Friday, May 23, 2008

Designer Spotlight: Tsumori Chisato

I first stumbled upon the designer Tsumori Chisato while shopping at a boutique in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2004. I was enamored as soon as I spotted one top--a sheer, floaty black blouse with cream trim, a braided neckline, and sash tie at the waist--which will never leave my closet. Born in Japan and a graduate of Tokyo's famous Bunka Fashion College (past students include Yohji Yamamoto and Kenzo Takada), Tsumori once worked with Issey Miyake in 1977 before starting her own line. Her clothing is beautiful, quirky, and oftentimes eclectic in her use of embroidery and embellishment.

For her Spring 2008 Ready-to-Wear collection, Tsumori incorporated sea motifs--coral, octopus, shells, even a pretty blue starfish placed strategically on one side of a model's head. The shapes of the brilliantly multicolored clothes coming down the runway were truly unique and so unlike any other designer I've seen. For example, one model worked the Aurora, a gorgeous chiffon bubble dress with stand-up shoulder pleats and oversized sleeves, while another strutted down in a pair of tie-dye pants made to look like a skirt.

Thankfully, several online retailers carry select items from Tsumori Chisato. Two of them, probably the most well stocked I've seen so far, are Shop Zoe and Shop Bird, both offering the latest darling designs from her sea-themed spring collection.

(Credit to for photos)

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