The Setchu Spring/Summer 2024 Collection has been an event of anticipation on the fashion calendar, particularly since Satoshi Kuwata, the enigmatic creator behind the brand, bagged the esteemed LVMH Prize earlier this month. Set against the backdrop of an offbeat city district, the charm of this collection unfurls in a fashion performance that marries the understated elegance of traditional Japanese craftsmanship with contemporary Italian styling.
Revered for his profound work and distinctive style, Satoshi Kuwata, the quietly expressive designer behind Setchu, has captivated audiences with his unique aesthetic vision. This season, as spectators entered the minimalist, all-white setting adorned with strategically placed tatami mats, they were greeted with a unique visual tableau – a showcasing of the new collection, almost reminiscent of a modern art installation.
Each item of clothing was exhibited with remarkable intent to highlight the structure and adaptability of the pieces, ranging from a fleece sweater featuring an unusual zipper pattern, to a leather biker jacket with a fresh take on classic lines. In this, Kuwata’s ingenuity was unmistakable. Using projections as a tutorial on how to adapt each piece to different styles and fits, he ensured that the collection served not just as a fashion statement, but as a celebration of sartorial artistry.
Kuwata mused, “The collection is about a ceremony. We have ceremonies for flowers or tea, so as a Japanese designer I came up with one on how to wear [a piece of clothing].” This respect for tradition shone through in the use of detailing, such as the incorporation of buttons that transform a simple ribbed black sweater into a versatile piece that can be styled in five distinct ways.
The collection also featured chic, asymmetric fluid dresses in both solid hues and striking floral prints, providing a sensual counterpoint to more structured pieces. The precise tailoring and subtle folding creases lent a fresh, crisp look, transforming classic blazer jackets and trousers into modern masterpieces. Particular standouts included a delicate pastel pink suit and a pin-striped double-breasted jacket paired with Bermuda shorts, their wide pleats a playful nod to origami folding techniques.
Kuwata’s fascination with the blend of Japanese and Italian cultures is a distinctive part of his design philosophy. He passionately spoke of his admiration for the cultures of materials sourced from Italy and explained how they significantly influenced his creations. He praised Italy, calling it “the best place to produce a really good product.”
Drawing from his rich professional experiences, including a stint at the prestigious Savile Row tailor Huntsman and luxury sneaker brand Golden Goose, Kuwata’s expertise is evident in the Setchu Spring/Summer 2024 collection. His dedication to preserving cultural craftsmanship while injecting a touch of innovation propels Setchu into the limelight, proving that the magic of fashion lies in the delicate balance between honoring tradition and embracing the new.
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