Mikio Sakabe - JFW '08 AW

Women's Collection Lines
01 April 2008
Thoughts and pictures from the collection show
Japan Fashion Week
Mikio Sakabe
"Industrial Dolls"
March 11, 2008

As the soundtrack pounded machine-like techno squiggles, Mikio Sakabe’s JFW show proffered an unexpected mix of clean cyber-rave aesthetics and dainty classic items. The bobbed Pleasure-bot Japanese models first appeared in office-ready wool skirts tweaked with bright orange pocket piping and floppy drive zippers, further fleshed out by Tron-inspired hyper-color leggings etched with microchip circuit patterns. The model-clones cycled out and returned with everyday suit coats on top, revealing that these womannequins were in fact version-upgrades of today’s typical secretary or junior salarywoman. Some of the Sakabe items actually seemed work-ready and CanCam friendly, like the no-button trench coat and the yellow bow-tie U-neck blouse.

Things literally got bigger and bolder, however, when the third-round added comically-large New Rave updates of Ivy League winter jacket forms — enormous mustard and baby blue duffle coats, a gargantuan navy peacoat with bright blue piping, Herculean wool scarves, and an oversized nuclear orange bomber jacket — all to keep you warm in a Neuromancer winter. Bowties were a strong motif — at first, calling up images of retro stewardesses, but suddenly transforming into robotically-cartoonish iconography under the neck of a dress, much like a big button on a future keyboard. Sakabe’s mod ‘60s dress in orange and pink seemed unrelated to the rest of the collection, but perhaps, evocation of that era was meant to bridge the gap between rigid past standards of feminity and outdated future visions. Overall, the references and palette often made the message overly obvious, but the clothes did manage to offer a fun, young form of cyber-futurism that seemed relatively plausible.

(Click on Photo Gallery button at left to view original photography of the show.)