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Omotesando akarium Collection

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omotesando akarium

Counting only slightly more than two weeks until Christmas, the sidewalks of Omotesando Avenue was packed with busy and excited people this Friday night of early December. Perhaps it is no big surprise considering the area’s status as the central district of Japan’s arts & designs and therefore one of Japan’s major fashion trendsetters, yet I would say that the winter illuminations that came back to the town after an 8-year-absence definitely plays an essential role this year in enhancing the seasonal mood.
 
The history of the avenue’s illumination goes back 15 years. Today illuminations are seen pretty much everywhere in Tokyo each with their respective themes and characteristics, but back in 1991 Omotesando was just about the only place that presented outdoors Christmas illumination as an entire avenue. Until its disappearance in 1998, the zelkova trees along the avenue were magnificently dressed in electric lights and the area had once even become the synonym for Christmas in Tokyo.
 
akarium  
From “illumination” to “akarium” – the lights are back this winter, but different kinds of light. Focusing primarily on eco-friendliness, the <akarium> uses LED that not only allows showing 16.7 million different colors but also immensely cuts down CO2 exhaust as well as electricity. The 60 rectangular towers located between the zelkova trees on both sidewalks let out soft and warm orange-white glow for approximately a kilometer long. With such designs resembling a huge Japanese lantern, it doesn’t even call itself “illumination”. It is a creation of a new space of “akari”. From weekdays to weekends, Christmas to yearend then New Year’s, the “akari” creates a spectacle of light each based on different themes.
Additionally this “akarium” event features a number of subevents held at different parts of Tokyo’s design & mode district. One of the first and biggest of all is the <Omotesando akarium Collection>.

omotesando akarium collection
 
The Latest “Real-Clothes” Fashion – <Omotesando akarium Collection> was held on Friday December 8th at the grand stairwell area of Omotesando’s new landmark Omotesando Hills. This fashion show featured 51 fashion models led by popular models Tsuchiya Anna, Kato Natsuki, Sakurai Yumi, LIZA dressed in the latest clothes from 15 fashion brands located in Omotesando Hills and the avenue of Omotesando.

Though the opening of the shopping mall 10 months ago was handled as a huge news and the place has quickly established itself as one of the landmarks of not just Omotesando but Tokyo, it was my very first time to go inside. Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to explore the shops, but very fortunately I got a chance to get hold of a photo-shooting spot right in front of the stage, which is a long series of straight stairs. I was very excited to see a fashion show as close as this, especially one that was created by the same staffs for Tokyo Girls Collection, a mega fashion show for girls clothing.

Looking above through the center of the stairwell from the basement floor, I could see more and more audience gathering along the veranda-like edges of each floor anticipating for the show to start. After about half an hour of a show of light and music ringing in the hall, the show finally started with a model coming out at the very top of the staircase.
 
akarium collection stage
 

 

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