This collection all began when we spotted an unexpected take on eco-clothing at an exhibition. It was about ‘Boro’, an ancient Japanese textile technique. It gave us an entirely new perspective on Japanese culture. And the dress became our starting point for this Japan inspired collection. ‘Boro’ is the term used for indigo-dyed hemp cotton clothing worn by rural Japanese communities. People wore the clothing over many decades and handed it down to the next generation. Mending, patching, recycling, re-dying, resewing: the garments came to tell a story. They’d reflect owners’ lives.

japan inspired

Embroidered stab stitching – Sashiko – brought two things to the clothing. One: reinforcing them for their extended life span. And two: giving them subtle decoration unique to every piece. For our own collection, borrowing these hallmarks of Sashiko.

We’ve expanded these references with the cut and simplicity of the kimono. The stylised beauty of Japanese art. And the cool factor of Tokyo street style. We hope you love these pieces as much as we do. Wear them. Care for them. Mend them – through this, they’ll become as beautiful as the originals they’re inspired by.

japan inspired

japan inspired

Sashiko: A Far Eastern Print Story

Mark, our designer, picks his key pieces…

Haruka Knit Jacket

“This is a great knitwear piece, perfect for sunny spring days. The kind when you still want an outerwear piece, but not a coat. The stitching pattern and indigo colouration references the ‘Sashiko’ Japanese embroidery technique. A key inspiration for this whole collection.” – M.

japan inspired

Kimono Spot Tunic

“This has proved to be a big hit already with our customers. The tunic length is extremely flattering. It’s  a great layering piece, especially worn with a slim leg trouser or skinny jean. The pattern came from an antique kimono we found at a vintage market. We then evolved it further by adding a dramatic painted border.” – M.

japan inspired

japan inspired

Manami Top

“I love the styling of this top; which references the simple, minimal cutting techniques of the kimono. The print was another we sourced from a vintage fair – the red and white colourway looks fresh and modern.” – M.

japan inspired

Elaine Jacket

“We wanted to develop our own denim jacket this season, a first for us and I’m really pleased with the result. It is not your typical boxy western jacket style. We’ve lowered and reshaped the back to create a flattering, feminine silhouette.” – M.

japan inspired

Shonagon Dress

“We developed this Japan inspired print from an antique painting, and it’s truly stunning and unique. If you look closer there are tiny oriental figures amid the cherry blossom and some beautifully painted birds. The dress’s cut flatters – with its simple styling. The half-length sleeves are slightly flared to give a contemporary look and feel.” – M.

japan inspired

Manami Dress

“Indigo-dyed hemp was once widely used by the Japanese to create patchwork ‘Boro’ textiles. So inspired by this, we knew we wanted to use our own sustainable hemp and organic cotton cloth for this dress. Its panels and patchwork print also reference the Boro technique and give a flattering silhouette. It’s the perfect casual dress for relaxed days.” – M.

japan inspired

Clare japan inspired

Enjoyed reading about this Japan inspired collection? Let us know what you think in the comments below or tweet us @wearethought.

We think you’ll also love reading about the inspiration behind the other part of our Spring 18 collection, Nature’s Poet.