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    THE STORY 19 FALL WINTER

    Travel

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    Travel is Mame Korogouchi's heart of the creation as well as a major pillar of the brand's DNA. For the designer Maiko Kurogouchi, it is not just a process of making her collection, but also an important part of her life - and ultimately her life itself.

    She travels to find what she calls "fragments", things that are scattered around the world that inspires her to make the collection, to visit factories and artisans all over Japan, and to present her collection overseas.

    For this season, she visited Nagasaki, Gifu and Fukuoka, as well as factories in Iwate, Yamagata, and Tochigi before going to Arita, Saga to meet a ceramic artist. She found herself grown more affectionate toward Paris where she presents her collection and lost in time in constantly gray London. She also traveled to Seoul as well as going home to Nagano.

    During the 99 days of experimentation through documenting her daily life, she was at the same time back and forth between the reality and illusion. It was Maiko's inner travel; an attempt to see what couldn't be seen and to give forms to the formless. To make the ordinary extraordinary.

    She documented the sound of an oil heater in Yamagata and immersed herself in a hot bath in a mountain of Tochigi.

    In the deep mountain of Iwate, she witnessed Hayachine Kagura, a traditional and sacred dance ceremony performed at the Hayachine Shirine to celebrate the mountain deity. The masked dancers wore a layer of cloths that gave a look of patchwork but close inspection revealed that it was just tied by a string, changing its appearance every step of their dance moves. That complicated and unexpected layer inspired a dress. The sketches of flowers from her diary turned into flower woven jacquard. Another floral motifs inspired by the drawings on the old Imari ware were embroidered onto the sleeves at a factory in Kiryu, traditionally known for its Kimono embroidery. The silhouette of the 500 year old tradition was updated through her eyes into modern design.

    The fragments Maiko collected from her travels were reflected onto her knitwear and details of dresses.

    “Fudo is determined by climate and topographical conditions of the land and history is the record of people,” Maiko wrote in her diary on October 21st, 2018, without the mention of where she saw the phrase. The entry abruptly ended with another phrase, “Blue sunset.”