Wool can be very classic but also innovative,” says Japanese fashion designer Mihara Yasuhiro. “It can be used, for example, in regular tailoring, because it is wrinkle resistant and keeps its shape when pressed, but with recent technology it can also be put into a washing machine or woven with other fabrics, giving it great potential.” In his namesake label, Yasuhiro regularly uses the natural fibre, such as in simple knitwear, a mainstay of his seasonal collections. The designer’s penchant for wool links to a respect for the environment, believing that we as humans need to find a way to better coexist with nature.
Having begun his career making shoes at a local factory after graduating from the Tama Art University design department, Yasuhiro’s work has long found inspiration in the ideals of the art movement of Dadaism, in which conventional frameworks are overturned for something altogether more innovative. “My mother was an oil painter, and ever since I was little was drawing, replicating Cezanne and Picasso and those types of painters,” he explains. “But when I came across the ready-made art of Marcel Duchamp, a sense of rebellion was born. I started to question what art is.”
In his seasonal collections, the designer explores this notion, and since opening first retail store in 1998, and subsequently launching an apparel collection in 1999, he has evolved his ideas in various forms, including collaborations outside of his own business, such as those with Puma and Moncler. Other lines, such as MIHARAYASUHIRO Modified, launched in 2015, and MYne, launched in 2016, have further evolved his aesthetic into streetwear, with Merino wool an inherent element of each project.
Portrait: Designer Mihara Yasuhiro on the runway at his spring/summer 2017 show.
Photography: Ian Gavan.
Junichi Abe, the prolific designer behind Japanese label Kolor, invites us into his studio.
At Tokyo Fashion Week, a casual approach to traditional clothing was on show for spring 2017