Intense Asian Pride. I told you, I'm volunteering backstage for Haute Couture Week this week, too many weeks in a sentence. To sum the experience up in less than 50 words: it's a incomprehensible mess of a day from 2 to midnight, with too many hours spent on moving chairs, and the detestable state of having to spend the whole day in jeans. Jeans, to the girl who only ever wears shorts to wherever she can. Tuesday and Wednesday were Asian Couture Evening and Japan Couture Evening, and the term asian pride will henceforth be shifted from the land of out of reach perennial favorite models like Sun Fei fei and Liu Wen, to these proficient, attention deserving Asian designers.
A personal favorite despite not being the easiest crowd pleaser, Somarta by Tamae Hirokawa represents the youth and future of Japan's Haute Couture. I love Guo Pei, and all the French ateliers, but Somarta is my kind of couture. The mere existence of these sort of designs gives me a feeling fuzzier than the cruelest fur coat. The original design ideal of "armour" can be toned down to the most graceful and feminine of pieces. (See the full show at Fide's Facebook Album here: Somarta)
Yumi Katsura's show is literally every dream girl's wedding dress. If this were a perfect world, you'd be Cinderella (unfortunately, in reality it's the rich stepsister), Katsura-sama will be your fairy godmother, and hopefully your prince will be charming. Throw away that Vera Wang, some of these designs are just as stunning, and you'll embrace a bit of your Asian roots. Three personal favorites: La creeping garden, the most impressive modern kimono cut and scenic print that are faintly echoing the sounds of the sea, and a black gold suit, because let's face it. It's a blazer, it's black, and there's gold. Hook, line, sinker baby. Special mention goes to these two gorgeous white-tie worthy gowns and softer-than-quilt fur coats; and dresses with lights. You read that right. (See the full show at Fide's Facebook album: Yumi Katsura)
And the crowd-pleaser is here. If you've been following, you'll remember Guo Pei coming for Digital Fashion Week not even two months back. I didn't get the big deal over it, until I actually watched the show for myself. I spoke to one of the photographers (after an odd period of childlike curiosity sitting behind him as he went through his photos after every show), and even though he wasn't interested in fashion, Guo Pei was his favorite show. Guo Pei's creations don't even need a label like "fashion" or "haute couture" - they are plainly (ironicly) beauties in their own right. They don't subscribe to any kind of special formula or trend; they exist to excite your eyes by creating the uncontrollable urge to drink in every detail you can. Every piece shines under the light and you cannot get the full intensity of how magnificent and intricate these pieces are unless you see them for yourself, which is a big, darn waste for everyone out there. Tens of thousands of hours are spent on one dress, and it shows. (See the full show at Fide's Facebook album: Guo Pei)
I do have some backstage photos and random shots I took myself, but I'll save that for when this exhilarating but exhausting week is over.