TODAY
Monday, 06 January 2014 12:00 | By Phin Wong

Embrace the natural look this Spring/Summer season

Live the simple life with floral prints and quiet pastels


Something strange was afoot in Tokyo. Something different in the air from the last time I visited. Like a subtle change in colour temperature, or shift in metaphysical vibrations. Or like when your favourite pasta joint quietly replaces pancetta with turkey bacon. For a while, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then, while gazing out the window onto a busy pavement from a coffee house happy to serve up gin and tonics at 11am, I realised the answer was written on the faces of the Japanese people darting by. More specifically, on the mugs of the men.

Could it be? Their eyebrows were growing back.

Uniqlo

A new range of linen apparel, from tops and jackets to knitwear and dresses, for the sticky hot months ahead.

Yes, there was a distinct lack of crazy — and, as a big fan of kitsch and fruit loops, I mean that in the best possible way — on the streets of Tokyo. Sure, there was the occasional person of indistinguishable gender dressed as an animal of some sort, and several fellas sporting the old tweezed-eyebrows-and-raised-hairline combo, but, as a whole, the volume of Japanese streetwear had been turned down.

Perhaps it is a response to a string of sobering events, or an innate understanding that what goes up (and that includes the kawaii level) must come down, or maybe even a reaction to how the Koreans now seem to have a stranglehold on all things OTT, but hair colours were evidently less alien, make-up less alarmingly doll-like and hoodies markedly lacking in ears.

If Uniqlo design director Naoki Takizawa is right, it all comes down to a global shift in gears — a shift back to basics.

Consumers are craving more “natural” options, moving away from the artificial, said the former Creative Director of Issey Miyake at the Uniqlo Spring/Summer 2014 preview held last month at Belle Salle Shibuya Garden. Natural fabrics, he predicted, will grow in popularity. For instance, not only is linen a breathable fabric perfect for the sticky, sweltering months ahead, but it is also an environmentally-friendly, renewable material, growing quickly enough to be harvested twice a year. “It is the mood of today.”

(Continued)

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