Josie Natori, the wall street mogul turned fashion designer, is best known for her lingerie and loungewear designs. But don’t let that fool you. Ms. Natori also designs a ready-to-wear line that stands with the best of them.
For her Fall 2011 collection, Ms. Natori drew her inspiration from “the art of the Geisha and the spirit of the Samurai”. In the spirit of the inspiration, the collection was presented in the Josie Natori Corporate offices as a Japanese Tea Ceremony theme, with tea, spring rolls and sushi being served.
The Geisha/Samurai inspiration takes form in a collection that blends Western style with an Eastern sensibility. Silhouettes had an emphasis on drape, exploring the flow of fabric on the body, producing chic yet easy to wear garments. As a designer also of lingerie, Ms. Natori’s intimate knowledge of the body is apparent in how the garments work with the female body. Rusching, gathering, kimono sleeves, and soft folds are all part of this exploration of drape, with very zen earth tone colors of browns, beiges, moss greens and ochres highlighted with intense red and deep blue.
Abstract prints with a very earthy quality infuse the collection with a luxurious depth, as do textured knits and subtle beadwork. All of the textures, beading and prints flow together with ease, one element not distracting from another, but complimenting each other for an almost Feng Shui of dressing. Outfits were accessorised with belts. bracelets and jewelry of hammered metal in a nod to the armour details of the Samurai.
Admittedly, I too have mostly thought of Josie Natori as a lingerie designer. After this collection, I will not make that mistake again.