Tokyo comes to Paris as Olympia Le-Tan’s memories create the “Sentimental Journey” spring 2016 line to honor the Hotel Okura before its destruction in the 1960s. She loves the land of the rising sun and who wouldn’t with all that culture and color happening throughout Japan. It certainly gives designers food for thought and lots inspiration.
Designer Olympia Le-Tan loves to infuse her collection both with personality and real life experiences, something that is clearly in effect here now. In memory of the destroyed cultural landmark, we now see “Hotel Olympia” emblazoned across the front of her reverse souvenir jacket, a coiled rope logo showing off her interest in Japanese bondage, a form of art called kinbaku.
The Olympia Le-Tan spring/summer 2016 collection is undoubtedly more grown up than all the previous seasons she has appeared on, putting naughtiness aside in order to show off something a little more sassy but real. The ladies here have seen life, perhaps even been geisha if their mock obis have anything to do with it. The hems of the skirts are generally longer than usually expected while the legs are encased in gorgeous bloody red tights, covering up the flesh this time around.
The silhouettes achieved here have a lot of balance and a lot of geometry to them, something that had been missing previously, while images of Hello Kitty, My Melody, and Little Twin Stars along with Hokusai-as-Polaroids floated on by. The Polaroid prints were actually that of Le Tan’s father that were taken by both the designer and Nobuyoshi Araki.
Black mesh face masks appear here and there, while the makeup catches our attention with the red lipstick and smoky black eyes. We love the red shorts with the ultra-high waistline and the short hem, which only elongates the legs and hips, while leaving the traditional style shirt peeking out on top. The most amusing print seen is the look of the teapots, an ode to Yasujiro Ozu’s favored recurring theme or cinematic motif.
It is an interesting collection really, with shiny material and gorgeous accentuated waistlines due to the overtly Japanese ideals. We see many not so Japanese looks as well, and the bursts of color here and there lend to the authenticity of the collection that appeared on the Paris Fashion Week. Think schoolteacher with the grey lapelled shirt tucked into the purple midi skirt accented with a black sash belt, this general look taking on different colors here and there.
There are some short skirts and pretty dresses, interesting rompers and very Japanese trousers. Add lacy footwear to the mix, the strips wrapped tightly around the ankles and coming in white, red and black, each with different heights to the platform heels and you have an intriguing collection overall that one cannot help but fall in love with. Perhaps it’s the Japanese bondage, a look that is unexpected on the fashion runways that lends to the line-up’s extra appeal. We would definitely want to grab a few of these for our own closets this coming spring.
Photos courtesy of Vogue