Inspired by David Lynch's Wild at Heart, Mihara Yasuhiro got his motor running and headed out on the highway. The snakeskin jacket that outlaw Sailor Ripley (Nicolas Cage) wears in the film provided the key texture in the form of reptile "scales" bonded and melted onto T-shirts, shorts, and chinos. It's part of Mihara's genius as a designer that he is so able to transform the most banal piece of clothing with this sort of technical flourish. So one of the strongest outfits in the show was one of the simplest: "snakeskin" chinos paired with a reptile-textured, batik-ed mandala shirt and blue python loafers.
Sailor's greaser style dictated the look of the models. Mihara took on other contemporary outlaw archetypes—the cowboy, the biker, the juvenile delinquent—for more inspiration in the actual clothes. That red jacket, for instance, could have belonged to James Dean, the original rebel without a cause. And the insignia of a biker club was a running motif across shirts and tees. But where he might once have given the clothes a little wear and tear to heighten the story he was telling, here Mihara allowed a new polish into items like a linen trench with black leather biker detailing, or a baseball-biker jacket hybrid.
Mihara's shows always have the added benefit of introducing his audience in Paris to some inspiring new example of contemporary Japanese culture. Today's collaborator was the artist Jun Inoue, who was responsible for the ab-ex combination of graffiti and shodo, traditional Japanese calligraphy, that decorated outfits at the end of the show. He also furiously painted a backdrop that seeped and drizzled as the show went on. Jun customized the finale as well, so when the models made it onto the catwalk, they too were artfully splattered. When he took his bow with Mihara, he was drenched in sweat and paint, a salutary reminder that, as these heat-wave-riven men's fashion weeks draw to a close, genius is indeed one percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration.