If you see Yuki Hagino’s BA final collection, it’s pretty clear why she’s been receiving praise across the board. The London Evening Standard called her designs “heavenly”, whilst Elle UK say that she “provided one of the standout pieces of the show”. The Business of Fashion cherry picked her as one of the top six CSM designers to watch out for – and for good reason! Having previously studied architecture back in Japan, Yuki has ended her time in fashion knit by presenting a stunning collection of sculptural garments, contrasting hard origami pleats with the softness of cotton.
Could you describe how your previous studies in architecture have influenced your work as a designer?
I think the similarity between fashion and architecture is the covering of a human’s body. It can be said that clothes are the second skin and architecture is the third skin. Fashion and architecture have a common point here. I tried to express this connection between fashion and architecture in my collection. I learned about designing space and atmosphere by studying architectural design. I naturally keep that in my mind when I design fashion.
Why did you choose knitwear?
Because I can handle various materials, colours and shapes with hand work. I believe that this is the essential of fashion design.
What were the main ideas behind your final collection?
The collection title is “Sculpting Mind”. Clothes decorate the outer human and at the same time they reflect a human’s inner feeling / emotion. I expressed the shape of the mind through fashion design.
In the beginning of the design process, I was playing with origami paper and developing interesting pleated forms. I was also playing with it on the small mannequin (30 cm size). After that, I was trying to drape the pleated paper on the human-scale mannequin. At first, I was designing separate pieces of the pleated parts and fabric parts in one look. But in the process of the human-scale draping, I changed my design to integrate the pleated parts into the fabric, as in my graduate collection. I thought this was the beautiful and new way to show the big contrast between the hardness of pleated parts and the softness of the cotton fabric.
And I have a few reasons to choose the white cotton fabric. I think white colour is no colour and nothing, but eloquence. I can feel many feelings in white. Sometimes confident, clean, sophisticated, pure but sallow, cold etc. I think white can inspire people to imagine anything. So white is the best colour for my collection, because my concept is to express the mind on garments. Physically, white can show the pleated part beautifully with the contrast of the shadows and I chose the papery clean cotton to show my pieces as sophisticated and clean.
What do you think makes good knitwear?
Curiosity. Knitwear is about the harmony and ambivalence of materials and people need to challenge themselves to find new processes. Knitters should have a strong curiosity to explore these ideas.
Are there any designers, artists or other creatives who have particularly influenced you as a designer?
How would you define CSM in a word?
Any plans for the future?
Freelance designer based in Japan.
Are there any words of wisdom you’d like to give to the CSM fashion troops?
Photography: Josh Chow
Make up: Naoko Mabuchi
Hair: Maa Tokyo
Model: Claudia Higgins