The dark avant-gardist romanticism of alice auaa

JAPANESE STREETS interviews designer Yasutaka Funakoshi of alice auaa, one of Japan’s coolest underground fashion brands

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Japanese fashion brand alice auaa has been one of the most exciting brands at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week TOKYO the past few years. alice auaa shows differ completely from any of the other shows. Both in terms of the creations themselves and the way that they are presented.

The shows are unbelievably popular among alice auaa fans. Hours before the shows start, long lines of extravagantly dressed people are already waiting patiently and excitedly. I asked a few of them what alice auaa means to them in one word. Their answers:


The responses show the poetic inspiration and identity confirmation the wearers derive from the brand. It also shows the strong identity of alice auaa itself. alice auaa expresses a dark avant-gardist romanticism. It’s the deconstructed beauty of a pretty princess who has jumped through a mirror, and emerged in a Grimm-like storybook world full of shadows.

The brand was founded by Japanese fashion designer Yasutaka Funakoshi shortly after a devastating quake destroyed his hometown of Kobe. Funakoshi had already managed his own shop for a few years, but the experience of the quake inspired him to start his own fashion line. Starting a new business amidst all the destruction and hopelessness must have required much courage, but Funakoshi dryly states that he saw it as an opportunity because many companies had gone out of business and, as he explains it, it became comparatively easy to rent space.

Last month, alice auaa was unexpectedly in the global spotlight after Lady Gaga wore an alice auaa creation. “I was completely surprised when they called me,” admits Funakoshi.

See all the alice auaa shows and street fashion shots at JAPANESE STREETS.

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In the S/S 2014 collection, alice auaa surprised with several brighter creations:






alice auaa collections: S/S 2014 | A/W 2013 | S/S 2013


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Kjeld Duits About the Author

Inspired by the stunningly creative street fashion that exploded on the streets of Tokyo and Osaka in the late 1990’s, photo-journalist Kjeld Duits launched JAPANESE STREETS in 2002. This makes JS one of the first fashion blogs on the net, and the very first to cover Japanese street fashion.

Recent articles by Kjeld Duits:

Comment (日本語もOK)

both him and his work are beautiful

Jan 14, 2014 (3698 days ago)

@Karol: Glad you like Funakoshi’s style, Karol!

Kjeld Duits (author)
Jan 14, 2014 (3698 days ago)

who’s the girl with the big black hair? she wouldn’t happen to have twitter or something similar? super cool anyway.

Jan 15, 2014 (3697 days ago)

@Julia: She is one of Funakashi’s most important assistants. I actually don’t know if she has twitter…

Kjeld Duits (author)
Jan 15, 2014 (3697 days ago)

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