11 Designers to Watch at Tokyo Fashion Week Fall 2018. There are 59 brands showing at Tokyo Fashion Week this season, from a fresh perspective on the world that fashion reflects, or just a talent for making damn good clothes, these 11 designers are at the top of our must-see lists this season.

Amazon Tokyo Fashion Week 2018 took place last week in Tokyo, Japan with local and other Asian designers took pride in presenting their colors, vibrancy and experimentation through fabric and concepts. While other fashion weeks have touched upon various issues of feminism, politics and identity, Tokyo seem be making their own rhythm and rhyme. Local designer are more expressive and progressive than ever, placing a heavy focus on notions of masculinity and femininity and building concepts and identity on their own.

11 Designers to Watch at Tokyo Fashion Week Fall 2018

Yohei Ohno Fall 2018 RTW. Image courtesy of Amazon Tokyo Fashion Week Organization.

Collections from designers are showcased the world in various locations of prime areas Shibuya Hikarie, to Omotesando Hills, to Tokyo Dome and to other locations in and around Tokyo. More than that, street wear seem to also become a major eye-candy in every Tokyo fashion week, where street wanderers and passerby get an instant switch of expressive colors and quirky layering from the suave businessmen roaming in the streets.

DEW has gotten the chance to adore and witness them firsthand, taking these eleven designers below as some of our personal favorites throughout the show:


Designers Ena Kizawa and Taketo Nishino of 5-knot are known to take inspiration from their journeys to various countries and then process their ideas into complex designs, colors, and beautiful texture compositions. This time the duo chose another chic destination in Portugal for their latest offer. “Óbidos is a kind of ancient city, very beautiful and very European,” shared Nishino to Vogue. “A lot of the textiles and colors that we used throughout were inspired by there.” Focusing on different colors and contrasting textures are very typical of 5-Knot, but this time Kizawa and Nishino doubled their heavy textual layering and textual experimentation. The apparent use of glossy contrast-stitch trench, bright rubber gloves, tassels, tiny fanny packs and logo-covered knit stoles made a huge twist to vintage elements shown on the garments. They drew inspiration in part from vintage clothing, and while there were old-fashioned motifs throughout, the overall mood was very modern: feminine but not girly, elegant but cool.

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Cradling eponymous label of four years, Akiko Aoki is already proving herself to be one to watch in Tokyo, thanks in part to the way she became a shorlisted on the LVMH Fashion Prize this year. For her latest offering, Aoki blurred the lines between the runway and backstage by having her models change into the different looks right in front of the audience in a tiny underground space. It was an unusual choice that worked well for the collection, emphasizing the versatility of the men’s wear-inspired shirts and dresses. Conventional pieces of blouses and dresses were made sleek, sharp and clinical but fashionable in every way. The high point of the collection came via a white pantsuit splashed with acid yellow and black paint, which Aoki said was inspired by graffiti. The designer provided some great styling inspiration, where her clothes were multi-functional yet at the same time unique.

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Chika Kisada

Japanese designer Chika Kisada through eponymous label Chika Kisada established in 2014 focuses on elegance and feminism that is energetic and punk-like. A former professional ballet dancer turned into a designer, who created fairy-tale clothes straight from the dress-up box that wrestle feminine elegance with tough-girl attitude. The ballet world still has a clear influence for her fall 2018 collection, as the usual ballet colors of white, black and pink crafted looks that exemplified a modern notion of femininity. She also added bondage-esque harnesses strapped across the chest of floor-length long-sleeved dresses and a slap of glossy pink biker jacket. Her “punk ballet” signature was both lovely and practical as most of the pieces could easily be pictured on a variety of shapes and sizes, styled a variety of ways. A white long jacket with a tulle overlay might be our favorite amongst the rest of the offering, dreamy-fashion fans will be dying to wear them. Chika Kisada did not actually present her collection at this year’s Tokyo event, but her impressive collection can not be missed.

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Founded in 2009, DRESSEDUNDRESSED, designer Takeshi Kitazawa and Emiko Sato has become a major highlight for both unisex and men streetwear. Packed with androgynous and feminine flourishes, they brought sex appeal to their latest collection entitled ‘I’m Sexy’. The duo currently focuses on androgynous concept where models swathed in three-layered clothes and layering to form textures. We saw a variety of formal shirts find a space next to bike shorts and cut-out trousers to show off in pairs with shirt and see-through polo shirt. Expected eroticism to be explored across playfully deconstructed menswear shirt set against minimalist tailoring with the brand’s lauded pattern-cutting skills.

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Growing Pains

Various types of art including music, movies and underground cultures and movements all over the world inspired designer Mademoiselle Yulia of Growing Pains. Known for her unique style, she has been one of Tokyo’s most recognizable club kids since she was a teenager, and made her debut as a DJ in 2008 in her early 20s. Despite being a brand which gained mixed reviews as “borderlining costume”, among a term of other criticisms, Yulia made her first runway debut last year. This season she took the inspiration from outer space and featured an ageless, race-less, and gender free style collection. Taking over the top floor of Shibuya’s Cosmo Planetarium for presentation, she projected her club scene days, with matrix styled sunglasses, latex looking thigh-highs, puffer coats and mid-calf platform boots. Glittery turtlenecks were attention-grabbing yet accessible, while colors, prints and textures dominate the collection. Holding up the word “Meteor” as the collection title, Yulia has showcased her freedom and creativities that goes beyond women’s attire.

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G.V.G.V has arguably been the most influential brand for the cool “it” girls of Tokyo ever since it launched in 1999. The designer that goes by the name MUG uses a mix of streetwear and runway fashion, with free sensitivity that is present in unique concept in every season’s collection. The label has gained notoriety by collaborating with the likes of fast fashion giant Uniqlo and now sits in some of the world’s coolest boutiques, including New York’s Opening Ceremony. For Fall 2018 show last week, MUG’s world was represented by seventies and its psychedelic references. The designs were predominantly checkered patterns alongside stripes, florals, polka dots and zigzags. The entire show felt groovy, funky and almost optical illusion-esque. Despite the retro theme, casual styling brought it firmly into the present. If you look at this attractive collection, we have no doubt whether creative youngsters and celebrities will wear the garments and make the streets in Tokyo filled with vibrant colors in next October.

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Heaven Tanudiredja

Belgium-based jewelry designer turned fashion designer Heaven Tanudiredja, is known for his sculptural accessories. Beyond showing his dynamic and handmade pieces, Tanudiredja has collaborates with many innovative designers such as: John Galliano for Christian Dior Haute Couture, Juun J., Iris Van Herpen and Dries Van Noten – where he contributes custom neck pieces and sculptural clutches to their Paris runway shows. In his debut runway show in Tokyo he presented a series of embellished clothes, dresses and blouses. While the detailing, which included embroidery, rhinestones, feathers and sequins, was beautifully done, he used a plastic-like material with all-over circular cut-outs to create long skirts and trapeze dresses. With the haunted music played during the show, he managed to hypnotize the audience with a serene feeling and elegant collection.

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Also Indonesian label I KNOW YOU KNOW, well known for I.K.Y.K joins Tokyo Fashion Week while presenting their latest collection named ‘Tor Sibohi’ inspired by an area from where designer Anandia Putri is from. The Batak culture of Indonesia is part of the inspiration, combined with bright colors as well as Japanese textiles. Oversized silhouette and dropped shoulder was the main offer in this collection, while heavy textual layering and plaid patterns was the major highlight. Puffer coats are currently on trend, but the puffer on wide trousers adds to the intended purpose–and the end result looks cool. Of course, ingenuity in styling is an advantage in this collection, and, beyond its merits, there are many things that can be enjoyed.

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tiit tokyo

Designers Sho Iwata and Hiroshi Takizawa took daily life as the core of a creative approach to establish their eponymous label 7 years ago. The following year after debuted Spring 2013 collection, they won the Fashion Prize announced by New designer fashion grand prix. Through unique viewpoints they were able to turn the simple idea into an elegant collection by using quality materials and vibrant colors. This season they presented a rather dreamy collection at Shibuya Hikarie, where clothes are inspired through the concept of utopia. An ode to today’s reality, Iwata and Takizawa created an escape from the constant values of false pleasures, where society was surrounded by rapid technology with no ties to the universe. They displayed an exquisite colors of original tweed and a series of knitwear as a form of longing for nature.

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Yohei Ohno

One of the promising young Japanese designer Yohei Ohno, presented a new way of thinking to his designs. Held a presentation at Polygon Aoyama, the installation  had models posing in series of clothes that changed in multiple sets among retro furniture. Ohno’s fall 2018 collection provided plenty of sculptural shapes and bodysuit in a variety of fabrics. His previous collection was focused on metallic materials, the designer now focuses on comfort, natural fabrics such as raw denim and wool. Ohno showed tweed suits with exaggerated puff shoulders, and high-waisted jeans, but the major highlight was a tank top with long, pleated panels hanging off the front and gathered together like curtains when viewed closely. Yohei Ohno’s latest collection touched the artistic and commercial balance of the season, his performance clearly innovative year after year.

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Patrick Owen

Jakarta-based fashion designer Patrick Owen, dedicated to explore the creation of beauty in divergent ways. For fall 2018 collection he combined traditional and modern values, collaborating with the best individuals in his outstanding team and partnerships. The presentation of RE:mata, the main concept of this collection, was a proposal to refashion tradition, where his adapted Lego’s construction sets and vibrant colors into the garments and simultaneously presented traditional Javanese kebaya and beskap in modern ways. In a collaboration with Indonesian graffiti artist, Darbotz, batik motif was reinterpreted contemporarily into digital printing on natural fibers and also traditional embroidery. The collection was graphically mixed of grey color as a basis and colorful details, spawned a bold and playful mood at the same time. A pleasant detail for our eyes was the jewelry pieces which he collaborated with UBS, an Indonesian gold jewelry producer. As one of the main sponsors, an ever evolving Indonesian cosmetics brand, LT Pro, was fully responsible for the make-up. Apart from his impressive collection, Patrick managed to showcase the variety of models in this show. In our opinion, different ages, genders, and types of models demonstrate the character and feed the imagination.

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