Nehanne Mihara Yasuhiro has succeeded in incorporating elements of traditional Japanese garments into fresh, modern, cool clothes that are not in the least bit contrived.

Yasuhiro Mihara got his start as a shoe designer, and his brand, Nehanne Mihara Yasuhiro, is his latest fashion foray, established this year. The designer works with a company in Kyoto to make traditional hemp textiles, which have been used in Japan for thousands of years. For the brand’s first showing during Tokyo Fashion Week, these fabrics were used to create chic long coats and vests, easy pants and long skirts with high slits showing off a long expanse of leg.

Staged in an underground parking lot, the Nehanne show was accompanied by a solitary drummer, who sat halfway down the long runway. Despite a complete lack of color, the collection was far from boring. The loose, beautifully draped dresses and separates were at once elegant and edgy, and included just the right amount of Japanese influence. A high-neck white maxidress was accented by a black obi belt, and many tops and jackets tied at the waist with a sash, calling to mind the way kimonos are traditionally fastened. Fluid jersey asymmetric minidresses contrasted the rougher-looking fabrics.

Another way in which Mihara drew on his roots was with prints inspired by ukiyo-e woodblock prints, which were reincarnated for the collection by illustrator Yuta Okuda. The faces of kabuki actors were knit into lightweight sweaters, as well as shown pixelated on women’s blouses, men’s shirts and pants for both sexes.

Overall, it was a collection that was triumphant in both its simplicity and its inventiveness.

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