Mame Kurogouchi 2022 Fall Winter collection continuously unfolds the story of Nagano, the designer Maiko Kurogouchi’s homeland and explores the mountains to absorb various local cultures passed on from generation to generation, and finally landing at the Jomon period, the oldest cultural endeavours in the history of the nation. The collection shines light on ‘presentness of the past’ with modern perspective, recreating the texture and colourfully painted autumn fields by using original fabrics and sophisticated proportions, inviting a journey warping through the layers of time.
From venation of leaves, dry soil, weeds, and various trees disarranged, the individual colours of the late autumn landscape identified and dyed, woven together, thinning out the surface to re-paint the landscape on the fabric. A plethora of materials and techniques are woven to recreate a fur-like multi-faceted texture into knitted coats and tops, reminiscing a presence of mountain. Kurogouchi’s micro-perspective simultaneously puts attention to the fluffy moss laying on the rock, detailed by intricate, three dimensional embroidery on cuffs or shoulders of classical velvet dresses.
Whilst discovering the autumn landscape, the collection continued to deep dive into ancient remains, synchronising with people and culture flourished during the Jomon period at this very place circa 15,000 BC. Sensing from hand-crafted patterns on fragments of Jomon (cord marked) pottery, Kurogouchi sees the prayers and struggles of people at the time. The cord embroidery, an iconic technique utilising lace to create intricate patterns, was updated with new fabric. A soft touch mimicking the texture of moss laying on the snow melted ground, expressed in three-dimensional embroidery that embraces the dress with a primitive, exaggerated charm. The tactile arabesque designs inspired by the surface of Jomon pottery, are dyed from the silk thread and woven in three layers to recreate the Kurogouchi’s brush stroke to detail, shown in various garments from voluminous military coats, collarless jackets, to skirts in sculptural proportion. All these signs highlighting the excellence of handcrafts in Jomon culture elegantly brought in the velour mini-dress with asymmetrical rope works and cord embroideries on cuffs.
The rich nature brought prosperity for over 10,000 years to the Jomon period, similarly embracing Kurogouchi. Praising the natural surroundings of her upbringing, the chunky knit scattered with words defining the scenic memory. A series of landscape ski knits poetically expressing four seasons of Nagano in praise of nature’s voiceless voice.
The undulating, distorting and swirling patterns of glass jewelleries such as earrings, bangles and necklaces resemble fragments excavated from the depths of the earth or as if ice confining memories from the past. Nostalgia on classic ski style is particularly stark in the iconic knitted balaclava, the voluminous cat-eye sunglasses or in the colourful knitted pouch. Partnership with houses sharing mutual respect for handcraft completes the collection blending sports and classic. The hat maker ‘KIJIMA TAKAYUKI’, updated a classical cloche hat with delicate shape, realised thanks to the handwork of a master artisan. Sharing the same vision towards preserving tradition by creating for modern times, Mame Kurogouchi introduces fresh take on shoes with velvet tabi and platform geta by Kyoto based ‘Hakimono Sekizuka’.