Ahead of the 10th anniversary of his brand Christian Dada next year, Masanori Morikawa went back to his birthplace, the island of Shikoku, where Japan’s pilgrimage tradition was spawned.
The designer took a pilgrimage of his own, visiting Buddhist temples on the island and learning again about his heritage. “I picked up on little things and then put everything in the collection,” he said. “This is a very personal collection.”
It has an elegant delicacy, with all the layering and juxtaposing of old and new, east and west. In numerous looks, for instance, Morikawa mixed a customary kimono silhouette, traditionally worn on such a religious journey, with technical clothing.
“Nowadays, people actually go on the pilgrimage in very outdoor styles,” he explained. “So I combined those two elements to create something new.”
Tunics of organza or silk brocade came paired with trousers and zippy rainwear. A denim pant-and-jacket combination was flocked with black brushstroke-like motifs, nodding to the calligraphy in temples’ signage. White cotton shirts were embroidered with figurative landscape designs using a 3-D technique to echo regional craft methods.
Morikawa’s palette remained mostly somber — black, navy blue and white — although bursts of color were apparent on garments such as the shirt with a giant lily design, representing mourning in local custom.
Still, there was nothing downbeat about Christian Dada’s lineup. Its heady, wearable mix of sartorial and sporty is very much of the moment.