In his fourth season at Hanae Mori, Yu Amatsu is attempting to bring a fresh perspective to a storied brand that is perhaps best known for its mature clientele and Butterfly perfume. His collections continue to be hit and miss.


“I was inspired by the fusion of various inorganic substances and organic substances, which exist in the ordinary and the extraordinary,” said the designer.


This disjointed show started off strongly with a series of knitwear items and tailored separates that seemed like they could have come out of Amatsu’s popular brand, A Degree Farenheit, known for its clean lines. Monochromatic looks in burgundy, like a high-collared sweater and a belted wrap skirt — or a knit poncho with wide-leg pants — looked chic and sophisticated. Other highlights included short dresses in a geometric print with an Art Deco feel. None of that seemed particularly organic, so we’ll peg that the inorganic portion of the show.


It was easier to peg the organic component, incorporating the house’s signature animal and butterfly motifs. Amatsu seems obliged — who knows, it might even be contractual — to include the likeness of this insect in every collection he does. And so it was for fall. Some of these looks worked. He turned some silk bearing images of the winged creatures and vivid orchids against a black background into a few cute dresses. But another splashy print of the butterflies in teal, red and yellow that looked like a design motif ripped off a cheap tablecloth. The print was used in several of the show’s finale looks, including a ruffled skirt and a top with lantern sleeves, column dresses and a trenchcoat.

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