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    THE STORY 21 SPRING SUMMER

    1. Introduction – The window and the curtain

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    The past 2 collections were based on the concept of ‘Embrace’, a sensation Maiko Kurogouchi herself experienced of being embraced in a basket, from raising the silkworm ‘Shiro-chan’.This time, the designer chose ‘windows’ as the next theme.

    It started when Maiko was thinking about windows at the start of 2020, when a friend gifted a book, ‘The Confused Window (Tomadou Mado)’ by Toshiyuki Horie.’ COVID-19 had spread and all travels were at a halt, unable to continue her journey, Maiko Kurogouchi looked back at snaps from her travels and realized a lot featured windows. She wondered and thought to herself, why she took snaps of windows. What drew her was the story of the person living behind the curtain, or reminiscing the curtain left behind and its old resident.

    Curtains are one of the first items ready when one moves into a new house. And when the resident leaves, most of the time, they are forgotten. The curtains in white that have spent time with the resident, absorb the memory which created unique gradations to each. The question was how to express this by weaving and dying techniques.

    Unable to travel, Maiko Kurogouchi spent a lot more time at home. Gazing at the world outside from the window within, she remembered that these were the windows she had been seeing. And she was reminded of her days she spent as a child at her grandmother’s, where she enjoyed the lace curtains on the window exposed to the westering sun creating shadows.

    For this collection, facing a hint of nostalgia, Maiko Kurogouchi imagined a ‘window’ person being dressed in curtains, where one could flutter in the wind and with each flip/turn the wearer able to open a new door.

    Items that became the symbol of this collection were the gown and dress, made out of original laces ordered from a curtain factory in Kiryu, Gunma prefecture. The flowers arranged while staying at home were woven into the lace, using a domestically rare sewing machine. The machine being able to weave large patterns without distortion were shaped into the garment itself, where each piece was then heat cut by the artisan's hand. With this, the delicate cut around the collar or scallop cut sleaves were created, which connect the memories and Maiko Kurogouchi into one piece.