Wisteria violet, blood red and jet black were the main colors of Japanese designer Maiko “Mame” Kurogouchi’s second presentation in Paris. “This season, I got inspiration from Shoen Uemura, who painted graceful Japanese women in daily life,” Kurogouchi said backstage. The mauve hues matched the exact tones of Uemura’s paintings, while flower prints were crafted to mirror the feel of pressed flowers in a personal diary.
The collection was regal. Long kimonos with black edges and red satin scarves tied around waists were pleasantly oriental, while stunning black and gold evening dresses seemed fit for an exotic Bond girl. A demure white tie-front long-sleeve dress was patterned with yellow printed flowers, its neckline covered by a piece of embroidered gauze. Hemlines trailed poetically in the models’ wake.
For the designer, who trained at Bunka fashion school in Tokyo and worked three years at the Issey Miyake studio, volume was key. A sheer skirt added flair to a pair of trousers, a cropped nylon jacket exaggerated shoulders and a camel coat draped perfectly over the silhouette, fastened on the hip with a black silk tie. At first glance, the coat shimmered like velvet. It was actually made of the softest cotton, embroidered with nylon flower patterns that caught the light.
The models wore simple black sandals and carried PVC handbags. Some of them bore a crimson ribbon around their neck, a throwback to traditional Japanese festival attire. While Kurogouchi’s previous collection featured a few denim pieces, the spring 2019 offering’s focus on ultra luxe materials felt a little less contemporary. But the overall feel was dreamy.