Bearing all the hallmarks of a voyage across the Irish Sea, Junko Shimada navigates between the austere silhouettes of the fishermen of Ireland and the aristocratic allure of a ship’s captain with her marvelous new collection.
The new collection encourages you to wrap up against the Emerald Isle’s harsh winters in roomy double-breasted coats, pea coats and duffle coats. When the gusty winds blow, it’s time to slip into cosy wrap-around skirts, loose trousers, battle dresses, pinafore dresses and “lifejacketstyle” padded waistcoats.
When the chilly winter frosts hit, stay snug in big and chunky jacquard motif cable knit sweaters, T-shirts in fishing net stitching, exclusive golfing-style Paraboot, rope belts, bronze jewellery, oversized gold or horn buttons. These spiritual details that are so dear to Junko Shimada continue to strike at the heart of these silhouettes; so full of sensuality and truly unique. From shades of black, hues of stormy sea blue, navy and aquamarine, through to the bright blue tones of lobster pots and bulwarks. Brown peat and granite, punctuated with orange and yellow lichens. Handcrafted duffle, downy cashmere and herringbone tweed mingle with waxed cotton, coated and painted to weather the storms and sail the blue seas.
About Junko Shimada
She has the modesty and the humility of a well-raised Japanese, the independence and the frankness of a Parisian amazone. At the dawn of the thirtieth anniversary of her eponymous fashion house, Junko Shimada is less nostalgic than a young girl. The designer with a gracious silhouette over which lies an airy, saltand-pepper bun. At a time where all fashion houses exploit their heritage to be talked about, she does not care to possess archives, argues the one that plays with trends to create timeless collections with a singular and now identifiable signature.
Junko Shimada has always dreamed of Paris. After studying at the Sugino Gakuen Dressmaker Institute of Tokyo, she treats herself to a three-month trip to discover the fashion capital. Charmed by the Parisian women she would love to dress, she settles in for good in 1968. Of her first years, she remembers the cafés, Roy Lichtenstein’s total look in jeans, Loulou de la Falaise’s wedding and her debuts in 1970 in the style bureau Mafia for which she drew, without speaking a word of french. In 1975, she joins the fashion house Cacharel to manage children and men ready-to-wear.This jean lover leaves Cacharel five years later with a dream: travel to the United States and work for Levi’s. But her roots catch hold of her: a Japanese investor contacts her to launch her own collection. The quest for liberty that got her to leave her natal island starts to make sense. This independence, she still claims it today since her brand is one of the few not to be part of a big group.
Fashion week, spring summer collection of 1982 : Junko Shimada launches her very first fashion show under her own name at the Pavillon Gabriel. With her style shaking up the Japanese minimalism, she quickly becomes « the most Parisian of Japanese designers » as we call her. The fashion microcosm kneels in front of her energy-filled, casual yet refined silhouettes full of feminity. Collection after collection, she shows herself to be more audacious, mixing prints, making dots and panther cohabitate in harmony. Her creativity and her independence are a success, especially in Japan where she now owns around twenty stores and several licences as well as in Paris where she has settled down in two inevitable fashion districts : rue Etienne Marcel and rue Saint-Florentin. Her collections charm the most specialized divas such as Lady Gaga who has fallen for her pair of ballet shoes mounted on a high Plexiglas heel (spring-summer collection 2009).
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Source: Junko Shimada