Hiroshima-born Sunao Kuwahara takes inspiration from Russian folk dress in this stunning collection for the sunaokuwahara label. I’ve never been to Russia, but it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to see even though my romantic mental images of snow and fur coats and extravagant architecture and vodka are miles away from the tales my darling Russian friend tells! (I’ll not get into Russian politics here; this is Japanese fashion after all, so I do hope you’ll forgive me…)

Japan and eastern Russian aren’t hugely far away, so I suppose it’s no great wonder that there’s a little influence from one to the other. With the current rise of fashion subcultures like mori and dolly-kei which take inspiration from folklore and traditional dress, I think we’ll be seeing quite a lot more of the patchwork and patterned side of Russian dress in future Japanese fashion collections.

Although it’s a world away from my personal style at the moment, I still really find myself drawn to sunaokuwahara and this collection – maybe it’s the hats? At first glance I assumed it was a bowler hat, but then I wasn’t so sure and thus followed an investigation into Russian hats! I’m still none the wiser, but damn I do love a good hat, even though my tiny pea-head is too small for most hats (sidenote: Samuel’s head is on the large side, so if you put us together you get only one normal headed person. Oh, um). I really like the use of different fabrics and patterns that runs through this whole look: polka dots, flowers, houndstooth and many more. It’s a little chaotic at times, but the overall effect it quite charming and innocent. Of course I’d pick out the darker outfits for myself, but the little touches of pale green that pop up time and time again are really wonderful, I love how fresh and spring-like everything feels…

Black! Love that silhouette.

Green socks and hat; I don’t know how it works but it does.

Really love the bodice and peplum on the left – almost like GVGV’s spring summer collection, but coming from a totally different perspective.

Digging the matching flower suit!

Super-amazing blouse on the right.

And finally: a little something for the dolly-kei fans! Lovely.

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One Response to Sunao Kuwahara – S/S 2012 Collection – From Russia With Love

  1. Beautiful collection! It is extremely unique to me for some reason and a little bit different than everything else going on right now. I love the 3rd photo down on the right..Something about it reminds me of early 20th Century circus posters. The style of those pants in red too is really unusual I feel like, but nice.

    I love the way that the all over textiles are mixed with other patterns too, and that the all over textiles have a bit of spacing between each design sometime..For example, the jacket with the sunburst looking designs.

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