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SINGAPORE – Despite the long delay – logistical issues saw the 8pm show pushed back to 10pm – Japanese designer Tsumori Chisato’s Autumn Winter 2013 collection captured the imaginations of a packed Tent @ Marina Promenade on May 18, 2013.

Opening with a dark grey mini dress of soft, voluminous curves at the hem and on the bell sleeves, the collection moved through a series of graphic black and white pieces, including one featuring Chisato’s signature large dots, into more streamlined shapes, all featuring a kind of “wavy” motif symbolising the designer’s obsession with waterfalls.

Tsumori Chisato AW13 at Audi Fashion Festival 2013 DECOR 1Tsumori Chisato AW13 at Audi Fashion Festival 2013 DECOR 2

Tsumori Chisato AW13 collection’s “waterfall” motif could be seen in the rounded, fluid shapes of her pieces. Images: Wesley Kow

“For me this collection is about water,” Chisato said in her collection notes, “I was inspired by the waterfalls; the power, the beauty, the deepness, the colours, the movement.”

In all ways the AW13 collection encapsulated these inspirations; from a water blue shift dress featuring a “wavy” hem or abstract prints the echo the turbulence at the bottom of a waterfall, to prints depicting algae, pearls, coral and even an actual three-dimensional lobster, water was a clear reference in many pieces.

Tsumori Chisato AW13 at Audi Fashion Festival 2013 DECOR 3

Colours of “water” from clear aqua blue to the greys of dark depths with touches of red from seaweed, coral and lobsters at Tsumori Chisato AW13 collection show at Audi Fashion Festival 2013. Images: Wesley Kow

One wonders how Chisato’s other signature motif, the cat, was worked into the AW13 collection; after all, cats do hate water … then again, they also love to eat fish.

Other pieces were more abstract in origin and conceptualisation, the addition of a strong red – the colour of a cooked lobster? – seemed a less obvious connection to the waterfall conceit, likewise a few “oriental” touches in of traditional Japanese prints and the odd mandarin collar were more about the designer’s general “voice” than this particular story.

Tsumori Chisato AW13 at Audi Fashion Festival 2013 DECOR 4Despite, or because of, the sometimes unwieldy designs, Chisato’s collection is full of “statement”, intriguing fashion. Images: Wesley Kow

Whatever the source of inspiration, however, the collection overall was practically perfect. While there may have been a few pieces that not everyone could – or possibly want – to wear, like the spherical lobster red mini shift with black fur “sleeves”, there was not a single piece that shouldn’t have been on the catwalk.

This is perhaps the one thing that moves the truly gifted fashion designer into the realm of artist; the ability to create a consistent story from first look to last, one that viewers – and wearers – will remember and be moved by.

When a tent full of grumpy fashionistas full of too much free alcohol and up way past their usual bedtimes are able to literally gasp at the sight of the multi-coloured undersea print finale dress, complete with a three-dimensional lobster perched on its shoulder, and give the designer a rousing round of cheers, you know that clothing has been turned into fashion.

Overheard on the front row at the arrival of the first piece of Tsumori Chisato Autumn Winter 2013 collection: “Everything’s forgiven; the wait was worth it.” Yes, it certainly was.


The Tsumori Chisato Autumn Winter 2013 collection showed at Audi Fashion Festival 2013 on May 17. The Tsumori Chisato boutique is located at Forum The Shopping Mall #01-30/31/32/33/34, 583 Orchard Road, Tel: +65 6304 1451. For more information about the brand, go to You can Follow the brand on Facebook at, and on Twitter at @tsum0richisat0.