I blogged about Izumi Hongo last year, and gushed quite a bit. It is unusual to find such subdued yet unique esthetic, and I'm greatly pleased that these features not only persisted but developed in the new collection, Salonniere. Last year, I talked about the overall sense of 'delicate', of the way her fabrics work with the body and how she does interesting things with textures.
Here we see that the Dutch art inspiration still persists, in the form of a stylized bonnet. It is combined with a sleek silk blouse and velvet-looking pant in a thoroughly current coupling of unusual color combination and subtle play with texture. Last year's woolly boucle is only hinted at in this textural contrast.
(This is not to imply any lack of richly textured, nubby knits -- there're quite a few of them, repeating or contrasting the cropped, uneven shape of other tops in this collection.)
More velvet; I usually dislike it because it tends to get stuffy and overly formal, and skews into cheap or costumey way too easily; here however a rich yet subdued golden mustard color and fluid drape, plus the uneven hem and what looks like quite an unusual sleeve make velvet interesting and anything but stuffy. It suggests tactile richness, and the draped but sleek skirt and low-contrast, classic shoe create the silhouette I would describe as ladylike if it wasn't so modern.
And here the textures are reversed, while preserving the cropped asymmetrical cut of the top and the fluid drape of velvet. And there you have it: the intentionality of the simple, minimal silhouette, the restrained colors, the texturally interesting fabrics (I'm dying to touch all of these pieces, seriously), the unexpected little hats, great tailoring -- all of this comes together in such a lovely study of modern classics (or timeless edginess, if you will), that it is impossible not to admire Izumi's collection. It is rare that a designer's esthetic feels so congruent with my tastes; and it's especially thrilling to see it develop and grow with each new collection. I cannot wait to see more from her (and hopefully, in a store near me!)
(All images are from Izumi Hongo's website)