My favourite Japanese fashion inspiration has always come from designers such as Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo and Issey Miyake; who built careers on clothing that is not necessarily colourful but derives interest from the folding and manipulation of solid colour fabric to create sculptural shapes and form through texture. An artistic extension of origami, itself a Japanese tradition.
However the outfits worn by snowbound Japanese are a completely different but equally inspiring story.
Snow-sporters here dress in the most vivid and exciting colour and pattern combinations, which of course look amazing set against the pure white of snowy slopes.
Other bonuses? As well as looking fabulous, such individual looks are a great aid to helping you spot your friends from half a mountain away.
Need a less shallow impetus to go brights? The inbuilt safety aspects of brights are another plus. "Inmate orange" really stands out in the snow and means one is less likely to blend into one's surroundings and be bowled over by an out-of-control newbie.
Speaking of, Japanese ski schools have a kind of weird and slightly embarrassing dress code for adult, yes, these are adult, learner skiers...
I think I would just bow out of the class gracefully in this situation...This is just a tiny sample of the great outfits I spied out on the slopes, unfortunately getting one's camera out is a bit of a business when skiing, and what's more some of the coolest people out on the slopes are the young snowboarders who are fast and are out of sight as soon as spotted.
Plus I didn't want to be obviously in people's face, taking photos, but was trying to be discreet about it here and not photograph people's faces... but you can get the idea. I like the fact that Japanese young men are unafraid to wear shocking pink, lurid purple plaid, neon stripes or to have miniature puppy-dog toys hanging off their backpacks. Pompoms and furry animal costumes are not considered a threat to one's manhood here.
I admire this. The girls' ensembles are equally fun. Hmmmm, perhaps should have left the ski purchasing until we got here... now I want to trade in my boring white pants for, say, something in neon green plaid...
But at least Sam bought some really cool gloves!