Yasuko Furuta of Toga cuts an elusive figure, offering just three words via press release to define her collections each season. This time around, they were assertive, feminine, and approach. Taken as a whole, it’s hard not to feel like they could apply to any number of her outings from across Toga’s two-and-a-half-decades as a cult favorite brand: Furuta’s vision is defined by its balance of the sweet and the steely, and the underlying sense that her endlessly curious woman is always approaching the new.
The “feminine” aspect was accounted for in the building blocks of the collection: boiled down to its most essential elements, it was made up of lace, shirred cotton, crochet, ribbon appliqués, and plenty of pink. But in Furuta’s hands, it was alchemically transformed into something a little more risky. Those lacy trims and bodices and fishnets clung or fell from the body in a way that whispered of the fetishistic, while the ruched sleeves and necklines had a wonky, offbeat charm that nodded to the creative spirit of the woman likely to wear them.
The look book was shot by the Dutch photographer Liv Liberg, a partnership that began when she participated in an exhibition presented by Toga in Tokyo earlier this year, including images of Furuta’s clothes worn by Liberg’s sister and mother. While this time the pieces were shot on models, it serves as a neat reminder of Furuta’s ability to use fashion to turn the mirror back on the women that surround her: to reflect and refract their tastes, but also to nudge them in more adventurous sartorial directions. And despite the quietly intellectual charge of Furuta’s approach to design, there’s a reason she’s been in business for 26 years and counting: there were plenty of wildly desirable pieces in here, too. The button-downs with netted sleeves, or the chunky cotton tops with clouds of embellished black silk popping out from the shoulders? Expect them to fly off the shelves.