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Mihara Yasuhiro S/S 09

Mihara Yasuhiro: Artistic Intentions

The emerging menswear designer goes arty for S/S 09 and talks about pioneering the fashion/ sport hybrid.

Artists and their way of living have long held a fascination for designers. Take David Hockney and L.S. Lowry inspiring Christopher Bailey's colour palette at Burberry or Adam Kimmel seeking authenticity and inspiration in the art movements of the 60's.  For his quietly sensational S/S 09 miharayasuhiro show,  took a leaf from the great German Modernist artist/ activist, Joseph Beuys, going as far as recasting his signature look of hat, fishing jacket and jeans in a modern way, this time adorned with talismanic jewelry by young British-based artist, Husam El Odeh. It was a further evolution of Yasuhiro's drive to inject some soul and romance into men's dressing today.

Alongside fellow innovator Yohji Yamamoto, Yasuhiro helped pioneer the fashion/sport hybrid that we almost take for granted now in the cult line of trainers he has been designing for Puma since 2000, which was recently celebrated in the 'Fashion V Sport' exhibition at the V&A. Dazed Digital emailed with Yasuhiro as he is about to launch his first apparel line for Puma's S/S 09 collection.

Dazed Digital: What importance does being Japanese play in your design process? Do the older traditions influence your work in any way?
Mihara Yasuhiro: I think that purity is important in a design process in my case. Since I want to express an idea in the pure state if possible, in order to express an idea as it is thought to be a design. Therefore it depends for a design fundamentally, that there is nothing. When expressing, especially shoes, I am conscious of the world of the "potted plant."  I try to feel infinite space spreading out mentally in limitation and limited space.

DD: Can you tell us more about the way you research for each collection? What led you to research Joseph Beuys for your S/S 09 collection?
MY: Joseph Beuys was one of the influential artists to me when I was a little. Every season, I ask myself, "what kind of mind situation is beautiful?" in front of the question "what kind of character of a man it is." I can see an image of a human developing really really slowly with those questions, and it had an image of SS09 overlapped with Joseph Beuys. I liked not only his work but his thought.

DD: The clothes seems hardy enough for an adventurer to wear. Does travel inspire you?
MY: People are very easily affected by inspiration from traveling. I only travel to receive influence, but it is usually disagreeable. I keep in mind I am conscious to feel nothing when I must go.

DD: Are you still working with Husam El Odeh for your jewellery? What does he bring to the collaboration?
MY: It is so exciting to collaborate on jewellery with Husam. He gives my collection a deeper meaning. And I think that time to spend with him is a very extravagant time for me.

DD: When you started designing for Puma, designer sports collaborations were few and far between. How do you think the interface between sports brands and designers has evolved? What is your relationship with Puma like now?
MY: Although I still think that is still in the middle of development, it has changed from a state of "enjoying itself" (separately) to (one where the two) "emulate each other" avariciously. It will be very inevitable that the world of sport is interested in a fashion. Our relationship is perfect. It's getting better and better!

DD: And designing your own line is more autobiographical?
MY: Yes, it is.  A way of thinking that is not common holds considerable specific gravity. People often say to me that I seem to be a partiality target.

DD: You used to show in Milan but you have been showing in Paris for the last few seasons. What does showing at Paris Fashion Week mean to you?
MY: To be honest, I didn't have any huge expectations for the Paris collection, however it was very good fortune. My experience of showing in Tokyo and Milan was unsatisfactory for me. Since our show moved to Paris, I feel people's zeal who come to show and support my creations. Also for me, the heart was moved by the zeal.

DD: If you could isolate the emotion that you're trying to translate into the new collection you're designing now for A/W 09, what would it be?
MY: Anything else...
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