Last week, the Mercedes-Benz Tokyo Fashion Week for S/S 2016 took place, with designers from all over the world exhibiting their newest collections. Amongst those designers was Yoshiki, leader of Japan's most popular and influential heavy metal band X Japan, who debuted his new kimono collection and thrilled those in attendance by even playing the piano for his own show.

X Japan has millions of fans not only in Japan but all over the world, and Yoshiki is the charismatic and incredibly talented man behind the music. For over 30 years, Yoshiki has written, performed, composed, and produced hundreds of songs as a solo artist, band member, and collaborator. His musical legacy is already set in stone, but music is not his only passion. During last week's Mercedes-Benz Tokyo Fashion Week, Yoshiki debuted Yoshikimono, a collection of modern, avant-garde kimono wear he created with the help of Keigo Kano, a renowned woven-goods producer from Kyoto. 

The show received rave reviews, many in awe of the collection itself, but also of Yoshiki's prolific creativity and sense of fashion and style. The show started with the beat of traditional taiko drums, after which Yoshiki walked out in a white kimono and Hannya mask, a mask used in Noh theater that represents a jealous woman or serpent. He then sat down at the piano, took his mask off, and started playing the score for his show, accompanied by violinists. The models then appeared on the runway, rocking his creations of kimono in a style that has never been seen before.

Having been raised by parents who owned a kimono shop, the collection obviously was very personal to Yoshiki. He is the eldest son in his family, and in Japan, the first-born son is always expected to inherit and run the family business. Years ago, Yoshiki made the decision to walk away from that responsibility to pursue his musical aspirations, but his love and appreciation for kimonos, and his upbringing, were expressed beautifully on a runway last week in Tokyo. 

His band, X Japan, is scheduled to play at Wembley Stadium in London in March 2016.


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