zechia - JFW '09 SS

Women's Collection Lines
14 September 2008
Thoughts and pictures from the Japan Fashion Week collection show on September 3, 2008
Japan Fashion Week
"Woman is Ladybird"
September 3, 2008

While the rest of the fashion world is reappropriating the earthy visual elements of late-'60s Bohemianism, zechia's design team LICA and NAKA went past mere style notes and dove straight into the head space of the hippie counterculture. Their SS '09 collection took a lysergic trip into the far-out reaches of the fourth-dimension, a distant world evidently clothed in post-Altamont West Coast casual and alien cocktail attire.

To a backdrop of cuts from Yes' 1971 album Fragile, models hit the grass runway in cosmic debris headwear and a series of floor-length dresses. One of the core patterns portrayed our very own solar system abstracted into swirling blue dots on a black background.

But let us not dismiss the brand as little more than an acid psych-out in experimental casual. Designers LICA and NAKA hail from Harajuku street culture's most famously outrageous brand 20471120, and this new collection extended their love of vintage remakes into joyous innovation. The designers imagined a liberating power for nautical stripes by combining them in various sizes. Although most of the pieces came from a single insane pattern (lots of circles and leopard print dots, sometimes together), the most interesting set was the denim dress and skirt made from an extreme gradient bleaching.

LICA and NAKA mostly joined their JFW colleagues in a pageant of frills and complex shaping, but a few tailored jackets and chiffon dresses conjured up an elegance that was out of this world.

— W. David Marx

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