Atsushi Nakashima RTW Spring 2021

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The concept of wakon yōsai informed the co-ed collection Tokyo-based designer Atsushi Nakashima presented via a livestreamed runway show staged at his hometown’s Zōjō-ji temple.

Translating in English as “Japanese spirit, Western learning,” the expression best describes the cross-pollination of references.

Shirts recalling baseball jerseys were paired with high-waisted, pleated pants, while bomber jackets and tracksuits came with colorful prints and a series of kanji, logographic Chinese characters used in Japanese writing.

Atsushi Nakashima RTW Spring 2021

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Women’s silhouettes – half kimono-half ruffled dress – were quite literal in interpreting the theme, while a graphic printed dress knotted on the waist hinted to the furoshiki art of fabric wrapping in a more subtle and wearable way.

While a more focused effort compared to the past, the designer juggled too many references and styles. For instance, he could have explored tailoring more deeply and axed the psychedelic tiger print splashed on sweatshirts and tracksuits.

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