Winter 2013-14 collection was shown on March 22, 2013, as part of Japan Fashion Week. To read Jun Okamoto’s complete story for his collection A Sweet Breakfast for Her who Dislikes Coffee, go to junokamotodiary.blogspot.jp/a-sweet-breakfast-for-her-who-dislikes. For more information about Jun Okamoto, go to www.junokamoto.com and to shop Jun Okamoto online, go to www.parco-city.com/jun-okamoto. You can follow Jun Okamoto on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jun.okamoto and on Twitter at @junokamoto_. 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. All images from Japan Fashion Week & Niki Bruce
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