Backstage at TOKYO JAMES A/W20 – The Last Winter

Brit-Nigerian luxury menswear brand TOKYO JAMES returned the LFWMs schedule for his second season in a display of icy eccentrics in the heart of Chinatown taking on global warming and the role the fashion industry has to play in an AW20 collection entitled ‘The Last Winter.’ 

Words by Lewis Robert Cameron
Backstage Photography by Michael Oshai

Sounds nice and ominous but it does the job, especially when a certain crew of male models (and several disgruntled audience members) are covered in fake snow, cementing the message that Winter is Coming and we’ll all be wearing ‘Tokyo Fucking James’. As James asks us to consider ‘what would you pick if function, quality and design were the deciding factor in your decision to purchase?’ 

James also incorporated fabrics left over from his previous collections that were never used — as well as up-cycled faux leather from family-owned tanneries. You’ll see his use of old towels assimilated into blazers, leather jackets and oversized jumpers. This refashioned push offers a wink to mid ‘90s grunge, making those hero seasons garments easily transcribed when worn with ensembles such as a timeless pair of ice-blue Levi jeans and Dr Martens for a unisex everyday staple ‘dress up/dress down’ look. 

The movements of TJ’s inspiration have all been born out of struggle, change, a revolt for good and the freedom to express individual thoughts and identity, as well as to shakeup a stagnant industry – which has led to powerful creativity during each of their times. Natural disaster, political struggle, poverty and loss, always finds strength in the end.

Going forward, Tokyo James will only produce made-to-order, limited edition capsule collections, moving the brand towards reducing waste and keeping each piece in some way unique to each buyer. Tokyo’s AW20 communicates the quintessential Tokyo James style — detailing his nod to customary British tailoring, whilst tipping over the perfect point and flipping the bird to fashion boundaries cast before. At the same time, he urges his customers to follow suit and shop more consciously.

After all, great tailoring was born from former times, where garments were worn to last and were unique to those who wore them.

Stylist: Geoff K. Cooper
Accessories : Barbara Ayozie
 Production: Brian Joseph Ezeala
 Casting: Danni Res
 Music: DJ Lifestyle Donald 
 Shoes: Ariat Europe 
 Hats: House of Flora
 Hair/Make Up/ Nails : Cassandra Okoeguale