gouk’s Fresh Fall Look


by Kate Havas, chi.yow, posted June 22, 2013

gouk showed a diverse and elegant collection on June 1 at Shinjuku’s Marui One. Casual and summery looks of light fabric and loose, flowing cardigans created a seasonal feeling on the floor and the color scheme had a tropical feel with greens and yellows complementing the brand’s signature Japanese fabrics.


The first looks showed variations on simple summer style from boyish jeans and a cap paired with flowing tops to asymmetric skirts in sheer linen that created a cool feeling. Striped tennis shoes with flower designs and flirty sandals with cut-out heels displayed gouk’s continued commitment to stylish yet practical footwear.

More sophisticated looks came next in an elegant, knit jacket and dress with a chrysanthemum pattern as well as a tie-dyed tunic dress with a long cardigan. The Japanese-style umbrella print was a first for gouk, and it added a cute whimsy that stood out among the more typical kimono florals. Another must-have item was a long skirt, made by the designers at customer request. The goldenrod pattern and color contrasted nicely with the purple jacket it was joined with.

sumi, the line focusing on black and white designs inspired by Japanese ink painting, showed two contrasting outfits, one a smart capri coordinate and the other a billowy dress and cape. The ink reduction prints created gradients of gray while the shading lent itself to subtle patterns apparent in the dress and its accompanying vest.

A few cool-weather pieces were displayed as well. A green blazer and green sweater coat showed that the brand was going to continue the color theme into the fall but the coat that stood out the most was red with a built in scarf that fell down the front of the coat. Though the effect was a bit awkward at first, the lines improved once the coat was opened. A mustard yellow coat with purple accents also made a strong impression and as it was paired with cool suede boots, it created a perfect fall look.

As the looks kept coming, the designs took a turn for the avant garde as Kuni Kuni took the runway. The overall look was comprised of adult chic, business-like coordinates with a touch of flair. One dress showed patchwork in dark navy and black, the difference in color only noticeable as the model moved under the lights while a high-collared jacket had cords that allowed the length to be changed. Another jacket looked plain from the front but running down the back seam was a second zipper, allowing it to be split in two.

The final outfits, from the hime line, were one-of-a-kind creative collaborations in which Kunitomo took vintage designer pieces and reworked them in his own style. A Chanel suit was slit and had red kimono fabric stitched in while a Givenchy knit was turned into a retro, Japanese coat with a crane pattern. Meanwhile, a spiral patterned Dior dress had an obi draped across the chest—all of this in a show of repurposing both western and Japanese fashions. These one-off remakes were ominously announced as price upon request and only available through a special visit to the Nishi Azabu gallery. All other items will be rolling out in late June and can be bought through any of gouk’s locations or ordered through the web shop.

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Kate Havas first became interested in Japanese fashion and culture in college when manga, anime, and visual kei were just beginning to make their way to America. An art and English major with a love of clothes, Kate signed onto ROKKYUU in order cover fashion and report on Tokyo trends, but was quickly also recruited to the music side of things and has been having an adventure expanding her knowledge of all things VK since. Follow her on twitter at keito_kate!

Chi’s interest in visual kei stems from her love of art. The unique aesthetics in combination with the wide range of musical styles within the genre have been what has kept her interest in the visual kei scene for over a decade. The main image her friends and classmates have of her is with a camera in hand, face behind the viewfinder or screen. This image is also occasionally combined with memories of running around her to avoid getting into her panorama shots.

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