Hiroko Koshino and her African Dream

The Grand Dame of Japanese Fashion, Hiroko Koshino, gave nothing short of a masterclass in this astonishing collection for Tokyo Collection Week. A huge crowd gathered inside and outside of the tent erected in Tokyo’s Meiji Jingu Gaien.

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Koshino didn’t disappoint the awaiting audience and presented a natural, sophisticated collection that proved that even in her later years she is one of the most accomplished designers in the world.

The first stage “African Denim” included native African colours and patterns, chain mail necklaces and stretch denim. There was an abundance of beautiful textures and tones all underscored with long-sleeved vests that resembled giant tattoos.

“Nostalgic Savanna” reminded me of a procession of Snow Queens in radiant white skirts, vests and dresses. This was followed by ecru-beige and beige-brown sections that delivered an old fashioned Country girl look with simple striped tops and short jackets of earth colour and natural materials that reinforced the rawness of this collection. With long native African necklaces and huge wrist accessories the models looked like African Princesses and the sweeping orchestral soundtrack made the whole event seem cinematic in scope and substance.

The black and white polka dot print variation dresses swept us off our feet and for a minute I believed I was on the plains of Africa. Sumptuous sequined red dresses and definite Gold colours moved through the penultimate chapter.

In “Sculptural Soiree” we were treated to Satin drape line dresses, metallic braid, clever angular-cut jackets and noble rosette dresses which were absolutely majestic. The conclusion brought black and white together in an altogether flawless coda.

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The audience gave Koshino a rousing reception and as she took her bow admirers started shouting for more. After the show Koshino confessed to Kjeld that “once I become creative I can’t stop” and this marathon collection showed that we haven’t seen the best of this Japanese artisan yet.

Paul McInnes About the Author

Paul McInnes is a fashion and arts journalist based in Tokyo. He is the menswear fashion editor of The Japan Times, the Tokyo editor of Sportswear International, contributes to High Fashion, Dazed Digital, and JC Report.

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