matohu - JFW '08 AW

Women's Collection Lines
01 April 2008
Thoughts and pictures from the collection show
Japan Fashion Week
"Keicho Kosode"
March 11, 2008

As a label, matohu channels Japan's traditional spiritual connection to the natural environment for inspiration, and this year's packed JFW show — titled "Keicho Kosode," meaning "short-sleeved kimonos from the late 16th and early 17th centuries — continued this general disposition towards fashion. Models navigated a runway strewn with concentric circular platforms, like abstracted water drops, as spare nature sounds and indigenous instruments from around the world wafted through the air. For a second, the mood almost allowed editors, buyers, and investors to transcend the commercial motives behind JFW and find a "pure" fashion space created through altruistic intentions.

The pieces were generally earthy, making explicit use of green tree patterns, fish motifs, and leaf-shaped pins. Quilted silks ran throughout the show, on pants and jackets. Although "naturalistic," the color palette never felt suppressed: purple elf boots abounded, as well as a nice puffy, shiny short-sleeved jacket reconceptualizing China-dress patterns in fuzzy peach luster. Although Japanese in "spirit," Matohu's collection seems to draw inspiration from other Asian native costumes: most strikingly, the slightly mock-Mongolian purple robes with white-piping, cinched with a ceremonial-esque brown leather belt and large metal loop. The laid-back silhouettes in the last set of open coats over robes offered a more gentle and accessible image of the feminine, perhaps alluding to women's crucial place within the ancient human community.

(Click on Photo Gallery button at left to view original photography of the show.)