Just as the sun is beginning to shine, so the SS15 trends are beginning to come into play. Designers were on a flight of fancy to the orient for Spring, just like our Folklore Japonica collection. Many silhouettes had a decidedly eastern exoticism, complete with obi belts and daring thigh slits, elsewhere stylised Japanese prints came to the fore.

Kimonos have been around for several seasons now, but for spring, the eastern influence steps up a gear, with Judo jackets and prints aplenty. From Marni to Celine, the Japanese aesthetic is too strong to ignore, with references drawn from both ancient and modern traditions. From 17th-century intricate floral prints, kimono silhouettes, brocades and embroideries and geisha-inspired shoe-forms to the more recent deconstructed influences of Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto, there is so much here that is exquisite and just a little bit challenging. Here’s a brief run-through of the key looks:

margiela

MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA
This season, MMM paired asymmetrical floral fabrics with obi belts and thigh high splits. The standout pieces were slim dresses and skirts crafted out of what looked like vintage Japanese fabrics.

marni

MARNI
A personal favourite, Marni’s new collection consisted of stunning ornamental prints and delicate folds, alongside sporty silhouettes, from graphic bomber jackets to kimono-style tops and trousers. Tailored leather jackets were adorned with chunky floral prints and tied at the waist with a piece of string, followed by a series of asymmetrical skirts made of delicately embroidered layers like a walking Japanese collage of modern day femininity.

gucci

GUCCI
This season’s Gucci signature silk patchwork print was inspired by Japanese kimonos, oriental motifs and European florals. Combined with Frida Gianni’s classic seventies aesthetic and some ribbon style belts, this made for a collection packed full of new Spring classics.

mcq

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN
Sarah Burton built upon her own treasured collection of antique kimonos picked up during trips to Japan during her early days at McQueen. This informed the palette of blossom pink, red and black and a blown-up floral on structured jacquard lantern-sleeved dresses. The theme extended to hair and make-up, which enhanced the Samurai warrior feel, with faces covered in angular black lacquer masks and hair aggressively pulled back into neatly folded ponytails. It was strict but not Geisha-girl covered.

celine

CELINE
A beautifully pared back collection as ever from Celine, but the oriental influence was evident. Obi style belts alongside clean cut, flared kimono sleeves, and ever-so delicate florals that seemed to have fallen straight from a Japanese cherry tree .

carven

CARVEN
Hokusai inspired Japanese prints of nude women abstracted with contemporary graphics appeared across the Carven collection. Each design was twisted dynamically around the body, and rendered in pop colours. Short, 1960s-inspired dresses are adorned with cherry blossoms or Japanese woodblock print motifs, and several pieces have wide, obi-like panels over the waist. All of these details underscore an homage to traditional Japanese culture.

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