Soshiotsuki Tokyo Fall 2023
Fall 2023 is a sort of coming of age moment for Soshi Otsuki, as it marks 10 years since his first collection. Back in 2013, the designer was still a student (he graduated from Bunka Fashion College before training at Coconogacco, an experimental design school) and was then nominated for the LVMH Prize. Ever since, he’s been grappling with his identity as a designer who runs his own business. Now, with a decade under his belt (or should that be a gorpcore cummerbund?) he’s hit on something pretty damn good.
That circa 2013 collection was called Final Homme, and was inspired by the queues of dark suited salarymen he’d observed on his commute to fashion school. “The way they all lined up looked to me like a funeral procession,” he said backstage. His new collection was a sequel—he named it Final Homme 2—though he intended to update the somber suits of that long-ago show with all he’s learned so far.
In practice, that meant taking those salaryman references and twisting them in ways that poked fun at their homogeneity. A white cotton business shirt was extended into a jumpsuit, while chaps exposed a layer of pinstripes and black juzu (tasselled prayer beads) were worn as bracelets or magnified into neckpieces. A nylon cummerbund turned out to be a rather clever interpretation of a belt bag, with zip-up pockets in the grooves. There were plenty of commercially appealing pieces, too: among them a pair of excellent leather and denim chore jackets, a black lounge suit festooned with more of those prayer tassels, and a cash printed shirt and tie that Otsuki made in collaboration with NYC jewelry designer Kota Okuda.
Another endearing detail in a collection with many to choose from: the embroidery on the neckties depicting a family kamon (crest) which Otsuki asked his grandmother, a calligrapher, to design. It might have been interpreted as an open invitation for all who appreciate Otsuki’s work to come and join his tribe. Indeed, there was a poeticism to the long procession of chattering devotees who lined up to see the show. They were mostly dressed in black, sure, but no one could accuse them of looking like they were on their way to a funeral.