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Mihara Yasuhiro

October 12 2011

We met the designer in Paris during the presentation of his first womenswear collection spring/summer 2012

Why did you decide to present your first womenswear collection spring/summer 2012 in Paris?

MY We’ve presented womenswear collections before in Japan. We had already presented menswear but no womenswear in Paris and many people were asking for womenswear in Paris.

Why did you choose Ophelia (a fictional character in the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare) as the theme of the womenswear SS12 collection?

MY For me, this painting of Ophelia is very important. I feel eternal beauty in this painting. The essence of fashion is to try to find what is beauty. And most interesting is how Ophelia is always within the boundary between life and death. I think that maybe the beauty comes from the weakness and fragility of this line between life and death. Very simply, I wanted to show the strength and power of nature, alongside its weak spirit that won’t last forever.

How did that come about with Paolo Roversi?

MY I thought that it would be better to do an installation rather than a show, to better and more strongly put across the concept. I really drew on the somewhat iconic Ophelia as my muse, and she became the theme of this installation. As for the collaboration, I have been working with Paolo Roversi for three seasons on menswear campaigns – he understands my world, my universe of fashion and design. When I first thought of using Ophelia, I knew that Paolo would be the only one to be able to express the vision I’d had. His photography is always poetic and has a beauty that can go beyond that of the painting.

Is this perhaps a reference to what happened in Japan earlier this year?

MY Absolutely. I am thinking about what Ophelia is dreaming about, in this purgatorial state between life and death. I believe and hope that she is looking at dreams and nostalgic but happy memories. The tragedy in March in Japan was shocking for all of us, but we don’t want to be pessimistic about it. And I want to pray for the victims of this tragedy. I hope that all of the people who passed away were able to have their one last dream.

Why did you use this digital story?

MY The world in which we live is very realistic while Paolo’s work has a very fantastical, poetic spirit, which gives a feeling of eternity. This interactive piece allows you to be standing in the real world and at the same time communicate with this unreal world. It’s representative of this boundary that Ophelia finds herself in, that space between life and death.

Is the spring/summer 2012 collection influenced by the past and historical techniques or by new technology?

MY These are all digitally made textiles. I really enjoy using technology when I can, but I also like to mix traditional and modern techniques.

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Learn more about the installation

Interview conducted by Florence Julienne