HAPPENINGText: Stephanie Bui (The Daily Couture)

“The art of wrapping is to wrap your heart”: there lies the heartfelt inspiration – and philosophy – behind the traditional art of packing that got reinterpreted by Mame Kurogouchi for its debut at the Paris Fashion Week official calendar. For its spring summer 2020 collection, the designer who has earned name and fame for her continuous reinterpretation of artisanal traditions, chooses to cast a light on clothes as “protection of the body”, sort of wearable version of the sophisticated and lovely wagashi confections. The “wearable cocoons” are still soaking up the atmosphere of East meets West vibe, with a geometric abstraction twist, reminiscent of the previous fall winter 2019 collection.

© 2019 Kurogouchi Design Office Inc.

Back then, whilst visiting pottery artists, Yuki and Ryohei Yamamoto, in Arita, Saga, in her native Japan, the designer got inspired by the long memories embodied in scattered fragments of traditional Shogen (early) Imari porcelain made 400 years ago. “It felt as if the memories of those who kneaded the clay, fried pottery and broke them spoke to her,” and it feels like she keeps dedicating herself to translating “the aura that the work beamed” into her spring summer collection. The ongoing creative process continues to exhort a meditative wardrobe aspiring at unifying one’s whole self, though in a cocoon-esque silhouette for next spring summer. Inner world meets the long memories of the outer world and its heritage left by past artists in order to reach a sense of fulfilling unity.

© 2019 Kurogouchi Design Office Inc.

The meditative wardrobe goes hand in hand with ease and an obvious care for fine materials such as silk, although unexpected and flashy upcycled PVC pieces are covered with a multitude of white fringes adding brilliant ethereal contrasts to revamp it all. Translucent jackets and skirts consist of hundreds of hand-cut sheets that have been unearthed to give momentum to the beauty and nobility of found objects embodying remnants of life, referring to Hideyuki Oka’s 1972 book on the Japanese art of packing.

© 2019 Kurogouchi Design Office Inc.

“Take, if you must, this little bag of dreams, unloose the cord, and they will wrap you round”. Sounds like what William Butler Yeats once wrote could apply to Mame Kurogouchi ‘s positive meditative and timeless fashion aiming at wrapping the heart. ​

Mame Kurogouchi 2020 Spring Summer Paris
Date: September 23rd, 2019 at 18:00
Place: Faculté de Pharmacie de Paris
Address: 4, avenue de l’observatoire 75006 Paris

Text: Stephanie Bui (The Daily Couture)

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