Put a little fantasy and humour into simple.
An imaginary world such as the Neverending Story…or the world created by a British Photographer, Tim Walker… or Yuriy Norshteyn, a Russian animator best known for his animated shorts, Hedgehog in the Fog (who influenced Osamu Tezuka in Japan known for Astro Boy), is what Kotoe Matsuura the Japanese designer of “good evening”, is captured and inspired by. When thinking of a new collection, she visualizes a scene within this imaginary world, and combines the textile that she wants to uses and the a chapter in the story. And in this fantasy world, there always existed two things: “children” as a core character…and “humour”.
“good evening” is all about putting a little fantasy and humour into simple. True to its concept, one can see these in her collections such as the back frill blouse that looks very simple from the front, yet on the back has beautiful frills with pearl like buttons from the top to the bottom, or the layered camisole that uses layered fabric with soft pale colours, contrasted with a vivid red strap. Looking at the 2011 SS’s collection makes one feel like strolling along the beach on a beautiful day. The 2011 AW uses many frills and gathering, and maintains its romance feeling in a simple style. One could also not miss the increase in the Adult’s range that has been very much been a focus as well for those who like to have a mother-daughter matching look (100% coolness guaranteed!).
Kotoe is an ex-Web designer and clothing shop owner who has always had a strong interest in design in all aspects–from fashion, graphics, interior, products to architecture. She says that her simple desire to “want to design”, and passion, were linked by fate with the right people at the right time. Customers immediately are drawn through the simple design…but one can also see the precision as well as the attention to details and the high quality each items provides from the quality of the fabric to stitching. Quality is truly important and she continues to make her clothes in Japan, through high quality, yet unnamed sources.
Quickly having been picked up by Isetan in Shinjuku (a high end department store in Tokyo) after its introduction of collection, and featured in magazines such as Sesame in Japan, good evening is popular amongst those parents who are very design conscious. Yes, those who have a view about their lifestyle (not specific to clothes only), but also who are picky about details and has an independent view of the world. Currently in Asia, good evening is sold in Hong Kong, Korea and Indonesia. The plan is to expand more internationally this year, says Kotoe.
Another obvious point is the beautiful photos taken by Tomooh Nozawa that captures clients into the “good evening” world. For the past 2 collections, models have been sought directly by good evening by posting a “models wanted” entry in their blog. Even with very short notice, many apply to become the models, and only few qualify to the final stage. Kotoe explains that given the first screening is based on just a photograph, even if the model seems to have a potential interesting look, when the photo does not show a good expression of an overall balance of face/body, it is difficult to pass the first stage. Ultimately, the ones with more of a unique and interesting look rather than an orthodox beauty is what they look for. While photoshoots with children can be difficult (as children may not feel comfortable), Kotoe’s beloved dog, Vinci soothes kids who may be nervous by sleeping and snoring, and making everyone laugh.
On the weekends, Kotoe goes to galleries and exhibitions, or drives to be with nature (probably with Vinci), and enjoys the weekend more quietly. She loves receiving photos from clients and their children especially when they are playing in the nature wearing good evenings clothes. Maybe you will be the next customer captured by her magical world!?