Asia Fashion Collection Fall 2022

The Asia Fashion Collection is a project produced and sponsored by VANTAN and PARCO CO., LTD to provide a platform for fresh and emerging talent in the fashion industry throughout Asia. Designers compete for a chance to debut their collections during New Yor Fashion Week (NYFW), judged by prominent industry experts like Kaname Murakami, the editor in chief of WWD Japan, and Takanobu Kono, Official Evangelist of Shopify Japan. This season, six designers debuted their collections from across Asia to be presented on screens in New York’s Spring Studios. The project, with its focus on discovering and nurturing new talent, comes with major cultural implications in terms of Asian fashion and youth subculture, making it a significant fashion show since all perspectives are fresh with each designer having their finger on the pulse of fashion.

The first collection, Yuuna Ichikawa by Yuuna Ichikawa from Japan, is inspired by dance, youth, music, and movement. ‘Youth in Heart’ is embedded in the sheer fabric across model’s chests while the collection’s muses are Loie Fuller, pioneer of modern dance, and Patti Smith, punk rock icon. The collection, in neutral shades of gray, white, and black, features billowing construction, untamed and carefree design in sharp, wide shoulders and overextended leather sleeves and strings that take up space like an arm that extends across a stage in a swirling dance. Movement and youth are also concepts that danced across several other collections.

WooLeeX by Yu Nung (Jerry) Hsieh and Ming Jo (Cynthia) Hsieh from Taiwan, for example, features custom fabrics in patterns of mountains, forests, and plum blossoms printed on 3D jacquard. The jacquard pattern is meant to symbolize the emotional reactions of music listeners from deep melody to joyful dancing. The fabrics are works of art with intricate detailing and vivid imagery with oversized tailoring allowing for unrestrained movement.

COCOTONO by Kotono Fukazawa from Japan, also uses movement as a backdrop for the collection to conceptualize how distorted movement evokes a feeling. The first menswear piece is a plaid jacket with distorted fabric that drips like the ice cream in the model’s grip styled with youthful short pants and long socks. The collection, like Yuuna Ichikawa, plays on depictions of youth, but in a more literal manner with a blue oversized coat patterned with a felt fence and fluffy sheep while the model holds a pillow. The collection, like many of the other collections, is meant to be carefree and even comedic to bring upon an emotional response.

Like COCOTONO, SUNG JU by Sung Ju Lee of South Korea, also carries the comfort of a bed to the runway in an emotion-driven presentation inspired by the designer’s personal experience being teased for his name’s association with a Korean yellow melon. The collection swells in vibrant shades of pink and yellow across puffer coats, pillowing constructions, and fluffy slippers sliding over the runway. The pieces can be categorized as “dopamine dressing” meant to boost mood, which is expected to increase over 2022.

“Dopamine dressing” is even more evident in DOKKA Vivid by Nodoka Sugauchi and Akiho Ka of Japan with their mixing of a variety of floral prints and bright colors as models hold brilliant hued Japanese hanging lanterns. The pieces resplendent with vitality, are also sustainable using upcycled fabrics, like on their kimono mask. DOKKA Vivid also reinterprets classic Asian designs like the kimono as two models walk together wearing floral print coats with billowing reflective fabric in the back.

Images courtesy of New York Tokyo LLC

Glenda Garcia by Glenda Garcia, who is Indonesian and based in New York, also reinterprets classic designs through deconstruction to provide a fresh perspective. Her pieces are designed for the modern working woman and deconstruct traditional workwear pieces to form a collection featuring oversized garments, asymmetrical construction, and leather fabrications styled with rainboots.

For the fall 2022 season, the showcase reflects themes of youth, movement, and rebellion showing a lack of restraint through billowing designs and oversized silhouettes. The presentation depicts a focus on sentimental fashion that evokes strong feelings and memories. All collections are current and modern, so it is appropriate that the AFC also created a fall 2022 Metaverse Project to debut artwork inspired by each brand in Japan’s NFT marketplace “nanakusa.” To view the NFT artwork, visit nanakusa.io!

—Tessa Swantek

Custo Barcelona Fall 2022

It is always a good thing when a brand returns to New York Fashion Week (NYFW). Especially if that brand happens to be Custo Barcelona. A mainstay of NYFW Custo Barcelona has not shown at NYFW for two years.

Always pushing the boundaries of what is appropriate in fashion. Creative Director Custo Dalmau always expands the creative palettes of his customer when it comes to color combinations, design silhouettes, fabrications, and even feminine and masculine aesthetics. And though he is sometimes ahead of the curve, his customer always catches up.

For the brand’s fall 2022 collection Custo Dalmau looked to shining again from within to radiate light and illuminate humanity. Custo’s collection played with shapes and patterns in a variety of fabrics and patterns with playful patches and word art on streetwear-inspired pieces.

The dresses were the core elements of the collection and other pieces were designed to complement these key pieces. Creative cut-outs and micro-mini shorts and skirts dominated the collection.

Shiny jacquards, multicolored sequins, vibrant-colored satins and velvet jacquards were expertly juxtapositioned to create a collection that was playful, yet sophisticated. More relaxed pieces included micro jumpsuits with tiny trousers and long sweatshirts styled as mini dresses. And the athleisure garments that bordered on references to 1960s space clothes added that special touch of fantasy and fun!!

Though this collection was heavy on streetwear with a strong athleisure wear influence, what stood out most in this collection was the strong outerwear garments, as well as Custo’s embrace of gender fluidity.

Images courtesy of The Riviere Agency

Gender fluidity is something that Custo Dalmau has never shied away from. However, in this collection, gender fluidity was front and center with many garments working equally well on both men and women.

And as always Custo Dalmau’s penchant for architectural shapes and graphic design elevated this collection from a collection that could have been overburdened with too many ideas and trends to a cohesive collection, though whimsical, that was a kaleidoscopic feast for the eyes. Custo Barcelona we are so glad you are back!!

—William S. Gooch

TEDDY VONRANSON Fall 2022

Teddy Von Ranson is on a mission to redefine “Modern American Classics.” His designs reflect the classic East Coast preppy style from his years at Ralph Lauren mixed in with his roots on the West Coast. The designer’s combination of East Coast meets West Coast mixed with a strong dose of European aesthetic made for a compelling and exciting presentation at New York Men’s Week (NYMW).

Fashion Reverie caught up with Ken Downing, the recently appointed chief brand officer of Hearst Luxury Collections, to get his take on Von Ranson’s latest collection. Downing enthused, “He’s a true talent; the hand knits are exquisite! The collection is inter-generational—he’s like a young Saint Laurent and there’s even some of Todd Oldham mixed in.”

Drilling down further, the collection was a compilation of micro collections within a collection. One especially notable grouping was comprised of three standout pieces, a jacquard knee-length duster, another, a hip length jacket and lastly, a puffer with matching palazzo pants. The hip length jacket resembled a painting of the sun and the sky with a strong Native American vibe. According to dopely.com, blue was used by shamans to evoke serenity, and yellow and gold symbolized triumph and optimism.

The shearling coats were cut in traditional shapes as were the chunky zip-front sweaters and crewnecks. What set them apart was the color palette of sorbet pink, merlot red, and muted royal blues that worked well as tone-on-tone outfits or mixed together.

Images courtesy of R. Scott French

The fabrics were luxe, a pair of black leather trousers were as supple as a pair of the finest Portolano kid leather gloves. One of the best looks was made from a microfiber silk blend in a Georges Seurat-like pointillism print that looked great cut into a raincoat, gauchos and matching rainhat and Doc Martens-style lace-up boots. What’s for certain from Teddy Von Ranson is that you can look forward to expecting the unexpected every season; we can’t wait to see what he shows next.

 

—Vivian Kelly

Perry Ellis America Fall 2022

Perry Ellis elected to show their diffusion collection, Perry Ellis America at New York Men’s Day (NYMD), rather than Michael Maccari’s Perry Ellis, a collection that has become a favorite with stars such as Hailey and Justin Bieber, who both wear his oversize camp shirts in bold artsy prints. It is the first time Perry Ellis America has shown at NYMD.

 While Perry Ellis Collection has ventured in a more experimental direction, Perry Ellis America, has stayed the course, delivering pieces that are right at home on the streets of Kennebunkport, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard. Although Perry Ellis America is a diffusion brand, it has that timeless quality that has made Perry Ellis a wardrobe staple for men looking for ease, comfort, and quality since the mid-1970s.

Designer Thomas Harvey showed a collection that could be called “Americana,” It was a quietly elegant mix of red, white, blue, khaki, and ochre brown pieces styled by GQ’s Jim Moore. There were bucket hats, ball caps, rain slickers, khaki pants, varsity jackets and sweaters as well as striped polo shirts. Moore skillfully layered striped tees and added in checkered button downs and rugby shirts over slouchy chinos—no belts necessary. There was a black car coat/rain slicker with a seasonless quality to it that would make it a go-to, year-round piece in any US city. The ochre and tan zebra print fleece coat jacket was another standout item that could easily be a unisex item women would “borrow” and never return.

Images courtesy of VERY New York

A pair of denim patchwork pants pushed the fashion needle forward a bit, but not too much. They were worn with an eye catching red, white, and blue floor-length poncho sporting a giant red letter “A” on the back. All the looks were accessorized with Sperry boat shoes, perfect for afternoons spent on or by the water. Overall, this collection was a stylish salute to the American Flag.

—Vivian Kelly

Ricardo Seco Spring 2022

When you think of a typical show at New York Fashion Week (NYFW), you imagine a runway with people sitting in the audience on both sides. Ricardo Seco’s spring 2022 show “Reborn: Immigrants Brighten Up NY” was very different from that.

The scene was set as soon as you entered the Chelsea location of Cinepolis. Before going into the theater, where the runway show would later take place, you were offered popcorn and drinks. The ambiance was set; with your popcorn and soda one was prepared to enjoy a movie in a lush movie theater, but what we got was better.

And yes, there was a little video played before the models came out that explained Seco’s inspiration, but what was not expected was the fact that the models walked between the rows of seats in the theater. This way everyone was able to see the pieces up close. It resulted in a much more intimate experience.

“I never thought I would use this word to name one of my collections. Nevertheless, all of my collections are a reflection of my feelings and what I am living, and “Reborn” is what best describes this new chapter after the pandemic,” says Seco.

As it is the designer’s 10th year anniversary in New York, this collection perfectly encapsulates what Seco is all about.  With every collection, he is inspired by mixing the influences of the US with his Mexican and Latin American cultures and how they are assimilated by immigrants in the country.

Seco takes this multicultural inspiration and translates it into bright, bold pieces that are sure to be noticed on the streets of Mexico and New York. The clothes seen in this collection are comprised of separates in bright metallics and shiny textures that are made in an array of fabrics such as cashmere, silk, cotton, leather, and denim. Colors used in the collection include hues of blue, pink, jacaranda (purple) and orange. Each of the colors in the collection have a meaning that ties back to the significance of “Reborn.”

There are many pieces that standout within the collection; however, there are some pieces that shouldn’t be missed. The first piece that is a standout is a jacket that is done in orange, pink, and blue metallic leather that is color-blocked diagonally. The bright and colorful jacket is paired with a metallic blue swimsuit bottom.

Images courtesy of Ricardo Seco

Another look that stands out includes a jean jacket embellished with pearl-like beads on the seams and a “Hecho in Mexico” graphic on the back that can also be found on other pieces in the collection, as well as light pink metallic leather wide leg pants that include a jean waistband that peeks out of the top of the pants. The last standout look that should be noted is the two-toned leather jacket in orange and purple with studded sleeves that is accompanied by a pair of metallic orange shorts that match.

This spring 2022 collection should not be missed. So, get those ducats ready!!

—Phoebe Howard

Chuks Collins and TASOU Spring 2022

There are several designers who create multiple collections a year, but only a few fashion designers create multiple collections per season. For spring 2022, Nigerian-born, Bronx-based designer Chuks Collins created a collection for not only his signature line, but also for his new venture TASOU – The Athletic Side Of Us.

For his namesake brand, Chuks Collins’ spring 2022 collection is entitled “Resurrection”, as it “draws upon human abilities and our desire to create infinite possibilities.” Collins goes on to say “I was in a place where I was thinking of how we can attain all that we desire through the abilities within us. I became obsessed with the word resurrection; what can feel like nothing even though everything is there. It took me on a journey towards a personal search for that which can be found within myself. The changes were in me, I just needed to look closer.”

As you closely analyze the collection, you see the symbolic resurrection of Mother Nature highlighted within. There is a sleeveless, floor-length ombre dress that mimics the horizon at sunrise. There is also its counterpart, a one-shoulder, floor length ombre gown that resembles the horizon at moonrise. The moonrise gown is accompanied by a men’s suit that evokes the same.

Aside from the references to the sun and moon, Collins looked to other aspects of nature for inspiration. He took photos of cocoons and studied the resurrection process of butterflies. He researched the elements of strength and structure within the human muscular system as another way of looking within oneself.

This reverence of renewal and resurrection is demonstrated by the balance of soft, flowy fabrics with structured silhouettes, strategic pleating and ruching, emphasized by jewel tones of yellows, royal blues, wine reds, browns, and African prints inspired by cocoons.

For the debut of his more daywear/lifestyle collection, The Athletic Side Of Us (TASOU), Collins looked to the ancient kingdom of Benin for design inspiration. Visually, the collection is based in blues, oranges, neutrals, and prints, but conceptually, the line is just as conscious as Collins’ namesake brand.

Collins explains that “the two philosophies of “Art Self” and “Act Self” act as the foundation of this collection: expressions of the soul acting in congruence with expressions of the mind and body. Looks are meant to be functional, fluid and forward, that work for both men and women to fit the human experience.”

That goal is achieved with how easily the looks are able to be broken down than mixed and matched with other pieces. The garments are also sporty enough to be worn as regular day pieces, but comfortable enough to be utilized as activewear. For women, there are sports bras, bodysuits, and athletic halters that can be coupled with anything from gym shorts and joggers to stretch pants and palazzos. There are also full evening looks including minidresses.

For the men, the looks run the gamut from gym wear to loungewear to dinner wear. You have the options of short sets, denim, suits, and overcoats. Collins did his due diligence in making this collection cover a wide swath of sartorial needs for both men and women, and that is no easy feat.

Images courtesy of VERY New York

Whether your need is a basic wardrobe staple, workout attire, or something with panache for a night on the town, Collins can supply it from either of his brands.

—Carl Ayers

Whensmokeclears Spring 2022

Whensmokeclears is a NYC-based brand that rose from the ashes after a fire in the designers’ apartment nearly destroyed their first collection. The fire ignited founders Gil “Thermal” Taveras’ and Kyle “K$ace” Nelson’s desires to transition from sneakers and accessories for music videos to a blazing international presence. Whensmokeclears’ World Boss Leather Pants, pearl crosses and radiant heart necklaces have complemented the presence of many celebrities from Lil Yachty, Bella Thorne, and Trippie Redd to Christian Combs, Coi Leray, Quavo, and Swae Lee. The brand is synonymous with luxury and confidence which allows designs to translate across international boundaries.

As the smoke cleared in their NYC apartment, Thermal and K$ace saw a hazy vision of a pounding heart that had just been set alight in the center of the room. Their signature “Radiant Heart” has since been at the center of their designs as it “epitomizes the fire, confidence, and love we all hold within ourselves.” Whensmokeclears’ pieces are sentimental as they tell stories of the heart, inspire love, and tie emotions and fashion together with pearl chains and jewel encrusted hearts.

As their vision has become clearer, the pair have been able to conceptualize full collections and tell their story through fashion. Whensmokeclears’ debuted their first runway presentation with a showroom collection during NYFW. The collection, entitled “UNDERWORLD,” is chronicled by Taveras and Nelson as a “search for existence that leads back to us. The collection shifts the direction of our ascension from vertical to horizontal. [We are] channeling natural silhouettes of who we are into what we want to become at the hand of our Radiant Heart fellowship. While most aim to escape, we choose to embrace this true-to-life mindset.”

Improvement in the present and into the future is at the heart of the collection with several looks mixing regal styling with casual pieces and patterns that define the brand through intricate textile design. The color story of the collection is vibrant and warm with pink, red, and yellow accenting many of the looks. The collection guides us to “pop the trunk” and “go heart searching” in a showroom filled with distressed stacked white trunks detailed with radiant heart locks in the shape of arches and pyramids. At some points in the presentation, models looked like they were completing the most successful milk crate challenge ever which Fashion Reverie surmises to be representative of the brand opting to remain in the realities of the horizontal plane after stepping down from a vertical ascension.

Images courtesy of Whensmokeclears

One of the most gorgeous looks is a yellow caftan layered over a pink long sleeve top with white Roman lettering down the sleeves. The look is styled with a pink headscarf and the model is holding the gold radiant heart charm rosary as his hands are clasped in prayer. This spiritually eclectic look anchors the collection in such a way that every other piece feels in reference to it. Graphic lettering and tees with messages of love palpate to bring the looks to life; “LOVE WILL SAVE,” “EVERYTHING IS ALIVE,” and “ALL LOVE EVERYTHING” are written sentiments that pulse across the model’s chests. Collection details include Radiant Heart prints and hardware, bucket hats, and stereos and headphones that seem to reference the brand’s origins. The closing look features Radiant Heart patterned leather shorts with a black leather jacket lined in a multi-color watch print alluding to the “future of reality” that the brand seeks to visualize.

—Tessa Swantek

House of Aama Spring 2022

Touchstone Pictures “The Inkwell,” Lawrence Otis Graham’s Our Kind of People and HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” all share the setting of affluent Black communities that were respites from segregation, discrimination, and Jim Crow laws. Mother-daughter design duo Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka of the boutique lifestyle brand House of Aama are the latest creatives to utilize these places of history and culture as reference points for their own creations.

For the brands spring 2022 collection, Henry and Shabaka designed a collection entitled “SALT WATER.” They describe this line as “inspired by the seafaring legacy and Black resort communities that flourished in the US in the early 1900’s.” House of Aama’s spring 2022 collection highlights Camp Aama, a fictionalized Black resort community, Black sailors and the [Yoruba] water spirits of Yemaya, Olokun and Agwe that have served as spiritual anchors of African traditions in the diaspora. “Salt Water” as a term is an ode to the Africans who crossed the Atlantic Ocean and survived the middle passage to the Americas.”

To make sure the story strikes home, House of Aama presented both menswear and womenswear, ranging in items from matching short sets and high-waisted sailor pants for guys to swimwear and tea-party frock for the ladies; all of which have the appropriate vintage aesthetic for the 1900s married with the contemporary cuts and silhouettes of today.

The menswear has a color scheme of mainly shades blue, but there is also the appearance of sand, olive, and burgundy on a number of items. The looks that immediately catch the eye are the sailors uniform consisting of nylon pants and jacket, a cream colored wide-legged, low-cut overalls, and the variety of short shorts.

On the womenswear side, House of Aama provides a full gamut of options bedrocked in an assortment of pastel hues that will carry you from the beach, to cocktail hour, to a night on the town. The bikinis and swim short sets are sexy, accented by cut-outs and side-string details. The cocktail dresses are made Sunday brunch or Tuesday high tea with debutantes. But the jumpsuit and woven maxi dress are the perfect any day outfits for walking around town with style and flair.

Images courtesy of House of Aama

Aside for the wonderful silhouettes, the head turning standouts are the prints. From skin- tight shirts and bodysuits, to scarves and a top loading duffle bag, Henry and Shabaka use prints of Yoruba water spirits to continue to tie the collection to African heritage. For their scarf, used as a flag, skirt, and recut as a shirt, the pair utilized a colorful silk print that pays homage to the African ancestors.

The spring 2022 collection by The House of Aama is not merely an assortment of new clothes. It is the amalgamation of history, accomplishment, and beauty found within the lexicon of African American culture.

 

—Carl Ayers

 

Cult of Individuality Spring 2022

When a fashion brand looks to music and youth culture as sources of inspiration, one of the difficult challenges is keeping that brand fresh, current, and accessible. Cult of Individuality consistently accomplishes that goal. And its current collection demonstrates how adept Creative Director Ron Poisson is at injecting a special kind of joie de vivre into his collections.

“Authenticity has always been a part of the brand DNA of CULT,” says Poisson. “We never want our collection to seem forced, or mass produced. We work vigilantly to make sure every CULT of Individuality garment looks like it was broken in overtime and got its character by being worn countless times.”

Cult of Individuality’s spring 2022 collection did not spry too far away from the brand’s signature aesthetic which is a comfortable exploration in the many ways you can combine denim looks and fuse those looks into a palatable assemblage that appeals to the modern consumer. The trick is to keep this signature look fresh and correct without looking as though the brand is pandering to consumers or making gimmicky clothes. That is where Ron Poisson’s intelligence comes into play.

Thought this collection is heavily infused with hip hop references and projects toward mostly an 18 to 28-year old demographic, there are looks that can appeal to a very wide demographic be they Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z or a hip baby boomer. And that inclusivity is front and forward because Poisson taps into a wealth of musical genres and cultures, from grunge to rock n’ roll to hip hop and skateboard slacker culture.

Staying on the trend, the brand’s logo was emblazoned on jackets, tee shirts, sweatshirts, and jeans; however, unlike some similar brands that place a huge emphasis on braggadocio logo placement, Cult of Individuality keeps its focus on design and fashion-forward sensibility. And like many brands Cult of Individuality has incorporated collaborations to expand their audience. For this collection, the brand collaborated with the glam-groove band Pantera.

“We don’t give a $&*# about what is going on in the traditional fashion marketplace. We start each season with a clean slate, a new beginning,” says Ron Poisson. “Our team then looks to music. We find inspiration in all sorts of music in all genres and from that we start designing. Our foundation is always denim. From there, we add in silhouettes, colors, washes, graphics and a bunch of details from traditional Japanese and American work wear and we always end up a collection we are obsessed with!”

Images courtesy of VERY New York

Well said, Ron. And we are obsessed with Cult of Individuality!!

—William S. Gooch

APOTTS Fall 2021

Aaron Potts embodies the word “inclusion.” With his eponymous brand APOTTS, he aims to create clothes that are unisex, versatile, modern, and trans-seasonal for all genders, sizes, and ages. Potts states that real style is about spirit, not about physical differences, or trends, yet he smartly picks up on his pre-fall 2020 trends and carries it over to his fall 2021 collection.

For fall 2021, APOTTS presents a tightly edited, cohesive collection meant to effortlessly weave into your existing wardrobe. Nothing stands out as gaudy or intimidating, but rather warm, inviting, and familiar, but new. The video of this collection, cast with Alvin Ailey dancers, is a wonderful dance of shape and silhouette, from voluminous dresses with billowing sleeves and oversized coats, to wide leg pants and shapeshifting tunics. For this collection, proportions are a key element. Most of the designs keep you well covered, without being swallowed in fabric. Here, volume is both comfort and freedom.

Every wardrobe starts with black, but there is nothing basic about it in this collection. The all-black looks will carry you throughout the season. The floor-length black crinoline skirt is fun and light enough for warm weather but can give volume under a long dress when the temps dip. The oversized tunic and pants let you layer up underneath, if need be, but make a form-filling, but not boxy silhouette on their own.

Potts proves that grey does not have to be somber, but can be fun. You can feel snug at home in the grey cocoon jumpsuit or hit the streets in a grey checked coat. There is a loose-fitting top and calf-length skirt in the same checkered pattern. If you gravitate toward oversized silhouettes, there’s a wonderful almost duster-length grey coat with an exaggerated collar.

The infusion of yellow in this collection can brighten any mood. In creating this collection, Potts described a need for optimism and creativity. He stated, “The light at the end of the tunnel isn’t cliché. It’s necessary.” The yellow plaid mohair coat is almost a hybrid between a Chesterfield and a peacoat. The bold pattern with subdued vibrancy makes this, alongside the similarly patterned pant, the stand out of the collection. If you want to be adventurous with this pattern, there is also a seemingly twelve-foot long matching scarf with detachable panels.

The most luminescent garments are the lemon-yellow items—the zip-ripped sweater, pants, and overcoat. The leather pant and coat with silver lining should make an appearance in a young pop stars music video.

Images courtesy of 360runway.com

The range of this collection demonstrates that Potts had a varied consumer base in mind. There are items that are more creative, and items that are more reserved. No matter what purchases you make, the collection will grow with you through the years furthering the brands aim to create quality, fresh, thoughtful, and effortless dressing options.

—Carl Ayers

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