Japan Fashion Week: Koche Invades Harajuku

Up-and-coming French label Koche took over Tokyo’s famous Harajuku district for a show of street-meets-boudoir style for Japan Fashion Week.

The two-year old brand from Paris-based designer Christelle Kocher came to the heart of Japanese youth culture with a purpose other than gimmickry. Her label is described as streetwear infused with couture elements. When you think about it, the Harajuku setting – a district known as the hub of Japanese youth culture, with boutiques teeming with girls in school uniforms, where self-expression is revered  – fits perfectly with Koche’s DNA.  

Anyway, Kocher took the concept of street fashion quite seriously for the show, which was held on the streets of Harajuku, literally bringing traffic to a standstill. The open-air runway was lined with lanterns and she cast real Japanese people, including a DJ, a photographer and a designer. Her models really did look like they were handpicked from the street, as they showcased 40 looks for summer and winter.

Those 40 looks included delicate negligee-style slip dresses and vest tops, paired with denim or sports wear, fabrics with sequins and feathers, and crepe ruffled shirts (for both men and women). This of course is what prompts us to call Koche style street-meets-boudoir. No, we’re not just being facetious. The catwalk also showcased looks consisting of net leggings, jogging bottoms reimagined as lace flares, patchwork dresses cut on the bias and textured cream silk trousers – again for both men and women.

“The idea was to bring the energy of Paris together in Tokyo,” Kocher explained to reporters backstage after the show. “We wanted to have this really powerful, symbolic connection between the two countries and show that we can be altogether.”