Tsumori Chisato took a breather in Sedona earlier this spring, and the trip proved a starting point for her new pre-collection. But instead of pursuing a literal desert theme—although she's posted pictures of cacti and sandstone formations on her blog—the Tokyo-based designer directed herself toward a message about high-wattage flower power.
It's a graphic mix, to be sure, with Magic Marker grid patterns and oversized daisies pushing her cartoony style further toward childlike. The risk here is that no woman wants to wear her 6-year-old's doodles. In most cases, however, the hand-drawn flowers—appearing in repetition on a peasant blouse or as a single stem sprouting off a tunic dress—remained on the right side of playful, especially when paired with maxi skirts, some smocked with a quilted belt that emphasized the waist.
For a crisp, commercial counterpoint to the fluoro cuteness, the designer created a grouping with sinuous lines in carmine red, ivory, and navy. She also modified the bridge of preppy two-tone penny loafers with cat ears (it wouldn't be a Chisato collection without a feline cameo). Her spin on outdoorsy included a striped poncho and an electric blue parka with bat-wing sleeves and pylon orange trim. Meanwhile, Wallabee-inspired wedges in silver lamé veered more toward ABBA than Arizona.
Chisato's version of literal looks something like this: a limeade coat watermarked with various circles that, in a more traditional context, would have featured chinoiserie. Inside hers were a combination of emoticon smiles and winks. But far be it for anyone to decry it as kitsch; she's clearly in a happy place.