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Tuesday, 1 March 2011

"REAL CLOTHES" HIT THE RUNWAY

The Tokyo Girls Collection is a twice-yearly fashion festival of unparalleled scale. Launched in 2005, the collection was held for the fifth time on September 2, 2007, at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama Shintoshin. Unlike typical collections, in which designers present their latest works to buyers and journalists, TGC directly targets women in their late teens and twenties, with popular fashion models walking the runway in "real clothes" (fashionable streetwear) that young women can actually add to their wardrobes. Some 23,600 visitors enjoyed the glamorous six-hour-plus show. The event was also broadcast live on cell phones and the Internet as well as at the venue, and the products donned by the models were made available for purchase on the spot. Smart but Affordable The Tokyo Girls Collection aims to transmit the clothes that Japanese youngsters actually wear to the rest of the world as a form of Japanese culture and to help boost the domestic fashion market. The festival attracts international media, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Japan External Trade Organization joined the list of supporters of the fifth event. Twenty-one brands came together under the common theme of "supermix," a word describing the current trend of mixing and matching items of varying styles. Most were domestic brands, such as VICKY, SmackyGlam, and Rich. The brands previewed their collections in three separate stages, dubbed "elegance," "trend," and "designers," respectively. A total of 68 popular models stepped out of the pages of top fashion magazines and graced the runway in the latest styles amid shouts of "Kawaii!" (cute) and squeals of joy from the audience. The fare included A-line print dresses, three-quarter-sleeve jackets coordinated with miniskirts, and leather jackets worn together with ankle boots - all items that young women cannot wait to wear this fall. As the models strutted the catwalk in the latest fall and winter fashions conceived by the participating brands, women kept their eyes peeled for styles to suit their tastes. Coliseum of Fashion At TGC, the professional models are not the only ones presenting the latest fashions; the entire venue becomes one big runway, in a manner of speaking. The young female fashion devotees attending the event are all dressed their best for the special day. As they make their rounds of the various booths - such as those selling clothes that can be bought exclusively at the venue, displays of collaboratively designed cell phones, and exhibits of new cosmetic and food products - they also go about checking out one another's outfits, partly out of a sense of competition and partly to find new inspiration for their own wardrobes. TGC is thus a one-of-a-kind fashion event that may be likened to a coliseum of fashion, the stage of a giant fashion show both on and off the runway.

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