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Swiss-Japanese connections create attractive fashion

Swiss-Japanese connections create attractive fashion

Tokyo (SCCIJ) – Switzerland and Japan are intertwined in the field of fashion on many levels. For example, the Japanese avant-garde label Comme des Garçons has come up with a T-shirt collection featuring letters in the Swiss font Helvetica. And the Japan-based designer Sarah-Jane Fergusson just presented her “Amaud” kimono-based collection in a Basel pop-up store.

Swiss-Japanese connections create attractive fashion

The Comme des Garcons jacket of the Junya Watanabe Man collection with printed Helvetica letters (© Comme des Garcons).

Jacket and T-shirts

The Helvetica font is very popular in Japan. For example, the logo of the Muji department store chain is set in Helvetica. Now, Comme des Garçons has adapted Helvetica in a surprising way. The label’s designer Junya Watanabe decorated four pieces of his men’s collection for the spring and summer season 2021 with the Swiss typeface classic.

A worker-style jacket shows the title of the graphic designer and publisher Lars Müller’s bestseller book “Helvetica. Homage to a Typeface”. 5,000 copies of this book have been sold in Japan. The inside of the jacket is completely printed with letters that are also applied to the chest, cuffs, and the entire lining.

“Book” theme

Cut with quality nylon, the blouson can be interchanged depending on styles while a snap closure provides utmost security and comfort during times of wear. It comes in a colorful orange color, and the reverse side of the reversible is white. There are also two T-shirts with printed letters in Helvetica.

The designs fit into the “book” theme of the whole collection. Junya Watanabe is a Japanese fashion designer and protégé of Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo. His atelier is located on the second floor of its Tokyo headquarters, and he produces four shows a year in Paris.

Swiss-Japanese connections create attractive fashion

Founder and designer Sarah-Jane Fergusson, a Basel native (© Amaud).

“Upcycled” kimonos

On July 17, the Volkshaus in Basel made way for a kimono pop-up store of the Swiss-Japanese label “Amaud” founded by Sarah-Jane Fergusson. The Swiss designer lives and works in Tokyo. While kimonos are worn in Japan more rarely in everyday life, Fergusson would like to help this multi-faceted item of clothing to a revival.

Hence, her label Amaud has committed itself to the idea of “upcycling” traditional kimonos. New models are made from kimonos that have already been fabricated. Each piece of clothing is selected by the designer herself, creatively reinterpreted and designed, then carefully handcrafted by selected Japanese tailors. The label has been able to gain a foothold in sustainable designer circles with regular fashion shows and awards.

Text: Martin Fritz for SCCIJ

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