Hisui - JFW '09 SS

Women's Collection Lines
04 September 2008
Thoughts and pictures from the Japan Fashion Week collection show on September 2, 2008
Japan Fashion Week
September 2, 2008

Designer Hiroko Ito spent last collection enshrouding her models in other-worldly multi-colored knits, but for spring/summer, Hisui looked to dress the human form... in the human form. The brand went purely skeletal, zapping out almost all color and designing forms to match the body's most basic structural elements.

Beige dresses used expansive draping, super loose-gauge knits, and nautical rope to approximate ribs, clavicles, and scapula. Thick knit pockets on the chest suggested mammaries. Ribcage-inspired art showed up as prints on T-shirts. Ito concentrated on silk-linens that would feel skin-like on the skin. The skeleton theme, however, became excessively obvious later with actual stuffed-cloth arms attached to a fanciful top and plastic classroom vertebrae hanging off the front of a floor-length dress.

Although the colors were incredibly muted, a few pieces played with a vivid cobalt blue (veins?), and a highly-chaotic sweater in pink and red was very evocative of Ito's previous work. The final wedding-dress looked straight out of The Handmaid's Tale, yet such dystopianism was quickly allayed by a rush of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony.

In a post-show interview, Ito explained that she intended the collection to be "avant-garde, yet more comprehensible" and hoped to create more self-interest in our own bodies. The highly thematic nature of the pieces probably made more sense to the front-row JETRO guys than Hisui's usual deconstruction, but Ito still has a rebellious streak deep in her bones.

— W. David Marx

(Click on Photo Gallery button at left to view original photography by Sean Wood.)