VANTAN TOKYO Fall/Winter 2013

Click the photo for more looks from VANTAN TOKYO.

VANTAN TOKYO is either the only design school participating in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, or the only Japanese design school, depending on personal interpretation of the poorly translated press information. The three collections presented the designs of three top students, in something like the real-life version of Project Runway.

With three different designers, and all three still in school, the collections were expectedly uneven. Nelly Hohmann featured a modern take on all-black everything, with pleats galore and timely injections of watercolor-esque floral prints and touches of off-white. Certain items, like an ivory motorcycle jacket with a long, asymmetrical tail broke up the monotony, but the effect overall managed to be negligible.

Eisunoge, a men’s collection influenced by Japanese street wear, started off as an interesting look at Theophilus London’s acid trip. By the end, when the parade of clip-on suspenders, thigh-length multi-plaid shirts, and what certain segments of the press have deemed “meggings” had ended, there was only one pair of actual pants in sight.

Then there was Sagan, by Natsuki Watanabe, who is wise beyond her years. Paneling, color blocking, and texture-blocking formed a cohesive collection that was somehow both subtle and far from it. There were winter off-whites and thick hand knits in a melange of textiles, and the entire line was well-suited for a country house on a Norwegian island in mid-winter. One standout was a tweed belted camel coat in beige with drape pockets, which one would hope to see in stores soon.

With the exception of the common themes of paneling and color blocking, VANTAN TOKYO couldn’t have chosen three more different designers as a showcase of their school. However, it seems that only one is ready for graduation.

Alexander Tsebelis is a contributing writer. Email him at [email protected]