above: looks from Limi Feu Spring/Summer 2009 from style.com
I'm currently working on a profile of designer Limi Feu for a magazine and was surprised to learn that the designer, who is a daughter of Yohji Yamamoto, began showing in Paris in 2007 but started her label in Tokyo about nine years ago. Despite inevitable comparisons to her legendary father, including use of a monochromatic palette, layering and exaggerated proportions, Limi has come to embody the voice of a younger generation.
Music plays a dominant role in her aesthetic. For Spring/Summer 2009, Limi literally brought her love of music on the runway, with models walking with iPods connected to huge headphones made of braided hair.
Yesterday, in the name of "market research," I made my way to the Yohji Yamamoto flagship in Soho, New York, where the full range of the Yamamoto clan is stocked, including lines with a more youthful bent like Y's and Limi Feu. I have only been in the sunny loft-like store on Greene Street a few times before, and it always feels like a visit to some sort of Japanese avant garde museum.
I tried on a handful of pieces, especially attracted by the lilac harem pant style shorts (also pictured above). The shorts have a fitted waist, with snap button closure and side zip, but, via pleating and volume, flare like a full skirt, only to narrow at the bottom, with elastic banding. You can manipulate the hemline to create a shorter and progressively fuller silhouette, as styled in the runway photo.
The lilac piece was comfortable, as were most of the pieces I tried on. Almost like being embraced by a soft, lilac parachute. The material was a blend of polyester and other fibers for the lining, so they fell softly around the body. At $670, however, they were a bit beyond my reach. I tried on a pair in black cotton with the same shape at only $380, but they ballooned awkwardly around my backside, making me look bunchy in all the wrong places.
The sales associate brought out the black minidress with the portrait neckline from the runway show, which had an adorable detail, which seems to run throughout her shows: the use of hook fastenings, a nod to punk fascination with corsets perhaps. The hooks ran all the way up the front of the dress, which was made of a stiff black cotton. I really wanted to buy it, but am trying to back away from the black for spring.
above: looks from Limi Feu Autumn/Winter 2009 from style.com
Limi recently showed more mature looks for her Autumn/Winter 2009 show. Comparing them to her spring collection, you can definitely see that she continues to design with confidence. Volume and the use of black and white continues, but instead of young, rock styling, you can see more polish and soft glam. She showed some nubby tweed and wools in a variety of shapes and the jackets were especially gorgeous.
What do you think? Are you lovin' Limi?