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September 2 2014

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Mihara’s Muse

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Emerging Japanese designer Mihara Yasuhiro first learned of Ophelia, an 1851 painting of a red-haired Victorian maiden dead in a babbling stream, by John Everett Millais, when he was 13 years old. “I remember falling for her pink cheeks and hollow gaze,” recalls Mihara, lamenting that he has yet to see the piece in person.

Ophelia has been on the designer’s mind since first sight and served as the inspiration for his SS12 collection. To champion his muse, Mihara collaborated with renowned photographer Paolo Roversi on an ethereal film, titled Ophelia Has a Dream, which juxtaposes life and death. The short (above) depicts the painting’s heroine surrounded by darting butterflies and spring flowers while she wears Mihara’s SS12 kimono gown in her watery grave.

On Friday, December 7, Ophelia Has a Dream will be shown at Tate Britain’s ongoing series Late at Tate, during which the museum is open until 10 p.m. The film will play alongside the museum’s ongoing exhibition Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde. And, surprise, surprise! Millais’ original painting features in the show. Perhaps Mihara will meet his muse at last.

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