Designer Hanako Maeda often looks to the ephemeral, waxing about her memories and nostalgia, but resort sees her distill things down, zeroing in on silhouette, shape and color, remixed through the lens of art history. Maeda looked to Isamu Noguchi’s Water Stone, which is part of The Met’s collection of Asian Art.
“He doesn’t use a lot of color and it’s all about the natural materials you find in Japan and light and environment,” Maeda said of Noguchi’s work.
The look: Playing with light and shadow, creating geometric silhouettes anchored with neutral tones of beige, navy and gray and pops of color.
Quote of note: “Convertibility is key. I feel like after the pandemic, a lot of people want pieces that can be worn for an occasion but also for day, even to work. Pieces that can be dressed up or down,” she said, explaining that she experimented with layering in the styling as a way to show how versatile the pieces can be.
Key pieces: Mixed media with knitwear mixed with a woven on a top, other knitwear was monochromatic, using different ribbed panels to create a gradation of color and shape, a layered trenchcoat and vest drove the convertibility theme home. There were several plays on a trenchcoat, like a cocktail dress, fussed with a halter top and half a trench. A black Japanese cotton dress with detachable sleeves, played with day to night, while a white top with drawstrings to help create shape made for several options on styling.
The takeaway: Maeda is evolving her brand DNA of playing with shape and texture making pieces that rather than feeling seasonal can easily be added into a wardrobe to add newness. The brand has a lot going on, including celebrating its the 10-year anniversary with a collaboration with Carolyn Murphy. The duo produced a sustainable collection of recycled organic cotton and will have a summer pop-up on New York’s Madison Avenue soon.