Touted by me as the master of “Gundam” couture with her geometric plastic bags and accessories, mame is actually a growing successful casual-wear label that defied all obstacles to become scalding-hot property in Japan. But perhaps it’s less luck and more that the ex-Issey Miyake designer is both a commercial and artistic genius, knowing exactly what is needed to make asian women tick in comfort and titillation. The designer is Maiko Kurogouchi but everyone calls her by her brand’s name “mame” (“bean”). In a small body with a cute demeanor and magazine-ready face, you want to wrap her in a furoshiki cloth and take her home with you and plant in your windowsill. Think of a Japanese Alber Elbaz; just as self-deprecating and modern but… much more petite.
I am proud owner of four Mame pieces above…including the neon yellow clutch which I take to every party!
Black mame purse
For her newest 2013 collection, she did something quite unique… she picked up a box of antique photographs from a furniture store and chose 50 of them to base her collection on. For each photograph she concocted a story, going so far as to name her characters and define their personalities. Then she made 1 piece inspired by that story…like a reverse exorcism…she instead possessed her collection with the memories of the photographs. Creepy-cool.
The story of Robert, 29 from 1943
“Father, Mother, thank you for making me a woman”
And here is the dress she based off of it. it even has a dark, children of the corn feel to it, no?
“I will never give up Marion. I can raise her on my own.”
mame’s personal favorite was this one, telling the story of a mother who is going to let her daughter leave the countryside and move into the city to follow her dreams. Perhaps it is relevant to mame’s life…
mame will be holding a pre-sale (trunk show) for her 2013 ss collection on the 3rd floor at Isetan right now, so if you’re in Tokyo you can make sure to get what you want from the collection (instead of letting a store buyer choose for you what goes in stores.)