Monday, October 27, 2008

Runway - Miharayasuhiro: Fall 2008

There is no doubt that the manipulation of pashminas was a major theme in this fall’s shows. In menswear, however, these scarves largely stayed detached from clothing – maintaining their accessory status – and were simply draped, tied an layered in unusual ways. Miharayasuhiro was the only men’s line who used the idea of manipulating the pashmina to create new pieces (this was done by several designers in women’s clothing, but the inspirational translation seems to have been lost over the gender line). The above is the designers most successful use of this theme. What appears to be a draped pashmina seamlessly morphs into the neck and collar of a shirt. We maintain typical shirt sleeves and proportions, but the diagonal draping across the front combined with a nicely balanced mass of draping around the neck creates a stately and dramatic assertion.

The draping of this jacket is exquisite. The jacket has a typical, structured base. The planes of this base, however, have been extended and enlarged to create a more exuberant form also based on the pashmina. The structure in the shoulders, the cuffs, and the collared shirt is essential to grounding the design in masculinity and allows everything else to be unexpected and fantastical.

This outfit, although just a basic pair of pants and a jacket, should be appreciated due to its careful attention to proportion and detailing. The skinny pants create a slight contrast to the jacket. The jacket ends just above the bottom of the crotch while the pants are slightly shortened. When the above ideas are combined, it’s give an overall bounce to the outfit, almost a sense of optimism. Seriousness, however, is undoubtedly the focus of the design. This is mainly seen through its black color and the severe buttoning of the jacket. A small detail important in emphasizing this severity is a particularly wide plane let open between the top rows of buttons going up to the neck. This is slightly larger than normally seen on coats, and makes all the difference. When finished off with a double-buttoned neck piece, which seems almost to choke the wearer, it forms a wonderful sense of gravity. In all respect, we are getting a bit far into details, but the details here happen to affect the overall perception of this outfit while allowing it to be read as at once serious and playful.

Apron-front shirts were used rather heavily by several designers for this fall (we’ll see more in upcoming posts). Here we see a similar idea in a leather jacket. Note also how the jacket slightly bells below the waist and at the cuffs and how the collar is draped and gathered. Not only does this create an interesting shape, but this treatment of the leather allows it to be read at once as a thick armor and also as sumptuous and fragile.

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