TOGA AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR LONDON

TOGA AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR LONDON

For the past few seasons, Japanese brand Toga has jammed its way into the crowded London fashion week schedule via a clever gambit: Figure out where the Topshop Unique show is happening, and then stage a presentation right around the corner. Sheer convenience has made for a good excuse to see what Toga creative director Yasuko Furuta is up to, but it’s had the effect of making her collections seem like a bit of an afterthought. And they shouldn’t be. This season, Furuta confirmed—yet again—that she’s one of the more original and appealing designers around. Her clothes are worth making an effort to see.

This season, Furuta was reflecting on the idea of “freedom,” a theme she extrapolated formally, by creating coats and sweaters with internal bands that allowed them to be slung insouciantly over one shoulder, and abstractly, via her collection’s nod to that moment in the early 1970s when Western youth got all mystical and New Agey. Furuta isn’t particularly literal with her references—the mystical turn was mainly suggested through tunic shapes and slashes of pink that winked at the tradition of dress in India. The ’70s, too, got an oblique homage: You could see the influence of the era in Furuta’s lanky trenchcoats and sharp, side-slit taffeta check trousers, but there was nothing vintage-y about the looks. The sense of the modern was underscored by the unexpected materials here, notably the jacquards with loose threads that looked like they’d been on the receiving end of an electric charge. The whole collection crackled with electricity, in fact, and it was a genuine pleasure to plug into it. For God’s sake, give this woman a show.

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