Japanese fashion’s great end to the year
With the holidays upon us, it is a season for celebration. Japan’s fashion industry has its own reason to enjoy the festivities, as the ceremony for the Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix awards revealed some amazing talent on home turf. And then, we discover o-kaizome, a unique way to ring in the new year, while keeping as stylish as ever.
The Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix was established in 1983 to award excellence in the local fashion industry, and has become the defacto barometer of who’s who and who to watch. The Nov. 30 ceremony awarded its most prestigious Grand Prix honor to the label Hyke, with the Newcomer Award going to much-buzzed about Yuima Nakazato. If you have not heard of these labels and why they deserve the accolades, read on.
Hyke is designed by husband-wife duo Hideaki Yoshihara and Yukiko Ode, and was established just four years ago. However, longtime fashion fans will remember the couple’s previous label “Green,” which ran from 1998 to 2009 and was shuttered to give the two more time to focus on raising their two children.
Hyke is minimalism at its core and on the surface it may seem almost pretentious in its blankness. But it comes with obsession to detail. The first few seasons were a study of white and military green, with nary a seam that wasn’t necessary. The newest collections have ventured out to a fringe here and there, or a few extra buttons for kicks, but the design aesthetic has remained the same. That aesthetic is grounded in menswear tailoring and long silhouettes that lend well to the androgynous trend in the air these days.