Kamishima Chinami - JFW '08 AW

Women's Collection Lines
01 April 2008
Thoughts and pictures from the collection show
Japan Fashion Week
Kamishima Chinami
March 10, 2008

A church bell rang out at the beginning of Chinami Kamishima’s JFW show, followed by giant projections of cathedral window shapes upon high-hexagonal doors. The mood telegraphed “gothic,” and the monotone collection of clothes that followed lived up to the atmospheric forecasting.

The first models filed through in silver leather tops modeled on medieval chain-mail and breast plates, harking back to the European Middle Ages. Later, the dramatic gloom of the “Dark Ages” motif played out in the form of royal robes in cream decorated with wave patterns, bobbing gold tassels from the Sunday pageant of the Church, and a pitch-black Italian funeral dress. Perhaps a feminist anger against oppressive Catholic morality was at the heart of the work, as the later pieces emphasized the womb area of the slouching models. Kamishima outfitted her girls in strange black bobs sloppily dropped over natural blond hair — an indictment against society for forcing women to cover up their true identities? Although later shows embraced similar gothic visual aesthetics, only Kamishima’s collection adequately recreated and exploited the visceral sense of secreted guilt from the Gothic era.

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