For Hanako Maeda, opposites attract. “I feel like throughout this collection you see this dichotomy between something that feels more romantic versus something that feels more minimal, between fabrics that are constructed and fabrics that are soft,” the creative director of New York and Tokyo based Adeam said from her studio in Ginza. A knit top was layered underneath a leather bustier, a denim skirt came with asymmetrical pleated chiffon paneling, and a peekaboo black lace turtleneck peeked out from a gap in a crisp white oxford. Meanwhile, the traditionally masculine suit was given a feminine, flirty edge via an off the shoulder jacket with dangling belted straps.
Whereas for pre-fall Maeda embraced a cheery color palette of yellow, greens, and blues inspired by the Amalfi Coast, this collection returned to her signature muted hues. Part of this was, sure, the season—these clothes are meant to be worn in the fall and winter by her dedicated urban customers. (New Yorkers, they love their blacks and grays.) Yet it goes beyond utilitarian practicality: Maeda believes that the detailed craftsmanship of the clothes shows better when the silhouettes are the eye’s main focus. “I feel like when you have a lot of loud prints or loud colors, sometimes it’s difficult to see the details of the garment,” she said. “I really wanted the color palette to be subdued but play more with textures.” One all-black look, for example, had vegan leather as well as matted fabric. Those subtle, tactical details are much more apparent to the wearer when in monochrome. “You really see the handwork of the people that are creating and sewing the pieces,” Maeda said.
That was another goal of Maeda’s: to show off the meticulous work of Japanese artisans. Adeam makes everything in Japan. They have an in-house workroom filled with pattern-makers and sewers, and their factories are in the Kanto region just outside Tokyo. “I really wanted to focus on this idea of Japanese craftsmanship and highlighting it,” she said. A number of suits showed off the sharp preciseness of their tailoring.
For the select eveningwear pieces, Maeda played with color more. A chiffon suit came in a cherry red; dresses were in maroon and a shimmery powder blue. It could be hard to connect the more streamlined, sharp looks to these flashy, feminine pieces, as beautiful as they were. But even the most dedicated of minimalists sometimes like to switch up their shades.
Along with her womenswear collection, Maeda also released the newest pieces for Ichi, her gender-neutral line. They’re meant to be wardrobe workhorses that become the backbones of one’s everyday dressing: think classic zip jackets in tans and blacks, oversize sweater vests, and wrap-around scarves. Whether you want to embrace a style statement or just a style staple, Maeda has something for you.