On Friday night I ran into an old friend from a Whitechapel warehouse. I’d gone out to see Seye, who I knew from London, too. It was a late night – a breakfast in McDonald’s kind of night – with the city sleeping around us. Literally. With their heads down on the tables. Saturday I spent completing admin for work. Boring. At some point around tea time I noticed there was a printing error on a ticket for a show. It was for Friday. Not Saturday. I’d missed it! I decided just to keep doing admin. When my friend from the warehouse arrived later in the evening – here in Tokyo with Seye and others for the Rudeboy exhibition at Laforet in Harajuku – we decided to venture out to see Facetasm. It was time to leave as soon as we’d made the decision.
All week I’d made some effort to style myself for it had been a lovely week of thinking about clothing and making the most of leaving the house in eyeshadow (I can’t wear much makeup at work). For this final show of Tokyo Fashion Week, I arrived in plimsolls, and the usual popping-to-the-shop outfit.
Frizzy hair has destroyed my life more than once because it’s not as socially acceptable as sleek hair in our era. My hair is like wire. Even coated in products it has a life of its own. It’s hit and miss. Sometimes it stays straight. Sometimes the curls hold. Sometimes it turns into cotton candy. This was a cotton candy day. There are more of those in Tokyo due to the high humidity. It’s taken a while to love it for being like a bird’s nest. I do love it like that. Really.
The uber-frizz was the antithesis of the Facetasm hair, which I completely adored. The Facetasm hair was caked in megawatt shiny gel. It looked like plastic it was so shiny. It went beyond just being gelled without a hair out of place to the extent of there being almost as much gel as there was hair. Gelled hair says ‘I’m in control’. This expression went one step further to say ‘my hair is my control’. Love: the theme. It was slick.
And it didn’t stop there. The Love theme went beyond. The boldness of the clothes – the angles, layers, simple colour schemes – shone. Models wore necklaces with huge loose pearls sliding horizontally in metal boxes across their collar bones. It was unique. It was the type of jewellery that you lust to try on and wear just to see how it feels. In fact, like the necklaces, the whole collection was wearable yet impeccably outlandish. Facetasm was animated. The tailoring was precise. The cut of the shoulders oozed deliberation and chikara without being obsessive or masculine. It was more about being in order than anything.
Overall, if 1980’s individualism was about being able to make changes, about gender equality, masculinity represented in wide shoulders, in contrast what we espied on the runway was more about strategy – putting things into order – with flow and prerogative. It wasn’t too girly-girl, on the feminine side but something other than feminine, other than masculine. A feminine androgyny possibly if that weren’t an oxymoron. A reservoir begins with a dam; the ideas in Facetasm have an expanse.