We talk to Japanese designer Shiori Watanabe ahead of her Vancouver Fashion Week showcase.
MM: Can you describe your brand and yourself in a few sentences?
Shiori: I am a graphic fashion designer and I create designs that mix traditional Japanese and European art.
MM: In what way do your designs meld the past and present?
Shiori: I use patterns from kimonos, traditional Japanese costumes. Each kimono's print holds meaning which depends on the season, place, the age of the wearer etc. I eliminate historic rules and design in a modern style so that anyone can feel free to wear. I create graphic prints on basic cuts such as T-shirts, leggings, and flared skirts, elevating them into something special.
MM: Can you describe your creative process?
Shiori: First I decide the colour of the base. And from there I design my favourite patterns- family crests, flowers and so on. I experiment with print placement according to the style of the clothing.
MM: Which colours are are you currently using?
Shiori: My favourite colours are black, red, and gold but I use a variety of colours when I design.
MM: Where do you usually look to for inspiration for your designs?
Shiori: My design starts with colour. I find colour inspiration all around me. For example sometimes I see a colour I would like to use when watching movies. I remember the image in my head before going to bed. Once the colour is decided, I focus on the design and then go about making the garment.
MM: What is your favourite part of being a designer? What drives you to design?
Shiori: I can create clothes with my favourite patterns, and it feels so good to see others wearing my designs.
MM: How has the Japanese design scene influenced you and your designs?
Shiori: I am inspired by the works of art made by traditional Japanese craftsmen. They inherit hundreds of years of traditional craft and make delicate fine arts. I am influenced by the Yuzen dyeing of kimonos, Kumiko craftwork, and lacquerware. I also love the prints of Hokusai.
MM: Can you describe the F/W 18 collection you will be showcasing in Vancouver in March?
Shiori: This time I have mainly designed Japanese style prints. The prints are used in two kinds of styles; sporty clothes and dresses. I've updated sportswear to look fancy and fun, whilst the dresses are centred around highlighting women's beauty.
MM: What does the future hold for your brand Baroque Japanesque?
Shiori: I would like to continue drawing beautiful Japanese and European prints and to collaborate with other designers. I would like to see my designs being worn all over the world!
Thank you Shiori Watanabe for giving our readers an insight into your design practices. We look forward to seeing your collection on the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week next month.