(Images from Viridi-anne. All credit due)
Since 2000 there has been a slew of avant-garde inspired designers that for the most part have and are still inspired (even if they are or aren’t aware) by the early 1980s cutting edge fashion. The numerous labels of today that produce ‘avant-garde’ styles owe a bow of respect to early and mid eighties experimental fashion from London to the Belgium designers – and of course, all are pale in comparison to the refined and updated (for it’s time) styles by the Japanese designers of the early 1980s who descended on Paris, more so it was Rei Kawakubo, who decreed, with her asymmetrical and elegant Wabi-sabi styles, that it is just “black, black, black”.
Viridi-anne, designed by Tomoaki Okaniwa, is one of the more established artisan or ‘underground’ avant-garde labels from Japan. Producing clothing mainly for their Tokyo flagship store and online retail companies. Their clothing is a mix of cotton and linen, exceptionally well cut and detailed. The problem with homogenized artisan styles, such as Viridi-anne, is that any uniqueness, whether it is from detailed stitching, folds and cuts, will be overlooked. This may pose as a challenge as more and more labels will appear overtime. To create a significant impact on the industry any newer label will need to mix raw determination and experimentation. Which in turn, will be seen in their designs. So far this has been elusive.