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Somarta Sung

Having worked at Issey Miyake, fashion design graduate Hirokawa left to start her own brand Somarta.

After graduating from the Fashion Design course at Bunka Fashion College, Tamae Hirokawa joined Issey Miyake as a promising protege. Since training with Miyake, the designer has released her own ranges of unexpected bodysuits and creative designs and in 2006, started her brand Soma Design which dabbles in fashion and graphic design amongst sound and visual direction, introducing a range of bodywear named 'Skin'. She now presents her collection under the name 'Somarta' as part of Japan Fashion Week. We speak to Hirokawa about second skins and alternative fabrications.

Dazed Digital: What is the aesthetic/design ethics of Somarta?
Tamae Hirokawa: What I could feel beauty in it.

DD: How did you developed Somarta's famous bodysuits? What are the plans for it?
Tamae Hirokawa: I was most interested in designing the clothes that could be as close as our body themselves.
Nowadays and even in the past, people express themselves on their skins by using so many methods such as tattoo or painting, which was never related to their nationality or races. I think that tells us how people spiritually connected to their skins and when I realised that point, I decided to describe that in fashion. If we can change our skins, that makes fashion spread much more.

DD: What were you inspired by for S/S 10?
Tamae Hirokawa: The poem written by French poet Paul Verlaine "Le paysage dans cadre de portieres"
I tried to express his poem in fashion. The story starts from departure scene, then after the train leaves the platform, the landscapes outside the window gradually transforms into fantasy and the emotion flooded from our mind paints white flowers into red. Then they start blooming like a sunset.

DD: How do you develop the fabric techniques each season?
Tamae Hirokawa: Each season, I set up my own aims such as print techniques which I would like to try, or other new techniques for clothes making. In this collection, we invented a few techniques which make the fabrics feel softer. I would like my customer to feel like they are wearing a painting.


Photographer: Akio
Stylist: Ryuji Mimaki
Hair: Go Utsugi
Make-Up: Susumu Kayaki
Model: Sachi at Friday
Photographic assistant: Yas Kotake, D, Washio-kun, Hide
Photo retouching: Hide
Production support: Iino Mediapro Tokyo
Special thanks to: Kiyoshi Yazawa at Lino Mediapro Tokyo