For Spring Mihara Yasuhiro was inspired by art and nature for his eponymous womenswear line. After carving a name for himself as a shoe designer Yasuhiro went on to collaborate with Puma before successfully launching his men's line, and then, in 2009, his first first women's collection.
For SS13 Yasuhiro has collaborated with contemporary American abstract painter Bette Ridgeway on colour-washed silk dresses and accessories. Mimicking the look of a butterfly – another key reference point for Yasuhiro this Spring – the clothes have a lightness following his AW12 collection which delved into the Japanese psyche following the trauma of the Tohoku earthquake which rocked Japan emotionally, socially and economically. Dazed Digital spoke to the designer about his work with Ridgeway and his growth as a designer.
Dazed Digital: For SS13 you've referenced the work of artist Bette Ridgeway. What inspired you about Ridgeway's work?
Mihara Yasuhiro: I have found various meanings from the way the colours overlap in layers in Bette's artwork. The natural colours, and the infinite colours overlapping each other in layers gave me the impression of abstraction and reflection. For SS13 I wanted to design garments using Ridgeway's paintings in their original form. I created dresses using minimal cutting techniques so to preserve the brush strokes in Bette's paintings.
DD: Butterflies have been a source of inspiration to many – what about them influenced your collection?
Mihara Yasuhiro: The theme of this season's collection is 'Color Of Butterfly', however the use of the motif of the butterfly is very little. The last women's collection, 'Ophelia has a Dream', was expressing death and rebirth and eternity. This is because in Japan we had experienced the Tohoku Earthquake, and the earthquake had taken many lives. Based on this experience, I wanted to express that death is not the end, but the rebirth of the soul that had died is returning back to the light.
In this season’s womenswear collection I wanted to express the butterfly in two ways. One is through the meaning and symbol of the butterfly, freedom and liberty. The other is colour, which I believe represents race, the emotion of the thoughts, and that in each person they have their own variety of colours and they paint their own lives with it. Not only in individuals but also the world is created by the people in the world with their colours.
DD: Over the course of your career, how has you seen your aesthetic develop?
Mihara Yasuhiro: My aesthetic has developed not only through fashion but also through art, music and architecture. I have also developed via working and surrounding myself around various inspiring people including Paolo Roversi on the short film 'Ophelia has a Dream’ for my AW12 womenswear collection, artist Bette Ridgeway for this season and my continued relationship with creative design agency WOW. I have been privileged to have worked on some great collaborative projects.
DD: Do you have the same attitude when you design men’s and womenswear?
Mihara Yasuhiro: Yes, I have the same attitude when I design my men's and women's collections. However I believe women's can often be more challenging as there are no restrictions. I really enjoy designing womenswear and look forward to further developing this line as I have done menswear.