Anime aesthetic blurs the line between real and virtual fashion

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Multidimensional style

The presence of NFT (non-fungible tokens) in fashion has gone from novelty to de rigueur alarmingly rapid. For items presumably prized for their rarity, the explosion of designers selling clothing with NFT bonuses has made them anything but. Yet without the real world street tracks to show off our finery, we need a way to peacock online and – for now at least – with NFTs, it does.

In fashion, the NFTs in question are usually an image file and a digital token of an illustration or graphic based on the collection, or a photograph from the lookbook. In many ways, NFTs are a way to tangibly sell a brand’s image or aesthetic, rather than actual clothing, much like the way high-end brands sell perfumes or clothing. relatively affordable makeup. While it’s very easy to be cynical about the value (or lack thereof) of NFTs, they clearly serve a very human need to have a memory of a moment that matters to you. A memory “I was there” for the era of the pandemic.

The “Dimension” collection from Anrealage has digital skins that can be purchased as NFTs (non-fungible tokens). | ANREALAGE

The latest stylish entry into the NFT market is the Anrealage “Dimension” collection, which was unveiled online as part of Paris Fashion Week. The collection was produced in conjunction with Studio Chizu’s critically acclaimed animated film, “Belle” (“Ryu to Sobakasu no Hime” in Japanese), directed by Mamoru Hosoda. In line with the film’s setting, which oscillates between real and virtual Japan, the collection plunges into the animated worlds of Japan, blurring the aesthetics of virtual spaces with that of the exterior of our phones. It’s a vaguely intellectual way of saying ‘anime meets fashion’, but in the case of Anrealage creator Kunihiko Morinaga, who made it her business to pursue a fad that seems to come from another world , it’s a collection to take. seriously even if you have a hard time with the anime.

The digital looks are seen in an animated film produced by Studio Chizu and owned as NFT, first through Anrealage’s own online store and later through the OpenSea NFT Marketplace.

Realization: anrealage.com

The 90s are back

Akiba Kanden Denki takes inspiration from the otaku-infused aesthetic of the 1990s for his new store in Laforet Harajuku.  |  LAFORET HARAJUKU
Akiba Kanden Denki draws on the otaku-infused aesthetic of the 1990s for his store in Laforet Harajuku. | LAFORET HARAJUKU

Anrealage’s path to Paris has been paved by a series of smaller brands and boutiques – most notably Akihabara’s long-gone Gokai boutique, and new additions such as Akiba Kanden Denki – which have long advocated for culture. pop, or outright otaku– fashion steeped in culture. The latter boutique is currently in the spotlight for Laforet Harajuku’s fall renewal campaign, where it will bring a retro-Akihabara aesthetic to a permanent space on the fourth floor.

Deliberately blown JPEGs, illustrations taken from erotic visuals of NEC PC-98 computer games, and allusions to stacked 1990s socks and overly decorated cellphones are all nostalgic references to a time when its customers (mostly early days) twenties) have ever known. Yet beyond the sensational irony of bringing to light once-hidden male fantasies, the brand has a deeper appreciation for the subcultural digital worlds created before the internet became mainstream.

Laforêt Harajuku: laforet.ne.jp; Akiba Kanden Denki: akibakandendenki.com

Sub-cultural heritage

Hiromu Takahara, who was best known as the designer behind Roen, passed away last month at the age of 51.  |  AHDELU
Hiromu Takahara, who was best known as the designer behind Roen, passed away last month at the age of 51. | AHDELU

On September 21, Hiromu Takahara, best known for his work as the creator of Roen, passed away at the premature age of 51. As Roen’s head, he helped define the subcultural vibe of menswear in the early 2000s, openly bringing Gothic into the mainstream American casual wardrobe. The style would eventually become anything but mainstream as the masculine counterpoint of Shibuya 109, 109 Men peaked in the mid-2000s. Its fanged skulls, studs and snakeskin brought luxury to the underground, and even so the fashion establishment has kept Roen and similar brands at bay, its legacy lives on in every man who dreamed of being a rockstar, dangerous outlaw, or cowboy riding toward sunset. . With women also keen to go for the look, Takahara went on to create a gender-less sister brand called Switchblade, inviting everyone on the Tokyo subway.

Roen’s legacy will continue in the digital world. Takahara designed the wardrobes for Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XV heroes. But even before that, his designs influenced the wave of Gothic-Baroque elements that swept through Japanese video game design in the early 2000s and have never left it.

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