fur fur - JFW '09 SS

Women's Collection Lines
03 September 2008
Thoughts and pictures from the Japan Fashion Week collection show on September 1, 2008
Japan Fashion Week
fur fur
September 1, 2008

Aya Furuhashi's fur fur is the ideal embodiment of a particularly-Japanese female aesthetic: a soft combination of spiritual commune with nature and the comforts of domicile and tradition.

Spring/summer 2009 was fur fur's third collection, and the collection show crafted the perfect atmosphere to air Furuhashi's earthy creations. Visitors sat around a makeshift garden with a band hidden behind tall plants, droning out atmospheric tones on string instruments. Instead of a straight journey to the cameramen, models meandered through the forest — a peripatetic and decentered rejection of typical runway efficiency. The life-sized Japanese and half-Japanese models smiled and bestowed a calming presence to the dreamscape.

The clothing fit the environment beautifully: quilted cotton jackets, gentle lace, linen capri-length pants, knit shorts, and crimson satin flower-print drop crotch bottoms. Flower shapes appeared in all forms: as traditional patterns, cartoonish illustrations, and recreations of pages from a plant taxonomy book. Furuhashi's clothing generally fits with recent trends in Japanese female fashion (see yuru-nachu), but the designer also manages to weave traditional materials like golden silk kimono fabric into the mix. Most surprising was fur fur's distressed cotton trenchcoats with frayed, unfinished bottoms — a perfect adaptation of her laid-back charm into the classics. fur fur could not be boxed into pure naturalism, however: a later piece showed what looked to be goretex refitted with lace.

Furuhashi styled the clothing with bouquets of dried flowers, wafting a sweet potpourri through the air. The effect was as if you opened your grandmother's attic and discovered in hidden trunks that she was a sartorial genius at a younger age. The spirit of the layering echoed the dried rose pedals, overlapping organic materials and faded natural colors. fur fur's show was vastly different in tone from other JFW entries, but perhaps no one approached the brand's consistency in execution.

— W. David Marx

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