Mihara Yasuhiro Fall/Winter 2016 Paris

Looking back at August Sander’s photos from pre-Nazi Germany—Instagrams from eternity—is poignant and urgent: His subjects appear as right-here, right-now human as you or I, just stranded in a different, turbulent age. Yet only generations divide us. And times change fast. Christophe Lemaire has already cited Sander this season, as have others: Today Mihara Yasuhiro stepped deeply into the territory of past lives not so different from ours and dug up a gorgeous but kind of sad collection of clothing from it. The upshot was that the pain of the past can fast become the curse of the present as well.

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Eh? All this in some men’s clothes—and a few looks on a (very beautiful) woman, too? Oh yes; this reviewer has interrogated plenty of London’s most lauded contemporary artists in their pomp and left less satisfied with the message than at today’s show. The selvage unravelings, the laddered knits, the burnt felt, the emphasis on showing the hand in the handiwork, and the found souvenir patchings of times past were more Turner Prize–worthy than several Turner Prize winners. Best of all, you could exhibit this on yourself. Atmosphere entangled brilliantly in cloth. Afterward the designer—whose English is not the best but whose will to express himself is absolute—said: “I really like fashion. And I think, fashion. . . . What is fashion?” Yasuhiro is his own best answer.

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