Firstly launched in Tokyo, designer Ryota Iwai decided to present Auralee’s latest Spring/Summer 21 collection during digital Paris Fashion Week as one of the major independent fashion brands.
As a brand, Auralee is renowned for its magnificent clean silhouettes, impeccable quality and minimal styling. Its aim? A full exploration into the development of their own fabrics. By taking inspiration from the fabrics themselves and utilising them to create timeless, elegant and modern clothing, Mr Iwai provides his customers with a vessel to enhance and express their true selves.
“Although our seasons typically do not carry a singular theme and are results of our constant pursuit of developing the best fabrics, this season was an outlier where due to our current context, I had found myself inspired by the simple feeling of wanting to go somewhere,” told us the designer.
“This drew an image of my past travels, sun tinged and warm locations, deserts. Classic travel styles of days gone by. During the development of the collection, cities around the world shut down, in Tokyo, we also were unable to move around freely. These circumstances, this restriction, brought out the eagerness in me to be able to move about freely again, and this desire informed the fabrics, shapes, functions of the items in this collection.”
In a super-refined take on a material world, this season Iwai elevated notions of travel and resort wear, exploring the sartorial possibilities of practical, packable, wrinkle-resistant fabrics. Lightweight silk, linen and cotton blends, tropical wools, organic wool mesh, twills, chambrays and soft washi comprise a collection that focuses on polished yet relaxed tailoring for both men and women, with a sprinkling of revisited wardrobe staples.
Sun-washed shades of coral, khaki, earth and sand mix with muted, cooler tones like mint, lilac, blue and dove grey, shot with bold pops of magenta. Motifs and silhouettes are inspired by films of the past, with resort wear taking cues from refined leisurewear from a bygone era, stripes, long dresses, and summer-weight suiting.
For Iwai, confinement created a huge obstacle in creating the collection, one that culminated in a positive outcome with the opportunity to reevaluate the brand, the clothing and the market as a whole.
Something that kept him inspired and accompanied him during this period? Lee Ufan, The Art of Encounter. "When I was child I watched my mother singing to herself as she washed the rice. I asked her, How can you enjoy doing the same thing all the time? Mother laughed and said, ‘I may be doing the same thing, but I feel different each time I wash the rice. Sometimes I feel refreshed by the coolness of the water, and sometimes I feel good because a bird is singing."