5 DESIGNERS EMBRACING THE KIMONO
LABELS INCORPORATING A JAPANESE TAKE ON THE CLASSIC BLAZER
With a foundation in versatility whilst challenging the status quo of professional menswear, a new look is emerging. Spring/Summer 2017 collections are incorporating a Japanese take on the blazer, creating a kimono-inspired jacket. This comfortable yet sartorial style has been a key fixture for brands including Etro, Maison Margiela, Damir Doma, and the newest brand to appear in the fashion headlines, Project 001 from KAYOMO LAB.
Launched this season by designer Zyad Khoury and his business partner Alexandre Khawam, KAYOMO LAB intends to improve the functionality of old favourites and provide a contemporary spin on artisanal garments. Project 001 is the first collection from the KAYOMO LAB studio, and focuses on this kimono silhouette. Fusing the creative and the pragmatic, the jacket is independently styled yet suitable for the office and an evening out. Not afraid to layer, the collection offers gilets and jackets that can be added to a traditional suit in a playful way, in addition to existing on their own.
Etro’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection takes the casual, loose-fit look to heart, with most of the range’s trousers cut in a relaxed design. With a colour scheme in burgundy, mustard and navy, the mood is muted for but the traditional jazzy patterns keep the collection alive. The paisley print has a pyjama look, perfect for a loungewear to outwear approach where we see the kimono regularly this season.
Maison Margiela sticks to simple and effective this season, with jackets taking an uncomplicated approach with bombers, denim, and straightforward blazers. But the brand also offers a blazer with modern adjustments, where the team has removed the lapels and added geometric panelling, creating a futuristic style. The jacket folds over in front - a nod to the kimono, and subtle stitching that creates panels down the front are also taken from a Japanese influence.
Croatian-born designer Damir Doma aims to encapsulate a measured study of proportion and a melange of textures – divining a juxtaposition of rough and refined. Silhouettes draw upon a myriad of inspirations from the worlds of art and architecture, but prioritise clean lines and balance. This season incorporates the loose fit with many looks made of matching trousers and jackets, a true redefinition of the tailored suit. The wrapped jacket ties are a direct use of the kimono, and the loungewear to outwear trend.
Easily considered one of the most influential Asian designers, Issey Miyake continues to be inspired by his heritage and maintains a Japanese design ethic in each of his collections. The Spring/Summer 2017 collection has a strong focus on loose, comfortable linen, vibrant, psychedelic tie dye, with traditional suiting mixed in. It is one particular look, composed of a subtly printed sport jacket over a white linen T-shirt that is paired with loose harem-style trousers that tie at the front. Miyake has incorporated a style element of the kimono but to a pair of trousers, flipping the trend on its head and giving us something new to consider.