The Midwest region of the U.S. is hardly a place you would expect a Japanese designer to look to for inspiration, but that’s exactly what Yu Amatsu did for his third Hanae Mori collection. Referencing the Great Lakes, he used a variety of textures and digital prints to emulate images of nature in his spring lineup.


Amatsu opened with a series of dresses in sheer white chiffon worn over nude bodysuits. Hemlines ranged from knee- to ankle-length, and buttonless coatdresses were tied at the waist with cord so that they floated open as the models walked. There was also a grouping of two-toned dresses (navy with white, dusty pink with gray, or two shades of blue) done with an array of ruffles.


The look of the collection was sophisticated and elegant, as one would expect from a storied house like Hanae Mori, but Amatsu modernized it with details such as oversize custom-made Swarovski crystals. These decorated necklines ran down the sides of trouser legs and lined the zipper of a blouson jacket. By using a 3-D scanner, he also turned these same crystals into an abstract print that resembled shards of ice. Other prints emulated a rocky shoreline or featured showy lady slippers that grow in the forests around the Great Lakes.


Elsewhere in the collection, ivory lace on peplum tops, a long dress and a wide-leg jumpsuit harkened back to the brand’s heritage, while long layers of fringe on all-white dresses and tops showed more of Amatsu’s own aesthetic. With more than 70 looks, the lineup could have used some editing, particularly of the more commercial-looking pencil dresses and skirts.

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