The industry news from Tokyo is that it’s all change in the world of Japanese menswear. Daisuke Obana’s Americana-inspired N.Hoolywood has, this week, announced its intention to show in New York from next season and John Lawrence Sullivan, designed by former pro-boxer Arashi Yanagawa, is heading off to Paris. This comes in addition to yesterday’s announcement that Factotum will cease to continue its runway shows. Expect installations and exhibitions in the future.

It’s lucky, then, that JFW menswear debutant Phenomenon, brainchild of larger than life designer Big-O, is, as one Tokyo fashion insider said, “the fresh blood of JFW.” Phenomenon has a strong streetwear influence in Tokyo, and its first runway collection was a punk and dance music-inspired romp. An enormous collection, for a debut brand, the show included tartan shirt/dresses, pleated skirts, animal motif knits, leather, and fox fur accessories.

Yoshio Kubo, who studied in Philadelphia and trained in couture, presented a show which was environmental in theme but the styling, which included large leaf headpieces and odd face masks, distracted from the apparel which was tailored and progressive. The show ultimately lacked the force that was so prominent in previous years.

Earlier in the day In-Process by Hall Ohara, a pair of Saint Martins graduates, disappointed with a womenswear collection, apparently inspired by the Grimm fairy tale Rapunzel, which was gothic and edgy in places but at times looked frumpy and outdated, caused by the length of its skirts and the decorative use of lace.

—Paul McInnes

Photo courtesy Will Robb