Mikio Sakabe - JFW '09 SS

Women's Collection Lines
03 September 2008
Thoughts and pictures from the Japan Fashion Week collection show on September 1, 2008
Japan Fashion Week
Mikio Sakabe
"Miminari" ("the ringing in your ears")
September 1, 2008

Mikio Sakabe's futuristic and socially-critical autumn/winter collection was one of the most talked-about shows at March's JFW. For spring/summer '09, Sakabe and partner Jen-Fang Shueh took their newly-blond "industrial dolls" on a Hawaiian cruise for a pageant of sun-baked retro-futurism.

The materials stayed light and silky throughout, with sci-fi accessories like ribbed silver leggings picking up a subtle interwoven luminescence. Colors were generally muted pastels as if the shifting reflected chromatics of mother-of-pearl. China dresses featured intricate iridescent bead work on the skirt and collars. Big bows and classic suit patterns kept consistent with the brand's previous conceptions of Japan's perpetual 1950s-era "proper" femininity. But instead of just updating office wear with extreme highlights like last season, the designers twisted items like a long shawl-collar jacket into a new option for beachside Tiki parties. Microchip map lines marked a nice series of front zipper dresses, while sleeveless parkas and Bahas imagined a beach resort from a Disneyland prediction of the 22nd century.

Mikio Sakabe's robotic housewives are solar-powered, we learned, but they still pack a mighty elegance while out on vacation.

— W. David Marx

(Click on Photo Gallery button at left to view original photography by Sean Wood.)