Matohu Reinvents The Classic

Hiroyuki Horihata didn’t quite reinvent the wheel, but he did tackle another classic: the traditional kimono. Horihata created a version of the traditional garment called nagagi—meaning “to wrap
around”— for Matohu, the Tokyo label he designs with his wife Makiko Sekiguchi.

These long, multi-layered, unisex wrap-jackets serve as the
foundation of the Matohu collection, where each layer can be mixed and matched with those from current or past seasons. Two or three layers of printed, striped, sheer, opaque, textured or soft fabrics combine together in a single nagagi to create an elegant statement. Unlike the fanciful kimonos that are reserved for special occasions, nagagis are designed to be worn as an everyday luxury.

Matohu’s design aesthetic is like a haiku: deceptively simple, yet
possessing the power of a lasting statement. The light, watery color palette in the spring/summer ’09 line could even be described as “Dries Van Noten in meditation.” In addition to the nagagi, the collection features versatile separates that have dual functions—a long cotton gauze skirt, for instance, also doubles as a strapless dress. Fittingly, the
label’s name has two meanings: 1.) “to wear clothes in such a way that it creates an atmosphere of beauty,” and 2.) “the sense of
restraint.” Matohu successfully captures the essence of both.

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—Jessica Dang

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