Friday 24 June 2011

Brand Of The Week: Kana Tojo

Images throughout courtesy of Kana Tojo/ LCF and Catwalking. The above and first block below are photographed by Sean Michael. All further imagery is photographed by Christopher Moore.
Hailing from Japan, womenswear designer Kana Tojo was one of the stand-out designers from the recent LCF Class of 2011 showcase. Having completed a design placement with S+E designer Christopher Raeburn in her final year, sustainability has become a focal point for this burgeoning young designer.
Themed around Reincarnation, Tojo’s striking AW11 collection interpreted her starting point through recycling, breathing a new lease of life into discarded and outworn materials. Clearly inspired by Raeburn’s re-appropriating of decommissioned military fabrics and parachute silk, Tojo innovatively styled her collection to reflect the ‘rugged’ mood often seen in an ‘orphan’s way of wearing clothes’ – reminding me of a chicer Oliver Twist.
Generally inspired by artists and photographers, Tojo’s AW11 offering is inspired by the drawings of an ‘Unreal World’, by Dutch graphic designer M.C Escher. Reflected through the intricate twisting and layering of her pieces, Tojo’s colour palette is a combination of rich blues, reds and burnt oranges neutralised by luxurious camel tones and pastel greys.
Aesthetically epitomising this summer’s popular nomadic trend, lots of headdresses and wraps were present, with beautiful swathes of luxurious silks, velvets and thick cottons cocooning the body. Tied together and cinched with rivets and leather laces, longer laces featured heavily, cleverly used in many guises, most noticeably as fringing when tied through a concession of metal eyelets.
Footwear consisted of primitive flat leather Roman type sandals, tied together with the same leather laces that feature so heavily throughout the collection. The twist came where the models feet had been bound in flourescent carrier bags first, further enhancing the ‘living in the elements’ vision that accompanied this bold collection.

Utilising recycled and reworked materials to their fullest potential, Tojo triumphs using the most random discarded fragments for a new purpose, such as mens canvas sneakers reborn as epaulettes. Setting us the challenge of working out which redundant garments and accessories have been employed for what, Tojo plays to her strengths and displays her superior skill at breathing a new lease of life into the most unwearable of garments.

Read my write-up of the catwalk show to refresh your memory.

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