Hanae Mori by Yu Amatsu

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Last week was Tokyo Fashion Week. I covered shows for online magazine SAVVY TOKYO, making it to as many shows as I could, sporting the baby bump and all.  The first show I went to ended up being one of my favorite of MBFWT. Hanae Mori was Japan's very first haute couture fashion house and the namesake label has made designer, Hanae Mori, one of the most reknowned fashion designers in Japan. For the first time they hired a young designer, Yu Amatsu, to bring a fresh face and new generation to the label. I had the opportunity to chat for a bit with Amatsu before his first runway collection with Hanae Mori and he gave some insight on his inspiration and dealing with the nerves leading up to the show.

Below is the article that was posted to SAVVY TOKYO. Check out the collection review and some of my favorite looks from the collection.

Hanae Mori by Yu Amatsu

Most known for his own line, A DEGREE FAHRENHEIT, designer Yu Amatsu brings the same precision and expertise of pattern and form when designing for haute couture brand, Hanae Mori.  The fashion house has primarily released collections designed by Hanae Mori herself, whom is the most honored female designer in Japan. Yearning to bring a “new generation” to the Hanae Mori label, the fashion house hired Amatsu to deliver the concept of grace, elegance and style to a younger audience.
After the interview with designer Yu Amatsu.
Outfit details
Blazer: BCBG
Bag: Saint Laurent

Designing for a brand that is so rich in history in Japan is nothing less than nerve wrecking, however, Amatsu expressed to Savvy that he was so honored to work with the brand that his anxiety only surfaced after friends began singing his praises. Confident in his craft, he channeled his nervous energy into creating what he describes as a collection that will bring confidence and elegance to a new generation of women wearing Hanae Mori. The designer stayed true to the brand’s design icon, the butterfly, although his source of inspiration derives from the Chestnut Tiger Butterfly, a species that is most known for it’s long migrations, traveling in large packs and notorious for it’s strong will.

The backdrop of the runway show matched the bright blue hues found in the Chestnut Tiger Butterfly’s wing. A slow melody of bells cued models wearing white dresses one could see on a modern day bride. Tiered and asymmetric hems were draped around body-con style gowns as well as large ruffles and pleats surrounding the bodices. Butterfly silhouettes and emblems were used in various fabrications, shown on just a sleeve or an entire garment. Chiffon, floor-length dresses with leather finishes in hues of light stone and pewter, floated down the runway, followed by jumpsuits, pencil skirts and peplum tops in a bi-tonal, butterfly embroidered eyelet material. The collection also consisted of oversized knit sweaters, tailored suits, immaculately constructed trench coats, t-shirt dresses and crop top variations in many colors and fabrics. However the most notable of the entire show was the sequence of brightly patterned butterfly motif assembles. An assortment of sportswear, button up blouses, matching separates and dresses capped off the show with vivid hues of orange, yellow, black and blue.

I spotted Tilda Swinton and Haider Ackerman sitting front row at the Hanae Mori show

Tokyo Fashion Week Events Around Town

Sunday, October 12, 2014

(article also posted on SavvyTokyo.com)

Today is the first day of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Tokyo! Check out some of the events around town!

As the European Fashion Weeks are coming to a close, Tokyo is amping up to follow suit for it’s biannual fashion fete. Taking place primarily at Shibuya’s Hikarie Oct 13th-19th, the weeklong tradeshow has a total of 48 brands debuting their S/S 2015 collections to buyers and journalists. Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Tokyo is among the top 5 fashion weeks recognized internationally, yet still humbly resides under the radar here in Tokyo. Apart from the private runways, many are surprised to know that various events are also being held around the city, which are open to the public.

Check out the details below and take part in one of the biggest fashion fairs in Tokyo.  Wonder through Shibuya’s largest department stores for fun promotions, hit up a few select pop-up shops and enjoy some fashion infused cocktails!

( I will be covering shows for SavvyTokyo, so be sure to follow us on Instagram and TWITTER to get updates and videos from the runway.)

Exhibitions and Special Events:

Shibuya Fashion Week:
The Shibuya Fashion Week Organization will host Shibuya Fashion Week, for the second time. Hoping to promote the area through fashion some of Shibuya’s largest department stores such as Seibu, Tokyu, PARKO, Marui, Shibuya 109 and many more will collaborate in communicating the area’s fashion culture through various events and promotions under the theme “A Shibuya Style. Just for Me”. A street runway show will be held in the Bunkamura Street on October 19th.

When October 10(Thu) - 19(Sun), 2014

Where Around SHIBUYA station / Bunkamura Street

Ikesei Fashion Weeks
What is it:  Starting October 1st through the 14th, the Seibu department store in Ikebukuro will open "The Ikesei fashion weeks", introducing the newest styles in luxury brands for women and men.

When: October 1 (Wed) - 14(Tue), 2014

Where: minami ikebukuro, toshima-ku, Tokyo Seibu Ikebukuro 3rd Fl.- 6th Fl.

Exhibition of Studio COOCA

What is it: Studio COOCA, a welfare organization, supports people with disabilities in further developing and prospering in their artistic talents. Exhibition of Studio CooCa will present whimsical drawings and paintings all by COOCA artists. A short film showing the daily interactions at Studio Cooca will also be shown.

When: October 13 (Mon) - November 3(Mon) ,2014 (11:0019:00)

CI Plaza B1, 2-3-1 Kita-aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Zakka Runway Vol. 3

What is it:  Once again the "Zakka Runway" will debut “Retro-Modern” trend items from Shibuya Hikarie ShinQs. Have fun trying on the newest craze in accessories and add a touch of mod to your assemble.

When: October 9(Thu) - October 22 (Wed), 2014

Where: Shibuya Hikarie ShinQs B1F, 1Fs, 2F, 3F, 4F 2-21-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

MBFWT Designer Cocktail Runway Vol.4

What is it: Indulge in some fashion libations inside various restaurants in Shibuya’s Hikarie, as well as the bar UPSTAIRS located at the Mercedes Benz Connection.  Designers participating in MBFWT have channeled their creative “juices” into signature cocktails, whipping up colorful beverages under a “Retro-Modern” theme.

When : The 22nd (Thu) - October 9, 2014 (Wednesday) (11:0023:00)
Where:  Participating Retailers:
Shibuya Hikarie
 2-21-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
6th floor / SESTOSENSO "H", CAPRICCI, Kyoto Western Akatsuki
7th floor / Bar Español LA BODEGA, Rice people, Nice people! FLOWERS Common,
Teppanyaki Okonomiyaki Kashiwa, Cafe & Grill Sizzle GAZZLe
Mercedes- Benz Connection (UPSTAIRS)
  Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032 7-chome


Garde Collective Pop UP Shop

What is it: Check out exclusive pop up shops around the city such as Gardé Collective. Aiming to bring you comfort and wear ability, Garde collective brings you simple, yet fresh pieces for you to add to your current wardrobe.

 When: October 9(Thu) - 15(Wed), 2014

Where: First floor special venue Tokyo HONTEN store

2-24-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan


What is it: Bringing simplicity to a women’s daily life, Under Bar Raw, debuts a series of garments that go “beyond basic” while still adding sophistication to your everyday life.

When: October 9(Thu) - 22(Wed), 2014 10:00 - 21:00

Where: Tokyu Toyoko Store 2-24-1, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku,


What is it: Collaborating with some of Japan’s edgiest designers, the brand Hello Tokai focuses on traditional techniques from the Tokai region. The final garments are a fusion of edgy designs and classic tradition. A souvenir will also be available at the event.

When: October 10 (Fri) - 19 (Sun),2014 (12:0020:00)

Where: Location: Meguro-ku, Tokyo Kamimeguro 2-12-2 W.NAKAMEGURO 4 fl


Friday, October 10, 2014
Japan has been home for over four years now, crazy even saying that, and as much as we love  Tokyo, we also know that our stay here is not indefinite. When moving abroad it's common to  think of all the neighboring countries to visit rather than the country you reside in, which has been our focus in the previous years. Although we still have a few places in Southeast Asia on our bucket list we've decided to concentrate on exploring this whimsical country as much as possible before our hypothetical sayonara. We took the plunge, bought a car and are taking advantage of the quick escapes out of the city.

We recently went to a place called Moto-Hakone, near Mount Fuji on Lake Ashinoko. It was an easy two hour drive out of Tokyo and extremely kid friendly.

Moto-Hakone is known for it's huge Tori Gates. One in the water, which is lit up in the evening, and another that greets you at the entrance of the town. This is the Jinja Shrine, a subtle centerpiece to the lake and mountains.

Large ferries remodeled into Piratte ships take tourists up and down the Lake.

On a clear day this would be an immaculate view of Mt. Fuji, however still gorgeous.

The town is quaint and very charming. A lot of restaurants and souvenir shops. 

Letting Maya get at taste of nature and explore the grounds near the Jinja Shrine.

Maya in a traditional Japanese Ukata

If there is a hallway, she will run! Running through the Prince Hotel like she owns the place.


On our way out of town we stopped by the Hakone Open Air Museum, with little to low expectations of a museum in the middle of the mountains. To our surprise it was one of the best museums we had visited. Beautiful sculptures and statues were sprawled throughout an enormous landscape, a children's attraction was placed in the center and a 300 piece Picasso collection was the icing on the cake. 

It was a wonderful getaway into the mountains and a nice break from the city. We look forward to more roadtrips throughout Japan.


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