Canadian made gothic steampunk Japanese street fashion: NEOSHIKI, TSUKUMO
During my visit to Toronto in May, I had the opportunity to meet with Canadian-Japanese designer: Emily Yoshizawa of the gothic-steampunk, (Japanese) street fashion label: NEOSHIKI. According to her, “NEO” means new and “SHIKI” means colour, it is inspired by Japanese street fashion combined with different styles.Emily elaborated about her ideas a bit more through a Skype interview in Toronto. Please see the video below for her interview and brand.
Emily’s intricate and edgy approach to gothic wear caught my attention right away. This nostalgic style reminded me of the past when I was obsessed with the Japanese street fashion, namely Gothic Lolita and Vivienne Westwood (Red Label). It is not surprising that NEOSHIKI’s fans/customers are “older people in their 50s” and people who are fans of Lolita, cosplay and exploring new unique looks.
Each piece of clothing is hand made and unique, and the final product is “sugoi desu ne” for the price which ranges from $70 to $140 for a jacket depending on the design. Screen printing of original manga artwork is integrated cleverly into some designs giving it a quirky appeal.
In addition to clothing, Emily also has a beautiful jewellery line, TSUKUMO, has just launched. According to the captions on her website: Tsukumo derives from Tsukumo-gami, an old Japanese belief (often associated with demons/youkai) that objects gain their own souls over a long period of time. Emily’s graceful blend of steampunk and Japanese heritage in her jewellery design is inspiring, each piece appears to reveal its story.
Although I did not try on the clothing while filming NEOSHIKI at Brava in the Fashion District downtown Toronto on Queen St. West, (where Emily’s clothing is being sold), I was honestly impressed that Emily still dressed in this style. Emily admitted that “the style is not as popular as it once was”, and perhaps the most interesting thing to me is that the style is forever which means one can still wear a piece of clothing from the past like a skirt or a Lolita top from the early 1970s (when Lolita, the Japanese street fashion was popular).