Tokyo Fashion Week combined the best of ‘90s trends and streetwear staples

From Thibaut’s denim thong jeans to the retirement of Namie Amuro, the “Madonna of Japan,” Tokyo Fashion Week was chock full of ‘90s fashion trends and avant-garde streetwear. The street style was also decidedly less feminine and frolicky than fashion weeks in Europe, with androgynous silhouettes and bold, colorful layers being the rule.

Denim thong jeans: a creative, sexy take on jeans or, as one Designboom commenter dubbed it, the overhyped Damien Hirst of fashion? You decide. Thibault’s extreme take on distressed denim left both the front and rear panels of the legs torn away, leaving only the seams exposed.

Highsnobiety reports that customized vans were all the rage, from the classic checkerboard slip-ons with added fringe to a very elevated platform rendition. Tokyo streetwear influence could also be seen in DressedUndressed’s oversize raw-denim jackets, cropped flares, and anoraks. The label also got some ‘90s inspiration with lace-accented black and nude slip dresses.

Speaking of the ‘90s, the retirement of Namie Amuro, the J-Pop queen who has sold more albums in Japan than Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Kesha have sold in the U.S. combined, was a fitting announcement to accompany Tokyo Fashion Week.

“Avoiding the cutesy schoolgirl looks favored by her contemporaries, Amuro instead sought out pieces that were daring,” Vogue writes. “In an era when idols weren’t yet clad in head-to-toe designer looks, she was influenced by the runways, frequently wearing pieces from Chanel and Versace. She also embraced the bling-y luxury aesthetic of ’90s hip-hop videos, helping to popularize the oversized streetwear look in Japan.”

Tokyo Fashion Week shows the evolution of a fashion week that is evolving beyond its previous reputation for being a bit too safe, particularly considering their pool of talent with Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, and many, many more. Starting with last season, designers seemed to intuitively recognize that call to action. This season’s designers — and the people on the street — showed that Tokyo Fashion Week is beginning to understand the essence of how to push boundaries Tokyo-style.



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