Cultural Fabrics: We Are Canadians too!

Painterly Palette


The sartorial side of Stranger Things 2

Happy Halloween!

Sukajan- A stylish satin bomber jacket from Japan

Have you heard of the Sukajan jacket? You will have seen it. Think oriental outerwear with a sense of luxe. Sukajan (スカジャン), also known as the Japanese Souvenir jacket, is cut similar to a classic American baseball jacket in a soft silky fabric featuring iconic Japanese imagery. The bold colours and contrasting sleeves create a standout look, but the real visual intrigue is to be found on the reverse; striking embroidered designs in bright contrasting colours. Cherry blossom, dragons, trees, tigers and Geisha girls are the motifs that traditionally feature on these cultural artefacts. The distinctive designs will catch your eye as you see them being worn around the streets of Tokyo.

The word Sukajan is a mashup of ‘Yokosuka’, a Japanese city south of Tokyo, and ‘Jan’, which means jumper in Japanese. Originally created for American soldiers to bring home after the post-war occupation of Japan, Sukajans were literal souvenirs hence the name ‘Souvenir jacket’. The troops began getting traditional Japanese designs hand-stitched into the backs of their jackets to commemorate their time there.

Since then the Sukajan has been frequently re-interpreted by many high-fashion labels as well as streetwear companies. It’s a staple piece on the Tokyo fashion scene, and here at VFW we’re on the lookout for the best interpretations of this iconic style. Many small independent fashion retailers in Tokyo are selling these symbolic satin bomber jackets. We love finding original hand-stitched artwork and creative adaptations of the traditional motifs.

Words by Faye Cottrill

Images by japanese.sukajan Instagram

Welcome to Tokyo!

Kon’nichiwa! This week the Vancouver Fashion Week team will be hitting the streets of Tokyo as part of the Global Fashion Collective.

Global Fashion Collective will be participating in Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo (AFWT) this Friday, October 20th, 2017 at Shibuya Hikarie Hall B, Tokyo, Japan.

In the exciting run-up to our show, we will be embracing the full Japanese experience and exploring the local culture. Tokyo (東京) is Japan’s capital and the world’s most populous metropolis. It is internationally noted for its unique fashion and street style scene, a superb location for us to peruse and find inspiration.

In Tokyo, the best street fashion spots are Omotesando, Shibuya, Ginza, Shinjuku, Shimokitazawa, and Harajuku, the heart.

Harajuku, a neighbourhood of just one square mile in size has had a massive impact on fashion in Japan and beyond. This fashion hub showcases the most forward thinking and progressive style providing inspiration for designers across the globe. The style tribes found here are clad in an eclectic mix of DIY fashion. We are provided with a sensory overload; unique mixes of influences, references, shapes, and colour, perfectly demonstrating clothing as an artistic medium that can push boundaries.

A post shared by Harajuku Japan (@tokyofashion) on

Through Harajuku’s youth culture a variety of style subcultures have emerged, each with its own rules and hangouts. From Gothic Lolita to Futuristic Cyberpunks, Rockabilly to Kawaii, at Yoyogi park you can find a real variety of style gangs staking out their territory and inspiring others.

A post shared by Harajuku Japan (@tokyofashion) on

What becomes apparent from observing this visually vibrant style is the importance of self-expression here for the people of Tokyo. The way you assemble your outfit for the public eye is like an instant creative language and a method of re-inventing yourself.

A post shared by Harajuku Japan (@tokyofashion) on

We are feeling mentally stimulated by the distinctive, hyper-colourful, eclectic style exhibited on the busy streets of Japan. The cool kids of Tokyo are so unique in the way they piece together their clothes they have inspired us to be more creative with our own wardrobes. Arigatou!

Words by Faye Cottrill

Images from @tokyofashion Instagram