Tokyo’s fashion capital status is well-deserved but the metropolis isn’t Japan’s sole cultural hub. Three hundred and sixty-five kilometers away in Kyoto, Rainmaker’s Kohichi Watanabe and Ryutaro Kishi create inspiring clothes. Cocktail dresses with long sleeves Their understated pieces feature ingenious details like removable collars in coats with adjustable padding, but their visual appeal outweighs the practical nature of their designs. No one thinks about a trek through the cold when looking at Watanabe and Kishi’s work, even if this season’s campaign film features models doing precisely that. Once you glimpse those gold-flecked wide-leg trousers or the special ‘Balmacaan’ coat in Nishijin-ori Hosoo fabric, a material whose history dates back 300 years, your focus doesn’t waver.
The pair’s fall collection was a tribute to Maizuri, a seaside city within the prefecture, famous for the architecture of red brick buildings built during the Meiji and Taisho eras. The park where many of these stand has become a scenic destination for tourists, and it served as the backdrop for the film directed by Taro Mizutani. The historic setting made the clothes seem especially modern; though Rainmaker specializes in classics like kimono coats, cardigans, and trenches, they interpret them idiosyncratically. This season that meant piling on the layers to create dramatic shapes that could withstand the cold and keeping the color scheme interesting with striking combinations like lavender and navy and olive and ash gray.
Rip knitting, a traditional technique that breaks old fabrics down into threads which are then repurposed, added visual interest and sustainability. At the same time, ultra-luxe materials like cashmere were processed to be even softer than usual. All the attention to detail made for a collection where even the most straightforward pieces were worthy of a second look.