Maison Mihara Yasuhiro's FW23 runway show, titled "Imitation Complex," was a thought-provoking and bold statement about the blurred line between originality and imitation in today's culture.

As the show opened, Mihara Yasuhiro himself expressed his disillusionment and exhaustion with the current state of the world. The boundary between what is original and what is a copy has become increasingly blurry, and the context in which we view things has lost its meaning.

This sense of confusion was reflected in the collection itself, which debuted the use of faux leather - a departure from Maison Mihara Yasuhiro's usual emphasis on leather shoes as a foundation for his designs. To create a worn-out and distressed look, Yasuhiro employed a "spray dyeing" effect, further blurring the line between what is real and what is not.

As the collection's main focus, the puffers were padded over the exterior and lining materials to represent stereotypical authentic items, adding to its references to second-hand clothing. Additionally, a key collaboration with New York and Tokyo-based jewelry artist Kota Okuda added an intriguing layer to the collection. By using a monetary motif, Okuda expressed the opaque value hidden in today's culture surrounding capitalism and commodities, adding depth to the already complex theme of the show.

The Maison Mihara Yasuhiro collection also introduced the sneaker, PETERSON 23, which inherited the DNA of the initial model but with a newly molded, double-thick sole that gives it an unnaturally deformed shape. This new sneaker, along with the rest of the collection, visualizes the pursuit of material and real expression, which is what we have come to expect from Maison Mihara Yasuhiro.

An intriguing approach to show design makes it a worthwhile watch. Rather than a conventional venue, the entire performance took place within a shopping mall, which was cleverly converted into a lively bar/cafe restaurant setting with round tables. Each table was arranged with five seats, encouraging guests to engage with one another. Prior to the start of the show, waitstaff in black hakama pants, white shirts, and stylish Mihara sneakers served Hooichia tea. This interactive design enhances the overall enjoyment of the experience.

Overall, the "Imitation Complex" runway show was a daring and thought-provoking commentary on the current state of our culture, where the line between what is real and what is imitation has become increasingly blurred. The use of faux leather and distressed materials, along with the collaboration with Kota Okuda and the introduction of the PETERSON 23 sneaker, all served to reinforce the theme and create a powerful statement about the meaning of authenticity in our modern world.



Photography exclusively for LUCENTEMENT by Ruben Hilkens.