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The Art of Wrapping


There is a photo from the 1972 book, “Tsutsumu” by Hideyuki Oka, that caught Maiko Kurogouchi's eyes. It was a close up shot of Rakugan, a type of traditional Japanese sweet, twist-wrapped in a white washi paper. That simple twist gave the piece of sweets a strong posture which stirred her desire to design equally elegant dress using a refreshing summery fabric with just the right amount of excellent tension and stiffness. She specially developed woven Jacquard textile for the shirts which looks plain on first glance, but has subtle floral embroideries.

The book also allowed Kurogouchi to revisit her childhood memories. She recalled her heart beat with delight she felt every time she opened a small box of sweets tidily filled with even smaller candies. She pictured an imaginary wrapping paper. In order to print small water-coloured flowers onto dully gloss Habutae silk woven in Komatsu, she chose to introduce a particular ink-jet that has a higher penetration rate. Working closely with a factory in Kyoto to find the right colour that speaks to both old memory and current sentiment, Kurogouchi finally reached the deep colour which seeped through the backside of the silk as if settling invisible memories on the skin permanently, quietly.

The vest paired with a silk dress incorporates the image of wrapping ribbons with the piping on the edges, as if the two garments cover the body gently just like thin paper that wraps around fragile sweets.