Friday, September 22, 2023
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Harunobumurata Tokyo Spring 2024

Harunobu Murata is a studious romantic, taking the rose-tinted wistfulness for yesteryear as the starting point of his elegantly minded womenswear. This season, inspiration came from the work of the American photographer Slim Aarons and Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino, and the way they both capture the lazily sensual mood of summers past.

The scene was set well, in a beautiful location at the Tokyo National Museum’s Gallery of Horyuji Treasures. An expansive shallow square of water outside the gallery served as the runway, and the cicadas trilled in the surrounding trees as we waited for the models to come out, the soundtrack of Max Richter’s Bridgerton recomposition of Vivaldi’s “Summer” playing into the muggy August air.

Unfortunately, as is often the case, the reality couldn’t quite match up to the fantasy. The simpler black dresses in the final looks were cut well (Murata is an alumni of Jil Sander), but many of the clothes looked ill-fitting and busy, while the accessories—bulky bags, stompy sneakers, and chunky necklaces—didn’t so much ground the collection as weigh it down. The overriding impression was one of unintentional disconnect.

Success came in the form of a gradiated dyeing process new for the brand, which yielded some impressive jewel-colored dresses that will no doubt be seen come spring. But to more effectively channel Guadagnino-style sultriness, Murata would benefit from paring back.



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