Thursday, September 28, 2023
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Kamiya Tokyo Spring 2024

On a humid Monday night, two balaclava-clad thugs crashed a white pickup truck through the wall of Japan’s National Stadium carpark and stopped it in the middle of a runway while 900 open-mouthed guests looked on.

It was Koji Kamiya’s debut show, and it was a hell of a way to make a first impression. The truck had a mountainous sound-system strapped to the back that thumped out moody ambient rock music, and the broken wall (which turned out to be polystyrene) lay smashed to bits on the floor as Kamiya’s models came stomping out from the gap wearing distressed denim, fluffy Cobain cardigans, and sweaters and hoodies the color of toxic waste.

It was a hell of a way to make a first impression. The 27-year-old designer, who cut his teeth working under Mihara Yasuhiro and started his own label only a year ago, is a confident and hungry newcomer to the Tokyo menswear scene, and a showman too. Halfway through the show, a blizzard of fake snow pumped into the air (sadly doing little to alleviate the heat inside the venue) hardening the dystopian edge of the collection, which felt like an updated take on 2018’s war-core trend – remember that?

Behind Kamiya’s flair for theatrics, however, is a genuine fashion talent. The textures were a strong point: unique cableknit sweaters, artfully distressed knits, ridged denim and satiny nylon pink track pants were all the result of a clear knowledge of textiles, the latter of which was achieved by a lengthy dyeing process to achieve that smooth gradient fade.

Kamiya had called the collection Nothing From Nothing, after the 1974 Billy Preston ditty that he’d spent the last season listening to. “When I interpreted the lyrics for myself, I felt intuitively that if you don’t challenge anything then you’ll end up with nothing. And I think that’s lacking in today’s world and especially in my generation,” he said. Not to worry: Kamiya’s definitely got something.



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