Fresh Liking: Tsumori Chisato


Recently, I have taken a liking to a Japanese fashion designer, Tsumori Chisato.

She’s been around for slightly more than 20 years thus far, and her name is pretty well-known in the fashion line. I’ve noticed her name before but never really took a good look at her productions.

I first spotted this name when I was shopping one day. Apparently, she has a retail outlet here in Singapore, at The Forum, which is a rather quiet spot on bustling Orchard Road. I wonder why she didn’t choose ION or Paragon for her store location. On second thoughts, maybe her label has budget constraints or it’s her way of expressing her uniqueness.

She is, afterall, an individualistic designer who doesn’t follow trends. A remarkable woman who celebrates imaginative and out-of-the-box variety, as observed from her eclectic choice of textiles and little casual, artistic details to offset the serious undertones of the silhouettes — and the blends are always refreshing. An amazing feat to be able to juxtapose pop colours with appropriately placed perks to create edgy, but not too power-padded apparel. What’s more is that she never loses touch with her playful creativity all these years!

By the way, her online store is now open — take a look!



Instead of bring the people to the beach, Chisato brings the beach to the people. I adore how she brings the iconic details of beaches such as coconut trees and baby blue skies onto her collection! She also employs vibrant shades of the tropics to enhance the vitality of Spring and Summer enjoyment. A kiss of color contrasting is displayed in many of her pieces, and I feel the intensity of youthful energy popping out from her cuts.

Also notice the little clues of retro fittings such as sheer maxi and plunging necklines. She’s swinging the old cuts into the new fabrics of the future. A clever way to rid of the labels of ‘cliched’ and ‘passe’ is to hype the look up with fresh colors that attract more attention than the understated classic silhouettes of these pieces.

Chisato also seems to like the ‘bushes’ of colors, and I think they resemble coconut trees! As for having six, I think that’s her way of exaggerating the effect of boldness as demonstrated by her use of several pop colours at once. Apart from the colors, we can also see that the textiles she chose for SS2011 are, as her usual style, a wide variety — covering sheer and non-sheer materials. We can also see her expressing her wide range of styles from extremely short cuts to ankle-length, and also straight hemlines to asymmetrical finishes. Toga, kimono, maxi, swimsuit, bodysuit, bell, A-line, pullovers… this range covers a wide array of designs yet they all converge to a common contemporary colour palette, her Japanese culture and Western iconic, tropical sunny beaches. Simply a clever fusion.

Her shoes, umbrellas and bags are also highlights of each look, emphasising the gutsy, modern female voice expressed vivaciously through solid shapes. There’s nothing subtle about this. A wonderful match of visual elements. Just browsing through her SS2012 photos on her gallery makes me feel in awe.


Autumn/Winter 2011

Balaclavas, circles and stripes. Leather, satin, wool and fur. Not forgetting the printed sheer black stockings — oooh! Pop Art, too! Of course there are a lot more fascinating creations that this contemporary Asian (more specifically, Japanese) designer spun from her web of threads.

The rest of AW2011 can be found here and SS2012’s runway shots are here.


Here are some other photos of her creations, not in SS2012/AW2011:

Labrador Clutch (La Garconne) — I want this so baaaaaaaaaad. ): But its price is too much for me to bear.


Gathered Drawstring Dress in Beige (La Garconne)


Bonotto Stripe Dress (La Garconne) — Reminds me of a bathrobe gone Bohemian hahaha!


Belted Shawl Collar Jacket (La Garconne)


I spot wonderful stuff on her e-store as well! The Actress Scarf is one of my faves.


There’s something magical about Chisato’s designs that captivate us. No matter whether you appreciate her style or not, her designs undeniably attract attention. Her eclectic choices are definitely refreshing to the eyes. They contrast with the usually chic and glam fashion that is most common on runways and especially red carpets. Somehow the laidback, casual and understated mish mash on Tsumori Chisato gives us some air to breath. It allows us to admire the simplicity of having something other than satin or commercialised cuts in order to boost uniqueness. A kind of empty space that gathers more provocative thoughts than strong flashlights and non-stop camera flashes.

I feel that she distinguishes ‘childlike innocence’ and ‘childish flamboyance’ very well!

A very eclectic style that does not compromise glamour and wearability: Tsumori Chisato.


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