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Mame Kurogouchi unveiled her Fall Winter 2020 collection today in Paris
Iceland, Autumn, morning. Throw myself in the vast field of dead grasses. I smell. I smell and taste the softness of the wet soil and the layered history of the earth. The dead grass wears morning dew, reflecting the sunlight and tangled like a basket to embrace me. A moment to understand the infinity. We can dance because earth has been protecting us. We are, after all, embraced by earth.
Mame Kurogouchi’s Fall Winter 2020 collection strives to strike the emotional chord at the heart of daily life and personal memories, the very one that propels designer Maiko Kurogouchi in her work.
The notion of being embraced by nature took a new reality this season – quite literally by accident. During a recent trip to Iceland, a patch of dry grasses broke an accidental fall in the countryside. The naturally occurring weave formed by these tangled grasses reminded her of the grid and latticework of traditional baskets and connected to her interest in the “wisdom of everyday life” she had considered when reading Hideyuki Oka’s “The Art of Packaging”. As a result, traditional basket making techniques provided the recognisable bone structure to the season’s shapes that come to cover and protect the human form.
Rather than be dutiful imitations of reality, inspirations are transcended to their idealized form through techniques traditional and modern: floral motifs nodding to the Icelandic landscape and lattice patterns are evoked using signature jacquard weaves; delicate strands of shiny thread woven into wool duvet jackets or a chequered pattern pay homage to the memory of morning dew reflecting a sunbeam. Linen laces are woven like baskets by applying embroidery techniques, which add dramatic movement and stunning visual effects on jackets or the sleeves of dresses. Loosely woven knitwear proposes subtle yet novel layering ideas.
Layers are assembled in subtle yet novel combinations using Mame’s repertoire of loosely woven knitwear, dropped shoulders and elongated cuffs, embracing the body softly in weightless yet voluminous silhouettes – the human form protected by immaterial weaves.
Inspired by a tactile interaction with the earth, the palette is warm, like the morning sun warming the winterscape. Browns reveal the richness of the soils. Gold and botanical accessories twine around neck and ears, while a series of linen embroidery bags come with small pouch. The brand’s first backpack comes to liberate the hands of active minds while the iconic Mame Kurogouchi PVC bag, a daring fusion of organic design and industrial material, takes earthy tones.
Complementing this fall collection are sandals, created once again in collaboration with Tod’s. Executed by quintessential Italian craftsmanship, the exquisite embroidered leather echoes the Japanese traditional kogin zashi quilting, for the understated refinement that embodies the ideal marriage of Italian crafts and Japanese aesthetics.