Designers at Japan Fashion Week target growing Asian market

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.

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Japan Fashion Week

From green fashions by a designer who clothed Lady Gaga to a futuristic take on the traditional kimono and a streetwear show that drew more than 10,000 people, Japan’s Fashion Week has highlighted the edginess and variety for which Tokyo has long been known.

The spring event was cancelled last year in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami, which set off a nuclear crisis that led to power cuts, but the October event was held as scheduled, clearing the way for the current autumn/winter extravaganza.

The Tokyo Runway Show highlighted street styles, an effort to shine a spotlight on Japan’s ready-to-wear brands as they also hope to cross into the international scene, in a five-hour production aimed at the country’s trend-setting youth.

Read the rest of the story: From Lady Gaga to kimonos at Japan Fashion Week.