Tsumori Chisato's collections are almost always birthed from places she has traveled. Shortly after her Spring '14 ready-to-wear show in Paris, the Japanese designer headed to Prague and began sketching what she saw. Evidently, she was captivated by the pitched rooftops, which appear as geometric crocheted pockets; outlined in dark leather and set against an A-line skirt or generous trousers, they established a sharp geometric focus that ran counter to the embellished, embroidered pieces appearing later in the collection. Her trip must have also involved some memorable Moravian wine—how else to account for the recurrence of claret tones and bundles of knitted grape appliqués?
In fact, the most prominent motif to come out of this Pre-Fall lineup was a spry little fox that curled up on a brocade, camouflaged itself into pearl beading, and even played a visual pun as a trompe l'oeil stole around the neck of a silk blouse. Chisato further developed this character by showing an actual fluffy fur stole. But the fox on the Segway scooter was just too twee.
Balancing the kawaii with clean, well-cut jackets and shift dresses continues to be Chisato's strength—but it's also her Achilles' heel. A group of looks covered in an enlarged patchwork of forms set atop black organza might have been intended to evoke the Japanese lacquer effect or Prague's cobblestone streets. Either way, they were sophisticated in shape and subtle in statement. They had substance, where much of the rest felt like souvenirs.