Lights, Camera, Fashion: Rakuten Tokyo Fashion Week 2021

Grant Myrick, Staff Writer

Rakuten Tokyo Fashion Week for the Fall 2021 season had many influential brands from across the globe, showcasing the latest trends from the most fashion-forward of designers, as well as displaying unique looks straight from the streets of Shinjuku. 

For those who don’t follow the Tokyo fashion scene, Shinjuku and Harajuku are the trendy, fashionable neighbourhoods of Tokyo, filled with boutiquescafes and department stores. There is a diverse range of fashions, ranging from the frilly Rococo-inspired Lolita to yami kawaii (a fashion movement that adds medical motifs to pastel clothing) and the girl-glam gyaru, based in 70s schoolgirl culture.  

I spoke to a handful of students with an interest in fashion to gather up a variety of opinions on these stellar looks.

beautiful people 

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The first outfit is from the LA-based fashion house Beautiful People (stylized as “beautiful people”), and this outfit highlights two of the main fixed point trends of the 2021 fall season: black outerwear and white boots. 

The global print on the outerwear is striking, and I think it could hint at the theme of unity throughout the pandemic, but sophomore Zero Kaminaris thinks otherwise. 

“It looks like ink blots,” they said. 


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This bold outfit from RAINMAKER Kyoto blends traditional Japanese style with modern sensibilities and showcases some large black outerwear. 

The large haori-inspired overcoat gives off an air of comfort, but still maintains a sophisticated look. The monochromatic and dark color scheme is easy to wear and style. 

“I like the monochrome and it seems high fashion, but I wouldn’t wear it,” said sophomore Shannon Hennessy. 


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Rito, a Ukranian brand known for its designer knitwear, featured this outfit that makes good use of texture. The plain color palette draws attention to the unique shape of the top, and the intricate knitwork of the shirt can show through. 

I think the monochromatic beige isnt the best color choice, but it still works. 

Freshman Sammie Codrington thought the outfit had a deeper meaning behind it. 

“The sweatshirt-like silhouette is reminiscent of the downfall of fashion in exchange for comfort during the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. 

De_caffine homme 

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De_caffine homme is described as a brand that you can enjoy freely like decaf coffee. The designer is a proponent of neo-Dadaism, a movement that seeks to close the gap between life and art. 

This outfit definitely blurs the line with the eccentric mix of materials used. The outfit displays leather pants and a knit jacket, notably with no shirt. 

Kaminaris enjoyed the outfit, saying, “Id wear that, it looks amazing.” 


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The brand NEGLECT ADULT PATiENTS is built upon the idea of becoming an adult without growing up. Their designs range on the more eccentric side but still are possible to wear every day. 

The red palate throughout this design unifies the disparate elements into a unique yet cohesive look. However, the outfit isnt for everyone. 

“It looks tacky, and the scarf doesn’t match,” said Hennessy. 

Assorted Shinjuku Streetwear 

Tokyo Fashion Week 2021 has had a focus on streetwear and practical yet aesthetic clothes for a more everyday look rather than European “high fashion.” Some featured streetwear looks, taken in the streets of Shinjuku, are shown below. 

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This pink Barbie-inspired outfit, which Alvarez described as “pretty,” showcases the kawaii couture of Harajuku, with the dyed hair coordinated to the color scheme of the look. 

The monochromatic look is very hard to pull off, but she was able to do it with no problem. The variance of the shades and tones of the pink helps the individual pieces stay distinct but still mesh into a bubble-gum tapestry.

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This outfit with hair dyed to match the color scheme — the blue accent of the hair, socks and bag — brings in a cohesive element to an otherwise discordant outfit. The juxtaposition between the dress and the jacket adds in another element, making it “an overall eye-catching outfit,” said Codrington.  

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This look takes the Cheongsam, a traditional Chinese dress, and makes it suited to a modern taste, incorporating dark colors and print with faux leather accents. The dark floral pattern adds a complexity to the outfit that would be missed in a solid black. 

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This outfit is reminiscent of TikTok frog fashion with its green color palette and bucket hat. It’s a relaxed and laid-back look, with Alvarez saying it “looks like pajamas.” 

The one-piece coverall shorts emulate the playfulness of childhood, and when combined with the green, makes a youthful fall look.