Eri Utsugi


Wig by Eri Utsugi for the upcoming Tokyo Fashion Week. (Reuters Photo)

Eri Utsugi, whose blog is here, will be participating in Tokyo’s upcoming Fashion Week. She has attracted a lot of attention in the last few years for her “cute and quirky” designs featuring animal-shaped afro wigs and other whimsical designs. Her well-received debut in 2006 was quickly followed by six store openings for her label Mercibeaucoup. She is doing some really great stuff in her designs, with a lot of creativity and a sense of humor.

As one commentator said, there’s something uniquely Japanese about her clothing. Martin Webb of The Japan Times wrote of her designs, “The brightly colored and often bizarre results are the antithesis of Western notions of seductive fashion, and Utsugi’s work is often cited as representative of Tokyo style.” I would say add that her work is a sophisticated triangulation that references the kawaii-kei, unwearable whimsy, and the abstracted formality of other Japanese designers to produce a more sophisticated result. Some images from an August 15, 2007 photo shoot for “Laughing Clothes” 「服笑い」, a pun on 「福笑い」 a Japanese game of making funny faces:

Square shirt courtesy Eri Utsugi.        Giant pants courtesy Eri Utsugi.


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