Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Design Inspiration: Tao Kurihara

From the Spring 2005 collection of Tao Kurihara for Comme de Garcon. These seem to have been a one off - the collection looks very different now. The one on the left was in W Magazine in May 2005. I'm intrigued by the refinement of the freeform knitting and crochet. The way the shapes of the knit pieces produce the shape and fit of the garment. There's a great mix of textures and an almost-but-not-quite monotone colorway. On the right there's a much simpler combination of cables - but again good thought has gone into the fit and shape of the garment.

From May 2005 W Magazine article "The Tao of Design":
Tao Comme des Garcons: Once upon a time Rei Kawakubo gave her talented protege Junya Watanabe a shot at designing his own collection, and now Watanabe is doing his own talented assistant a good turn, too. In the house's showroom on Sunday, Tao Kurihara, who has worked in Watanabe's studio in Tokyo for seven years and graduated from Saint Martin's a few classes behind "Stella and Phoebe," quietly debuted her own delightful line called Tao Comme des Garcons, which will be sold in Comme des Garcons boutiques worldwide.

Starting with a simple notion -- mixing lingerie and knits -- Kurihara whipped up an elaborately girly collection. There were boned cable knit corsets with frothy lace frills, cozy knit camisoles blooming with crocheted rosettes and knitted tap pants bedecked with bows and pom-poms. A strapless petal-pink sweater with covered buttons boasted stacked ruffles around the bosom, while a pale blue knit corset bloomed with a bonanza of bows.

Each season, shifting her focus from lingerie to, say, dresses or denim, Kurihara, will explore a single concept in depth. This time out, though she is just as press-shy as her mentor, the 31-year-old designer blushingly admitted that the collection expressed, "romantic feelings." It was the beginning of a fine romance.

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