The histrionic struggle of the teenager is a universal story that plenty of adults still deal with. Musically, angst has fueled some of the most influential albums of all time, and has even influenced genre-bending works like Lil Yachty's succinctly-named debut Teenage Emotions.
The struggle to feel something, or even “realize things” in a post-Xanax, post-Kylie Jenner world feels like a personal triumph to a younger generation that is comfortably numb from the glow of smartphone screens imparting them with generations' worth of content, desensitizing them at a rapid pace.
Facetasm's Hiromichi Ochihai examines this in his Fall/Winter 2018 collection, “Emotion.” Digging back into his own archives, models walked to the discordant sounds of Boredoms, a seminal experimental Japanese rock band that mixed genres like punk and noise in the same way today's youth readily sample subcultural uniforms to create their outfits. It's a callback to his first show in Tokyo about five years ago, which also used the group's music.
The discord in the music also spoke to the mashed-up nature of the clothing, which not only played with proportion, but notions of dressed-up and dressed-down in the materials.
“The wrinkles in the fabrics, the layers of styling…it's like struggling with emotion,” says Ochihai via a translator. Facetasm's collaboration with The Woolmark Company includes pieces that look like crinkled denim, but are actually made of wool, another way the designer translates internal strife into external textures and contrast.
The models themselves were instructed to walk the runway displaying how they felt; some walked with noticeably bright smiles—a rarity for an often too self-serious event like Paris Fashion Week; others had make-up applied to their faces making them look like cracked iPhone screens (or turmoiled teens).
Ironically, color was picked more on a whim than being tied to any specific emotion. It's common to associate red with anger, blue with sadness, green with envy, and the like, but Ochihai just opted for what spoke to him visually—and just went with how he felt.
“For the colors, I don't have rules,” he says. “I just picked what I liked this season.”