From the Tokyo Girls Collection 2011 on March 5, in Harajuku.

Japan’s going off right now with fashion trade shows and new collections being showcased in various cities. But one of the most anticipated events of the year is always the semiannual Tokyo Girls Collection, which on March 5, at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Harajuku, attracted an estimated 25,000 fans.

Tokyo Girls Collection (TGC), which featured Spring/Summer collections 2011 on a massive runway, is the largest fashion festival in Japan. What’s also quite remarkable about TGC is that it allows consumers to not only watch the show live, but also the opportunity to buy what they see via mobile phones of what’s on the runway. In many ways, this is leap-years ahead of what happens in the fashion industry in general, even though more top houses of design are opening up their exclusive runway collection debuts online via various new media formats. However for the consumer, one still has to wait for the collection to actually make it to the store, waiting for at least 3-6 months later.

Nautical themes from the TGC.

At TGC, the consumers can see what’s going on for the next season -which is only a few months away, making it all the more timely, which is where trends are headed with fast-fashion in general.

For the first time ever, last weekend’s show was broadcast live as Google partnered to showcase the event on a stream via a dedicated YouTube channel, starting at 3 p.m. Hong Kong time.

As puts it, what you see among those who attend TGC is what you’ll see happening in the streets of Tokyo and Harajuku this coming summer, making it a mecca for trendforecasters. According to them, two top trends from the crowd include the on-going fascination for colorful Tsubasa glasses (heavy rimmed glasses with no lenses) and grey knee-high socks.

From the show, we also predict that nautical inspired themes will make a strong push, as well as late 60’s-early 70’s Americana with a mix of hippy rebel, peasant blouses, floral graphic skirts, and fringe ankle boots.

Japanese fashion of course goes a long way with key accessories including multiple necklaces, socks, bracelets, hats, and scarves. It’s how youth culture in Japan actually combines such things with various layers that make what may look like retro American styles, iconically Japanese.

Check the YouTube stream here.

Yoshikimono collection for X Japan founder Yoshiki debuting at Asian Girls Explosion featuring Marilyn Manson.

The next day after TGC was the Asia Girls Explosion fashion event, which featured the famous X Japan founder, Yoshiki, also known for establishing J-Rock trends in music and Visual Kei fashion, and the debut of his collection, Yoshikimonos, featuring non-other than Marilyn Manson.

The concept on March 6 was an East-meets-West/fashion-meets-music event held at the same facility as TGC.

“When we came up with the concept for AGE [Asian Girls Explosion], the first person I thought of was Marilyn Manson,” said Yoshiki. “He is the fashion icon in rock%uFFFDn%uFFFDroll, and I%uFFFDm very excited he agreed to be part of the show.”

Marilyn Manson walks the runway for Yoshiki%uFFFDs show.

Manson and other international celebrities presented trendy but wearable collections from a variety of high-end, international designers that combined Japanese street fashion with progressive Western design, and a healthy dose of rock%uFFFDn%uFFFDroll style.

AGE also unveiled Yoshiki%uFFFDs own fashion line, “Yoshikimono” that paid tribute to his parents who ran a Kimono shop when he was growing up. “It is a tradition in Japan that the eldest male takes on the family business,” Yoshiki explained. “But I rebelled and got into rock%uFFFDn roll. With the Yoshikimono line, I feel I%uFFFDm keeping my parents%uFFFD dream alive.”

Yoshiki and Marilyn Manson on the red carpet at AGE.

Yoshiki%uFFFDs band, X Japan, one of the biggest rock bands in Japanese history, is currently recording what will be their first-ever album to be released in North America. The album%uFFFDs first single, “Jade,” will premiere on March 15, and the album will be out later this year.

For more on X Japan, J-Rock, and Visual Kei, do a key-word search, and also go to for live interviews.