PHOTOS BY CARL J ASQUINI
Adeam designer Hanako Maeda looked to her own Japanese heritage after visiting Kyoto last spring. For her Spring/Summer ’16 collection, that meant contextualizing Edo period Kimonos and Western influence in late 18th-century Japan.
“I love the idea of mixing cultures,” Maeda shares. “The Japanese prints are so beautiful, but producing them in Italy gives it European touch.” When we visit Maedo at her West Chelsea design studio and atelier (yes, she operates an “old 7th Avenue”-style atelier), the designer explains, “I was also inspired by Shibori [the Japanese tie-dying technique], but I left the closed detail on gowns to show the process of how it’s made.”
In the studio, Maeda shows us printed handbags designed in collaboration with her close friend Chloe Perrin of Perrin Paris, platform wedges with sexy ankle straps for Paul Andrew x Adeam, and multiple options of each look in various colors courtesy of her styling partner Tom Van Dorpe.
Of their collaboration, Perrin echoes Maeda’s sentiment: “This is my first time collaborating with a friend, and it happened really organically. Additionally, I’ve always been obsessed with the aesthetic clash between France and Japan, so it all just made sense for us to work together on this project.”
A tightly edited group of layered day and evening looks were done in Hokusai-style woodblock prints and minimalist blocks of tertiary tones. Shades of merlot, emerald, and aubergine mingled in stark contrast to swaths of white, black, and midnight, and geometric prints dotted along swags of pleated silks developed in Italy with fabled textiles mill Gentili Mosconi.
The outcome was completely modern, at once effortlessly sophisticated yet urban, and expertly executed with finesse. At show time, standout looks included a street-tinged dark denim shirtdress with an exposed shoulder and blouson cotton sleeves; a trio of bias cut day-to-evening dresses with oversize buttons decorating their seams; the new trench in emerald with gathered Shibori sleeve; and of course, the harness-style finale gown with exposed midsection and flowing floor-length micro-pleated skirt. By any estimation, the 27-year-old Adeam designer is more than poised and ready to take center stage.