Not since the Japanese first stormed the Paris scene, in 1983, has the Far East been such a preoccupation of the fashion flockboth in terms of trends (Roberto Cavalli's Ming vase prints) and business (new stores in China and/or Japan from Prada, Giorgio Armani, and Louis Vuitton). That's good timing for Tsumori Chisato, a designer who is "big in Japan" and now starting to make inroads into the Western market.
A graduate of Tokyo's renowned Bunka Fashion College, Chisato started working in 1977 for Issey Miyake, who helped her launch her own line in 1990. She first brought her collection to Paris in 2003 and has been quietly building street cred with cool girls in Los Angeles and New York. Her fall collection stayed faithful to her aesthetic, which is print-heavy with a healthy dose of manga/bohemian cuteness. The show took wing with the first look, an owl-appliqué minidress, and closed with homey quilted frocks that tied into the vague Bloomsbury theme at play throughout. There were a number of pretty dresses: some dramatic with pile stripes, a requisite velvet number, and others with tree appliqués and a patchwork of fun, flirty prints. The second look was a simple white pinafore that recalled Peter Pan's Wendyand served as a reminder that, for every governess that came down the runways this season, there is a corresponding youthful charge. Chisato is ready to dress her.