For the first time I am left completely in the dark as to the origins, back story and glorious history of a brand that I have chosen to write about on The Secret Hipster, but with a runway show this big, bad and bold I have chosen to rise to the challenge and take the bull by the horns. After all, how bad can it be? You see, Jouetie are a Japanese based brand that have taken inspiration in their Spring 2012 collection from European countries such as England and France. You of course, dear and vigilant reader would have without a doubt figured that one out for yourself by the clever observation and detective work of viewing the big ole banner at the back of the catwalk which features the flag of Great Britain and at the centre of that, two French looking cherubs. There's also the tell-tale sign of iconic bunting attached to flimsy looking plastic parasols. There are many references to some of the most notable and greatest musician pieces to come from England such as The Beatles, Sex Pistols and skate board brand Thrasher. For those wishing to pay tribute to 'Old Glory' there's also a flag of Great Britain torn and punctured using safety pins dressing up an all denim ensemble.
Harajuku style and flair is combined with European influence as well as intuitive wild coloured wigs cut into bobs and distinct pop Japanese style; that entails the use of layering, bright colours as well as mock-up leather. Spiked epaulets and frills are great eclectic touches to what would otherwise be boring cardigans and shirts and channels the popular culture movement of Japanese youths, particularly it's girls. Jouetie's 2012 Spring collection doesn't overdo this wild side though, I find that there is a great balance between quirk as well as references to popular culture and familiar territory. A wide range of prints such as grey English tartan in maxi skirts, shocking lightning bolt printed cardigans and the best of stereotypical French style has been thrown into the mix to make the show such a popular hit on the micro-blogging site Tumblr.
Occasionally a model will prance down the catwalk with a precious French beret sitting atop their pretty little head- I love the use of cliche French style such as horizontal stripes and the iconic hat to move away to new frontiers. Other feminine and frilly touches include tulle skirts that would make any Ballerina blush, lace gloves as well as beaded collar necklaces and collared blouses. In the background of the photograph above you will see the previous model sporting a wig in a shocking shade of cotton candy pink which contrast well with the touch biker black leather. For the outfit above, the use of binary shades black and white creates in the viewers mind the idea of opposites. I like the use of tough looking boots in the style of Doc Martens with silver studs at the bottom and the French beret and lace sash at the top. It really emphasise the influence of the two nation's styles on this collection.
One of my favourite runway photographs included this sassy lass and that gorgeous lightning bolt cardigan. The eclectic buttons and badges on top of her beret really emphasises the vintage-style movement in fashion and the way a person collects things during their life and combines them with the new. You'll often see famous fashion bloggers raiding vintage and second hand shops in the hopes of finding unique, one-of-a-kind pieces and then wearing them with the new. The bold print of 'CIAO!' at the top of this dress and the tulle trail over the skirt of the dress makes the clashing black and white really pop. The subtle addition of a mint coloured green wig as well as the red lipstick reminds us that not everything in our outfits has to match and sometimes when wearing one print with another a greater and more eye-catching effect can be created.
One of the things that puzzled me most about the presentation of Jouetie's runway collection for Spring 2012 was the choice of models. After having seen the launch of Prada's S/S11 collection in Asia and using exotic looking models from that region, I felt caught off guard when I read this brand came from Japan and not from a European country. With the strong Western flavour and influence, how could something this eclectic and awe-inspiring come from a country whose language I can't decipher? It was mainly heartbreaking that I couldn't navigate the Jouetie home website and find out more about them. Viewing the catwalk photographs from Jouetie's runway show, you would have to be bordering on psychic-gypsy powers to guess its Japanese origins. While I can't yet find an online to stock their glorious clothes and being rendered useless, I guess I'll be enrolling in the nearest Japanese for dummies crash course.
I'm very jealous of the legs on this lovely model, as well as the cute socks in Union Jack print; then there's the curious frills on the shoulders of her blouse topped off with a black collar. I really love shirts with mismatching coloured collars- it's always interesting to wear a jumper over the top and have a shirt/ dress underneath with a completely different pattern to it. Predominately floral dressed with cream coloured collars are my usual favourite. It has been said that Jouetie have taken a cue from the 'fau-vintage' movement without the use of shades of brown and mustard, instead they've been replaced with black, white, leopard and tartan print. In my books, the collection any aspiring punk lover's dream.
The matching of red lipstick and red beret complements the taupe colour of the trench coat covered in black graffiti scrawling and is at the centre of attention for this fabulous photograph. Finally, the look is capped off with one of my favourite unlikely combinations: tough studded black shoes and prissy frilly socks. When I can finally get about and this heat wave ends, I will have to make a journey to get myself some lovely American Apparel socks I've been hanging out for.
Love the little beehive clumping of blond hair and The Beatles printed on to a black shirt- the two styles combined together are very reminiscent of the 1960s. I'm also very glad to see the use of leggings underneath the delicate tulle folds of this sheer maxi dress. It befits the use of instruments such as the drum kit on the right of the model and large Marshall amplifier on the left. Everything about this photograph and the atmosphere evoked is just so right- I can't wait to see what else Jouetie will produce and their other archived collections.
The ruching on the black skirt as well as the seemingly scabby knees of the model is a fresh new take on so much of the vintage inspired clothing coming through, in particular the long and flowing pleated skirts. There's a lot of contrasting texture involved with this single outfit, a crochet collar added to a slogan shirt hiding underneath an updated denim jacket as well as the identifiable silhouette of the structured skirt and little studded leather boots. It's odd the way that from a set of pastel coloured wigs some of them have been styled differently, for example the added curls added to this ginger red colour. I really like the use of colour to each outfit which mainly feature black, white and grey; it's a breathe of fresh air frankly. I love little quirky touches like this added to runway shows.
Love the punk rocker pose and hand on the hip- it's like Japanese school girls have met with 80's rockers in the most fantastic melding.
This is the photograph that drew me in to search for the identity of the brand- the sassy holding of the skirt and swishing it around down the run way as well as the short and succinct phrase on the back of the cardigan in matching font made me go into lust overdrive. Typical that I always want what the heart can't have but I have been inspired to search around for lots of beaded collars to add to singlets and regular shirts to dress them up. As you can plainly tell, the cardigan is my favourite piece from the whole collection. A shame it would be difficult to wear out about town, maybe a best kept secret piece of fashion clothing confined to photographs of outfits or parties with friends at night.
While I have never attempted to stud things myself and starting off with delicate tulle would most certainly be a bad and dangerous idea, I would love to be able to wear something as gorgeous as this baby punk tulle tutu skirt. I know American Apparel made a petticoat skirt with frills and a strong silhouette structure, but I often find that these types of skirts are either a hit or a miss. I love the teaming up with the bold bomber jacket, it draws attention to the studs over the top of the dress and makes it look tough and eclectic rather than girly and feminine.