The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo is held every year in March and October. In October 2015, Yoshiki who is the band leader of X-Japan, debuted his first kimono collection which is called the “Yoshikimono” at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo. Yoshiki grew up in a family who owned a kimono shop so the kimono collection meant a lot to him.
Growing up, Yoshiki was surrounded by pretty kimonos and his mother wore kimonos every day. His mother often dressed him up in kimonos too. Due to this background, he was inspired to create his own version of kimonos. Yoshiki sought the help of Jotaro Saito who is a top designer to produce the collection, creating a combination of traditional Japanese kimono with a touch of Yoshiki’s personal taste.
The show began with the beat of a taiko drum to welcome the entrance of Yoshiki into the stage. He was dressed in a white kimono with a Hannya mask. After that, he removed the mask and then started to play the piano with accompanying violinists. Yoshiki performed classical music such as Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake; and also his own compositions which were “ART OF LIFE” and “I’ll Be Your Love”.
The models walked down the runway to parade the kimonos with a sexy and rock twist, which is likely to be inspired by Yoshiki’s taste in rock music. The Yoshikimono collection showcased lighter, modern fabrics which include denim, jersey, and wool unlike the traditional kimono which are usually made of silk. According to Jotaro Saito, the kimono should not be seen as old-fashioned and he wanted to show the kimonos as a fashion statement. He would love to see more young women sporting the kimono as a fashionable piece of clothing. Yoshiki also stated that he hoped to see more women wearing his kimonos to concerts, be it classical or rock and roll.
Wearing kimonos to concerts would be an awesome idea! The modern kimonos are probably less restrictive and allow one to freely move about and jump around at a rock concert. It is amazing that a leader of a rock band could think of combining fashion and music!