In-Process by Hall Ohara from design partnership Steven Hall and Yuriko Ohara is a consistent highlight of Tokyo Fashion Week, reminding us each season of the potential of the week to culture fashion that bridges the catwalk and the street with collections that are packed with begging to be worn coordinates as well as showpieces that weather well in my mind long after Fashion Week is over. I could go on to gush over their memorably constructed shows that use a refreshing cast of local models, beautifully witty prints and surreal silhouettes, but thought instead that this time we ought to hear more about the brand from Hall and Ohara themselves.
The duo met and studied at Central Saint-Martins in London, before relocating back to Japan with a New Generation award from London Fashion Week safely in hand. I began by asking them about the beginnings of their work back in the UK:
– How did you come to work together as a design partnership, and how does your work differ as a team as opposed to working alone?
We actually started with making unusual patchwork t-shirts to pass the time when we were in London. It’s when certain shop buyers noticed these t-shirts and decided place them in their shops is when we started as an actual business.
We’ve worked together for so long now that our design sensibility has fused, but I would say that I’m probably graphic and Yurika is more textually understanding.
– You have a huge range of items and collaborations in every collection – tell us about your division of labor and are there any conflicts in direction?
We don’t have divisions within the studio, we can do each other’s jobs for In-Process and the other companies we design for.
Regarding directional conflicts, I would have to say we don’t really have any conflicts about that due to our sense of responsibility to the brand itself.
– Why did you choose Japan as the base for your brand?
Japan is the true fashion Mecca!!
– What is the meaning behind the name “In-Process” – will you ever aim for “completion”?
It’s how we visualize the core idea through the medium of a garment. The process of visualizing that idea is very meaningful to us as it has a great deal of atmospheric energy and we try to show as much of this in the final outcome.
– What are the other concepts behind your work?
We work in a metaphorical and sometimes symbolic way when approaching any form of design.
– How do you theme each season and how do you approach the show itself?
The sole aim is to visualize an idea through the whole spectrum of what we do that season.
– Tell us about your most recent AW 2013-14 Collection – “Into the Wilderness”.
It was a metaphorical representation of garments that were most nostalgically memorable to us during certain periods in our lifetime. The juxtaposed and scratchy nature of the collection comes from the fragmentation of our memories over time.
What we tried to show were fragmented memories through rose tinted glasses.
– What do you think of the current state of Japanese fashion?
Thats a difficult question! Japanese fashion as a whole has an energy that no other country has or that can ever understand therefore Japanese fashion is culturally unique and has the ability to reinvigorate individuals of contrasting taste.
In terms of structure it depends on how you look at it to be honest, but there are more positives than negatives.
– What do you want to challenge next?
To obtain more licenses for the brand and keep our eye out for anything interesting that comes our way.
You can see the most recent AW 2013-14 collection in all its glory below – enjoy:
The contrast between the casual and the romantic is particularly fitting for Tokyo at the moment, especially with the hard colors of the tumblr generation dating fast.
The surreal prints are always a favorite, but don’t miss the great patterning on the shoulders.
This strong triangular silhouette is key for this season, and it was great to see In-Process take the triangle right down the body so dramatically.
I love the faux layering effect on this single piece.
The show ended with a serious of collaboration umbrellas that gave In-Process a chance to take this season’s silhouette right to its logical conclusion.
For more on In-Process including complete looks at past collections and stockists you can go here. If you are in Tokyo then you can tour a trio of great stockists all in Harajuku via Macaronic, Scramble Market and A Story.