Hidenori Kumakiri founded Beautiful People in 2007, finding in it the means of addressing his desire to make clothes that seamlessly blend French chic and Japanese pop influences. Celebrating this hybridized, mix-and-match ethos of sartorial duality, his always-fresh France-meets-Japan aesthetic takes high-end womenswear into oddly original directions. In great part this is down to Kumakiri’s astute, almost cartoonish self-awareness of disparate cultural signifiers, which is well expressed within wholly unexpected but always appreciated color, proportion, and layering choices. His clothes thus manage to perform an idiosyncratic and effective balancing act, contrasting staid and enduring intimations of traditional Japanese clean-cut grace with a messier sense of outsized, grotesque-yet-gregarious Parisian joy de vivre. Asymmetric materials, colorblocking, panelled overlays, and alternating patterns provide for a dazzling effect that disrupts the always-expected silhouette. Trenchcoats and dresses pull off two-way configurations in extremely disparate color and material with aplomb, referencing tradition while remaining very much avant-garde, albeit with an uncommon approachability and sublimely humane intelligence.
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