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Sunday, March 25, 2007


Pure glam

Special to The Japan Times

When DressCamp designer Toshikazu Iwaya made his Tokyo catwalk debut three years ago, few thought that his high-octane glam looks would ever find a receptive audience in Japan. But Iwaya had tapped into a growing disillusionment with the moody, frumpy styles proffered by most homegrown designers, and his quite flamboyant creations have been flying off the racks of boutiques across the nation ever since.

News photo

Just like the European and U.S. designers who make most of their money from licensed products such as fragrances and sunglasses, and whose runway shows are mostly for the purpose of marketing their brand rather than shifting frocks, DressCamp has been clever in harnessing its kudos among the style set to launch collaboration lines with more established companies. It now produces a line of sportswear with Champion, watches with Piaget, boots with Timberland and bags with Berlin-based MCM.

Recent injections of cash from these projects produced astounding results at DressCamp's Japan Fashion Week show this season. Iwaya's menswear line, shown first, was the most luxurious take yet on the brand's 19th-century dandy look. The womenswear collection that followed it was a series of costumical, couture- inspired confections, with which Iwaya proved himself to possess a lot more imagination than many may have suspected -- and even had some commentators touting him as Japan's answer to John Galliano.

Not quite there yet, perhaps, but no doubt there are plenty more entertaining outings to come from this camp creator.

See related stories:

JFW: An outsider looks in
Young Tokyo designers set to grace the world's runways

Kookiness on a high at fast-rising brand
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Dark finesse
Harking back
Second skins
Sprout fusion

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