Johan Ku Fall 2014 – Tokyo Fashion Week

Of all the Fall 2014 shows I watched in Tokyo, Johan Ku’s had the most architectural structure, featuring tactile pieces with two-toned fabric. Texture and sculpture dominated a collection with standouts such as chunky knit sweater wraps and a black bubble dress, the latter with green threads woven into the fabric.

Guillermo del Toro’s film “Pan’s Labyrinth” served as the inspiration for Ku’s collection.  More specifically, the designer drew his cues “from…all the scenes in the dark forest – dark blue, dark green tones – and also animal fur, like the main character,” Ku told Meniscus Magazine at an exhibition for his Johan Ku Gold Label Fall 2014 collection in Tokyo.

Ku, who hand knit all of the sweater sculptures in thick multicolored merino wool, said that one piece typically takes four days to make.   The textured fabric that he uses for other pieces is made of multiple materials; it alone takes three days to create by hand.  “We also make prints based on the textured fabric,” Ku said.

A few men’s looks featured some standard masculine cuts using the same fabric as the womenswear, although women may find it easier to style some of these pieces than men.   The jewelry for this collection, which featured Pan’s head, was made by Jade Chiu, a New York-based jeweler.

Ku currently markets his line in Tokyo and London, and has an eye on America next.  The question is: Can the U.S. handle, and appreciate, Ku’s talent?