Mar 21, 2017
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Heavens rain on Tokyo temple fashion parade

Mar 21, 2017

It was supposed to be a brave new frontier: an outdoor catwalk show with a Buddhist temple and Tokyo's famed telecommunications tower glittering in the background. Until it chucked it down.

Models present creations from Matohu by Japanese designers Hiroyuki Horihata and Makiko Sekiguchi during its 2017 Autumn/Winter Collection show at Tokyo Fashion Week in Zojoji Temple in Tokyo on March 21, 2017. - (AFP Photo/Behrouz MEHRI)

While the bulk of Tokyo Fashion Week, the bi-annual style fest featuring more than 50 designers, takes place in a bland Shibuya shopping mall, at least one label hoped for something more esoteric.

But instead of a glorious spring night, the skies rained on the parade that was the fall/winter 2017 collection of matohu, the label created by two former Comme des Garcons and Yohji Yamamoto pattern makers.

Spectators were ushered under a covered walkway, invited to dry out and warm up in front of space heaters and encouraged to shove drenched umbrellas into plastic sheaths.

Just one problem.

Amid the rain, the roof and puffs of dry ice, none of Zojoji temple, which has been at this site since the 16th century, nor the 1950s-era Tokyo Tower were visible from the runway.

But if the mise-en-scene was a washout, there were lashings of sake and complimentary wooden sake cups in aromatic wood to make up for it.

The theme was "iki," an aesthetic in Japan's 17th to late 19th century Edo period that encapsulates being chic, refined and professional.

Hiroyuki Horihata, one half of matohu's design duo, lamented the weather, saying that the gate, the temple's only edifice to survive World War II, and the Tower were where the past and the future dissected.

"We'd really like to show what is modern 'iki' today. So this place Zojoji, where we feel the crossing of the past and the future is a really good place. This is why we chose it," he told reporters.

It was a wearable collection of contemporary if rather conservative Japanese elegance -- think yummy mummy moving seamlessly from the school run to the board room in flats and mid-calf heeled boots.

Layers, high-necked knits, lace-less brogues, loose-fitting skirts, and vertical and horizontal stripes were paired with beautifully cut coats or peplum-style leather jackets and opaque tights.Tokyo, March 21, 2017 (AFP)

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