Ten years after its launch, Japanese brand Beautiful People made its Paris debut on Saturday. Speaking through a translator at the presentation, designer Hidenori Kumakiri said coming to Paris had sparked a desire to express the “wa” (meaning Japanese) identity in a Western context. And have some fun.
Having worked in pattern-making for a decade before creating the brand, Kumakiri applied the superflat patterns of traditional Japanese garments to the idealized Frenchwoman’s uniform of men’s wear-inflected basics, chic denim and tailored outerwear. A great side effect: All of the pieces, bulkier coats included, and the brand’s iconic biker jacket, folded flat easily.
Standouts from his economy-of-design approach included a shirt with functional buttoned plackets on the front and back — a philosophical reminder to always look forward, not back. Jackets and coats cut in a kimono’s rectangular silhouette alternated between strongly defining and conforming to the slope of the shoulder. Either way, they had a slouchy elegance.
The introduction of the brand to a Western audience was the overarching theme of the fall line. Houndstooth, tweeds and solid colors represented European heritage; bubblegum pink, psychedelic florals — including a William Morris Liberty print from the Sixties and a fringed jacquard — had a Harajuku sensibility. Of one mottled, blue and green jacquard in an Earth-seen-from-space motif, Kumakiri joked that he would be adding pins to indicate his expansion plans.