The kimono brand by Yoshiki named “Yoshikimono” made its first debut Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo 2016 S/S. Yoshiki performed on his trademark crystal baby grand piano for the last show of fashion week. This line of clothing seeks to fuse classic Japanese tradition with modern taste showing off his vivid collection designs. The biggest talking point of all the shows, however, was an edgy tribute to one of the country’s traditional outfit — the luxurious kimono.
Led by Yoshiki of X Japan fame, Yoshikimono‘s show certainly had heads turning. Yoshiki grew up in a family that had run a kimono store for generations. Unfortunately, however, he didn’t continue in the garment business after making a name for himself as a musician, songwriter, composer and record producer.
Returning to his roots, Yoshiki has collaborated with a Kyoto-based brand to produce a debut lineup that, in all likelihood, didn’t disappoint fans of 1980s visual-kei rock. Yoshiki’s collection showcased about 40 avant-garde designs that were accompanied by such things as silver bustiers and menacing hairstyles.
All in all, the designs appeared to be more of a nod to his fan base — who screamed when Yoshiki appeared on the runway to play piano compositions from “Swan Lake” at the start of the show — than to any evolution of kimono design. That said, a rare celebrity sighting such as this at Fashion Week Tokyo came as a welcome jolt of energy.
“I am very honored to be given an opportunity to open this prestigious fashion week. ‘What defines fashion? What defines art?’ is a question I ask myself daily. In the midst of such chaos, I want to showcase what I think is the answer to that question in my mind, where I’m at with my life. I know there will be mixed reception, and I’m very much looking forward to it.”
Yoshiki is the eldest son of a family that managed a kimono store. But the business ended with his generation, and, ever since, Yoshiki hoped to restore that element to his life. And so, the Yoshikimono brand line was born. From his youth, the tradition of kimono had felt very familiar, but after many years living abroad, it began to feel less and less accessible. However, Yoshiki never lost his strong sense of pride in the traditions of Japan and this inspired him to find a way to “integrate innovative, modern style with traditional elegance”.