Kobe Collection Autumn/Winter 2008

The Original Real Clothes Festival
02 September 2008
Kobe Collection goes big in Tokyo
Kobe, real clothes
Tokyo has always been the official center for Japanese popular culture, but Kobe is one of the few regional cities with a distinct fashion look imitated nationwide. In the past, Kobe was an important port city, acting as gateway between Japan and the West. Over time, women from Kobe's prestegious old money families developed a very conservative and "proper" clothing style, mostly pieced together from long-established local brands. In the late 1970s, the Nyutora ("New Traditional") boom spread Kobe fashion across Japan, eventually finding a permanent home in mainstream magazines JJ and CanCam. Although the magazines' styling has changed over the years, the classy and sometimes princess-y Kobe aesthetic is something readers still admire.

Kobe Collection (KC) was established in 2002 to bring greater attention to young women's brands operating out of Western Japan. In years past, the collection has been a more reserved and upscale fashion show — held, for example, at the Prince Hotel. Although Kobe Collection predates its "real clothes" show rival Tokyo Girls Collection, the organizers of KC decided this year to take a few lessons from TGC and amplify the preceedings to a new level. Kobe Collection showed twice — once in Kobe and once in Tokyo — and combined the fashion with extremely loud pop music, the hottest models from popular magzaines, young celebrities from TV, musical performances, and a wider commercial sponsorship.

The Tokyo event was held in Ryogoku's Kokugikan sumo hall, with a stage at the bottom and three levels of seating. Along with the long runway and giant jumbotron on the floor, primary sponsors Glico, Nissan, and magazine JJ set up booths with special giveaways and between-stage events. Compared with Japan Fashion Week or other more serious designer fashion collections, the atmosphere was "fashion festival" rather than straight fashion show.
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