2 July 2011

Smoothed Into Shape

by Kiminori Morishita
Fall/Winter 2011

After a number of questionable collections this show season (somebody please stop Messrs. Caten and Formichetti), Kiminori Morishita reminds us of how it's done.  I am not entirely sure how one would classify a collection such as this, for workwear seems too unrefined a label for such sophisticated offerings.  And yet that being said, there is undeniably a strong sense of ruggedness and practicality, not to mention the feeling conjured by the very setting of the lookbook.  I find the narrow horizontal band of focus a rather nice touch, even though in most lookbooks it could potentially obscure more than it reveals.  I find it actually helps draw the eye to select finer details in the execution of the garments, the level of which is quite frankly amazing.  That is not to say that they are overcomplicated by any means, but rather there is always more to be found upon closer inspection.

For me the Japanese interpretation of workwear, in particular Americana, can often feel far too much like costume rather than dress, making it somewhat tricky to incorporate into a wardrobe.  That is of course not to lump an entire nation of designers together (and indeed the definition of a national school in this day and age is a complicated matter in itself), but rather a general observation.  Here however that is not an issue - there are a number of pieces that one could easily pick and choose from and incorporate into one's wardrobe.  Whilst the aesthetic of the collection as a whole, and that underpinned by the lookbook, is highly focused, the pieces from the collection in themselves appear surprisingly versatile - take the cashmere sweaters or leather boots.  The term 'classic' feels far too vague, and yet that is what one finds in select places, and the quality of which lends itself to that sense of versatility.

If Summer is where lightness and a sense of softness is yearned for, Winter requires strength and a comfortable feeling of protection.  Incorporating cashmeres, wools and silks, the collection has a strong tactile appeal and that inherent sense of comfort one looks for during the colder months.  That tactile experience is always something I look for, for although aesthetic and fit are primary concerns, fabric, or to be more precise, texture, often makes or breaks a piece.  It is about the experience of the wearer, and in that respects, it is not simply about how something looks, but how it feels.  Thankfully the collection seems to succeed both in terms of that criteria and also design.  Indeed the design detailing and cut of the pieces thus far available for pre-order look very alluring.



  1. Sometimes, I think it all has to do with the way you wear it.

  2. I love this collection. There's something very "classic" to it for lack of a better word.

    I've said it before, but I really wished more people would put an effort into dressing this way.

  3. love love love these. the styling, the clothes, the tones of the photography.

  4. I'm a huge fan of this look. It's a tricky balance to master, but they've definitely managed to make a collection of stylish workwear that focuses on sophisticated tailoring and materials. It's details like that, that make the individual pieces stand out and I do agree that all of these are very versatile. I've seen some of the Japanese Americana designs you wrote about and a lot of it can be very costumey or cliched.

  5. I could easily see you wearing this entire collection.

    And how appropriate you write about Americana when it is, indeed, American Independence Weekend. :)

  6. delightfully European. Still in skinny jeans here if you're cool..or something.

  7. Amazing pictures!!