At every fashion week there are brands that are known for always putting on an unusual show. In Tokyo, Fur Fur is just one of those brands. Founded by designer Koichi Chida, Fur Fur is known to some as the emblem of Harujuku; popular with Gothic Lolita fashion fans, and a strong hold of the famous Laforet Harujuku shopping center. But the brand is more than "Harujuku", it is a driving force in keeping creativity and art at the forefront of Japanese fashion, a fact that was very clear at the Spring 2013 installation.
Upon entering the installation attendees passed through a dimly lit room staged to be an artist studio complete with painting sets and stretched canvases. In the next room, which was also near-black in lighting, were dozens of hanging paper sculptures floating down from the ceiling, and a single microphone was placed in the center of the room. After several minutes had passed, dry ice- created fog began to billow out, and one by one models walked to the microphone holding water color works, said a few phrases in Japanese and took their place in a staggered line.
All of this requires explanation, as the terms "avant-garde", "arty", and "innovative" are constantly used in fashion reviews, but truly the scene was unlike anything this writer had ever encountered before.
And the clothes? They were just as intriguing as the installation itself. Layers of fragile lace, knobby knits and soft worn looking jerseys gave the collection a dreamy feel that hinted at an artist consumed with the passion to create to the point of mental instability; an effect that was both alluring and ever so slightly unnerving ( in the most dazzling way).
All images: C. Hope and S. Whittle for Style Wylde