Photo: Alessandro Lucioni
The “Church” collection from Tokyo James for SS23 has a delightful grunge, gothic, and sexy vibe. It was sleek and focused, mostly black with bits of green Lurex and blue broderie anglaise torn on outerwear to reveal layers of black Lurex beneath. The focus was made even more clear by belts that dangled at nipple height around their wearers, regardless of gender. The tension was increased by slouchy black bags with whip-like handles that had a cult-like appearance.
To give his raw-edged pieces a leather-like gloss, James graffiti-style sprayed denim with layer after layer of black paint. More naturally skin-toned clothing included motorcycles, skirts, and corsets incorporated into tulle panelled dresses. UWR, a London start-up, produced jewellery, grommets, and studs that sent off ferocious light flashes.
In 2022, Tokyo James was among the eight (8) finalist of the LVMH Prize. Tokyo James is a highly politicized brand that is affected by global issues. Its design creates a parallel universe in which no one believes in hype and everyone is realistic. A very contemporary African twist combined with a social value can be seen in its designs. One of the brand’s focal points, intersectionality, is expressed by developing irreverent fashion with a cultural edge.