Kuon designer Shinichiro Ishibashi has embraced vintage fabrics and traditional Japanese techniques since he first created his collection in 2016. And this season is no exception.
For his spring line, Ishibashi used historic techniques of boro, sashiko and sakiori to create his own versions of cotton floral patchwork shirts and jackets as well as digital prints on short-sleeve shorts and shorts that allow the fabrics to be lighter than they appear to the eye. He also introduced a new fabric this season that was created from washi paper, a hybrid of wood pulp and polyolefin, that is both water-resistant and durable, which he employed for both a trenchcoat and a kimono-style shirt jacket.
While his techniques may be rooted in history, his silhouettes are often based on traditional English tailoring and American sportswear and included a soft version of a Chesterfield coat, unlined sport coats, flat-front trouser and loose-fitting trousers with a drawstring waist. A standout piece included a white button-down shirt with a colorful panel around the bottom that used sashiko stitching. The colors in the panel spoke to the designer’s inspiration for the season — nature and its surroundings that was evident in the color palette, which ranged from sky blue to dusky pink.
This month, Kuon will open its first boutique in the Harajuku area of Tokyo, in a 400-square-foot shop in a traditional two-story row house. The shop, like the spring collection, will blend traditional Japanese elements, such as a gravel and stepping-store entrance that is reminiscent of a Japanese garden, with a room in the back dedicated to custom tailoring.