It’s easy to get desensitised to fashion’s serious nature – especially in the midst of fashion week, when shows are churned out at speed. So when something comes along that celebrates the lighter elements of fashion or sparks joy, it’s only natural that all eyes are drawn to it. This was the basis of Maison Mihara Yasuhiro’s show – but all was not what it seemed.
This collection aimed to provoke joy from a more unlikely source – deception – pointing out fashion’s absurdities by putting them firmly on display. As Mihara Yasuhiro himself described “the current state of consciousness can be deceptive, right now, the more superficial, the better”. Playing on this notion of concealment and deception, we saw pieces that were something they were not.
Trompe l’oeil was used to create clothes which performed as optical illusions: a ¾ length jumper became a vintage camp-shirt, transferred on to it in brighter colour, and regular tees were transformed into sweater vests with belts by the same process. Layering was also a major component of the illusion: utility bag-vest pieces sat on top of linen shirts, and one bomber jacket had a second sewn on top of it, in a slightly darker green.
Here, Yasuhiro was poking fun at fashion’s self-conscious nature: what happens when a garment is not as it seems? Does it still hold the same weight and references? It has also become somewhat of a signature for the brand, which often uses layering and docking with elements of humour.
A standout piece came in the form of ‘jeans’ – appearing as a regular pair when viewed from the front, but transforming into track pants from behind. “These were actually derived from when I used to make my own clothing in my youth” Mihara said when we asked him about this piece after the show. “I would attach a bigger size to normal sweatpants to play with the silhouette – if you look at it from the front you look quite slim. But the back has a baggier fit, so it was the same idea”.
Elsewhere, there was a strong series of denim pieces which came in various forms of distress: sunbleached, impressed, creased and frayed, these pieces paid homage to vintage denim from the 50s and 70s. Military workwear including denim, is seen by Mihara as a symbol of mass production and stereotypes – so by undergoing these changes, their relevance in fashion at large is questioned and parodied.
On foot, we saw playful heels emulating rubber ducks, and came in a handful of bright colours. Perhaps what will stick with guests the mosts though was the show’s close: bubbles were blown onto the runway, and models walked with bunches of white balloons in hand. After presenting a comprehensive collection which displayed complex and considered processes, the message was both contradictory and clear – don’t take things too seriously, it’s only fashion.
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