Retrofitting for the '90s : Fashion: Flower power straight out of the '60s is fueling Japanese designers.

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES: Cook covers fashion for The Japan Times.

Japanese designers presented their spring '91 collections here recently, and 1960s looks dominated the runways, just as they did in the European and American collections shown in October.

And just as the Italians now show their collections in Paris, the lineup here included American designer Bill Robinson and South Korean designer Shin Wol Lee, whose entry marked a first for his country.

A-line dresses, short skirts, skimpy shorts and fishnet tights were among the neo-'60s looks. Many shows featured sequined styles--Noboru Yamafuji for Novespazio presented a collection made up almost entirely of sequined garments. Chiffon and organza, metallic gold, silver, bronze and copper polyester shirts and blouson tops also cropped up repeatedly.

Menswear has long been considered the strength of Tokyo fashion, and this season six designers showed menswear exclusively: Yukio Kobayashi, who designs the Monsieur Nicole collection; Kazutaka Katoh for Tete Homme; Shin Hosokawa for Shin Pashu; Jun Saito for Grass Men's; Yoshiyuki Konishi for Ficce Uomo, and Masatomo Yamaji for Ma-ji Masatomo.

The neo-'60s look also dominated the menswear collections, especially those of Shin Pashu and Kazutaka Katoh, whose collection included multicolor-dyed suits, trousers and jackets.

At Ma-ji Masatomo, some suits were decorated with sparkling glass jewels that reflected the light. Other suits--in bright green, purple or orange shades for late-day wear, or in black, gray or lilac--were suggested as office wear.

Grass Men's metallic aluminum blouson tops went over gray suede waistcoats and green striped trousers. Saito's contribution to the metallic trend was silver cycling pants. Psychedelic neckties were worn with solid-color shirts, and belts that resemble horse bridles looked innovative.

By far the best items of the season were Saito's gold lame shirts worn with bright green or burgundy trousers.

Ficce Uomo's colorful summer knit sweaters were decorated with tropical birds--parrots, macaws and cockatoos. Konishi's glittering sequined Spencer jackets (cropped at the waist) rounded off his very colorful show.

The surprise among women's wear collections came from Yoshiki Hishinuma, who showed futuristic shapes in a wealth of interesting fabrics; her line included gold and silver foil-like coats.

Issey Miyake's dinosaur jackets, which fold to resemble the extinct reptiles, were works of art, if not practical additions to a wardrobe. His skirts in black and white geometric patterns were eye-catching, as were his stretch gabardine and jersey bodysuits in fluorescent orange, lime or purple.

Miyake's finale, a group of shiny white skirts and wrap dresses, was made from nylon fishing line, a fabric he experimented with for the first time this season.

Unquestionably the most colorful shows were those of C'est Vrai by Norihisa Ota and Rose Is a Rose (see accompanying story) by Kyoko Higa.

Ota's theme recalled the '60s. He also showed the shortest skirts seen on the runway, shorts over fishnet tights, and mini-dresses in just about every color combination imaginable.

His buttercup yellow raincoats were definitely the brightest outerwear shown. His dresses and skirts were decorated with sequined traffic signs: No Left Turn, Straight Ahead and Parking.

The Rose Is a Rose formal wear included multicolored (pink, gray, black and white) cutaway jackets worn over black tights.

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