During her interview with Fashion Headline, Mame’s designer Maiko Kurogouchi talked about the theme for her 2016 S/S collection, which was designed under the concept of an alchemist.

Fashion Headline (FH): Can you tell us about how your trips to New Mexico and Amami Oshima affected the 2016 S/S collection?

Kurogouchi: Nowadays, there are various ways to gather information. With a smartphone, you can easily look up something on the spot. I find though, that if you take the time to travel to a certain place, you find more than what you were looking for.

The small things you see during the journey sometimes have the biggest impact on our hearts. It could be a scene that we see on the way to our destination or something valuable we see thrown away in the garbage. There are just too many things that we cannot discover from our smartphone screens. That’s why I make the time to go places and see real things.

Preliminary items created in preparation for a big project are often thrown out or seen to be unimportant, but to me they provide hints and inspire me. I see such items during my trips and check to see if any of the pieces can be used as a part of my designs. For me, it’s like gathering the pieces of a puzzle from different places and arranging them in my mind. My trips are about finding the right puzzle pieces.

FH: What kind of puzzle pieces did you find for Mame’s 2016 S/S collection?

Kurogouchi: In preparation for Mame’s 2016 S/S collection, I visited two places- New Mexico and Amami Oshima. I wasn’t able to gather all the pieces of the puzzle from these two trips though. I wanted to express the beautiful green scenery of New Mexico in my designs, and I was searching for the techniques that would realize this. I was also inspired by the white color of the Satsuma ware I saw in Kagoshima and in Amami Oshima, I learned about the techniques of mud dyes. I brought back my ideas to Japan and talked with local craftsman to recreate the images I had of my trip. That’s how the 2016 S/S collection was completed.

FH: How will Mame continue to play a role in women’s fashion?

Kurogouchi: Self-reliant women require a selection of outfits to go with the different situations they encounter in their lives. I want Mame’s clothes to be something that allows them to move forward in. And this thought hasn’t changed since the time I began the brand.

Return to part 1.