January 18, 2008 Paris
Quite how this enchanting notion would translate into clothes wasn't immediately obvious from Mihara's catwalk, where the show opened with the sartorially spivvy, in the form of razor-sharp suits. A gray mohair number looked Rat Pack-ready. Then, all of a sudden came a belted, quilted, earth-toned outfit that lacked only a Land Rover to complete the gentleman-farmer image. That was clearly a transition, because everything that followed was a curious hybrid of urbanity and woodsiness. It started with a shirt that had blanket fringing trailing round its hem. The idea of blanket wrapping was soon elaborated upon in wraps and layered kilt-like attachments. That twenty-first-century kilt might sit under a fringed blanket wrap that would be topped by a waistcoat, all of it cut in such a way that it was only visible from the front. Sure, it sounds slightly gaga, but bear in mind that the look was formulated in sober gray flannel. Perhaps Mihara was making a point about the need to integrate city and country (the exoticism of a kilt meaning country from a Japanese viewpoint), in which case he was lucky he once again had the input of London jeweler Husam El Odeh, whose talismanic bone and horsehair accessories injected a hearty gust of Highlands.