Everyone was busy doing their own businesses- either chatting with their seat mates or checking on their phones whether for text messages or their social medias- when the lights fade out for a few seconds. Then it fade in again but this time, in a slower pace. One light bulb after another. Machine-made smoke float into the air, making swirly shapes that became more apparent when the light hit them. Suddenly, a gasp of air blew from where the lights were hanging out, which I believe was also made by technology. It blew the smoke down to the runway and the rest of lights were turned on, signaling every guest in the venue that the models were about to come out and strut. As the dramatic lighting and the haunting but relaxing music joined together, I felt like the hall jumped two seasons ahead of the outside world and went straight to autumn.
A night before the Matohu show, I opened my invitation and read their English press release while I was sipping my hot German apple and berry tea. “Fukiyose”- an event that describes the gathering of different things to form something in a natural pace. Designers Hiroyuki and Makiko specifically mentioned examples like the fallen leaves of autumn, Japanese sweets which were put together in a beautiful packaging, the cluster of people in Tokyo station to go back to their hometowns for New Year, an old kimono recycled to become a mattress cover etc. From the very words “gather”, “together” and “autumn leaves”, I was already having ideas of what to expect in the show. Somehow I didn’t disappoint myself.
Matohu’s pursuit to combine traditional Japanese techniques with modernity was delivered perfectly in their autumn fall 2014 collection which also includes their signature layered styling and flowing but clean lines. The color palette ranges from bright and warm colors of autumn like red, tangerine, yellow to darker shades of gray, violet and black that symbolizes the coldness of winter. Color gradation is a key element in the collection as well as the use of different garments with different textures in one piece. Shapes of autumn leaves were prominent in most pieces, either digitally printed or embroidered while discreet geometrical patterns were also visible to flatter some of the inner layers as well the outers. One of Matohu’s strength is their outer wear and they showed it once again in this collection through their straight coats that showed flowing movements that made the coats more beautiful. A collection that was truly inspired by a natural phenomenon that creates a thing of beauty that doesn’t scream attention but equally stunning.
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