As a child I always enjoyed making small crocheted
animal puppets. When I was around ten years old I started
to make simple clothes, such as aprons and skirts, using
a sewing machine. It wasn't until I was seventeen that
I knitted a waistcoat for the first time in my life.
My mother was an editor for Kodansya Co. Ltd., a publishing
company that produced a series of 'how to do' books
on practical subjects, so it is not surprising that
instruction books on hand knitting were near to hand.
I knitted the waistcoat following a pattern in one of
these books. It seems strange now to think how important
this event became in my life.
Around that time I picked up many ideas and scraps
of information about shaping and tailoring from fashion
magazines and adapted this information to make up dressmaking
patterns which I made into my own coats and dresses.
When I was an art student I really wanted to dress
in style, but everything that I liked in the shops was
so expensive and I had so little money, so the practice
of making my own cloths became a habit. I made pantaloons,
knitted sweaters, bags, hats.... all sorts of clothes
Once I started to sell my own-label knitted clothes
to shops and boutiques, I realized that just relying
on hand knitting would involve far too long in production
time, so I bought a knitting machine, and mastered it,
bit by bit, by reading the manual. I was never bothered
if I didn't know a particular technique but there was
something I wanted to make that needed it. One way or
another, if it was something I myself wanted to wear,
I was just going to have to learn that technique come
hell or high water!
Now - although I may not always wear the clothes that
I design - my approach is essentially the same. I still
like to pick up new techniques and I still like to think
first and foremost about what something feels like to